Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/09/08/forget-anchovies-hold-the-ppc-seo-management-helps-pizza-company-deliver-to-its-bottom-line/

After traveling through Europe on vacation the past couple of weeks, nothing said I was home more than grabbing a slice of New York pizza!

Deciding to do a blog post on the topic, I wanted to find out who the “big cheeses” were in the pizza world and see if I could find some insight into their web strategies.

Using the Keyword Destination tool on Compete.com to get a list of sites referred to by a broad match for the generic keyword “pizza”, I quickly found that Pizzahut.com and Dominos.com were the hands-down winners.  Approximately 16% of all “pizza” related search referrals went to Pizzahut.com and 5.8% went to Dominos.com.

Both Pizzahut and Dominos showed strong consumer brand recognition, as seen by looking at branded vs. non-branded search referral data collected by Compete:

With similar patterns in historical UV traffic, these two brands were ripe for comparison:

You would think that two strongly similar brands would show similar ad spend profiles, but I was surprised to see that visitors referred to Pizzahut.com via a search engine were 1.8X more likely to have reached the site through a paid search link as visitors to Dominos.com.

What’s the difference?

Using Compete.com again to analyze keyword search referrals to the two brands provided a bit more insight:

For the sake of brevity I am just including a few keywords, but the general trend was the same.  Pizzahut seems to struggle to rank for organic traffic for long-tail phrases, even those containing their brand name. Paid search helps augment low SERP placement by artificially ranking Pizzahut ahead of the couponing sites vying for this sort of referral.

The Bottom Line:

While there are certainly more “slices to the pie” that this brief analysis can’t cover, the bottom line is that there is a constant struggle going on behind the scenes between large brands and third party sites looking to ride on their coattails through coupon offerings, referral links, and product reviews.  If you find your manager questioning the value of SEO, consider that the average CPC for a “pizza” broad-match term was $0.63 (source: google adwords keyword estimator), and in Q2-2011 approximately 5 million search referrals were sent to both Pizzahut.com and Dominos.com. Strong SEO efforts can translate into significant savings through reduced ad spend on paid search!


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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5835862/how-beyonce-is-bigger-than-hurricanes-earthquakes-and-superbowl-sunday

How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl SundayWhen I was a child, there was a number that crudely measured how many people paid attention to something. It was called the Nielsen rating. Perhaps you remember it. Today it’s an unimportant relic that only reveals what was happening.

The VMAs had its biggest show ever this year. A record-breaking 12.4 million people tuned in live. Which actually seems like a very small number, given how many people were talking about it. Because while MTV had a hit with the VMAs, so did Twitter. News of Beyonce’s uterine passenger, which she revealed at the show, generated some 8,868 Tweets per second. It was Twitter’s biggest moment yet. And it shows that the company is sitting on the most valuable advertising data that there is: a way to measure, package and sell unexpected things that we care about right now, in real time.

We used to rely on ratings or audited circulation numbers to determine what people were interested in. Today, we increasingly talk about Tweets Per Second. (And by “we,” I mean the always hungry media maw, smacking its lips in anticipation of sucking marrow from the next micro trend or attention spasm that might convince an otherwise disinterested viewer to flip the channel to 759—or even better, stay there.)

Whenever anything big happens in the news, CNN and Fox News and the networks increasingly break into Twitter mode, reading tweets on the air, talking about how many people are tweeting and generally going into wild-eyed social media mania.

Aside from making Mark Zuckerberg wish he had made status messages public by default from the get-go so that CNN would read Facebook updates on air, it’s revealing in that it shows that even the professional media—the ostensible arbiters of opinion and news—have realized that you and I are no longer paying attention.

We’re more interested in each other. We’re all broadcasting now. I’d prefer to hear what you have to say, especially in aggregate, than tune into Wolf Blitzer. And when it comes to measuring the impact of events, social media ratings matter more than Nielsens, or at least they should, and here’s why.

Twitter is the most important metric of attention. It is not based on past behavior. It is equally capable of measuring scripted events, and the completely unexpected. And it is remarkable because it measures not just consumption, but also interest.

Yes, the Nielsens will tell you how many people watched the VMAs, but social media can tell you how many people actually paid attention. And while maybe you could have foreseen they might be big this year, would anyone have been able to predict that the VMAs—not the Oscars, not the SuperBowl, not the final Shuttle launch—would be the most talked-about television event of the year? Twitter can tell you that. (Facebook should be able to as well.) And it can tell you that as it happens.

