FWM Digital Bytes

FWM BytesAt Fast Web Media, we have been scouring the news over the last 7 days to find out what’s gone on in the digital and online world. This week we talk about the rise of PPC, the effect of using Google on human memory and MySpace Tom’s love affair with Google Plus…

Internet Advertising on the Rise

Marketing Week has reported that the cost of Facebook advertising is on the rise as more brands turn to the social network and away from traditional marketing. The cost of CPC advertising has doubled in the space of a year, whereas CPM prices have risen by 45% according to a report by TBG Digital. Similarly, Google has seen its average CPC rise by 12% year-on-year and the number of paid click increase by 18%.

In addition to search engine PPC, Google’s Display (or Content) Network seems also to be becoming more popular. According to E-consultancy, in previous years revenue generated by the Display Network has fluctuated between 30-40% of the total but revenue in Q4 2010 fell from $2.50Bn to $2.43Bn in Q1 2011 – the largest drop it has seen. But with Remarketing, Topic Targeting and Interest Targeting, FWM know that exciting results can come from effectively utilising the Display Network. It will be interesting to see how else Google amends the Display Network to entice more advertisers to use it and increase the efficient targeting of their ads.

Don’t Be Stupid & Don’t Be Evil

Earlier this month, FWM blogged on whether the internet is making us stupid and the British media has since been debating the story. Focussing on recent research by New York’s Columbia University, The Daily Mail went with the interpretation that Google is making us more forgetful and our memories lazy, whereas the Guardian leant more towards the argument that the use of search engines marks an evolution in the way in which humans assimilate, process and recall information.  According to the research, search engines are now beginning to feature as “trans-active memory sources” and becoming a part the associative network that makes up our memory. In addition to the positive attributes that have been found in some studies, it is the expectation for the information to be easily accessible in the future means that we are becoming reliant on those sources. Our memories are not degrading, rather we are evolving in the way in which we construct our memories – and Google is becoming an integral part of it. But with the #hackgate/Mudoch scandal unfolding, the Guardian’s Martin Robbins highlights vulnerability we are at with relying on Google for 92% of all our internet based searches. Let’s hope Google doesn’t forget its mantra of “Don’t be evil” anytime soon.

MySpace Tom is loving Google+

It’s apparently nearing 18 million members a couple of weeks after its launch, and Google+ is drawing  a wide and predominantly tech-esteemed crowd. And Tom Anderson of MySpace fame is one of them. Regularly updating and sharing with his almost 50,000 folks in his G+ “circles” his views on the power struggle between G+, Facebook and Twitter. He appears sympathetic to Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg but is obviously an avid consumer of G+ already, frequently posting tech articles about G+ and its latest updates.  Although Tom has taken to Google’s new networking platform like the metaphorical duck to water, how many more of you have already joined him, or will?

With its popularity gaining momentum, how G+ will sit amongst other social networking tools that are currently entrenched in our society remains to be seen in these early days. But as MySpace Tom knows, the occupier of the social throne can easily be toppled in the digital kingdom. The BBC quotes Jeff Jarvis, a professor of interactive journalism says that “[t]he different social networks overlap but prioritise different things… Facebook is for maintaining relationships, Twitter for broadcasting, Tumblr for quotations and Google+ for sharing”. The simplicity of segregating social relationships appears to be the USP of G+, and yet it seems somewhat ironic that it should be the search engine giant that introduced this facet of limiting information. Perhaps Facebook will counteract Google’s circles with its own innovation to steam the heavy flow of users fleeing Zuckerberg’s empire – as someone commented on the BBC site“[w]e’ve got 500 million people right here [on Facebook]”.

But will Google+ make Facebook the new MySpace?

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