Google Search Stats Hit 7 Year Low

5For the first time since 2008, Google’s search market share has fallen below 75%, according to a new report. This small, but startling drop has a lot of people at Google worried. The recent Firefox default search change to Yahoo, along with the growing impact of Facebook Search and Video seem to be slowly challenging Google’s 10+ year dominance in the world of search.

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Social Media, Website Trends | Tagged , , , , ,

Reduce the Risk of Traffic Fraud

Infolinks' Tips to Reduce FraudIf you’re buying traffic for your website, the unfortunate truth is you’re increasing the risk for fraud. How can you balance out the important task of bringing in traffic without risking your accreditation? The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has some important and useful tips. With their very own team dedicated to this purpose alone, the IAB Traffic of Good Intent Task Force, these tips come from the top.

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Top Social Media Stats for 2014

Infolinks Social Media StatisticsTo the naked eye social media is seen as a way for people to connect online with one another. To scratch the surface even just a bit shows social media as a driving force for successful businesses around the world. The statistics so far for 2014 are in and social media is bigger than ever. Facebook may be the biggest name in social media but its competitors are each doing very well.

Knowing some stats on each platform is important in order to drive any campaign. For example, products designed for women may have better campaign results on Pinterest than on any other. Each social platform has different reach, different pros and different ways it delivers to its audience.


Facebook destroys the competition in terms of monthly active users with over 1.28 billion and counting. In fact, the number of users in India alone is over 100 million. Facebook isn’t just for the young either – 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month. Running a campaign with boosted posts? It’s vital information that 75% of the engagement on a post happens in the first five hours.


An interesting Twitter fact is that 44% of users have never sent out a single tweet. That’s a big number considering that Twitter has over 1 billion total users. And so it’s not hard to believe that 391 million accounts have no followers. But its active users more than make up for the inactivity as 500 million tweets are sent per day, with 46% of users tweeting at least once a day.


If it wasn’t clear before,  make no mistake that Google+ is a big player in the social media realm. There are 540 million monthly active users and 53% of interaction between a user and brand is positive. That’s big news for businesses. Over all 22% of online adults visit Google+ once in a month.

Infolinks Social Media Statistics


The soocial media crowd loves Instagram. In the last six months alone it’s seen 50 million users sign up. 23% of teens consider Instagram their favorite social network. Brands would be wise to take advantage of this image-based network as over 20 billion photos have been shared to date.


LinkedIn is seeing tremendous growth as more than two users sign up every second.  The crowd is getting younger as well with over 39 million students and recent college graduates on the platform looking to promote their achievements. They’re sending out their applications in big numbers. 44K is the average number of daily LinkedIn mobile job applications. And their odds are good – a total of 200 countries and territories are reached by LinkedIn.


Pinterest may only be a few years old but it has seen exponential growth in its short existence with 40 million monthly active users and 70 million total users. Running a campaign for women’s products? This is the market. 80% of Pinterest users are female and 92% of Pinterest pins are done by women. Moreover, 84% of women and 50% of men on Pinterest stay active once they’ve joined.


YouTube is the mecca for all things video. 100 hours of video is uploaded on YouTube per minute, and a whopping 6 billion hours of video per month is watched. YouTube also has a big mobile presence as 1 billion is the average mobile video views per day. However, as earlier stated, knowing a platform is best before beginning a campaign. For example, YouTube has over 1 billion total users, but 80% of YouTube traffic is from outside the US.


The amount of bloggers present online has increased in a big way: over 6.7 million people blog via blogging sites and over 12 million people blog via social networks. Maybe some businesses don’t need a blog to go along with their marketing campaign but blogs play a big role in different ways. Companies with a blog have 97% more inbound links than companies without a blog, and B2B marketers using blogs generate 67% more leads.

The numbers speak for themselves. Social media plays a significant role in the online world. Businesses and bloggers alike are using these platforms for their own good and it’s working. Infolinks is all over social media; check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. And don’t forget our blog!

