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VCs pile into Web 2.0 space

Levels of VC investment in 'Web 2.0' companies doubled last year, according to figures released by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne at this week's Web Ventures Conference in California.

The firms say $844m (£431m) was invested in Web 2.0 startups in 2006, compared to $406m (£206m) in 2005.

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Lonelygirl15 strikes tasty ad deal

She's one of the hottest attractions in online video drama - now Lonelygirl15 is busy striking product placement deals with advertisers.

Started on YouTube in 2006 as a supposedly authentic bedroom video diary from 16-year-old Bree, the series now pulls in massive audiences on Revver and is aiming to cash in.


Yahoo! finds 15% of ad clicks are fake

Between 12% and 15% of clicks through Yahoo! search marketing ads are identified as erroneous and discarded from advertiser bills, the company has said.

Announcing a stepping up of its fight against click fraud, Yahoo! announced the appointment of veteran company lawyer Reggie Davis to a new vice-president of marketplace quality position.


Budget disappoints online betting firms

Hopes that yesterday’s budget would help out the online gambling sector appear to have been dashed, after the Treasury set its new tax on remote betting in line with offline bookmakers at 15%.

The move is being seen as a setback for the industry, which had hoped for a lower rate that would encourage investment back to the UK from abroad.


Yahoo! nears Google ad revenue after deductions

Yahoo! has closed the gap on Google's 2006 revenue from online advertising because it keeps a greater proportion of advertising spend, according to soon-to-be-published data.

Revealing contents of an imminent report into portal site economics, Jupiter Research analyst David Card said market share at the big four broke down as follows in 2006:-

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Google opens PPA beta test

Google has invited advertisers to become beta testers for its new pay-per-action online ad system - a move that looks very much like an entrance into the realm of affiliate marketing.  

Participants in the PPA system are able to add lists of intended actions to regular ads, with ad impressions only paid for once a user completes on those activities. An advertiser pays Google only if an individual subscribes to its newsletter after clicking through to its site, for example.


Charges against Sportingbet chairman dropped

Online gambling firm Sportingbet has announced that the charges against its former chairman Peter Dicks, who was detained last September by US authorities , have been dropped.

In a statement, the company said that it 'has reached an amicable resolution with the St. Landry district attorney in the state of Louisiana' and that all warrants related to the case have been withdrawn.


Reasons why customers don't book travel online

Despite the amount of deals on offer, and the convenience of booking holidays online, many US internet users still prefer to book their travel over the phone, with perceived security problems the main reason cited.

Forrester Research polled over 5,000 US consumers in the last quarter of 2006 to find out the reasons for their reluctance to use the web for holiday reservations.


Search engine market share stats

The March 2007 version of our Internet Statistics Compendium is now available, with updates including new facts and figures on topics including search marketing, transactional email, online fraud, mobile, display advertising, online travel, online dating and more.

To give you a taster, here's  a selection of stats on search engine market share...


Paypal signs up 35m European accounts

eBay’s online payment outfit, Paypal has announced it has registered almost 35m accounts in Europe - a boost in its battle with rival providers.

It’s the first time the group has released specific numbers for Europe, where it says it processed $8.4bn (£4.3bn) in payments last year.


Mysupermarket allows booking of delivery slots

Shopping comparison site mysupermarket.co.uk has introduced a useful-looking new feature which allows customers to book their delivery slots before starting their shopping.

Users can choose from a range of one hour slots, view costs and book one in advance. Mysupermarket says the service has been introduced in response to growing demand from shoppers using the site.


Seven tips for recruiting paid search professionals

Recruiting paid search professionals can be a painful experience. Whether you're an agency specialising in search or a company looking to bring it in-house, the demand for paid search professionals has never been greater.

In these market conditions it’s easy to panic and jump on the first candidate who’s heard of Adwords, but there is another way.