Saturday, April 30, 2005

One third of all Germans now shop online, says new study

The Enigma Gfk research group in Wiesbaden has released figures which show that now more than one third of all Germans buy online. During the last year the number has grown by 15% to 23 million which is more than one third of the total population over 14 years.

Of web users, those who actually buy online has gone from 63% to 71% of the total. Most popular purchases are books, tickets for cinema, theatre and sporting events, then clothes, CD's, computer software and games. One of the strongest growth areas has been digital cameras, followed by entertainment electronics, and care accessories.

The study was carried out jointly with TNS Infratest of Munich and 1,035 German internet users were interviewed.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Russian minister claims 18 million internet users

Russian deputy communications and IT minister, Boris Antoniuk, says that Russia has more than 18 million internet users. This compares with 83 million mobile phone users. The minister was speaking at a roundtable on telecommunications and internet legislation hosted by the Federation Council.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dutch consumers prefer to buy online from Dutch sites

A Dutch survey of 381 Dutch online consumers showed that they prefer to buy on the internet from Dutch organisations based on Dutch soil. However, this was not due to any national sentiment - 65% of them are happy to buy from non-Dutch organisations. The reason given for the preference was mainly a lack of trust in the delivery from foreign organisations.

Dutch Cowboys

6 countries sign agreement to take European libraries online.

Reported by Austrian TV, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Hungary have signed an agreement to take national libraries online - in something of a re-buff for Google's idea to do the same. The idea was born of European Commission President, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso and EU Council President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Google's US project encompasses over 15 million works from the libraries of Stanford, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford and New York.

France and Germany combine to create European search engine?

European concern over the power and influence of the American search engines is well known. Now Jacques Chirac has announced that one of the new joint projects which the German and French governments will co-operate on, is the creation of a new European search engine.

They're trying to take a leaf out of Google's book by thinking ahead - this engine will focus on video and images - not text. Known as "Quaero", a web site already exists promoting the project (built in Flash naturally).

Some heavyweight names will be backing the development including Thomson, Exelead, L'INA, France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom.

L' Expansion Article

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The internet is growing in the Arab world too!

The Gulf Daily News reports that internet growth in the arab world will slash service costs. The leading country for internet access is the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. A reduction is the cost of broadband is expected which will push internet access higher.

IAB study in France says 6.4% of advertising budgets go online

The proportion of French advertising budgets is going out at an enormous rate. Now taking 6.4% of the total budget - but more significantly the rate of increase has grown from +78.1% in 2004 to +91.7% in the first quarter of 2005.

This means online spend is doubling year on year - according to research for the French Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB France.

Le Journal du Net IAB France Web Certain Europe - France

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Switzerland and Slovakia are Europe's biggest gainers in Economist's e-readiness rankings

Whilst Denmark retains the top spot as the leading e-ready nation even beating the US, Slovakia has moved up 5 places in the rankings from a lowly 39th last year to 34th in 2005 in the latest e-readiness rankings from the Economist.

The Economist Intelligence Unit regularly publishes its e-readiness rankings which are a measure of the country's e-business including such factors as broadband availability and mobile penetration. The latest report has also taken more account of public-access wireless 'hotspots'.

European nations do well in the 65 nation study taking many of the top spots. The full list is available at the Economist Intelligence Unit - here is a list of the European nations in order of rank:

  • Denmark 1st
  • Sweden 3rd
  • Switzerland 4th
  • UK 5th
  • Finland 6th
  • Netherlands 8th
  • Norway 9th
  • Germany 12th
  • Austria 14th
  • Ireland 15th
  • Belgium 17th
  • France 19th
  • Spain 23rd
  • Italy 24th
  • Portugal 25th
  • Estonia 26th
  • Slovenia 27th
  • Greece 28th
  • Czech republic 29th
  • Hungary 30th
  • Poland 32nd
  • Slovakia 34th
  • Latvia 37th
  • Lithuania 40th
  • Bulgaria 42nd
  • Turkey 43rd
  • Romania 47th
  • Russia 52nd
  • Ukraine 57th
Economist Intelligence Unit

Monday, April 25, 2005

Quote Media is to sell Dutch search engine back to its founder

Quote Media has decided to sell both and back to their original founder Jan-Willem Tusveld following a decision that the sector was not their core business, reports Emerce.

