IAB to Measurement Agencies: Measure Up!

(Caveat: I am an IAB Board member, and Comscore is an FM partner) Today the IAB released a strongly worded – for an industry coalition, anyway – letter asking that the twin pillars of measurement in the interactive advertising universe – Neilsen and Comscore – submit to audits of…

Iab

(Caveat: I am an IAB Board member, and Comscore is an FM partner)

Today the IAB released a strongly worded – for an industry coalition, anyway – letter asking that the twin pillars of measurement in the interactive advertising universe – Neilsen and Comscore – submit to audits of how they measure, and in general work with the IAB to better measure interactive audiences. This marks the first public move by new IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg, and it’s sure to get some attention.

I’m both pleased with this move and hopeful that the response will be positive. I am a big fan of the folks at Comscore and we are working together diligently to come up with better measurement of the conversational media arena. But that’s just one piece of a larger puzzle. We can and should do better.

From the IAB release:



The goal of the IAB and the entire Interactive industry is simple: to achieve transparency in audience counts and to revise out-of-date methodologies.

For the Interactive industry, one that is committed to delivering accountability, integrity in audience measurement is a fundamental necessity. But, despite a multiplicity of reported discrepancies in audience measurements, comScore and NNR each has resisted numerous requests for audits by the IAB and the Media Ratings Council since 1999.

In order to establish the source of these discrepancies, and to find the potential solutions, the IAB is asking that both comScore and NNR obtain audits of their technologies and processes by the Media Rating Council (MRC).

The discrepancies exist between the audience measurements of comScore and NNR and those of the server logs of the IAB’s own members. Further compounding these differences are the disparities between comScore’s and NNR’s own measurement results. All measurement companies that report audience metrics have a material impact on interactive marketing and decision-making. Therefore, transparency into these methodologies is critical to maintaining advertisers’ confidence in interactive, particularly now, as marketers allocate more budget to the platform.

Without these audits, the industry has no way of knowing whether these deviations in measurement result from inconsistent counting or from outdated measurement methodologies, such as the panels developed in the 1930s and still relied on today.

Full text of the letter is in the jump….

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Database of Intentions, Round Two

First there was search history. Then a ton of widgets and apps to help you as you, well, stumble around the web. Now Google, as I expected, has launched Web History. In other words, the rest of what you do online. This whole trend needs a name. Wait, OK,…

Web History

First there was search history. Then a ton of widgets and apps to help you as you, well, stumble around the web. Now Google, as I expected, has launched Web History. In other words, the rest of what you do online. This whole trend needs a name. Wait, OK, my name for it is the Database of Intentions. But the issue, the nub, the rub, the trade off between privacy, data, and benefits – that also needs a catchy name. Google gets better the more data it has about everything. It also gets scarier.

I asked Eric about this in our conversation and he was quite clear – Google will support data portability and transparency. I am thrilled to hear it. It’s a non trivial thing to do. But it’s essential, as Eric pointed out, to Google’s brand that it be trusted.

From Google’s Blog post:

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Google – Click Privacy Kerfluffle

Cnet has the details: Three public-interest groups are expected to file a joint complaint on Friday with the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into the potential threat to consumer privacy posed by Google's planned acquisition of DoubleClick. The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), along with the…

Cnet has the details:

Three public-interest groups are expected to file a joint complaint on Friday with the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into the potential threat to consumer privacy posed by Google’s planned acquisition of DoubleClick.

The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), along with the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (U.S. PIRG), are asking the FTC to stop the $3.1 billion merger until the trade commission investigates Google’s data collection and storage practices, orders DoubleClick to sweep out its data storehouse and requires the search giant to offer a public plan for safeguarding consumer privacy.

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More on My Feed (Non) Experiment

Well, despite several supporting voices, it's clear a large percentage of you, at least those who commented, would be quite unhappy if I turned my feed into excerpts. I hear you. There were several good points and questions. First, yes, my feed does have ads, from Feedburner, an FM…

Feed Image

Well, despite several supporting voices, it’s clear a large percentage of you, at least those who commented, would be quite unhappy if I turned my feed into excerpts. I hear you.

