ホームIRリリース 2008 > Top10 SEM News Items of 2008 as chosen by AUN Consulting

News Release

Top 10 SEMnews items of 2008

To allmembers of the press


December 16, 2008

AUNConsulting, Inc.

Top10 SEM News Items of 2008 as chosen by AUN Consulting
No. 1 is “Microsoft proposes, then retracts plan to acquire Yahoo!”

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AUNConsulting Inc. (head officeChiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President andCEO Akira Shida), provider of consulting services formultilingual (English,Chinese, Japanese) SEM(search enginemarketing) for PC&mobile applications, is pleased to announce its selected “Top 10 SEMNews Items” for 2008.Relying upon its unique perspective,AUN Consulting has reviewed and selected these top 10 news items fromamong the year’s newsworthy stories, both Japanese and international. Ashort list of around 40 news storieswas first compiled by a panel of 10 (principally, exclusive consultants) fromthe internally-circulated summaries of SEMindustry-related news regularly gathered by AUNConsulting analysts. Subsequently, the newsworthiness of thesewas rated by an internal survey. The period of news coveredwas January 1 toDecember 1, 2008. Additionally, AUNConsulting is pleased tomake this announcement available in Japanese andEnglish.

Top 10 SEM(Search EngineMarketing) related news items for 2008

■No. 1 Microsoft proposes, then retracts plan to acquire Yahoo!

In February 2008,Microsoft (US) announced its intentions to acquireYahoo! (US). This proposalwas aimed at pursuingGoogle, which is currently far ahead in the search enginemarket and is increasing its presence in the online advertisingmarket.However, the two companieswere unable to reach agreement on the amount for acquisition and after receiving criticismon antitrust legal grounds,Microsoft retracted its proposal for this acquisition inMay, announcing that it would notmakemoves toward a hostile takeover. It is expected that in future, several companies may band together to attempt to opposeGoogle in some otherway. Even the smallest actions ofGoogle&Yahoo!-the twomajor players in the field-have amassive influence and generate great interest not only for the SEMindustry but also among general users. This sequence of eventswas perhaps an opportunity to promote corporateM&A schemes aswell as various technical innovations.

■No. 2 NTTDocomo andGoogle announce collaboration, equip iMenuwithGoogle search

In January 2008,NTTDocomo andGoogle announced their collaboration onmobile phoneNet services by introducingGoogle search technology and search-linked advertising for the i-mode search service. AllGoogle services are usable fromi-mode terminals. InApril,NTTDocomo overhauled iMenu entirely. The top page of iMenu, which serves as a portal to the i-mode official site, is nowequippedwith aGoogle search field. The top page has also commenced providing news and weather reports.Yahoo! Japan stillmaintains its overwhelming share of the Japanese PCsearchmarket, butGoogle has nowacquired a large share of themobile searchmarket. The struggle formobile

■No. 3 Overture commences provision of InterestMatch™ interest-linked advertising service

In July 2008, in addition to standardweb content analysis, Yahoo! Japan andOverture commenced provision of InterestMatch™, a pay-per-click advertising service capable of searching for users’ interests frompresent and past browsing behavior and then displaying optimized advertising.Display priority is determined through a combination of bid price and degree of user interest. Placement of advertising is based not only on page content, but also user attributes such as sex, age, and region, aswell as behaviors such as the type of pages viewed in the past. This raises matching precision. For example, consider a user seeking newemployment who frequently views career change-related sites. Under this system, evenwhen viewing second-hand car sites, career change-related advertising will be displayed to that user.

■No. 4 Google&Yahoo! break off plans for advertising partnership

In June 2008,Google (US) andYahoo! (US) agreed to collaborate on an online advertising service. InNovember, however, this partnershipwas called off. The proposed partnership involved the display ofGoogle online advertising onYahoo! search results and some Yahoo!websites in the USAandCanada. Itwas proposed byGoogle (US) as a defensemeasure against the demonstratedwillingness ofMicrosoft (US) to enact a hostile takeover as part of its plan to acquireYahoo! (US).However, Google (US) judged that this actionwas not enough to allay concerns among regulatory authorities and some advertisers. On the other hand,Yahoo! (US) believed that the partnership should go ahead, and the partnershipwas broken off amid reluctance fromYahoo!. The struggle for search services dominance amongGoogle,Yahoo!, andMicrosoft is expected to continue.

