• For Phorm, Quality, Not Privacy Concerns
    GigaOm's Stacey Higginbotham contends that the problem with Phorm, the advertising startup that has caused such a stir in the UK, isn't privacy violation, but rather the lack of value provided by its advertising system. Phorm assigns a cookie to a Web browser and then serves ads based on that user's browsing history. It doesn't collect personally identifiable information, nor does it save the URLs of specific sites visited by users. Instead, its software collects baskets of keywords to build an advertising profile, which it uses to serve ads. To build that user's advertising profile, the system applies numbers correlating ...
  • SEM Confirms Google Weakness
    Google shares fell 3.1 percent in Nasdaq trading following comScore's announcement that paid-click growth stalled for the second consecutive month. Of course, Web watchers take comScore's panel-based data with a grain of salt. In a report, UBS analyst Benjamin Schachter pointed out that historically, comScore's paid-click data hasn't "correlated accurately" with his firm's Google sales estimates. But in an interview with the Silicon Alley Insider, James Beriker, CEO of Efficient Frontier, which provides search engine marketing services, confirms Google's paid-click weakness in February. Beriker said internal data showed that financial services firms "significantly" scaled back spending in February, but then ...
  • Micro-hoo Could Face China Roadblock
    Microsoft's Yahoo takeover attempt may have hit a new, unexpected roadblock: according to The New York Times, a Chinese antimonopoly law that goes into effect on Aug. 1 would give Chinese regulators the authority to examine foreign mergers when they involve Chinese companies or foreign businesses investing in Chinese companies. Yahoo, with its 40 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, certainly fits that bill--although Alibaba executives claim that a Yahoo takeover would trigger a buyback provision enabling the firm to gain independence from Microsoft. Even so, the law effectively makes China the third major regulatory body for mergers with ...
  • Will New AdWords Tools Boost Social Media Revenues?
    Late last week, Google added new demographic targeting tools to AdWords, allowing advertisers to target ads by age or gender on 31 publishers in its network. The biggest of these test sites were MySpace, Friendster and Google's own YouTube. AdWords advertisers can already target demographically by site using panel data provided by comScore, but this is the first time they could actually target by user. TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld thinks big social media sites were included in the test because Google is still trying to find a way to make its social media inventory pay off. Remember, the search giant cited ...
  • Why Social Nets Should Set User Data Free
    BoomTown writer Kara Swisher calls on new Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to set user data free--that is, to mandate data portability between Facebook and other Web sites. However, Facebook hardly looks ready to take down its walled garden, and the former Google exec is just a few weeks on the job, which means that a major directional shift is unlikely--anytime soon, at least. That said, data portability has to be one of the main topics under consideration at Camp Facebook. As Swisher points out, the notion of user data rights may soon trickle into politics--and Sandberg, who was involved in ...
  • AT&T's Mobile TV To Launch In May
  • Warner's Boneheaded 'Music Tax' Proposal
  • CNET Pursuer Criticizes Reorganization
  • Tech's Rosy Future
  • 'Grand Theft Auto' IV To Launch With Social Network
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