There were several good points and questions. First, yes, my feed does have ads, from Feedburner, an FM and Searchblog partner. But Feedburner does not approach marketing the way FM does, and while we are great partners, the marketers that FM works with are less interested in feeds and more in site-specific advertising. That’s not to say Feedburner’s approach is less valuable, not at all. It’s just that on the site, brand marketers can do far more, and to be honest, many are more comfortable in that environment in terms of execution and such. FB sells categories and scale, FM sells specific sites, conversational marketing, and integrated programs. Both work, and most marketers do both.

Many of you noted that you’ll click through from a full text feed and that drives a lot of site traffic. That’s entirely true. The experiment was an attempt to see if excerpts would drive significantly more, while not alienating my readership. From the results of my very unscientific poll, I’d clearly be alienating at least a very vocal minority.

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Update on DoubleClick and Google

When I interviewed Eric, several of you wondered why I didn't ask these two questions: 1.Will Google make Doubleclick free? 2. Several sources have told me that Google has built and tested a Doubleclick like platform, then decided to buy the company anyway. True, false, or no comment? Well,…

Dbclk-1

When I interviewed Eric, several of you wondered why I didn’t ask these two questions:

1.Will Google make Doubleclick free?

2. Several sources have told me that Google has built and tested a Doubleclick like platform, then decided to buy the company anyway. True, false, or no comment?

Well, I ran out of time, and we had a lot to cover. So I asked the folks at Google if they could respond, and they have. Here you go:

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Google and Viacom

GigaOm posits a deal between Viacom and Google, which would make sense, but as we discussed yesterday during my talk with Jeff…Yahoo already has that deal……

GigaOm posits a deal between Viacom and Google, which would make sense, but as we discussed yesterday during my talk with Jeff…Yahoo already has that deal

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Yahoo Sued in Nor Cal For Chinese Human Rights Abuse

Ouch. From the story: SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Chinese couple sued Yahoo and its Chinese affiliates on Wednesday, alleging the Internet firms provided information that helped the Chinese government prosecute the man for his Internet writings. Wang Xiaoning was sentenced to ten years in prison last year for…

Ouch. From the story:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Chinese couple sued Yahoo and its Chinese affiliates on Wednesday, alleging the Internet firms provided information that helped the Chinese government prosecute the man for his Internet writings.

Wang Xiaoning was sentenced to ten years in prison last year for “incitement to subvert state power” after he e-mailed electronic journals advocating democratic reform and a multi-party system.

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Should I Test This?

From the start, Searchblog has had a full text feed. I took my cue from my pals at Boing Boing – I believed in fully portable content, and I also believed in portable business models. But it's been two years since I started FM, and I have to say,…

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From the start, Searchblog has had a full text feed. I took my cue from my pals at Boing Boing – I believed in fully portable content, and I also believed in portable business models. But it’s been two years since I started FM, and I have to say, the most important and valuable business model for a site like Searchblog remains bringing your attention to my site, where I can introduce you to marketers who buy ads there.

I know that folks, particularly our partners Feedburner, argue that feeds themselves should be monetizable (Lord, what a word). But the reality is, they are not nearly as valuable to a publisher, at present, as visitors to the site are. “We’ve seen no evidence that excerpts on their own drive higher clickthroughs,” Feedburner posted recently.

Well, I’d like to test that assertion.

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Query? Who Needs A Query?

Not us. Not with Google. SEL has a good overview of Google's news (referenced in the last post): Google is rolling out two features today that subtly but meaningfully enhance the level of personalization offered to anyone with a Google account. And while they're tied to your search behavior,…

Not us. Not with Google. SEL has a good overview of Google’s news (referenced in the last post):

Google is rolling out two features today that subtly but meaningfully enhance the level of personalization offered to anyone with a Google account. And while they’re tied to your search behavior, they don’t directly alter the standard search results you see, even if you’ve enabled personalization by searching while signed in to Google account.

The first feature allows you to add a “recommendations” tab to a Google personalized home page….The second feature is a new button for the Google Toolbar called “picks for you.” Clicking this button displays one of 50 new sites every day, chosen for you based on your search history and what others have searched for. Clicking the button successively displays each new pick in turn.

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