1.31.2009

Search is #1, the Internet Operating System & Killer App




The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about 1/3 of all users in '02 to a new high of 1/5





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4,500,000,000 ads served to U.S. consumers in '08

Interesting write up from TechCrunch. The more ads that get thrown at us, the more we learn to ignore them. There is just way too much advertising inventory out there.




There is no need for the 300-plus ad networks out there. As a result, the stronger networks are picking up funding to shore up their positions and the weaker ones are getting bought. Just last night, for instance, Glam Media bought AdaptiveAds. This morning SocialMedia raised $6 million rather than the initial $20 million it was looking for and mobile ad network AdMob raised $12.5 million.

Ad network CPMs were down in Q4 '08 compared with Q4 '07, according to PubMatic.  Cost-per-thousand ad impressions for online publishers are generally off about 20%, according to several people on both the buying and selling side, and sell-through rates are dropping, according to AdvertisingAge.

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35% of adult Internet users have an online social profile

The share of adult internet users with a profile on a social network has quadrupled in the past 4 years, from 8% in '05 to 35% in '08, Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Dec. '08.



Younger adults much more likely to have profiles - 75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site. Social network users also more likely to be students - 68% of full-time students have a social network profile. Whites less likely than African-Americans or Hispanics to have a profile - 31% of online White adults compared with 43% of African-Americans and 48% of Hispanics.


Visits are on the rise. In Feb. '05, 2% of adult internet users had visited an online social network “yesterday,” while 19% had done so in Dec. '08.


51% of social network users have two or more online profiles
  • 50% of adult social network users have a profile on MySpace
  • 22% have a profile on Facebook
  • 6% have a profile on LinkedIn

Primary use is to connect with people they already know
  • 89% use their online profiles to keep up with friends
  • 57% use their profile to make plans with friends
  • 49% use them to make new friends

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62% of ad agency CEOs: Digital Marketing a growth area in '09

Digital marketing is one of the few bright spots in Worldwide Partners Inc (WPI) survey. Half the CEOs citing Digital Marketing as a growth area in 2009. Among North American CEOs, 62% said that they think digital will grow this year, while 39% of non-Nort
h American CEOs said the same.
  • 70% of global ad agency CEOs say clients cutting back '09 budgets
  • 83% say cuts are at least by 20%
  • 95% report clients are less optimistic
Clients demand more control over their budgets






Despite the financial crisis and downturn in consumer and corporate confidence, Paid search advertising actually surged during Q4 '08, plus 43% over '07, Covario's Global Search Spending Analysis.


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1.23.2009

1 Billion Global Internet Visitors in Dec. '08

Global Internet Audience Surpasses 1 billion Visitors, According to comScore. China represented the largest online audience in the world in Dec. '08 with 180 million Internet users.
  • The global Internet audience has surpassed 1 billion visitors in Dec. '08
  • Asia-Pacific: 41%
  • Europe: 28%
  • North America: 18%
  • Latin-America: 7%
  • Middle East & Africa: 5%





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Google Q4 revenues up 18% at $5.70 billion, 68% drop in profit

Sales were strong despite the worsening economy; search-advertising and cost-cutting helping weather the recession better than others.


  • Q4 '08 GAAP net income was $382 million, compared to $1.29 billion in Q3 '08.
  • Google-owned sites revenues up 22% to $3.81 billion, 67% of total revenues.
  • Partner sites - through AdSense programs - up 4%  to $1.69 billion, 30% of total revenues.
  • Revenues roughly equally divided between US and international markets.
  • Dragged down in part by its investment in AOL

The charts from SearchEngineLand's post by Greg Sterling:






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1.17.2009

While not recession-proof, Search is still growing

 Search is not growing as quickly as in previous years, but Search is still growing!


eMarketer just released The Search Ad Spending report dissecting the economic downturn impact on the Internet’s most important business model and economic driver. eMarketer estimates that search ad spending growth will remain positive from '08 through '11. That's another 3 years. The projected bounceback—with growth increasing to 13.7%, due to a combination of economic recovery and the influence of that year’s national elections and Summer Olympics—will not occur until 2012.



eMarketer estimates show search ad spending rising steadily from $10.7 billion in 2008 to nearly $20 billion by the end of 2013.


Search spending delivered greater growth (a 23.6% gain) in the first half of 2008 than any format other than video advertising. Search’s share of the total spend reached 44% in the first half of 2008, too, up from its 41% slice in 2007’s first half.


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Ad Rates Stabilize between Q3 and Q4 - AdPrice Index

 According to the AdPrice Index, Q4 '08 reflected a sizable decline in online display ad pricing compared Q4 '07 but the drop leveled off from the previous quarter.


  • Rates on small, medium and large websites decreased 52%, 23%, and 54%.

  • Business & Finance suffered the most, falling 61% from an average ad rate of $2.13 in Q4 '07 to $0.83 in 4Q08.

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12.7 Billion Searches in Dec. '08



 Facebook's 161 million searches pale in comparison to the core search engines, but as it is the case with email activity, we could very well see a behavioral shift over time, where users execute more and more searches in context of their favorite community. Facebook will have to significantly improve search integration for that to happen though.

  • 12.7 billion core searches in Dec. '08, +3% versus November
  • Google 63.5% with 8 billion searches
  • Yahoo! 20.5% with 2.6 billion searches
  • Microsoft 8.3% with 1.1 billion searches




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1.15.2009

Google 1st page advertisers +58%, Microsoft Live Search + 42%, Yahoo! + 9%

2009 is going to be a different year in Search market share. The Search industry has probably just passed an interesting infection point and the chain reaction might have just started for Microsoft Live Search.  Search Engine Watch relays an interesting AdGooroo survey, reporting that Google's first page advertisers grew by 58%, and Live Search grew by 42.3%. Yahoo only grew by 8.8% in Q4 '08.

  • Without looking at traffic metrics, it's instinctively a pretty good indicator for Microsoft Live. Advertisers tend to follow users. 
  • Consolidated Microsoft & Yahoo! would increase large advertiser counts on Live by 157%, increasing -perceived - relevance, improving consumers' engagement metrics end putting pressure up on CPC bids. 
  • As AdGooroo Founder and Chief Gooroo Rich Stokes says "Ad coverage on the search engines continues to provide a reliable indicator of advertising activity and is the focus of increased industry chatter” ... "indicator" is the right term as Google could very well set the "1st page" relevance bar a bit higher to impact longer term engagement metrics.


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1.04.2009

Online Spending Outperforms Brick-And-Mortar Across Several Categories

Trends in online spending outperformed offline in several key product categories for the period of Nov. 1 - Dec. 24 versus a year ago - comScore.

  • The top growing online product category for the season was Sport & Fitness, which grew 18%.
  • The 2nd. fastest-growing category was Video Games, Consoles & Accessories, which grew 14%. 
  • Sales of Apparel & Accessories up 4% online, compared to a 19%-21% decline in overall sales of the category.
 

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