Why bother with an Affiliate Marketing strategy?

Affiliate marketing is becoming an established marketing technique, complementing and sometimes replacing other types of online and offline marketing as an important channel to market.

It extends reach, allowing you to sell your goods and services via a wide range of websites, without the need for a marketing budget. Last year, affiliates generated around £2.16bn in sales for UK-based merchants.


Microsoft's embedded marketing links ruffle feathers

Microsoft has attracted criticism for using in-line embedded text ads to promote its own search engine along with its search marketing customers' messages.

The Redmond giant's adCenter programme began using the IntelliTXT method, which makes textual content into sponsored links, to attract traffic. But some adCenter clients whose ads are displayed at destination pages on Live Search have complained.

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Usability research attracts more than 600 participants

Those interested in online usability issues are encouraged to take part in the user experience survey which we are running in association with behavioural research consultancy Bunnyfoot.


Interview: Mark Clark, UK MD of GD Worldwide

GD Worldwide is an online resource for independent bands to help establish an internet presence and manage the distribution of their material. It also allows bands to create a 'backstage area' via its Usync tool.

We caught up with UK MD Mark Clark to discuss plans and progress to date...


Eric T. Peterson sets up new analytics consultancy

Best of luck to Eric T. Peterson, who has just announced he is jacking in the day job to form his own strategic consulting group, Web Analytics Demystified Inc .

The analytics guru is leaving his position at Visual Sciences - a move he said will allow him to provide "objective thought leadership" to the "entire web measurement community".


Google gives its analytics tool a sexy makeover

Google Analytics has released a new version of its analytics tool, complete with a new user interface, customisable dashboards and a new email reporting tool.

Google Analytics dashboard


eBay close to acquiring StumbleUpon

Auction site eBay is reportedly close to concluding a deal to buy StumbleUpon, a browsing application which helps users discover new sites.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal will be worth around $75m (£37.6m), though completion may take a few weeks yet. A similar rumour was reported back in April.


49% of US population has little interest in Web 2.0

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project has looked at internet and technology adoption and usage in the US, finding that nearly half of those surveyed do not use interactive features.

Pew's Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users study surveyed 4001 adults, including 2,822 internet users,  and looked at levels of adoption and attitude to Web 2.0 features such as blogging and video sharing.

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Yahoo! shuts auctions, loses eBay battle

Yahoo! is to close its auctions website this summer in the face of eBay's overwhelming market dominance.

Yahoo! Auctions will be shut down in the US and Canada from June, but sites in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore will remain.


Affiliates can be your social media allies

Brands who burn their bridges and leave behind angry affiliates risk losing valuable social media allies, writes Andrew Girdwood.

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Email marketing provider Silverpop acquires Vtrenz

Email service provider Silverpop has acquired Vtrenz, a company which provides automated lead generation services.

Vtrenz analyses customer behaviour and uses this information to determine the most appropriate response, whether it be a phone call or email.


Microsoft upgrades Hotmail

Windows Live Hotmail, the successor to MSN Hotmail, has launched worldwide today, offering the most comprehensive upgrade to the email service since its inception in 1996.

The new version of Hotmail has been in beta for the past two years, with 20m users testing it. From yesterday, the 280m active Hotmail accounts will be migrated over to Windows Live Hotmail.