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Confused.com up for sale?

Motor insurance group Admiral has received approaches from several parties interested in buying insurance comparison website confused.com.

Admiral acknowledged the approaches in a statement and said the board was considering its options, which include "retention of the business or a partial or full disposal".

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Google Checkout – a paid search optimisation tactic?

Have you seen the new Google Checkout icons which are displayed with paid search ads where the merchant is using Google Checkout? The evidence we’ve heard so far is that those icons lead to a higher click through rate.

What will that do for your paid search rankings?


Facebook welcomes third party developers

Social network Facebook announced a major facelift yesterday, with the site opening up to third party software by allowing its users to embed an array of applications into their profile pages.

Rival MySpace opened up to outside developers three years ago, but Facebook has until now resisted the move.


Online retail market 'to triple in five years'

Another day, another piece of research focusing on the growth of online shopping.

Retail analysts Verdict Research say spending by online consumers rose by a third in 2006, and is set to triple over the next five years.


Third of employees 'risk sack for blogging'

A human resources firm has warned that up to a third of bloggers and social network users risk the sack for posting damaging material about their employer.

Croner commissioned YouGov for a survey of 2,000 people which found 39% of bloggers admitted to publishing sensitive or damaging posts about their workplace.

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Google data capture under EU scrutiny

Google is facing concerns from EU officials over the length of time it stores users' search habits.

A working party of data protection officials from members states last week sent a letter to the search giant demanding justification for its policy of keeping hold of users' identity and search patterns for up to two years.


Six ways to improve online experience

There has been much discussion and comment recently about the quality of online customer experiences. Even small companies, run by specialists in their chosen field, need to provide a good online experience if they are to capture a share of the rapidly growing online spend. 

Here’s my novice's guide to improving the quality of your online experience... 

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LynkU nets funds for site expansion

LynkU, the UK-based shopping search site, has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding to expand its range of services.

The search engine, formed in December 2005, offers a shopping tool with positional features designed to connect shoppers with local retailers.


Ad network WebAds opens in London

WebAds, the Holland-based European internet advertising network, has opened a UK office in London.

The company has launched a new, localised website at webads.co.uk, and appointed a management team at premises in Clerkenwell to service advertisers and publishers in Britain and around Europe.


Measurement groups agree to audits

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced it has reached an agreement with both comScore and Nielsen/NetRatings over auditing of their measurement techniques.

Last month, the IAB challenged both metrics firms to throw open their methods to inspection by independent auditors and expressed concern about the use of panels to measure web audiences.


Trulia raises $10m in funding

US vertical property search engine Trulia has raised $10m (£5m) in a third round of funding led by Sequoia Capital. The company has now raised $17.7m (£8.9m) to date.


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US online ad spend jumps 35%

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its 2006 Internet Advertising Revenue Report yesterday, with the figures revealing that total online ad spend reached $16.9bn (£8.5bn).

The report (PDF) shows that online ad revenue grew by 35% on 2005's figures, with a record $4.8bn (£2.4bn) in revenues for Q4 2006.