Jan-Willem Tusveld founded in 1998 selling it later to the investment group Reggeborgh - who then sold it to Quote Media. is currently the fourth search engine in the Netherlands after Google, Ilse and MSN. Mr. Tusveld has said that he would like to take ahead of Ilse - the leading Dutch-owned search engine. was created a year ago to bring a new concept of 'clustering' meaning that related themes are shown in a list on the left of the page to facilitate the user's search. It has only come out of beta this month.

Online transactions to exceed 10 billion Euros in France in 2005

The ACSEL panel, which brings together the leading e-commerce companies of France with figures then aggregated by Price Waterhouse Coopers, is forecasting a total e-commerce turnover for panel members this year of 10 billion Euros.

Their latest report shows that the 24 members of ACSEL saw an increase of 54.8% in turnover to 671.2 million Euros in the first quarter of 2005 - compared with a year ago. The same quarter clocked up 7.3 million online transactions an increase of 57.8% over last year.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Yahoo's relevancy may be catching Google, says French study

A study carried out by Le Journal du Net has concluded that Google is still ahead of Yahoo and MSN in terms of the relevancy of results presented - but the gap has narrowed between Google and nearest rival, Yahoo, especially in certain specific categories. But MSN still has some catching up to do.

Le Journal du Net examined 25 different scenarios - 15 simple and 10 complex - and then scored the results presented against a defined set of criteria.

The conclusions were that overall, Google remains in the lead, but Yahoo has narrowed the gap by several points in certain categories - particuarly related to commercial searches where JDN actually put Yahoo ahead. On pure information queries, Google remains in control but the study also noted that from the 4th result onwards the quality of the result has declined from the previous study a year ago.

Perhaps the most intriguing comment is that Yahoo's results feature less circular results - in other words pages that give the same information duplicated or lead indirectly back to the same information.

Google wins when it comes to the elimination of 'cloaking' or spam pages - an area in which MSN in particular needs to improve.

Googles sponsored links are also classed as more relevant than the competition's and the best integrated with the natural results.

eBay targets growing internet activity in Poland

eBay has launched its first foray into Eastern Europe targeting Poland, a country with an online population of 10 million internet users representing just 27% of the total population.

It faces stiff competition. Local outfit Allegro, together with several smaller auction sites in the country have a strong position. Reuters UK

Friday, April 15, 2005

Overture and Lycos increase cooperation

Overture and Lycos are to work closer together in Europe, it has been disclosed. Following an agreement which is to run for several years into the future, Lycos will link its portal more closely with Overture in Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands using the content match system.

French and Swedes are big online gamblers

Shocking figures from Nielsen//Netratings suggest that online home users in France and Sweden are the biggest gamblers in Europe with both countries seeing reaches of 22.1%. Germany, the UK and Switzerland had a similar reach of 14 - 14.5% - whilst the Italians and Spanish haven't really caught onto the trend to date with reach figures of 7 and 6% respectively.

A major factor in driving this trend seems to be the availability of broadband as the majority of gambling takes place on a fast connection.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Higher levels of local search in Germany than the UK or France

Volker Gläser, search director for Yahoo Deutschland, says that local search is more significant in Germany than the UK or France sometimes reaching levels as high as 30% of all searches. He puts this down largely to the division of the country into "Länder".

In February, Yahoo launched in beta a local search facility across Germany in partnership with local directory 'Das Örliche' to provide locally oriented searches using two search boxes - one for the query, one for the location.

The system is needed to integrate with pay per click provider Overture's local advertising system which already represents 15% of Overture's turnover in the US, according to Isabell Wagner of Overture in Germany.

