Nielsen Co. last week sent a letter to customers saying it is “actively investigating an erroneous decline in Internet use data.” The company said very long URLs have caused its system to mistakenly measure “an estimated 22% decline in time spent year-on-year” on sites measured by its NetView service. Nielsen said it has not yet determined the impact on its other Internet services, including Video Census, MegaView Retail, MegaView Search, AdRelevance, WebRF and custom research. The company said the problem will be corrected in its December data, which will be delivered in January.
Professional online network LinkedIn announced the debut of Company Pages, which enable companies to upload endorsements and reviews of their products, and users of the social networking website to review them in turn. LinkedIn users' reviews will appear in their own profiles, with businesses also able to write and share their own endorsements. In addition to reviews, businesses can display videos, product information and targeted ads on their Company Pages. More than 30 companies initially are participating in the program, including Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp.
Exposure to digital media has a positive impact on brand reputation and purchasing decisions, even when users don't click on those digital elements, according to a new study from search engine marketing company iProspect and Internet market research company comScore. The study found that simple exposure to paid search ads boosted brand favorability by 28%. The combination of paid and organic search impressions increased brand favorability 40%. A viewer's likelihood of purchasing is increased 73% by exposure to organic and paid search results together, according to the study. In addition, exposure to impressions of digital media nearly doubles Internet users' likelihood to visit a website in the future. The study was conducted from February through May, surveying 2,261 members of comScore's online behavioral panel.
Twitter has begun including advertisements in users' individual Twitter timelines for the first time since it introduced its Promoted Tweets paid ad platform in April. Initially, Promoted Tweets only appeared at the top of search results on Twitter.com to users who typed in related search queries. Twitter is now presenting these ads to users of the Twitter management and reader tool HootSuite, based on the people and products that the users follow.
Google is revamping how it displays local business information, introducing a new ad option as well as richer information offered via organic search. Google Boost is a new paid search option for local businesses, priced from $100 a month. A Boost result will look like an organic result but will link to a business' website or its Google Places page. Another new feature, Google's Place Search, provides richer organic search results about local businesses, including photos and links to reviews from sites such as Yelp.com.