Time Is Short, Links Plentiful

As I prepare for another meeting today on the subject of Mobile-Local Search, I’ve run out of time to do anything meaningful. So here is a laundry list of links and short coverage:

Wi-Fi finally comes to NY city parks (including Central Park) in August, per the NY Times (reg. req’d). Previously Om Malik asked the question “Will Wi-Fi jumpstart location based services?

UK-based mobile-local search enabler m-spatial has announced a Mobile-Local Search Index for the UK. Here are the top categories of searches (by %):

  • Fast Food & Takeaways 21
  • Drinking 15
  • Taxi 12
  • Cinema 9
  • Hotels 9
  • Cash Machines 9
  • Supermarkets 8
  • Electrical & Electronics 6
  • B&Bs 6
  • Clothing & Fashion 5

These categories are to some degree predictable and consistent with similar behavior in the US. But it’s important and interesting to see this documented empirically.

This appeared last week in MediaPost (reg. req’d), but I wanted to call attention to the fact that Universal McCann and Merrill Lynch have both lowered their general advertising forecasts, though not for online.

Will click fraud kill the golden paid search goose? Research firm Outsell says “maybe” and says a backlash is happening. The SF Chronicle reported yesterday on the report which offers these findings:

  • Clicks believed by advertisers to be fraudulent: 14.6 percent
  • Money paid by advertisers for bogus clicks: $800 million (2005)
  • Advertisers who said they were victims of click fraud: 75 percent
  • Advertisers who said they reduced click-based advertising or plan to: 37 percent
  • Revenue lost by Google, Yahoo and other Web sites, as a result: $500 million
  • Advertisers who request refunds because of fraud: 7 percent
  • Average refund: $9,507

There’s some reason to be skeptical of these findings and any conclusion that PPC will be mortally wounded as a result of this. What this and other similar reports will do is cause more effort on Google and Yahoo!’s part to publicize and be more transparent with their anti-click fraud programs – which they should have done a long long time ago.

A new Borrell report has a bullish forecast (consistent with their past forecasts and reports) on the outlook for online real-estate advertising (also via MediaPost). The report predicts that by 2010 the Internet will exceed print newspapers in real estate ad dollars.

Per the WSJ (sub. req’d) AOL is mulling offering free services, including email, where users have an existing connection. This comes amid a raft of bad publicity about how difficult it is to cancel AOL.

Finally, UK yellow pages publisher Yell has apparently threatened to sue open-source directory project Yellowikis. This seems not only strange but legally improbable. We’ll see.

2 Responses to “Time Is Short, Links Plentiful”

  1. AhmedF Says:

    Can only laugh at the lawsuit. I knew traditional YPs were having problems grasping/moving to the internet, but that just seems desperate.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I can’t really explain it. It just seems strange.

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