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Brands are still important online - study

Brands are still an important influence on online consumers, according to a new study by AOL and the Henley Centre.

However, the research also asserts that customers are becoming less loyal to brands as a result of their online experience.


Yahoo! searchers suggest fix to buggy new feature

Yahoo! engineers had to start fixing a bug in a new live search feature, just a day after announcing the addition.

Yahoo! Search's Kevin Lee introduced the new Search Suggest function, which offers suggestions on search terms as a user types.


Google bans ads for controversial drug

Google has announced it will ban online advertisements for an appetite suppressant that has come under fire in medical circles.

The search giant contacted some advertisers to inform them it would stop taking ads for ephedrine-based products "in the coming weeks".

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Online video guide Tvtrip nets funding

European start-up Tvtrip, which provides online video guides for travellers, has received $4.8m (£2.3m) in funding from Balderton Capital and Partech International.

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Online shoppers in no hurry to buy

The average time between a customer first visiting an etailer and completing their purchase has risen over the past two years, according to a new study.

ScanAlert's Digital Window Shopping Report found that shoppers take an average of 34 hours and 19 minutes from the first visit to purchase, according to an analysis of 2.6m online sales.


Admiral backs away from Confused.com sale

Admiral, parent company of insurance comparison site Confused.com, has reportedly decided to end talks over the sale of a stake in the company.

The Telegraph reports that Admiral had received approaches from interested parties about a deal for the site, but was reluctant to relinquish control over its strategy.


Second Life reforestation project up for an award

Second Chance Trees, a Second Life project that aims to help preserve endangered rainforests, has been selected as a finalist in the American Express Members Project competition.

Second Chance Trees was conceived by social media agency Converseon, in partnership with Plant It 2020, and encourages Second Life residents to plant virtual trees at Second Chance Trees Island.


Charities failing to make the most of the web

Many of the UK's charities are failing to make the most of the internet, according to E-consultancy's second annual Charity Website Benchmarks  report, with research conducted by iConcertina.

The study found that many charity sites have improved in terms of usability and communication, but there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to transparency and accessibility.

Some 120 charity websites were benchmarked across six core areas: usability, accessibility, communication, transparency, responsiveness and integration. We'll look at some of the headline findings after the jump...


Whole Foods boss rumbled for anonymous postings

The boss of Whole Foods Market, the organic food retailer that launched a huge store in London last month, has been caught using Yahoo!’s stock market forum to criticise a competitor, which he then proceeded to buy.

John Mackey, chief executive of Whole Foods, used the moniker 'Rahodeb' to make postings about rival Wild Oats over several years, according to a filing from the Federal Trade Commission.


Shopping search engine bags $15m

US shopping search engine TheFind  has received $15m (£7.3m) in third round funding, bringing the total raised by the company to $26m (£12.7m).

Unlike some other shopping search engines, TheFind searches products from as many sources as possible, not just from companies that have paid to be listed, though some sponsored links are included on the site.


Online video site Brightcove launches in UK

US online video platform Brightcove has opened an office in London.



E-marketing read rates decline, Wednesday still rules

Fewer people are reading marketing emails, according to a new survey.

The study, conducted by agency eROI concluded: "We continue to see a decline in read rates across the board as more and more email clients are adopting the 'images off' default setting."