Social Media

InFold – Raising the Bar

InFold Raises the BarInfolinks recently launched its latest product, InFold. While InSearch capitalized search traffic only, InFold now analyzes user intent based on search terms, content, and user behavior – increasing the potential and revenue of the unit significantly. InFold’s power derives from its ability to do all this in real-time. This allows InFold to serve attention-grabbing, non-intrusive ads targeted to what users are doing in that moment.

Initial tests with Internet Brands saw an increase of about 2.5 times in revenue and 180% eCPMs.  InFold, now available to all Infolinks publishers, was originally beta tested by Infolinks Labs* with fantastic results. The new ad unit has an increased CTR of 12.5% over that of InSearch, globally. General revenue has risen for our publishers by a whopping 20%. And more specifically, clicks per page view have increased by 15%.

InFold Performace Chart

Because InFold is based on real-time intent it’s able to deliver these big results. Delivering ads relevant to what users are searching for in the here and now makes the ads that much more interesting and significant. Infolinks’ smart algorithm scans content and selects the best, most relevant ads. In the case of secure search where search engines don’t share keywords, InFold excels. InFold has the knowledge to predict user intent in places where “keyword not available” appears, allowing ads to stay relevant even when facing an obstacle.

With 100% viewability, InFold appears just above the fold. Its position on the page and its clean look engages users without intruding on a page’s existing content or layout. The qualities of InFold are consistent with Infolinks’ continual goal to discover how modern consumers view online content, and using those insights to develop ad units that break through banner blindness.

InFold and banner blindnessAn eye-tracking heat map showing the existence of banner blindness

*Are you interested in becoming an early adapter of new Infolinks products and services? Contact the Infolinks Labs at and help us shape the next generation of advertising!

Click Research, InFold | Tagged , ,

Digital Ad Spend Passes TV for the First Time

Just a few weeks ago we talked about how digital ad spend is growing faster than any other medium thanks to the rising power of mobile. Now, according to new data from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), in a first for the advertising industry, marketers are spending more to promote their brands online than they are on broadcast television ads.

This past year, digital advertising online and via mobile crossed the $40 billion mark for the first time ever, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. Since 2004, the average growth rate has been 18 percent. And this year, digital ad revenues surpassed broadcast television for the first time. Not shockingly, mobile is leading the charge.

Digital Ad Spend Growth

Digital Ad Spend

The companies lump search, display and video ads together in the mobile category, which accounted for 17% of the Internet ad market. Broadcast and cable advertising expenditures combined still far exceed online ad buys, however. Combined, they were worth $74.5 billion. Overall, online advertising revenue climbed 17% to a record $42.8 billion in the U.S. in 2013; by comparison, revenue generated from advertising on broadcast TV came in at $40.1 billion last year.

According to IAB, Google, Facebook and Twitter are driving much of the online gains as those companies, along with Yahoo and YouTube, increasingly compete for a bigger share of ad campaigns launched by major marketers that target younger consumers. Broken out, digital video generated $3 billion in ad revenue, while search, the largest online category, brought in $18.4 billion, to account for 43%.

Digital Ad Spend

Search remains the largest overall category, at $18.4 billion, and display hit $7.9 billion, according to the IAB’s numbers, but those categories are growing much slower than mobile and digital video ads. Search is “only” growing at 8.6 percent, while mobile ad revenue jumped 110 percent to $7.1 billion last year, and digital video ad revenue has tripled over the past few years to $2.8 billion.

Retail is driving the dollar bus

Where’s all the money coming from? Retail is the largest category, at 21 percent, of Internet and mobile ad spend, according to the IAB. That’s up a point from the previous year. Financial services made up 13 percent of revenues, automotive was 12 percent, and telecom accounted for nine percent of the total digital ad spend.

Digital Ad Spend

Ad formats are changing

Ad formats are changing from the traditional search and banner of 2005. Not only is mobile growing, but digital video jumped up to the fourth-biggest category of digital ad spend, at $2.8 billion. That’s less than half of mobile’s $7.1 billion, but it’s more than classifieds, at $2.8 billion, and rich media, and lead generation, and sponsorship. And while display ads grew six percent in 2013, video-based ads are growing faster, according to the IAB.

