Friday, April 18, 2008

Yahoo to eliminate 10 cent minimum keyword bid

Yahoo Search Marketing announced this week that it will eliminate its 10 cent minimum keyword bid for text-based ads in the United States. Depending on the ad quality and value, and possibly other factors, some minimum bids may be lower or higher than 10 cents, according to Yahoo. Kristen Wareham, director of corporate communications for Yahoo, said, “In general, the enhancements we have been introducing since early 2007 should collectively help reduce cost-per-click charges when the quality of ads is higher, or when we discount clicks from certain partners' sites.”

A concern is that Yahoo’s Panama search advertising platform is only about one year old. An additional layer of complexity may present problems for people who are presently having difficulties with it. Some anticipate that the low to mid level advertisers will be hit the hardest because of the change and the higher advertisers will have the budget to ride out any fluctuations. This will affect advertisers depending on their cost per action.

If the minimum bid drops lower than 10 cents for certain keywords, smaller advertisers will take advantage. In the long run, it has been noted, this could stimulate competition by increasing cost per clicks. If I was a small advertiser and if keywords dropped below ten cents, I would invest in them.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Google’s Decelerating Clicks

In February, Google’s paid-click was a disappointment for both analysts and investors, as the company’s shares dropped 3.1%. Analysts reason that economic weakness may cause Google to fall short of Wall Street’s first-quarter estimates. Many also argue that the effort by Google to trim the number of clicks would enable it to increase the charges per click.

Google’s shares have fallen to $444.08, a per-share decrease of more than 40%, since hitting an all time high of $747.24 back in November. Many analysts believe that Google will bounce back in the second half. Credit Suisse analyst Heath Terry said, “With a strong lead in both technology and innovation, we believe the company has significant opportunities to drive revenue growth in the local, mail, display and video advertising markets despite the difficult economic environment.”

Last year Google made it more difficult for consumers to accidentally click on ads by focusing on reducing the number of clicks. Rob Sanderson of American Technology Research argued, “The reduction in Google’s paid clicks was largely the result of the company’s own quality-improvement campaign and that the decline would be offset by higher prices per click.”

When we discussed this article in class, we questioned if any of us would buy Google stock right now. If I had the money to invest right now, I would not purchase Google stock, simply because of the rapid decline of the share price, as well as the overall state of the economy right now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blog #4: Package-Goods Giants Roll Out Mobile Coupons

Five top package-goods manufacturers including Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Del Monte, General Mills, and Kimberly-Clark are teaming up with Kroger to promote sending coupons through their mobile phones. This promotional tool is geared towards consumers between the ages of 25 and 34, who are likely to have growing families and do not have the time to read the newspaper.

In one test, consumers downloaded Cellfire, a mobile marketing application that allowed them to view Cellfire’s mobile shopping mall to see the various discounts being offered. When the consumers chose particular discounts, they checked off their choices and made a mobile shopping list. The consumers’ discount choices were then sent to computers at Kroger. Kroger’s system “identified the consumer by the loyalty-card number at the checkout, and the discount is automatically applied there,” said Alice Cuneo.

Today, Cellfire has about half a million users and 70% of these consumers are under the age of 35. The electronic coupons can be downloaded off a computer, via the mobile web, and through text messages.

Use of mobile coupons in the future is a great idea because the consumer will not have to cut out paper coupons and then try to remember to take them on shopping trips. However, I do foresee a minor problem as far as retrieving the coupons from the text messages and mobile web. Since the screen resolution in such technology is small, it will take a while to scroll through each coupon. On the other hand, younger consumers in their 20s and 30s, who do not have time to go through the newspaper, would have the mobile coupons readily accessible on their phones.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blog #3: Web Ads May Have Aided Obama’s Successful January Fundraising

On February 21, 2008, clickz campaign ’08: Online Presidential Campaign Coverage said that web advertising played a major role in Barack Obama’s online-powered fundraising activities in January. The Obama campaign ran more than seventy million campaign ads online last month, while there were ten million run in December.

Thus far in 2008, John McCain has run only nineteen million online ads. The ads that McCain ran were video-enabled and much more expensive than a standard animated ad. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, ran about one million video-enabled ads. Both McCain and Romney have utilized the video ads because their intentions are to persuade voters, rather than drive traffic to their sites for donations or list-building purposes.

Yahoo had the most ad impressions in the month of January. Much of Yahoo’s campaign ads were on local newspaper or TV sites. Obama’s ads were mainly on Yahoo, MSNBC, MSN, and also on to promote events in Jersey City.

Much of Obama’s internet advertising success is attributable to running ads on such popular sites. These sites are viewed by so many people that such exposure can be very significant for a political candidate. It will be very interesting to see the new results of online campaign advertising when they come out for the month of February.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Presidential Site Traffic Spikes on Super Tuesday

Each of the presidential candidates had traffic spikes on their websites on Super Tuesday. Mike Huckabee, for example, saw a 142 percent increase in traffic on his website over the previous Tuesday. Hillary Clinton doubled her traffic, compared to a week earlier. The websites for Senators John McCain and Barack Obama rose 75 percent. Mitt Romney only had 59 percent more visitors on his website from one week to the next.

John Levy, an online campaign observer, said, “It was the biggest day of the year for the candidates, the first time the majority of the country was actually paying attention.” Levy also noted that some of the traffic increases could have occurred after the polls had closed and that people were looking for the results.

Hillary Clinton’s website had the highest proportions of youngest and oldest among the presidential candidates. 17 percent of Clinton’s visitors were age range of 18-24 and 31 percent were 55 and above. Clinton also drew a significant number of women to her campaign site, specifically 64 percent.

After each debate, web traffic usually increases, especially if a significant number of people do not watch the debates. At times I do not have time to watch the debates, so I visit the websites and read about what happened the night before. I feel the race for Democratic nomination is going to come down to the wire.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blog #1

I am writing my blog on the class reading from the, The next big thing. Advertising on cell phones is quickly growing. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, at least $81 million was spent worldwide on mobile advertising this past year. The advertising is through the use of text messaging. The article stated, “The biggest point of mobile ads is what marketing types call ‘relevance’.”

Blyk, a mobile operator in Britain, is offering subscribers 217 free text messages and 43 free minutes of voice calls per month when they agree to receive six advertisements by text message on a daily basis. In order to get this service, customers must fill out a questionnaire about their hobbies and habits. Customers will then receive ads that are relevant or would be of interest to them.

The reason mobile advertising is done by text messaging is because only 16% of customers in America and Western Europe have access to the internet via their phone. Many people choose not to opt for internet service on their phones because the screens are too small.

My opinion regarding the mobile advertising through text messaging is that I am opposed to it. If I was a customer through Blyk I would not sign up for the 217 text messages and 43 free minutes of voice calls. I believe receiving six text messages of ads per day would inevitably be annoying after a short period of time. For those individuals who don’t have text messaging on their plan, I assume they would have to pay the ten cents to receive it.