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Blog

Microsoft research finds sources of search engine spam

Microsoft researchers have been looking into the problem of junk web pages, and have found that most of this 'search engine spam' comes from just two web hosting firms.

Microsoft's research, entitled Spam Double-Funnel: Connecting Web Spammers with Advertisers, looked primarily into redirection spam and reveals that the links to spam web pages are generated by a small number of people, with some major advertisers, hosting services and ad syndicators turning a blind eye.

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ONS report reveals digital divide

The latest Focus on the Digital Age report from the Office for National Statistics reveals that, while internet use is well established and growing fast, the 'digital divide' remains a problem.

According to the report, one in twelve UK households (8%) have no access to the internet, digital TV, or mobile phones.

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ASOS ‘grubbygate’ row gathers pace

You have to wonder whether or not ASOS CEO Nick Robertson went on holiday for two weeks by accident, like Withnail of ‘I’ fame. Or did he strategically flee the masses of affiliates baying for his head on pike?

Labelling affiliates ‘grubby’ is looking like the UK internet industry's gaffe of the year so far, but something tells me it wasn’t just a throwaway statement. Crass and insensitive perhaps, and one hell of a generalisation, but presumably Nick has all kinds of reasons that will back up his choice of phrase.

What might these reasons be? Since Nick is on holiday (or in some affiliate-proof bunker) we’re not going to get any clarification anytime soon. But hey, ASOS is a public company, so let’s delve into the accounts for a brief waltz through its history with affiliates… it is rather revealing…

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Travelocity bets ad budget on brand search

Brand names function better as search marketing keywords than non-branded terms, according to a study conducted by online travel agency Travelocity.

The company found that only 4% of its bookings came from ads bought on un-branded search terms, suggesting Travelocity's own brand name is responsible for 96% of its business.

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Google sets up in-game ad battle with Microsoft

Google has confirmed its purchase of San Francisco-based Adscape Media in a push into in-game advertising.

The long-anticipated deal – believed to be worth around $23m – will see the search giant entering a market that's expected to grow massively over the next few years.

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DIY: How to marry your marketing and tech teams

How can you get the marketing team back in control of the business done on the website? And do marketing teams and tech teams have to act like its the battle of the sexes? Not if both sides can share the DIY...

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Site redesign tips from Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen's latest article looks at site redesign tips which will lead to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

Nielsen has 10 redesign recommendations that are the most likely to increase return on investment for your website, most of which should be relatively simple to implement.

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Lovefilm launches 'download to burn' service

Lovefilm.com, the online DVD rental company, has announced the launch of the UK's first legal movie download service, which will allow customers to burn downloaded movies onto blank DVDs.

The move is prompted by Lovefilm's research into its customer's preferences, which found that 57% wanted the opportunity to create their own discs from their downloads.

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A lesson from America

In last week's post, I misquoted Terry Duddy when he predicted (and this is the corrected version) that online retail sales wouldn't be much more than 10-15% of total UK retail sales by 2015 – my apologies Terry.

With my fingers somewhat burnt, I thought I’d play it safe this week and take a quick look at what’s being said in the US about online sales, now and in the future, to see if this helps inform the debate in the UK.

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German keeps Euro Gmails close to his chest

A German businessman who owns the 'G-mail' trademark so desired by Google says he would refuse to sell the name, even for millions of dollars.

Hamburg-based Daniel Giersch registered the name for his postal service in 2000 and launched an e-mail adjunct in 2003, before Google launched its web-based mail client a year later.

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Ask.com admits to secret anti-Google campaign

Ask.com has launched a guerrilla-style marketing campaign designed to encourage British internet users to broaden their choice of search engine.

In the last couple of weeks, posters featuring a megaphone, a link to information-revolution.org and the slogan "stop the information monopoly" began appearing on tube trains, lamp posts and elsewhere. They warn libertarians about Google's 75% UK market share, although the name of the organisation behind the campaign was not disclosed.

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Returning online purchases is too much hassle - survey

A survey by shopping comparison site PriceRunner has shown that while customers love the convenience of shopping online, etailers' return processes leave much to be desired.

PriceRunner surveyed 400 online shoppers, all of whom have been shopping online for up to five years. Almost 40% were unhappy with the processes for returning goods bought online.

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