Digital Ad Spend

Performance-based pricing down, but still the majority

 Interestingly, performance-based pricing models are down slightly from the previous year. CPM, or cost per thousand views, was up slightly to 33 percent, while performance-based models like CPA (cost per acquisition) dipped slightly to 65 percent.

Digital Ad Spend

Want to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on Facebook and Twitter, and also visit our blog for all the latest!

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Mobile Drives Digital Ad Spend Forward

Mobile Ad SpendThe good news is that Internet advertising spend is growing faster than any other medium. The bad news is it still remains a small player with less than 50% of the total market value of TV ad spend. Traditional media formats like television, newspapers, magazines and radio still attract most advertising dollars, though they note that they are measuring online advertising in a smaller subset of companies.

According to a recent Advertising Expenditure Forecast from ZenithOptimedia, digital advertising accounted for 21.8% of all ad spend in 2013 ($109.7 billion), up from 19% the year before. Meanwhile, mobile remains a solid minority of activity with only 3.7% of all ad spend in the U.S. ($6.2 billion). Excluding television, traditional media budgets took hits in 2013, as spending in cinema, magazines and radio all declined (-1.3%, -1.1% and -0.7%). Ad spend in newspapers declined the most, dropping 2.2%.

Banners Are Just Not Enough Anymore

When looking at the rise of display advertising, is it is clear that the focus will continue to shift from standard display ad units to more dynamic, engaging ad units. Banners won’t cut it anymore, and brands will look to native advertising and richer content ads to draw in consumers as larger percentages of big scale advertising budgets are being spent on display and search.

Companies like motor giant Ford that started pushing it’s more than 3,200 dealers across the U.S. towards paid search. The goal: introduce Ford dealers to paid search if they aren’t using it and bolster the budget of those who are. In addition to the direct subsidy for paid search, Ford is requiring dealers to put more of their advertising co-op toward digital advertising, such as paid search and banner ads.

Ford joins Chrysler Group, Scion and others that have launched or changed co-op programs recently to increase dealers’ digital advertising and capitalize on changing shopping patterns. Nine of 10 shoppers do at least some vehicle research online, studies show. And two of three visitors to a dealer Web site get there via a Google link.

Digital Ad Spend

The Main Driver of Online Ad Spend: Mobile

Mobile is now the main driver of global adspend growth. Mobile is forecasted that to contribute 36% of the entire extra ad spend between 2013 and 2016. Television is the second largest contributor (accounting for 34% of new ad expenditure), followed by desktop internet (25%), which continues to enjoy significant growth alongside that of mobile advertising.

The figures are no less impressive outside the U.S. market. On a global basis, mobile advertising was worth $8.3bn in 2012, or 9.5% of internet expenditure / 1.7% of advertising across all media. “By 2015 we forecast this total to rise to $33.1 billion, which will be 25.2% of internet expenditure and 6.0% of all expenditure.

Major players like Facebook and Apple have launched new products trying to capitalize on video content (classic television advertising format) and the rise of mobile. Facebook launched its first video ads, that will be 15-20 seconds long and will auto play in mute mode on all of our news feeds in the upcoming months. Apple is also rumored to be launching new “iAds that look a lot like TV ads”. These ads will automatically play full-screen within iPhone and iPad apps and interrupt whatever someone is doing in app. A major player in mobile hardware and software, Apple remains a relatively newcomer to the mobile ad business.

The Main Markets of Ad Spend Growth: Latin America and Asia

According to recent reports from ZenithOptima, global ad markets spend in 2014 will grow by $5.3 billion and reach $532 billion in total spending. The US will stay the largest contributor of new ad dollars with $23 billion in new spending; however the biggest relative ad markets growth will be China ($14 billion), followed by Argentina ($6 billion) and Indonesia ($5.9 billion).

