Tag Archives: SOCIAL NETWORKING

Study: iPad Accounts for Almost 95 % of Tablet Web Traffic

 

Aiming to get a sense for how powerful the tablet is, online advertising network Chitika looked at what devices it was serving ads to and found that it was almost exclusively Apple tablets.

For every 100 iPad impressions, Chitika is serving slightly more than one ad to a Samsung Galaxy and Asus Transformer Prime and under one ad to the Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook and Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet share is even lower, though clearly both the Nook and Kindle are marketed less as Web browsing devices and more as media consumption tools.

In total, the iPad accounted for more than 94 percent of ads, Chitika said.

It shows that not only are iPads outselling their rivals, but each one that is sold is also more heavily used, at least when it comes to Web surfing.

“Going forward the competition is going to be hard pressed to find a way to overthrow the seemingly omnipotent Apple,” Chitika said. “Not only do they offer a great product, they have the undying devotion of their enthusiasts.”

“Gone Viral!”

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Six years ago today, Jack Dorsey tweeted the first ever tweet on Twitter and a communications revolution was born.

Now, 6 years later it has grown exponentially to over 500 million users, making it the largest one-to-many open communication platform on the web today.  After hearing those numbers you would never believe what humble beginnings this social network came from.

Twitter stemmed from an earlier company ran by ex-googler friends called Odeo, which was going to be a podcasting platform. But when Apple launched iTunes podcasting, it made their little startup company irrelevant. After enlisting the help of another buddy and much brainstorming, the team came up with “Twttr”, which would eventually become Twitter.

This social networking phenomenon allows its users to interact with their favorite celebs and follow the latest news s
tories. Many businesses use Twitter as a marketing tool to reach consumers. It has changed media, business and politics – even our President Barack Obama has an account!

With 11 Twitter accounts created every second, the company is projected to earn $259 million in Advertising Revenue this year. Not a bad birthday gift!

Yahoo’s fourth-quarter net earnings decline 5 percent

Yahoo’s fourth-quarter earnings fell 5 percent as newly minted CEO Scott Thompson acknowledged the company needed to do better, but was short on details about his plans.

The company’s fourth-quarter net earnings declined 5 percent year-over-year to $296 million, with revenue off 3 percent to $1.17 billion. And search advertising revenue dipped 3 percent year-over-year to $388 million.

Yahoo’s full-year revenue hit $5 billion, a far cry from the $6.3 billion it recorded in 2010. During the company’s earnings call Tuesday, Thompson said he’s spent “a lot of [his] time and attention”understanding the problems facing Yahoo’s display advertisingbusiness. Referring to the company’s results, Yahoo CFO TimMorse said during the earnings call, “we expected better.”

Thompson repeatedly said that it was too early to discuss how he plans to improve Yahoo’s performance. But he isolated the consumer data Yahoo holds as “the key component for driving innovation.”

“Our data may be Yahoo’s most underrated, underappreciated and underused asset,” he said.

Thompson said he aims to mine the data collected from Yahoo’s 702 million monthly unique visitors to improve the site experience for consumers, which he said would lead to more time spent on site and better results for advertisers.

Thompson and Morse downplayed the uncertainty that has dogged Yahoo throughout the fourth quarter and continues to follow the company. Morse—who took over as interim CEO after Carol Bartz’s ouster in September—termed the period “challenging” with “numerous distractions,” and Thompson said there was a lot of “commotion” surrounding the company.

Thompson’s appointment earlier this month may have settled the CEO question. ButYahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the company’s board last week, and questions persist over whether Yahoo will be sold.

As to the latter, all Thompson would say was that Yahoo “remains open to anything that’s good for our shareholders.”

Apple Devices Dominate Mobile Online Shopping

The holiday season came a little early for Apple this year, but it’s not as if the company didn’t already know what it was getting. New statistics released this week from retail analysis firm RichRelevance indicate that iPads and iPhones are the top mobile devices that consumers use to make retail purchases.

By just how much, you ask? According to RichRelevance, 92 percent of all “online non-desktop sales” came from an iOS-friendly device during December. Better still (for retailers), those using their iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices to shop online spent more, on average, than those shopping via other mobile platforms like Android: $123 for iOS devices versus $101 for Android devices. Even though desktop-based sales crushed mobile-based purchases in volume, the average order value of these purchases only reached $87.