The Overture local advertising system is due to go live some time during 2005, said Frau Wagner at the search engine strategies conference in Munich. It had been expected earlier.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Seekport to launch in Italy, Spain & Scandinavia by middle 2005

Europe's baby search engine. Seekport from Germany, which already operates in the UK, France and Germany, is to launch Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian operations by this summer. This is rapid progress for a search engine which launched only a year ago with an entirely new index. In other words, it is unusual in that it does not rely on US search engines to provide the database from which to draw its results.

Seekport claims that it will offer better quality to users than the American competitors simply because they are based locally and understand the market place. They claim their results will be of a high quality because they are automatically able to identify poor quality content - with human editors making the final decisioin.

This may be believable for a German or French language search engine with its relatively small index - but in English every attempt to do this has subsequently been quietly withdrawn - including big name players such as MSN and Ask Jeeves. Why don't European search engines leave English to the big players and focus on European languages where they may well be able to offer a better alternative?

As yet unborn search engine is also preparing to launch in Germany - probably during the summer - which means that Europe's largest nation will have two home grown search engines with their own indexes as Neomo is following the example set by Seekport. Neomo has, so far, only suggested that it will be available in German.

Both will draw their pay per click results from existing services - in the case of Seekport this is Espotting, now owned by Find-what. Neomo has not publicly announced who its ppc partner will be.

89% turnover growth for Infospace

Infospace - a search engine which presents the results of others mixed depending on the type of phrase searched for - has seen a 41% increase in unique visitors in its last financial year 2004 and a growth in turnover of 89%.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wanadoo launches contextual pay per click system in France

Wanadoo has announced a pay per click system for contextual sponsored links on Wanadoo and Mappy which has been nicknamed 'Wanadooclic". The links will be bought via a bidding system. The announcement was made by Luc Tran Thang who is the Director responsible for the Wanadoo portals. It should be noted that Wanadoo already features sponsored links from Overture which will remain - at least for the time being.

The Wanadoo site claims to have gained more than 100,000 visitors during the month of February 2005.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Time spent online is increasing in France, Italy, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain & Germany

Nielsen//NetRatings global netview analysis shows signficant year-on-year increases in the number of hours per month spent online in all European countries monitored. Outside Europe, Hong Hong achieved the highest increase of 25% - whilst the US dropped.

Most impressive are the figures for France (19%) and Italy (15%) where web users have significantly increased their dependence on the www.

The greatest number of hours spent online is in Japan at 14 hours 50 minutes - but second is France with 14 hours 25 minutes - the greatest number of hours of any European country!

February 2005 home use increases in UK, France and Germany

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, active home use of the internet increased quite dramatically in the UK in February2005 to 11% when compared with November 2004 - France and Germany saw smaller increases of 1.6% and 1.2% respectively whilst Sweden dropped by almost 3%.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ask Jeeves goes Spanish

Ask Jeeves has broadened its multilingual offering by launching a new Spanish index - this will give the organisation - currently negotiating its own acquisition by IAC corporation - to compete more effectively with Google, Yahoo, MSN worldwide. It is not surprising they have chosen Spanish thanks to the growing importance of the online Hispanic population in the US.

Home internet use reaches 61% in Germany

According to German survey organisation Wahlen Online, the number of internet users at home has grown to 61% in the last quarter - a relatively small increase over the previous quarter. Around 34% of the survey respondents access the internet through broadband or DSL whilst 34% are using ISDN - leaving just 26% of German home users on old-fashioned analogue.

68% of the fast access users are online for more than 10 hours per week.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Google first in Italy - but competition is hot

According to figures from Audiweb by Nielsen//NetRatings, has the greatest reach in Italy of work and home users reaching 57.3%, is second at 49.5%, is third with 48.3% and fourth with 36.2%.

This makes Italy once of the hotter locations in the battle for the top slots with Yahoo not making an appearance until 8th position.

Google TV in France?

Of course, it's the first of April and the day of the 'Gros poissons' or April fool in France. Not surprising then that Abondance has announced a new TV channel called Google TV. Could it really happen?