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The Web Week in Review

There were quite a few news stories this past week that piqued my interest.

From a study revealing that the most avid clickers of online ads aren't members of the most desirable demographic groups to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's admission that the US economic landscape is increasingly bleak, the diversity of the week's news was enjoyable.

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Ten affiliate marketing tips

We estimate that affiliates generated more than £3bn in e-commerce sales last year, a whopping 45% increase over 2006.  

If done well, affiliate marketing can provide a cost effective and highly measurable way to acquire customers and grow sales.

So here are some tips for managing the affiliate channel: 

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GoCompare feels effects of Google penalty

Getting a top organic ranking in Google can drive a huge amount of customers to a website, resulting in large profits.

Break the rules and this traffic stream can be turned off overnight.

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Yahoo should take the money and run

There's been a lot of debate and discussion about Microsoft's offer to acquire Yahoo.

Thus far, Drama 2.0 has shied away from the drama.

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Path Reporting 2.0: Let’s start looking at campaign path reports

We’ve all spent the last five years being told that banners influence search campaigns or that product terms influence brand term conversion.

Do the tools and data exist to properly back up the statements we can see if we were right to believe them?

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Etailers want more help to combat fraud - report

Online retailers are increasing expenditure on anti-fraud measures but lack support from government and law enforcement authorities, according to a new study.

Cybersource's latest UK Online Fraud Report (pdf) surveyed 165 UK businesses and 1000 consumers on methods being used to combat online fraud, as well as attitudes towards the issue.

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Marketers targeting people who don't exist?

One of the most popular concepts in the world of social media marketing is that of 'Influentials'.

As their name implies, they are trendsetting individuals that supposedly have the ability to "influence" others into purchasing products.

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Don't let Google decide how to describe your site

When scanning search results, the only things that users have to decide which one to click on is its position in the rankings, the text of the link and the snippet of text displayed.

You wouldn't let the Royal Mail decide on the text of a piece of direct marketing so why let Google decide what text to display on these critical three lines?

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The Guardian continues its revamp

The Guardian continued the redesign of its site this week, unveiling a new look to the navigation as well as dropping the 'unlimited' from its name.

guardian homepage

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Q&A: Jon Webster of the Music Manager's Forum

Jon Webster is CEO of the Music Manager's Forum, which represents artists and managers in the recording industry.

We recently spoke to Tim Westergren of Pandora, which was forced to close its UK service due to what he saw as excessive new royalty rates, demanded by the recording industry.

This, in addition to  the proposed royalty rises in the US, has threatened several online broadcasters - Jon gives us the view from the artists and managers' perspective.

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Can the affiliate model evolve?

With the popularity of the last click model dwindling, do affiliate networks need to evolve their approach to tracking sales in order to remain a viable channel for advertisers?

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Keyword research for UK sites is a different ball game

Keyword research is one of the most tempting parts of a search engine optimisation campaign to outsource.

My advice to UK SEO consultants and webmasters is to be very careful.

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