“The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic’s doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating,” said David Selinger, RichRelevance CEO, in a statement.

In total, mobile device-based shopping hit around 3 percent of all online sales analyzed by RichRelevance—more than 3.4 billion sales in total, stretched across the months of April to mid-December. Translated out to raw dollars, mobile-based sales jumped from 1.87 percent of all U.S. online retail spending in April to 3.74 percent in December.

As mentioned, this news should come as little surprise to Apple, as the company has already seen snapshots of iOS mobile shopping dominance. Take, for example, Black Friday: According to IBM, the iPhone and iPad ranked first and second for consumer shopping on mobile devices on Black Friday itself (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent, with Android-based devices taking up third at 4.1 percent). That totals just over 10 percent of the mobile shopping market for Apple’s flagship products.

IBM also indicated that the specific Black Friday conversion rates for the iPad—a comparison of online visits versus purchases made—were double those of the mobile device category as a whole (4.6 percent to 2.8 percent.)

Even though Android enjoys a healthy lead in overall global market share for smartphones versus the iPhone—no doubt a result of Android’s ability to exist on multiple devices versus the single iOS smartphone product line—it seems that iOS users continue to carry the day for mobile shopping.

Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

40% of Tablet /Smartphone Owners Use Them While Watching TV Almost 20% searched for product information, coupons or deals while watching TV

American consumers are increasingly connected and our recent survey shows they are increasingly multitasking when it comes to multimedia.

Roughly 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners in the U.S. used their devices daily while watching TV, while only 14 percent of eReader owners said they watched TV while using their device every day.

And what are smartphone and tablet owners doing while watching TV? Checking email. Email was the top activity for both men and women during television programming and commercial breaks. In addition, women reported engaging in social networking more than men, while men checked sports scores more often.

q2_2011-simultaneous-usage-cm11-3943

Advertisers should take note that while viewers may be splitting attention between two (or three!) screens, 19 percent of smartphone and tablet owners searched for product information and 13 percent searched for coupons or deals while the television was on.

Online advertising becoming as important as spot TV

According to Q3 2011 research from media buying solutions provider STRATA, clients are becoming just as focused on digital media as they are on spot TV. US ad agencies reported 34% of clients were thinking most about online advertising in Q3, compared with 24% the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of clients whose primary focus was on spot TV dropped from 41% to an almost-even 35%.

The online marketing tactics in use by the agencies surveyed did not change much, with online display, search and social media coming out on top, their usage rates stable from quarter to quarter. On social media, similarly, priorities remained the same, with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter the clear leaders, though LinkedIn, in fourth position, gained ground.

The number of agencies purchasing mobile advertising for their clients also stayed relatively stable, at 23%, but the types of ads they were creating began to change. In Q3, display advertising took an even larger lead over SMS. More than half of agencies said they are now creating more mobile display ads for their clients than other mobile formats, compared to just 16% of agencies that are still mostly creating SMS ads.

The mobile devices being targeted by those ads were changing, too. Agencies cut their interest in BlackBerry by half between Q2 and Q3, according to STRATA. Still, Android-targeted efforts lagged behind iOS-focused ones.

eMarketer forecasts display will take 33% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, pushing it ahead of SMS and even with mobile search spending. It also estimates that the iPhone will lose its spot as the No. 1 smartphone in America by the end of this year, when Android’s share will far surpass it.

Google revenue soars, G+ network grows to 40 million

Google reported third-quarter earnings that handily beat estimates, and announced that its three-month-old Google+ social network now has 40 million users.

That’s a big increase from the 10 million users Google+ had at the end of Google’s last quarter, when it remained in a “limited” trial phase. The network opened to the public in late September.

In an earnings release late Thursday, Google said it earned $9.72 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $8.74 per share.

Advertising and profit: Investors are looking to Google’s advertising figures as a barometer of the overall economy, and the numbers were good — though the cost-per-click increase was not as high as it was last quarter.

Profit rose as both the number of clicks on Google’s ads and the amount that advertising partners pay per click increased. Paid clicks rose 28% and cost per click ticked up 5% compared to last year.

