Web firms dominate Tech Track 100

It’s great to see web start-ups and online ad companies appearing so prominently in this year's Sunday Times Tech Track 100, published by the paper yesterday.

Doncaster-based online travel agency Holiday Rooms Direct tops the league table after increasing its sales from £184,000 to just under £7m in two years, while the top ten also includes DVD rental company Lovefilm and local search firm The Best Of.


Tesco's online empire expands with clothing move

Yesterday’s papers were full of talk about plans by Tesco to grow its online empire and cause even larger headaches for online retailers in the UK.

Both the Observer and Mail on Sunday report that the supermarket giant is set to announce its long-anticipated move into the online clothing sector – one it has been planning since last year.

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Wake up call for media buyers as El Pais sues Nielsen

Spanish newspaper El Pais is suing Nielsen for an ‘unjustifiable’ downgrade in the number of unique users it attracts to its website. Ouch.

El Pais, owned by Prisa, is annoyed at the downgrade because media buyers rely on panel data provided by firms like Nielsen and comScore to determine where to place ad campaigns. The BBC has the lowdown here.

It seems to me that this reflects a bigger issue relating to the blind faith in panel data among advertisers.


Consumers keen to avoid online ads - study

A new media consumption survey from Deloitte has found significant demand for user generated content across all ages of US consumers, as well as revealing low opinions of online advertising among some web users.


Banks adopt content targeting in push for growth

Acquisition-minded high street banks are embracing content targeting, to personalise the experience of visitors and boost conversion rates.

HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Halifax are using technology provided by TouchClarity, which serves content and product recommendations that are relevant to each visitor based on a range of factors.


Xing and LinkedIn update member profiles

Users of LinkedIn can now add photos to their profile pages, while users of German business network Xing will be able to add more personal and professional information to their profiles.

LinkedIn has resisted this move for some time as the lack of photos has set the site apart from other social networks, but has decided to give in to user requests.


MSN Video updates video ad formats

Microsoft is introducing a new version of its online video site, MSN Video.

The big change is the ad model. Microsoft will begin to show ads to users based on time spent on the site, rather than just showing an ad for every clip a user watches.


US etail sales up 20%

US e-commerce sales rose by over a fifth in the second quarter of the year, according to new figures from the Commerce Department.

The period saw online retailers generating adjusted income of $33.6bn, an increase of 6.4% from Q1 and 20.8% from the same period in 2006.  


Microsoft reveals Live Search updates

Microsoft has revealed a number of updates to its search engine as it attempts to claw back some market share from Google, including the planned introduction of a version of Google's Universal Search.

The planned changes, will will be introduced over the next few weeks, were unveiled at the company's Searchification event yesterday.

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Cotswold Co revamps e-commerce website

The Cotswold Company launched a revamped version of its e-commerce website this week, with improved navigation and an easier to use checkout function.

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Google 'plans European recruitment drive'

Bad news for online ad companies battling a shortage of skilled workers - Google is apparently planning a big recruitment drive to create an R&D team in Europe as large as the one it has in the US.

The FT reports that the web giant aims to expand its workforce by a third, with most of the new staff to be based in Europe as it bids to improve its image on this side of the Atlantic.

0 comments launches in the UK has just launched a UK version of its site, providing searchable local listings for a range of products and services.