Users ignore heavy formatting - Nielsen

Another nugget of wisdom from Jakob Nielsen - website visitors will often ignore heavily formatted areas of a website as they look too much like advertising.

The usability guru says surfers have trained their brains to ignore 'fancy formatting', in a form of banner blindness. This suggests that ads should be made to look more like actual content in order to attract attention - something Jakob also covered recently.


Yahoo! buys online ad network BlueLithium

Yahoo! has continued its acquisition spree with a $300m deal for online ad network BlueLithium.

The move will add roughly 1,000 sites to the web giant’s Publisher Network, as well as seeing it pick up BlueLithium’s behavioural targeting technology to enable its clients to serve more relevant ads.


Is all publicity good publicity in Google's eyes?

Businesses of any kind can fall victim to negative coverage in the press and online media. It’s a fact of business life and a real headache to deal with.

But is there a silver lining? Do the links from authority news sites generated by such stories bring a search engine optimisation benefit?

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Dopplr raises funding for travel social network

Dopplr, a social network for frequent travellers, has raised early stage funding from Martin Varsavsky, Joi Ito, Reid Hoffman and Saul Klein's Accelerator Group.   


'Live search engine' launches in beta

Claiming to be the world's first live search engine, mylivesearch launched in beta recently. It aims to improve on the major search engines by delivering real time results, and more of them too.

According to the mylivesearch website, results from the major search engines suffer because you only see results from the last time sites were indexed, you only see a small part of the web, and that searches are limited by bias (i.e. number of links, popularity etc).

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Q&A: David Heinemeier Hansson explains Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson - named Hacker of the Year in 2005 - talks about the web development framework's growing popularity among businesses (including E-consultancy - we have a new Rails-powered site under development) and the problems of managing an open source community. 


Dailymotion raises £16.8m in funding

French online video site Dailymotion has raised $34m (£16.8m) in funding to expand overseas.

The round was led by AGF Private Equity and Advent Venture Partners, and joined by IC Capital Privé and previous investors Atlas Venture and Partech International, which invested £4.7m last year.


Online newspaper ad revenues rise, print ads fall

Ad spending on US newspaper websites continues to grow while spending on newspaper print ads declines, according to new figures.  

Newspapers' online ad revenues increased by 19.3% year-on-year in Q2, according to the Newspaper Association of America, to a total of $796m (£395m) - their thirteenth successive quarterly rise.


New mobile payment system goes live in UK

PayForIt, the new payment scheme backed by the UK’s five mobile network operators, has gone live.

The system began operating on 1 September, offering a standardised way for content providers to process payments from customers on different networks.


Content Intelligence – the death knell for 'Best Practice'?

Best practice was a great safety net for marketers when campaigns cost tens of thousands of pounds to execute due to physical print, production and distribution costs.

If sales plummeted, the marketer in question could point to a text book or previous campaign performance and the directors would settle back down again.


Hey, NBC! Apple already does variable pricing…

NBC’s dispute with Apple over the company’s fixed pricing policy for downloads of its TV shows from iTunes is well worth tuning into.

The conflict is based on NBC’s demands for more control over the pricing of its content in iTunes, while Apple is insisting that variable pricing simply isn’t an option.

Well, here’s the kicker: Apple has already rolled out variable pricing in iTunes. It just depends on where you live. And, it’s frankly a bit of an outrage...


Google settles Adwords lawsuit

Google has settled a lawsuit with American Blind & Wallpaper Factory over its search ads, bringing a four-year long dispute to an end.

The retailer had claimed that Google’s Adwords programme allowed other firms to infringe its trademarks when bidding on keywords, but pretty much looks to have climbed down as the trial approached.

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