Travel websites need to improve usability - study

There is plenty of room for improving the user experience of some of the UK's top travel websites, according to a new usability study.

Webcredible's Flights Online study looked at the flight search and booking process on 20 travel agent and airline websites.

The highest scoring website was Opodo with 67%, while Monarch came off worst on 38%. On average, travel agent websites were more usable than the airlines' sites.


US online ad spend up 19% in 2007

Overall advertising spend in the US rose by 0.6% last year, but online ad revenue continues to rise, growing by 18.9% compared with 2006.

These figures (PDF) are from the Nielsen Company, and show that online advertising is still growing much faster than all other categories, though growth has slowed from 35% between 2005 and 2006.


Your terms of service agreement

The average user ignores them, almost every " serious " website has one and the vast majority of internet entrepreneurs probably expend little thought when having theirs put together.

I'm talking, of course, about "terms of service" agreements that govern the use of websites.


Avinash Kaushik on visitor experience optimisation

Avinash Kaushik Here, we talk to web analytics expert Avinash Kaushik about the future of web measurement, online surveys and 'visitor experience optimisation' - something he predicts will be a life or death thing for websites to adopt in the next couple of years.

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Do ISPs need to change the 'report spam' button?

More and more email users are using the report spam buttons to unsubscribe from emails, so is another option needed on email programmes to improve deliverability?

A survey found last week that 56% of email users consider uninteresting or irrelevant email messages as spam, and concluded that the report spam button is 'broken'. 


BBC website revamp continues

The BBC has followed up the launch of its new homepage last month with a redesign of the news and sport sections of the website.

BBC news revamp


Reaping what they sow

In my recent post on the music industry in the digital age, I noted that record labels and musicians would need to deal with the challenges of digital piracy pragmatically, but also argued that consumers would eventually need to recognize that there could be unintended consequences to their actions.

I pointed out that consumers would inevitably reap what they sow.

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Yahoo targets female web users with Shine

Yahoo has today launched Shine, a new site which is taking aim at women between 24 and 54.

Yahoo Shine


Channel 4 invests in School of Everything

Late last year, Channel 4 Education announced a complete rethink of its TV-heavy commissioning strategy and said it was devoting its entire 2008 budget to cross-platform projects.

But it seems the broadcaster is not just keen to acquire new digital content – it also wants to invest in companies that support it.

According to commissioning editor Matt Locke, it is one of a number of firms that has just ploughed “a six figure sum” into School of Everything, a UK-based start-up that aims to encourage informal learning via the web.


Reputation Management? Don't Forget PPC & Universal Search

When talking about reputation management, many companies will explain the importance of utilising SEO to ensure that negative comments do not rank highly for searches against a brand.

But when dealing with negative PR, it's important to consider multimedia & paid search as well.


The ongoing battle for links

Most website owners understand that getting links from quality sites is the key to creating better Google rankings.

In the past few years Google has been working hard on making sure that links from low quality sites don't count as much as those from high quality sites and the link marketplace has changed dramatically.


The Web Week in Review

It's that time of the week again and these are the stories that piqued my interest.