In 2008, when it was still a nascent service, Twitter revealed some numbers to me that showed its top events of the previous year, measured in the number of tweets per minute. How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl Sunday

The chart is a remarkable demonstration of Twitter’s growth. Tweets per minute? How quaint! Tweets are now measured at a faster rate per second than they were just three years ago per minute.

But it’s more interesting to see how consistently interested we are in the unexpected. Because while Twitter has changed greatly in the past three years—from how it works, to the way we access it, to the number of people on it—the things we are simultaneously interested in haven’t changed at all.

Today, Beyonce’s VMA appearance holds the top spots for Tweets per second. Prior to that, the news of the Japanese Women’s World Cup victory held the record. (Likely because it was an event intently watched by two very Twitter heavy countries.) And while it didn’t break a record, the recent east coast earthquake generated 5,500 TPS. In 2008, a presidential debate held the top spot. It knocked off a Japanese earthquake. A Euro 2008 semi final match was the big event prior to that. What all of these events have in common is a certain unpredictability.

The thing about television ratings or audited circulation numbers is that they have never truly been about what we are paying attention to. They were (and are) a way for advertisers to make informed decisions about what to invest in based on what people have paid attention to in the past, as a predictor of future performance. They only measure what has already transpired. This may have been useful for buying chunks of time during a season finale of Dallas, but when something amazing and unexpected happens, there is no good way for an advertiser to catch up with it.

When Twitter measures tweets per second, it measures what people are interested in right now. It measures live attention. And that is very, very valuable. Imagine if, during an earthquake, a QuakeKit ad appeared in your timeline, one that was triggered only when earthquake tweets per second crossed a certain threshold. Tacky? Sure. But you can bet your bottled water it would sell a lot of kits.

This is the promise of real-time conversation, that our interests can be commoditized, live and on the fly. It doesn’t have to be just about Twitter, of course. Facebook and Google+ should be equally capable of measuring, packaging and selling our real-time, trending interest data. But it’s very clear that this new ability to measure what we care about enough to comment on right now, at this very instant, is much more valuable than measurements of past performance or passive consumption.

All the moreso because of how much society has fragmented. We no longer all watch the same four channels, or even tune in to television series at the same time. The only things that seem to capture our simultaneous attention anymore are those that offer the high drama of the unexpected and unknown: sports, politics (itself a sort of sport), provocative live television, and natural disasters that occur with little-to-no warning.

And, of course, Beyonce.


You can keep up with Mat Honan, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.


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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/07/21/the-new-music-landscape/

It’s no secret that the music industry has undergone massive changes over the last ten to fifteen years. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, total US music sales have dropped an average of 8% each year since 1999, from $14.6 billion to just over $6 billion. Having heard this, you probably wouldn’t expect that in the first half of 2011, US sales are up by 1%. Okay, so it’s just 1%. But consider that in the first half of 2010, sales were down 11% year-over-year.

So what’s responsible for reversing this trend? Ever-increasing broadband speed has enabled mass media consumption on the web, paving the way for music discovery services like Pandora, Last.fm, Grooveshark and iLike. Because of these services, the average person can now find and listen to a more diverse body of music than ever before – and it’s catching on. Unique visitors to radio category websites has increased by nearly 19% since last year, with Pandora leading the pack at 11,824,629 in June 2011 – that’s 81% yearly growth.

Over the last few years, Pandora has made decisions to support growth of their user base and help them stay ahead of the competition, even if just barely at times. In 2008, the Pandora app became one of the most consistently downloaded apps in the Apple store. By 2010, Pandora was present on more than 200 connected consumer electronic devices ranging from smart-phones to TVs to Blue-ray players. It was in 2010 that Pandora began to break away from the other music discovery services and would attract more than double the unique visitors of Last.fm, traditionally Pandora’s toughest competitor, by year-end.

In February 2011, Pandora officially filed with the SEC for a $100M IPO, piquing even more interest in the service in the months leading up to their pricing announcement on June 15th. The company’s future may not be as bright though, as innovative alternatives to radio-style listening like Spotify, Music Beta by Google and Apple’s iCloud are beginning to gain traction. While these services are very different than Pandora – and from each other – there is no doubt that they pose a threat to the current music landscape. You can be sure we’re keeping an eye on it.

So, have you tried Spotify? Music Beta? iCloud? What do you think? Are you ready to abandon Pandora?

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-googles-headcount-2011-7

Last night Google reported strong earnings with big revenue growth. It also reported that headcount is still soaring upwards, a trend that started a year and half ago. Below we’ve charted Google’s growing headcount, and its flattening revenue per employee.

chart of the day, google employees, revenue, july 2011

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hp-apple-notebook-pc-shipments-2011-7

Here’s another look at the impact of the iPad on the PC industry, courtesy of Jefferies analyst Peter Misek and Dan Frommer of SplatF.

