Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 5 – 9
Why Engagement Trumps Clicks
- Advertisers seem to keep convincing themselves that clicks are a good measure of online branding, but when brand advertisers only focus on this metric, they are actually doing more harm than good. The emphasis on clicks has created ads that serve more as street signs to direct users to their site, instead of encompassing an overall memorable experience.
- Brand advertisers should define campaign goals as engagement, rather than clicks, and studies support this. In “How Online Advertising Works: Whither The Click?” comScore demonstrates that two-thirds of internet users do not click on any display ads over the course of a month and that only 16 percent of internet users account for 80 percent of all clicks.
- Furthermore, research by MediaMind, Microsoft Advertising, and comScore shows that engagement does have an actual effect on brand metrics. The results of the joint study indicated campaigns with high engagement boosted advertisers’ site traffic by 69 percent and improved brand engagement — increasing page views and time spent on the brand’s site.
Google Details Electricity Output of Its Data Centers
- Google released what was once among its most closely guarded secrets on Thursday: how much electricity its enormous computing facilities consume. The company said that its data centers continuously drew almost 260 million watts — about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant.
- Though the electricity figure may seem large, the company asserts that the world is using less energy as a result of the billions of operations carried out in Google data centers.
- Google says that people conduct over a billion searches a day and numerous other downloads and queries, and it calculates that the average energy consumption for a typical user is small, about 180 watt-hours a month, or the equivalent of running a 60-watt light bulb for three hours. The overall electricity figure includes all Google operations worldwide, including the energy required to run its campuses and office parks, he added.
One Quarter of American Adults Use a Location-Based Service
- Though only a small percentage of adults use a check-in service like Foursquare, around a quarter of all American adults do use some kind of location-based service on the web or through their mobile phone.
- According to research group Pew, when it comes to check-in services, only 4% of all adults or 5% of mobile phone owners use such a service. The number jumps up to 12% if you look only at smartphone owners, which makes sense, since they’re the primary target.
- 28% of mobile phone owners allow the phone to use their current location in order to get directions or recommendations. That number climbs to 55% when you look at just smartphone users. Also included in the study is the 9% of people who allow their online social media offerings to come with a location attached.
Carol Bartz Out as CEO
- The news came yesterday afternoon that embattled Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was fired. Bartz’s employee approval rating had sunk to 33 percent, and among the Yahoo-employee comments, “execution” failures were cited as a major reason for disapproval of Bartz.
- People are now reading between the lines for signals as to what Yahoo may do next. The particular line drawing scrutiny is Yahoo’s Chairman Roy Bostock’s statement, “We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders.”
- That statement, together with the fact that CFO Tim Morse is now the acting CEO, is being seen as a suggestion of a sale of some or all of the company. However, a carving up of the company’s assets seems less likely than a sale of the entire company.
Twitter Has 100 Million Active Users
- Twitter has 100 million active users logging in at least once a month and 50 million active users every day, CEO Dick Costolo revealed Thursday.
- The microblogging service has a total of 200 million registered users, but how many of those are actually regulars has been open to debate for some time. Costolo, in an informal chat with tech reporters he called his “state of the union,” revealed that exactly half of them log in monthly — a number he says is up 82% since the beginning of the year.
- Less than 40% of users have not tweeted in the last month, according to the CEO, preferring to simply follow the timelines of others. “We’re excited about that number,” Costolo says. “That’s super healthy.” Twitter says it expects to add 26 million active users between now and the end of the year.