Internet worth billions to UK says Google

Internet worth £100 billion to UK economy, says Google
A report from Google released today says that the internet industry is worth £100 billion to the UK economy, more than the construction and transport industries.

The online economy is worth £100 billion to the UK, the study found. According to the study, conducted by US researchers Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by Google, online business represents 7.2% of Britain’s gross domestic product – and that share is expected to grow to 10% by 2015.

That would put the internet’s contribution to the British economy on a par with that of the financial sector (although perhaps with less danger of precipitating catastrophic economic meltdown).

About £60 billion of the total came from online shopping and the amount that consumers pay for their internet connections. And in further evidence of the importance of the internet industry to the UK, the research found that Britain is a net exporter of e-commerce goods and services.

The UK’s online economy exports £2.80 for every £1 that is imported – in contrast to the ‘off-line’ economy, which only exports 90p for every £1 imported.

The report says that 250,000 people are employed by e-commerce companies in the UK, and Britain ranks sixth among the world’s major economies in terms of an ‘e-intensity index’ – a measure of the reach and depth of the internet. That put the country above the likes of Germany, the US and France, but lagging behind Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and the highest ranked country, Denmark.

 73% of UK households have an internet connection, the report found, and 62% of all adults – 31 million – bought goods or services online in the past year.

Paul Zwillenberg, partner with BCG in London, said: ‘The internet is pervasive in the UK economy today, more so than in most advanced countries. Whether they are driving international expansion, improving their interactions with customers or the efficiency of their supply chains, UK companies are increasingly embracing the internet’s potential.

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Virgin Media to offer fast Broadband

Virgin Media to Offer fastest UK Broadband
Virgin Media is set to turn up the dial on its cable network, offering users speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second). It aims to provide the service to over 50% of the UK by mid-2012, beginning in December with 200,000 homes in London, the Home Counties and West Yorkshire.

It is the latest move in the race to bring super-fast broadband services to the UK and it should give new impetus to rival BT’s super-fast broadband rollout.

Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media described the service as “a significant milestone”.

“The world of possibilities that broadband will enable is set to explode,” he said.

The first towns earmarked for the super-fast service are Chelmsford, Farnborough and Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire.

 The service will be available as part of a telephone or TV bundle for £35 a month or £45 for a standalone broadband product.

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Bing Now Number Two…

Bing Replaces Yahoo! as Number Two Search Engine
Microsoft Bing reached a major milestone for usage in August, the same month it officially became the technology which powers the Yahoo! search engine. According to PC Magazine, the latest statistics from The Nielsen Company show that Bing surpassed Yahoo! for the first time in August to become the second most-used search engine in the United States.

Bing represented 13.9 percent of all domestic Internet searches in August, placing it ahead of Yahoo!’s 13.1 percent. Bing still is a distant second to industry leader Google, which represented a whopping 65.1 percent of all American Internet searches in August. However, the combined number of user-generated searches performed by Bing and Yahoo! in August would be 26 percent, according to a Nielsen blog post.

Bing is also showing tremendous growth. According to Nielsen, while Google’s searches have grown by just one percent in the United States since August 2009, searches on Bing in the same time frame have risen by 30 percent.

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Microsoft Integrates Facebook into Bing

Microsoft Integrates Facebook into Bing
Microsoft and Facebook on Wednesday announced a new collaboration to integrate the social network used by more than 500 million people into Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Starting today, Bing searches will include a “Bing Social” search that includes relevant links and topics that are being shared on Facebook. And searches for people will bring in individual Facebook profiles.

The two tech giants pledged to continue to introduce new social search features.Microsoft Online Services Division President Qi Lu called it the “unfolding of a new era of search,” and said the partnership will “make people first-class citizens of the search experience.”

Microsoft became an early investor in Facebook in 2006, when the social network only had about 7 million members. This new collaboration with Microsoft puts Facebook in further competition with online search giant Google Inc. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash., software giant, the “underdog” in search.

“I couldn’t think of anyone better to work with on the next generation of search,” Zuckerberg said during a press conference at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus.

The Facebook-Bing collaboration is the latest instance of an outside site using Facebook’s Instant Personalization feature that was introduced earlier this year.

This is the second major announcement for Facebook in a week. Last week, Facebook launched its new Groups feature, which gives a way for Facebook members to create smaller, more controlled circles of their friends.

When someone uses Bing and has a Facebook account, the Bing site will have access to whatever information the Facebook member has chosen to make public in their profile, just as they would while logged into Facebook itself, Zuckerberg said.

The companies did not disclose any financial terms of the new collaboration. Talks to integrate Facebook with Bing’s search results started between the two companies less than two months ago.

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Paid Search Market Continues to Grow

Paid Search Market Continues to Grow
Search Ignite, a provider of paid search optimization solutions which claims to manage more than $600 million in pay-per-click (PPC) spend annually, has released its latest report on the paid search market in the United States. According to the company, spend on paid search ads increased close to 6% year-over-year.

Google commanded no less than 80.2% of all U.S. PPC ad spend in the third quarter, picking up 2 percentage points even compared to last quarter.

And yet, Search Ignite says early data coming out of the Bing-Yahoo alliance bodes well for Bing to become a viable competitor in the future.

Paid search spend in the U.S. in the third quarter increased 5.8% year-over-year, compared with flat growth a year ago, adds Search Ignite.
Month-over-month shows that the growth is picking up, which bodes well for a strong Q4: July grew 4.9%, August 5.8% and September 6.7%.
According to Search Ignite, PPC ads delivered by Bing show little cost-per-click inflation thus far (something many in the industry feared), and the company doesn’t expect them to markedly inflate in the future either.

In addition, click-through rates have increased for ads served on the combined Bing-Yahoo search inventory, which suggest Bings ad serving system delivers more relevant advertising units to users than Yahoo.

The report tracked more than 55 billion impressions and more than 1 billion clicks on Google, Yahoo and MSN/Bing from January 1, 2006 through September 30, 2010.

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