Misek initiated coverage of HP today with a hold rating, and included this chart showing the drop in the growth of HP’s notebook shipments, as well as the drop in the growth PC notebooks overall. (Frommer added the data on Apple’s growth in notebook shipments as a contrast.)

As Frommer points out, “A market that was growing 20% to 40% year-over-year per quarter just a couple of years ago is now basically flat.”

Misek says it’s thanks to the growth of the tablet market: “We believe tablets are cannibalizing consumer notebooks and are the biggest driver in the deterioration of HP’s consumer notebook shipments. We expect tablets to cannibalize more enterprise notebooks as we get into 2012.”

Until someone delivers a credible iPad rival, this trend will continue for all the PC players.

chart of the day, apple, hp, pc shipments, july 2011

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5811605/new-york-is-the-top-tweeting-city-in-the-world

New York Is The Top Tweeting City In The World London may have the most Twitter accounts in the world, but New York City residents tweet more than anyone else in the world. This little factoid from Sysomos was recently dredged up in a NY Times op-ed piece.

It’s not surprising, really, even gangs in NYC picked up on the Twitter trend years ago. And, more recently, you have the beleaguered New York Senator Anthony Weiner whose Twitter faux pas is now front page news. [NY Times via Business Insider]

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/sports-chart-of-the-day-mlb-attendance-2011-5

In 2010, attendance in Major League Baseball was down for the third straight year. And early indicators suggest that 2011 will just be more of the same.

If we look at every team and what their attendance was after the same number of home games a year ago, we see that attendance is down 1.9 percent. That doesn’t seem that bad. But at this pace it would be just another step in continuing trend.

But more importantly, we can now see that some teams are suffering much more than others.

So far in 2011, five teams are down at least 10 percent in attendance from the same point a year ago. And one of those teams (Tampa Bay) has a winning record.

MLB Attendance 2010-2011

But attendance isn’t down everywhere. The Blue Jays and Rangers are both up more 30 percent from a year ago.

And also keep in mind that we are dealing with percentages here, not absolute numbers. It is much easier for the Blue Jays to achieve a 44.3 percent increase when they were only averaging 15,000 fans per game at this point last year than it would be for the Yankees who were averaging 45,000 in 2010.

Data through Wednesday. Data via ESPN.com and Baseball-Reference.com

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/#!5792971/the-iphone-4-is-killing-compact-cameras-when-it-comes-to-photo-uploads

The iPhone 4 is Killing Compact Cameras When it Comes to Photo UploadsThe iPhone 4 has steadily been pushing its way up the most-uploaded list at Flickr for some time now, but as TechCrunch notes, it’s almost toppled the Nikon D40 off the pedestal. They estimate it’ll be around a month when Apple receives the Flickr crown, and we can safely say that iPhone 4 owners upload the most photos online. On Flickr, at least.

Interestingly, the D40 is three years old, and the iPhone 4 is under a year old. Behind the iPhone is the Canon EOS Rebel XSi, which is also three years old. The second chart, above, shows the decline of the most popular compact cameras, which coincidentally are all Canon PowerShots.

So what’s behind this trend? Is it that more people own iPhones than compacts, or simply that the iPhone’s always-connected status (well, if you’re not on AT&T, anyway) is a better conduit for uploading pics on the fly? [TechCrunch]

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/18/ios-and-android-continue-chipping-away-at-mobile-gaming-market/

Let’s face it — smartphones (namely, iOS and Android devices) are slowly chipping away at the portable gaming market. If you recall, Apple took a nice slice of the market-share pie — and as you’ll notice in the picture above, we’re seeing the same trend this time around. According to data from Flurry and NPD Group, iOS and Android are earning a sizable chunk of the revenue in the portable gaming software sphere, with the Nintendo DS’s dominant market share dropping from 70 percent in 2009 to just 57 percent in 2010 to accommodate the newcomers. We may be seeing the decrease in relative revenue because the PSP and DS are on the way out to make room for the NGP and 3DS — however, this chart speaks only of the current-gen portables. But hey, it’s easy for almost anyone to spend a single buck on a full-fledged game, right? Head past the break for some more videogame revenue stats, if you please.

Continue reading iOS and Android continue chipping away at mobile gaming market, consoles remain strong

iOS and Android continue chipping away at mobile gaming market, consoles remain strong originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 04:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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