Yahoo’s tanking search revenue (down 19%) ruined what would have been an otherwise strong earnings report last night.
Carol Bartz blamed sliding search revenue on Microsoft’s adCenter not delivering high enough revenue per search — her implication is that the ads aren’t as relevant as they were under Yahoo’s system, so users aren’t clicking on them as much.
Danny Sullivan, one of the smartest journalists watching the search business, took a long look at Bartz’s claim and Yahoo’s search business, and he thinks Bartz is too quick the place the blame at Microsoft’s feet.
He found that Yahoo’s search business was declining before the Microsoft deal. It has continued that decline at a steady rate — even if you subtract out the 12% that Yahoo pays Microsoft now that Bing is powering its search results.
Sullivan offers an alternate reason why revenue per search has continued to drop after the Microsoft deal: Bing offers better organic results than Yahoo did, so users are clicking on the actual search results and not relying as much on the ads.
Whatever the reason for the drop in Yahoo’s search, Sullivan calls it a “disaster,” and warns, “The search revenues need to reverse themselves, and quickly, for Yahoo to be convincing that the deal it hawked is really paying off. Otherwise, when 2012 rolls around, and those headwinds have finally slacked off, Yahoo might find it has slowed down to earning Blekko money.”
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When Amazon’s Appstore rolled out last week, we glossed over one detail that merely seemed neat. Today, we’re inclined to say that Test Drive may be the most significant part of Amazon’s announcement that day. Basically, Test Drive allows US customers to take apps for a spin at Amazon.com, with all the comfort that their tried-and-true desktop web browser brings — but rather than sit you down with a Flash-based mockup of the app, Amazon is giving you a taste of bona fide cloud computing with an Android virtual machine.
In other words, what you’re looking at in the screenshot above isn’t just a single program, but an entire virtual Android smartphone with working mouse controls, where you can not only try out Paper Toss, but also delete it, browse through the device’s photo gallery, listen to a few tunes, or even surf the web from the working Android browser — as difficult as that may be without keyboard input. Amazon explains:
Clicking the “Test drive now” button launches a copy of this app on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers. When you click on the simulated phone using your mouse, we send those inputs over the Internet to the app running on Amazon EC2 – just like your mobile device would send a finger tap to the app. Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to your computer. All this happens in real time, allowing you to explore the features of the app as if it were running on your mobile device.
Today, Amazon’s Test Drive is basically just Gaikai for mobile phones — its purpose is simply to sell apps, nothing more. But imagine this for a sec: what if you could access your own smartphone data, instead of the mostly blank slate that Amazon provides here?
Gallery: Amazon Appstore Test Drive hands-on
Amazon.com lets you play with an Android virtual machine, try apps before you buy them originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 Mar 2011 18:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Here’s the first look at LG’s G-Slate tablet, gunning to be the best Android tablet by equipping a dual-core Tegra 2 chipset, 8.9-inch 3D display, 3D camera, and of course, Honeycomb. It also runs on T-Mobile’s 21mbps HSPA+ network.
The 1GHz Tegra 2 chipset enables 720p HD and 3D content on the tablet, and the ability to output 1080p HD and 3D content to TVs and displays. The rear camera is a five-megapixel stereoscopic 3D shooter capable of recording 3D video in 1080p resolution. It’s also worth noting that all 3D content displayed on the G-slate will require glasses, so it’s not like the Nintendo 3DS.
The G-Slate also has a two-megapixel frontside camera for video conferencing, and 32 gigs of storage space. And, as with most tablets and smartphones these days, it also comes equipped with a gyroscope and accelerometer. T-Mobile and LG arenn’t revealing pricing or exact release dates quite yet, but they say the G-Slate will be out this spring. Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook, you might want to watch your backs.
As AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity reluctantly teeters on the brink of oblivion, it seems a good time to take one last look at the smartphone playground, the way it is before V-Day. The New York Times has handily done that job for us with the above chart, which simultaneously gives us a sense of scale when comparing US carriers and lays out the concentration of Android devices across those networks. It also shows a big fat bump of iOS on AT&T, making it the biggest carrier in terms of combined iPhone and Android users — nothing shocking there, but the real fun will be in taking a look at this same data a few months from now. Will the iPhone fragment itself all over the four major networks? Will AT&T’s Android stable ever be respectable? Tune in to your next installment of “fun, but mostly irrelevant statistics” to find out.
