Fourth quarter 2011 figures appear ominous for digital advertising.
Newly released 2011 figures from Kantar Media uncover a minimal increase of 0.4% in Internet ad spending, with worse results year over year, as fourth quarter figures declined by 6.2%. Display fared better than paid search, with a 5.5% rise for the full year compared to a 2.8% decrease for paid search. However, both showed negative year over year comparisons in the fourth quarter, with display ad spending down 5.9% and paid search down 6.4%.
Former Google director of engineering raises doubts about the company's direction.
Though it attracted less attention than the parting shots of a Goldman Sachs employee in the New York Times, James Whittaker wrote a blog post about his former company, Google, which also raises issues about a negative change in culture. Whittaker, who now works for Microsoft, claims that when Eric Schmidt gave way to Larry Page, Google lost its interest in innovation and became focused solely on advertising. Whittaker also characterizes Google+ as a flop.
Search Engine Watch
Google/Apple alliance draws FTC scrutiny.
With their competing mobile platforms, Google and Apple are usually thought of as rivals, but it is an instance of cooperation between the two that has raised eyebrows at the FTC. Apple has been subpoenaed by the FTC for information on the deal that made Google the default search engine on iPhones and iPads.
Search Engine Watch
New Google search results configuration encourages Google+ participation.
Brands that have linked their websites to profiles on Google+ will receive extra prominence on search results pages. Alongside the list of search results, a listing for Google+ pages linked to the websites will appear, along with the latest post on the page and a logo or picture.
Search Engine Land
Apple's iTunes is becoming besieged by fraud.
Though Apple bills its iTunes store as the safest of online shopping environments, incidents of fraud are cropping up with increasing regularity, often involving fraudulent charges via the App Store. With the App Store offering over 600,000 applications and generating billions of dollars in revenue, this type of criminal attention might have been expected, but Apple seems to have been ill-prepared.
The New York Times
Facebook drops its Daily Likes and Comments metrics.
Facebook's Insights analytical tool has discontinued providing numbers on daily likes and the number of comments a particular web page or post generated. The move is seen as potentially confusing for brand managers who have been using this data to monitor the effectiveness of their social media strategies.
Advertising deal among AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo goes into effect.
An agreement among AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo now allows the three to offer each other's unused display ad inventory for sale. This could lead to more sales opportunities for the three companies involved in the deal, while allowing advertisers one-stop shopping for some of their multi-channel campaigns.
Salesforce.com offers website design and management services.
Salesforce.com is adding to its range of enterprise management tools with website design and management via Site.com. The service would help firms set up a web presence that is compatible with social media, without having to create an extensive support infrastructure from scratch.
Microsoft's YouTube ad strikes an odd note.
As tactics in the browser wars go, posting a video on YouTube might seem a little under the radar for a giant like Microsoft, but not only has the firm gone that route on behalf of Internet Explorer 9, it has geared the content to make Microsoft seem like more of an oddball little outfit than the industry standard.
Digital news consumers prove active and discriminating.
A 2012 report from Pew Research Center reveals that only 9% of U.S. adults rely on Facebook or Twitter as news sources, with much larger groups preferring to actively seek information through news outlets, search or news aggregators. People who get their news digitally also show a fairly high degree of crossover, using multiple devices such as desktops, tablets and smartphones.