Seven of the ten largest contributors will be rising markets, contributing 42% of new ad spend over the next three years. Overall, we forecast rising markets to contribute 61% of additional ad expenditure between 2013 and 2016, and to increase their share of the global market from 35% to 39%.

Global Ad Spend

Want to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on Facebook and Twitter, and also visit our blog for all the latest!


Top Tech Mergers and Acquisitions 2013

In the good old days, Microsoft sold us software, Google and Yahoo helped us search the web, Facebook and Twitter gave us a social network and Apple sold us cool computers and phones. But that’s not the case anymore. All of these tech giants have grown to compete with on and other on every field. The weapon that these super powers use to fight this “winner takes all” tech war is tech mergers, and lots of it.

These big money tech mergers are what fuels the booming tech world, with more than $15 billion being spent each year by companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple and Microsoft on mergers and acquisitions alone.

When one tech giants gobbles up another major player, like in the Microsoft and Nokia deal, the whole world talks about it. However, most of us are not aware that these media empires actually purchase companies by the dozen each year. Most of the time, the purchase price is not disclosed, but it is safe to say that it usually amounts to tens of millions of dollars.

So which company has been the most active this year in the market? Here are the top tech mergers and acquisitions that happened in 2013:

The Top Tech Mergers and Acquisitions 2013 Infographic

Tech Mergers


The search giant was very active in 2013, acquiring 19 different companies for more than $2.5 billion. The company’s biggest acquisition was the Israeli traffic navigating app Waze for a reported $966 million. Other big deals include buying the ecommerce product Channel Intelligence for $125 million, gesture recognition technology Flutter for $40 million and the language processor Wavii for “just” $30 million.

Google’s top secret department “Google X” bought a reported eight companies this year, all for an undisclosed prices. Most of the companies are in the robotics field, manufacturing cameras, wheels and even robotic arms. Altogether Google has acquired 128 companies since its first deal in 2001. 


Like Google, Apple’s biggest deal in 2013 was an Israeli company; PrimeSense a 3D sensors company purchased for a reported $345 million. Altogether Apple bought 12 companies this year, spending $200 million on the San Francisco based social search and analytics company Topsy and more than $45 million on the personal assistant app, Cue. Overall, Apple has bought 48 companies in the past 15 years.


Yahoo rocked the tech world earlier this year when it purchased the micro-blogging platform Tumblr for a reported $1.1 billion. The deal was just one of twenty one companies that Yahoo bought in 2013 with other major deals including the automated video production app Qwiki for a reported $50 million and the UK based news aggregator Summly for a total of $30 million.


After buying Instagram for $1 billion last year, Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team were a bit more conservative in 2013, buying a total of seven companies including Israeli based mobile analytics company Onavo for $120 million and Seattle based advertising platform Atlas for $75 million.

Facebook is known to be a very active buyer in the market, buying 39 companies in the past seven years. It was also responsible for the biggest “almost deal” of the year when it reportedly tried to buy the photo sharing social network Snapchat for $3 billion just last month.


Building up to their successful IPO, Twitter also had a very active year in the market, buying no less than eight companies for a total of just under $1 billion. Major deals included the mobile ad network MoPub for $350 million and crash reporting app Crashlytics for around $100 million. Just for comparison, since Jack Dorsey founded Twitter in 2006, the company has acquired a total of 23 companies, eight of them in 2013.


Last but certainly not least, Software giant Microsoft stole the attention of everyone this year when it signed the biggest deal of 2013, buying the mobile unit of the Finish empire Nokia for an astounding $7.2 billion. Nokia was Microsofts biggest purchase since the historic Skype acquisition in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Other than Nokia, Microsoft bought six other companies in 2013.

Want to learn more about Banner Blindness and to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on FacebookTwitter and Google+ and also visit our blog for all the latest!