Sales for the Mountain View, Calif., company rose 33% over the year to $9.7 billion. Excluding advertising sales that Google shares with partners, known as “traffic acquisition costs,” the company reported revenue of $7.5 billion, which beat analysts’ forecasts of $7.2 billion.

Shares of Google (GOOGFortune 500) rose 6% after hours.

Spending and hiring: Google is continuing to spend at a quick clip. Capital expenditures totaled $680 million in the third quarter, including investments in Google’s massive data centers.

But Google has plenty of cash to back up its shopping spree. As of September 30, the company had $42.6 billion on hand.

Google is also continuing to ramp up its hiring. Full-time staffers totaled 31,353 as of September 30, up 9% from the previous quarter.

Motorola: On Google’s earnings call, analysts asked about Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility (MMI). The deal was announced in August and, once finalized, will score Google some valuable Motorola patents. Intellectual property is turning into a battlefield among tech giants including Apple (AAPLFortune 500) and Microsoft (MSFTFortune 500).

When an analyst asked whether Google will license Motorola software to other companies, Google CEO Larry Page said “it would be premature” to discuss details before the deal is approved.

“We’re very excited about Android, and we see that ecosystem growing,” Page said, adding that the strategy is “getting stronger” — and the Motorola deal is part of that.

Browsers and search: Page also revealed that the Google Chrome browser now has more than 200 million users worldwide.

Susan Wojcicki, Google’s senior vice president of advertising, talked up theFlight Search that Google launched last month. She also said Google data shows that “ads that are socially annotated are more useful for users.”

Google execs did not talk specifically about recent antitrust concerns. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the company for evidence of abusive practices, and a federal judge recently rejected Google’s planned settlement deal in its attempt to create a universal online book library.

Page instead offered up a “view of the future” sentiment that echoes some of his past statements: “We are still at the very early stage of what technology can deliver. These tools will look very different in five years.”

Report: Mobile Ad Spend to Hit $1 Billion, dramatic increase in banner, search, rich media, and video ads predicted

EMarketer has released analysis of mobile ad spending that predicts decreased investment in message-based ads and dramatically increased investment in banner, search, rich media, and video ads on the mobile platform.

mobile-ad-spending-share-2011-2015

As the iPhone 4S is released, featuring the Siri personal voice assistant that understands what you mean when you talk, it’s clear that smartphone technology is stepping forward. The increased presence of these high-tech tools, as well as decreasing costs, has pushed smartphone ownership toward becoming the “norm.” eMarketer predicts that smartphone ownership will reach 38 percent in the U.S. by the end of this year.

The increase in smartphone ownership coincides with a significant increase in mobile ad spending, which should reach $1.23 billion for U.S. advertisers by the end of the year, up 66 percent from last year’s $743 million figure. eMarketer predicts that the figure will continue to see escalating growth, reaching $4.4 billion by 2015.

Total investment isn’t the only big change, though. Advertisers are focusing less on message-based ads (ads sent via text message, usually after the mobile user sends a subscription message via short code) and more on visual and search ads. While message-based ads are currently in the lead with 36.1 percent of spend, eMarkter predicts that will have changed by the end of 2012.

eMarketer specifically predicts that rich media and search ads will win 33 percent of spend each, leaving message-based ads at 28.2 percent of spend. This divide will grow further in the coming years, with eMarketer’s 2015 figures showing messaging at just 14.4 percent to search’s 40.2 percent and rich media’s 36.4 percent.

The fastest growing segment, however, is video advertising. While it still holds a very small portion of the mobile ad market (at 4.7 percent currently), eMarketer predicts video “will grow at a compound annual rate of 69 percent between 2010 and 2015,” reaching 9 percent of ad spend (an estimated annual figure of $395.6 million) by the end of 2015.

eMarketer’s figures are based on “mobile advertising estimates from other research firms, company data from major mobile ad networks and vendors, marketers’ mobile marketing strategies, and smartphone and tablet adoption and usage trends.”

Speaking of advertising, online advertising hit a new high in the first half of this year, $14.9 billion, the IAB announced last week – with $7.3 billion of that from search advertising.