■No. 5 Baiduacquires 60.5%ofChinese searchmarket share, commences Japanese-language services in earnest fromJanuary 23

In January 2008, Baidu broke through to occupy 60.5%of theChinese searchmarket share. In July, it held 12.9%of theworld searchmarket share, making it the third largest search engine afterGoogle andYahoo!. Its first step towards overseas expansion was establishment of a Japanese subsidiary in 2006, which commenced provision of Japanese-languageweb, image,movie and blog search services in January 2008. Baidu gained great popularity in China by offering services geared to local conditions, such asMP3 searches andmessage boards demonstrating good understanding of theChinese language and people. In Japan, it has strengthened localization tomeet the particular needs of the Japanese language and people, and is promoting its usage as the “second search engine.” In September 2008, the SouthKorean search engineNAVER hit Japan oncemore. Further revitalization of the Japanese search enginemarket, which is virtually dominated byYahoo! Japan andGoogle, is expected.

■No. 6 Overture’s Sponsored Searchservice for PCs shifts to fluctuating lowest-pricemodel

In August 2008,Overture’s PCsearch-linked advertising service, Sponsored Search, shifted over to a fluctuating lowest-pricemodel. The lowest price is nowset to fluctuate, with the previous across-the-board lowest price of 9 yen (alternatively 35 yen) nowabolished. After this shift, the lowest pricewill vary depending on certain variables like keyword value/significance, advertising quality, number of bids, and bid price. The lowest price could reach as lowas 1 yen, when advertising quality is high. However, it is also possible that lowest prices for lower-quality advertising could rise. For this reason, this systemis sure to test advertisers’ skills in advertising creativity, keyword selection, ad preparation, and operations management.

■No. 7 Chinesemobile phone users reach600million: 4.7 times the population of Japan

In the first half of 2008,mobile phone saleswithinChina reached 96.403million units, with the number ofmobile phone users breaking 601 million. This number equates to roughly 4.7 times the estimated population of Japan, which stands around 127.7million persons (as ofNovember 2008). 28.9%of ChineseNet users used amobile phone to access the Internetwithin the past 6months, with the number ofChinesemobile phoneNet users nowreaching 73.05 million persons. It is thought thatmobile phoneNet access is amajor factor in the increase of Internet userswithin China. It seems likely that the increase inmobile phone userswill accelerate themass spread of the Internet inChina.

■No. 8 Google develops newFlash index algorithm

In June 2008,Google (US) developed a newAdobe Flash index algorithmwith performance enhanced by integration withAdobe Flash player technology.With this newtechnique, Flash textual content such as Flashmenus, buttons, and banners can bemore handily indexed than previously possible. The algorithmimproves crawling and registration of Flash content far beyond conventionalmeans.

■No. 9 Google quality score nowevaluates landing page read time

In June 2008Google introduced a newstandard incorporating load time for linked pages (landing pages) into its quality score evaluation. Landing pageswith faster load times receive higher quality scores, and slower pages receive lower scores.

■No. 10 Google commences demographic bidding-AdWords advertising targets both sex and age

InMarch 2008,Google (US) commenced demographic bidding, whereby all AdWords advertisers can both bid on prices and choose to restrict visibility of advertising depending on factors such as sex, age, and income. The service is available through certain content network providers such as youtube.com, myspace.com, and cnn.com, whose user profiles are grasped byGoogle.

AUN Consulting, Inc.

[Description of Business] Consulting on multilingual (English, Chinese, Japanese) SEM (Search Engine Marketing) for PCs&mobile applications

[Established] June 8, 1998 [HeadOffice] 6FTDC Bldg, 2-9-18Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

[Representative] President andCEO:Akira Shida [Capital] 339.576 million yen

[Inquiries] CommunicationGroup PR Officer:Shoko Naoi

[Phone] 03-3239-2890 [Email] pr@auncon.co.jp [URL] http://www.auncon.co.jp/

ホームIRリリース 2008 > Top10 SEM News Items of 2008 as chosen by AUN Consulting