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Beating Banner Blindness: Saving Display Ads

We are all painfully aware of the sub -.1percent clickthrough rates that have raised alarms throughout the industry over the last several years. DG MediaMind puts the average banner ad response rate at an appalling .1 percent. Looking at that from the flipside, 99.9% of banner ads generate no measurable engagement. Our industry is putting in an awful lot of work for a 99.9% failure rate, wouldn’t you agree?

We here at Infolinks are always focused on improving digital advertising and studying consumer banner blindness. That’s why we, in partnership with market research company EyeTrackShop, conducted an extensive study, aimed at examining the issues of ad location, responsiveness and brand recall, to provide specific direction for how the digital media industry can tackle the detrimental problem of banner blindness.

“The simple fact is, display as we know it is broken,” says Infolinks CEO Dave Zinman. “Many in the industry have turned a blind eye to the issue. We analyzed the eye movements of online users in order to understand their reactions to ads and content at a fundamental level. These findings point to fixes the industry can easily employ today. What are we waiting for?”

Banner Blindness Study Conclusions and Insights:

Location, Location, Location

156% more people saw the top content area of the page versus the bottom content area of the page, indicating that the area above the fold is significantly more visible than the areas below. While (obviously) organic content will always be more visible than ads, ads placed in the right locations can be much more visible than marginal content areas and traditional ad placements.

Go Native

The eye tracking examination showed that natively integrated Infolinks ad units were seen 47% quicker than banner ads on the same pages, and that the area on the page containing these units was seen by 451% more people than the banner ad. Furthermore, the study also found that the time spent in those content areas was 4000% more than the time spent in the area containing the banner ad, resulting in significantly higher brand recall.

Banner Blindness Study

Be Visible & Relevant:

The unique placement of Infolinks InSearch ad units managed to beat banner blindness by being both unobtrusive and attention-grabbing, according to 75% of study respondents who stated that the InSearch ads were easier to notice in this format. The unconventionality of the placement in the margins served to attract attention—the time to these units was 50% quicker than the time to the standard display units on the page. And because the units in the margins were contextually targeted to the content of the page in question, time spent on these units was 25% greater.

Banner Blindness Study

The Solutions to Banner Blindness:

Placement Matters:

Eye tracking shows that consumers tend to see more content at the top of the page but often skim past leaderboard and skyscraper ad units, presumably because they have learned from experience that those areas usually contain ads rather than content, and that those ads typically do not relate to their current task. Simply put, users have trained their eyes to automatically avoid looking at those standard placements. Placement “above the fold” does offer the best visibility; however, engagement is not simply about location.

Relevance Matters:

As the positive performance of the ads with real-time relevance against standard banners proves, consumers are more likely to engage with an ad if it provides a useful service – such as helping them find a product they were searching for, or driving them to additional pages for more information on a topic they were reading about. 66% of respondents said that the InSearch ad employing real-time intent targeting was helpful in supporting their search efforts.

Experience Matters:

Study respondents across the board were much more likely to notice, engage with and remember the non-traditional placements over standard banner ads. This is because the ad units were designed with the user experience in mind. They were designed to be subtle and useful, to enhance content rather than disrupt it, to engage rather than bombard – that is how you fight banner blindness.

According to Infolinks CEO, Dave Zinman, “This study confirms the ideals upon which we have built our business — that advertising should be about enhancing the user experience. This study makes it clear that ads that break out of the rut of traditional placement and are rooted in user intent can combat banner blindness and reverse declining consumer engagement.”

Want to learn more about Banner Blindness and to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on FacebookTwitter and Google+ and also visit our blog for all the latest!

Click Research, Uncategorized | Tagged

Latin and Asian Ad Markets to Explode in 2014

Global Ad MarketsThe global ad markets spend in 2014 will grow by $5.3 billion and reach $532 billion in total spending, according to figures from Publicis-owned ad agency ZenithOptimedia. The US will stay the largest contributor of new ad dollars with $23 billion in new spending; however the biggest relative ad markets growth will be China ($14 billion), followed by Argentina ($6 billion) and Indonesia ($5.9 billion).

