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Google announces 69% rise in profits

Google performed beyond analysts' estimates as its sales grew to $3.66 bn(£1.8bn) for the first quarter of 2007, thanks to its core businesses of search and advertising.

Revenues increased by 63% compared with the first quarter of 2006 and by 14% over Q4 2006. Profits rose 69% to $1bn(£500m), from $592.3m(£295m) for the same period last year.


ADiFY banks $19m to challenge Google Adsense?

Congratulations to ADiFY, the company that enables publishers to create niche online ad networks, on the news that it has bagged a cool $19m in funding from investors including NBC Universal and Time Warner Investments.

Despite being a relative minnow, ADiFY could seriously threaten Google’s dominance of the online ad space, and it is a little surprising that the search giant hasn’t hedged its bets by getting involved in this funding round.


Google dumps Froogle brand, cleans up UI

Google has announced some fairly dramatic steps aimed at reviving Froogle, its shopping comparison service, with a redesign of its user interface and a change of name.

The service now has a much more ‘it does what it says on the tin’ brand – Google Product Search – as well as a front end that the ad giant says will be simpler to use.


Click fraud rises again - report

Click fraud is still on the rise, according to new figures for the first quarter of 2007 from Click Forensics.

The numbers, gathered from more than 3,500 online advertisers and their agencies, show a rise to 14.8% from the 14.2% click fraud rate reported for Q4 2006.

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Web 2.0 participation 'lower than expected'

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo industry conference in San Francisco this week, Bill Tancer of Hitwise revealed that Web 2.0 sites have lower levels of audience participation than is commonly assumed.

For instance, a mere 0.16% of visits to YouTube are by users who are actually uploading material, with the vast majority being visits by 'lurkers' - people who do not contribute to the site.


eBay to buy StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon, a browsing application which recommends websites to its users, is rumoured to be an acquisition target for online auction behemoth eBay.

According to TechCrunch, an unnamed source says that StumbleUpon will be acquired for between $40m and $75m (£20m-£37m).  


SMEs face CRM challenges, says Microsoft

Recent research commissioned by Microsoft has revealed that medium-sized businesses face a number of challenges in improving their approach to customer sales and marketing.

The research looked at the attitudes to customer management of medium-sized UK businesses, as well as looking at how customers are researching and making their purchase decisions.  


Time spent more valid than the page view - Nielsen

A new study by Nielsen/NetRatings examines the top UK websites using three different metrics - page impressions, visitors, and time spent. It concludes that the page view is becoming less relevant, a mantra we're hearing increasingly often.

The report argues that the growth of Web 2.0 sites, and the different ways that users are interacting with social media means that advertisers are looking beyond the page impression as a way to measure user behaviour.


Experian buys Hitwise for £120m

Online research group Hitwise has been bought by Experian in a $240m (£120m) deal.

The credit information provider says it will use the acquisition to extend the range of online and offline marketing services it can offer its clients.

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Zlio targets UK with DIY shop application

Zlio is a new service that allows you to create and personalise your own online shop, choose your stock from a range of online retailers and earn affiliate commission on sales.

It is nice and simple to use, and you can have a range of products for sale very quickly. After a brief registration process you can start adding products.

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O'Reilly reverses call for blog code of conduct

Praise be! Tim O’Reilly, aka the man who coined the term ‘Web 2.0’, appears to have decided to drop plans for a blogger code of conduct that he proposed as recently as last week.

Speaking to Wired, he says: “I've come to think the call for a code of conduct was a bit misguided.”

Damn straight.


Barclays uses chip and PIN to combat online fraud

In an attempt to add an extra layer of security to online banking transactions, Barclays Bank has sent out 'PINsentry' machines to its online account holders.

Over half a million Barclays customers will be sent the free PINsentry card readers by the end of the year, which will be used to prevent online banking fraud.