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Blog

Microsoft launches all-in-one ad solutions

Microsoft  has struck a blow in its online ad war with Google with the launch of a set of services that firms can use to target consumers via PCs, game consoles, mobiles and PDAs.

Announced at Advertising Week, ‘Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions’ brings the company’s ad products and services under a single umbrella, assisting firms that want to reach customers across different digital platforms at a time when media continues to fragment.

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Growth in online ad spending slows

Research firm eMarketer has forecast that growth in US online ad spending will slow slightly this year as due to weaker consumer spending and as the market matures.

A report by the firm predicted internet ad revenues would rise 26.8% to $15.9bn this year – a move that may calm some fears in the industry after Yahoo!’s warning sent shares tumbling last week.

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Your chance to improve usability standards

I have recently returned from an international standards meeting in Washington (and that is a story in itself – I nearly had to fly without my laptop and Treo – aargh!) where we were discussing the revision of the human centred design standard ISO 13407.

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SEO as effective as paid search, study says

WebSideStory has released an interesting study that indicates paid search is only slightly more effective than optimisation when it comes to conversion rates.

The research, which focused on 20 major B2C sites over the first eight months of this year, basically suggests that neither paid or organic search advocates are right to claim their methods are better.

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Publishers up stakes in battle with search engines

Newspaper and book publishers have announced a new tagging system which they hope will wrestle back control over content distribution from news aggregators and search engines.

The Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP) technology, launched by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and various other groups, aims to calm publishers’ fears that they are getting a bad deal when their content is indexed online.

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Ways that highly-designed websites can still be accessible and search friendly

There continues to be a tension between web design that is “highly-designed” and web design that is accessible and search engine friendly. The former sites tend to be Flash only or rely heavily on DHTML.

So it is possible for a site to be beautiful but accessible?

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Yahoo! reportedly close to Facebook deal

Speculation is growing that Yahoo! is close to a $1bn deal for social networking site Facebook.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is in "serious discussions" to sell itself to the search engine and portal, following months of reported takeover bids from big media players.

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Dr Martens launches new website freedm2.com – beautiful but flawed?

Dr Martens has launched a new website at freedm2.com through Saatchi Interactive. The site aims to increase engagement with customers using a range of multimedia interactions and ‘social’ elements, such as creating and sharing videos and music.

But it is all in Flash, you can’t buy shoes, and the registration doesn’t seem to work…

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EU plans are threat to new media firms, says Ofcom

Ofcom has warned that the EU’s proposed Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) directive could force new media companies to relocate outside Europe.

The UK media regulator said research it had commissioned from RAND Europe showed the proposals could “significantly increase regulatory costs and uncertainty” for multimedia firms.

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Orange pulls out of bidding for AOL UK

Mobile operator Orange has pulled out of the bidding for AOL’s UK internet access unit, according to a report in The Times .

The move will see BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse going head to head for the division, the newspaper said.

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Web venture aims to shake up film distribution

The makers of Scenes of A Sexual Nature, out in November, are not just hoping it’s a hit in the box office – they are also testing a new online distribution model which they say could help independent and low-budget films.

Ed Blum, the film’s director, and Suran Goonatilake, the investor behind Blum’s production firm Tinpanfilms, hope the system will reduce distributors’ control and give private investors more of a say in how movies are marketed and where revenues end up.

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Google syndicated search on the horizon?

I came across an interesting post on the ZDNet.com blog written by Garett Rogers about Google registering many variations of a "syndicated search" domain on September 15th.

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