With the global ad markets forecasts continuing to predict the market grow by 5.8% in 2015 followed by another year of 5.8% growth in 2016, analysts believe that emerging markets will grow as Europe struggles to recover gradually from its recent crisis.

Top 10 Global Ad Markets

Global Ad Markets

Seven of the ten largest contributors will be rising markets, contributing 42% of new ad spend over the next three years. Overall, we forecast rising markets to contribute 61% of additional ad expenditure between 2013 and 2016, and to increase their share of the global market from 35% to 39%.

Despite the rapid growth of the rising markets, the US is still the biggest contributor of new ad dollars to the global market. Between 2013 and 2016 it is expected the US to contribute 26% of the $90 billion that will be added to global ad spend. After the US, however, the biggest contributors are much younger and more dynamic. China comes second, accounting for 16% of additional ad dollars over this period, followed by Argentina and Indonesia, accounting for 7% each.

Ad Markets Growth Analysis

Peripheral Eurozone

In Europe, the ‘PIIGS’ markets (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), which have faced the full brunt of the Eurozone crisis, have seen their ad markets fallen even more sharply than their economies. According to recent figures, overall ad spend fell in 2013 by 11.1% with 2014 looking a lot better with forecasts to shrink by just 0.9%, followed by a slow recovery of 1.8% growth in 2015 and 2.5% growth in 2016.

Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Eastern European advertising markets, such as Russia and Ukraine, generally recovered quickly after the 2009 downturn and have since continued their healthy pace of growth. Their near neighbors in such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, have behaved very similarly. It is expected this bloc to have grown 11.7% in 2013, followed by an expected 8%-10% growth in the next two years.

Fast-track Asia

Historically considered the “developing markets” of Asia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam have become the fastest growing markets in the word. Fast-track Asia barely noticed the 2009 downturn (ad expenditure grew by 7.2% that year) and since then has grown comfortably at double-digit rates each year. Estimates show that ad expenditure in these countries grew by 10.7% in 2013, followed by an estimated 10% to 12% annual growth in 2014 to 2016.

North + Latin America

Ad spend in North America grew by 3.3% in 2013, and is forecasted to stay strong with 4.6% growth in 2014, followed by another year of 4.6% growth in 2015 and 4.1% growth in 2016.

Latin America on other hand is a region with rapidly growing economic output, and its ad market is growing at a similar rate. After an estimated 8.0% growth this year, it is forecasted annual growth of between 10% and 13% over the next three years.

Middle East & North Africa

After the overall uncertainty following the Arab Spring in December 2010 brought ad spending to shrink by 14.9% in 2011, markets started to recover in 2013 with a 4.7% growth in ad expenditure. This trend is believed to continue with an estimated 7.3% growth in 2014, though expected to slow down a bit with 3% annual growth in 2015 and 2016

Want to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on Facebook and Twitter, and also visit our blog for all the latest!

Country Statistics, Infographic, Uncategorized

What do People Click on During the Holidays?

Holidays Clicks InfographicDuring the year we spend so much of our time on the web, but how do the holidays effect our online habits? To prepare for the upcoming season, Infolinks pulled some numbers and facts about online user engagement during last year’s holidays in hope it would shed some light on what the future has to offer.

What do People Click on During the Holidays?

The trends are quite interesting, for example, while during Cyber Monday there was a 5% increase in traffic, Christmas Day showed the sharpest decrease with a 21% difference. Cyber Monday represented the sharpest increase in ad engagement, while advertisers surprisingly spent most of their budgets on New Year’s Eve rather than Christmas Day.

When looking at searched keyword trends, we discovered that over Thanksgiving users searched for turkey jokes and on new years eve cab services enjoyed a sharp increase of popularity. Food and beverage sites saw the sharpest increase on Thanksgiving, while shopping sites experienced the highest income on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Holidays Clicks Infographic

Want to stay up to date with everything new in the digital marketing world? Be sure to follow Infolinks on Facebook and Twitter, and also visit our blog for all the latest!