While we haven’t 100 percent confirmed it yet (update: we’ve confirmed with a source), what you see above is what we do very much believe to be a picture of Google’s latest social foray. Yes, it’s the artist formerly known as “Google Me”, then known as “Emerald Sea“, and now known as “Google +1“
As you can see, it’s a toolbar that exists along the top of Google’s properties — in this case, Google News. There’s a Share button, a place for a Google account icon, and a Google username. Next to it is a numerical count — it’s not clear what this is for just yet. (Maybe a share count?) And next to that is an options menu.
Also note the big red “CONFIDENTIAL!” label. Yes, the person who shared this clearly wasn’t supposed to.
One other important thing to note: the “Loop” area in the left side toolbar links. This is exactly in-line with what we’ve reported so far about Google +1 — namely that a key part of it is based around “loops”, which seems to be Google’s word for “groups”. Loop is also what we’ve heard an iPhone app in testing is being called.
Finally, remember that we reported on a new Google toolbar area being tested out a few weeks ago. It appears that this is very much to make room for Google +1, which should launch early next year.
Below, find some clearer pictures of the area.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment on this image, but have yet to hear back. We’ll update if and when we do.
Update from Google (that was quick!):
“We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve our products, and we have already confirmed that we are focused on incorporating social elements across Google. But we have nothing new to announce at this time.”
comScore just released its weekly data regarding U.S. online spending for the first 33 days of the November and December holiday season and the numbers are still strong following record breaking Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales. To date, consumers have spent $16.8 billion online, a 12 percent increase from the same period last year.
The day after Cyber Monday, Tuesday, November 30; reached $911 million in online spending, making it the third heaviest online spending day on record. Wednesday ($868 million) and Thursday ($850 million) of last week also were strong e-commerce sales days as well.
comScore says that larger retailers are doing particularly well this season, with the growth in spending for the holiday season remaining primarily from the top 25 online retailers. These e-retailers have seen seen their total dollar sales grow 20 percent while small and mid-sized retailers’ sales have been flat. The top 25 retailers have gained 4.2 points of market share to a level of 67.8 percent since the 2009 holiday season.
The company also held a survey amongst consumers on the importance of social media in purchasing decisions. When 500 internet users were asked how much they agreed with the statement “Recommendations from friends on social media sites are a great way to get gift ideas during the holiday season,” 33 percent agreed with the statement compared to 24 percent who disagreed (while 43 percent remained neutral).
While social media is definitely gaining ground as a place for product recommendations, the market is still young and has much more room to grow.
Of course, the rise in spending this year during the holidays isn’t all that surprising considering the slightly better conditions in the economy. And as more and more consumers look online for deals (as opposed to in brick and mortar stores), e-retail sales have risen as well. comScore predicted that total online spending for the season would increase 11 percent to $32.4 billion this year, so we still have $16 billion to go.
It doesn’t seem like everyone’s jumped on the cord cutting bandwagon just yet, as the 2010 “Media Engagement Barometer” conducted by Vanson Bourne for Motorola surveyed 7,500 consumers in 13 countries (1,000 in the US) before issuing its findings that 86 percent of Americans subscribe to pay TV providers and 6% are using video/TV on the internet, even while free OTA TV is available. And those 3D TVs that are everywhere? Worldwide, they figured 75 percent of viewers either own or plan to own an HDTV in the next 18 months, while 4% currently own 3D sets, 25 percent indicated they plan to upgrade to one in the same time period. US stats pegged 59 percent of respondents with HDTVs, 20 percent with an internet enabled set and 25 percent with a smartphone. Other results indicate we haven’t seen the last of the Twitter widget on our TVs and set-top boxes either, with 58 percent of responses showing people have used social media during a TV broadcast and would switch providers to have it integrated in their TV service. Check out the press release after the break and PDF fact sheet for more statistical breakdowns while we figure out exactly what this means for any a la carte TV dreams.
Motorola video survey says Americans are still into paying for TV service, buying new TVs originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Nov 2010 18:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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