Monthly Archives: September 2012

Google Panda Update 3.92

Google have announced that there is to be yet another Panda refresh rolling out. Google posted there announcement about Panda 3.92 to Twitter: “Panda refresh is rolling out—expect some flux over the next few days. Fewer than 0.7% of queries noticeably affected”.

If you are unaware of Google Panda and its background, the updates are aimed at targeting low quality websites so that only high quality websites are categorised high on search engines. Each Panda refresh offers a new set of requirements or rules that website owners must adhere to, in order for their website to perform well on search engines.

Panda made its debut in February 2011 and since then many website have seen a change in their websites and traffic to the website. Common offenders include: duplicate content, static content (pages not regularly updated).

For businesses these requirements can have dramatic effects on your online conversions. Therefore, it is essential to take note of each update and understand the important changes that need to be implemented on your website.

The next announcement is coming so watch this space!

The Success of Google+

This month Vic Gundotra, the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google has announced that Google+ has surpassed 400 million members. Gunodtra also mentioned that the network has 100 millions active users.

Gundotra wrote “This week we also hit an important milestone–over 400,000,000 people have upgraded to Google+. It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn’t have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months,”

Facebook was said to have 955 million active users in July. This may seem like an advantage but we must take into consideration that it has taken Facebook a number of years to reach its current figure. Furthermore, it has recently been revealed by Facebook and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that more than 83 million Facebook accounts are fake accounts.

Therefore, the integration of Google+ and Google Places has enabled Google to further publicise its social network. When users search for a location they are now required to register to Google+ to be able to view more information. The relationship between Google Places and Google +has made it more logical to access business profiles on Google+ than any other social network.

For example a recent case study has shown how Internet grocery retailer Ocado has benefited greatly from the business opportunities on Google+. Google Hangouts has enabled Ocado to engage with customers. Hangouts have increased the Ocado YouTube channel views from 50k to 230k. Social extensions has enabled customer to +1 favourite product which has made Ocado consider these products when advertising thus resulting in much more successful campaigns. By adopting social extensions, Ocado ads became instantly more compelling, and click-through rates increased by 30%.

Additionally, Google’s recent purchase of the imaging platform Nik Software will aim to compete with the success of Instagram and Facebook.

It seems that Google is beginning to cover all bases to ensure its success as a social network and dominant search engine. Will Facebook become a thing of the past and sink into the MySpace abyss? Or will Google’s success take the same amount of time that it has taken Facebook? Time will only tell.

UK Advertising Trends: An Olympic Sink or Swim?

In 2012 UK adspend is forecast to increase by an aggregated 3.3% (based Carat, GroupM, Advertising Association, Zenith Optimedia and Strategy Analytics), however, the bleak economy and a number of major events has made it difficult for forecasters to predict with certainty the rise in revenue. With ZenithOptimedia suggesting a 3.5% growth and AA/Warc predicting a 2.5% growth.

Forecasts for 2013 are also extremely conservative with an aggregate 3.7% growth predicted fuelled by a fundamental shift towards digital which is predicted to provide a further 10.4% growth in 2013.

How did the different factors of 2012 affect the overall adspend forecasts?


Television is set to have the biggest revisions due the BBC’s Olympic monopoly. A slow start in Q1 and Q2 has dimmed expectations and only marginal growth is predicted for 2012.

Source: Mediatel


The major sporting events and the Diamond jubilee were an opportunity for print media adspend to attempt to recover from its persistent downward turn. However, it is now thought that overall Newspapers continue to experience negative growth in 2012.

Source: Mediatel


As with print media, magazines are predicted to have struggle in terms of ad revenue. GroupM believes that tablets have preserved (or even raised) quality newspaper readership, and it would be possible for a few consumer magazines to achieve this too. Business-to-business magazines, though improving, are likely to continue to struggle.

Source: Mediatel


Radio in contrast is expected to experience a healthy growth. Group M have forecast 4.7% growth and Carat have predicted a growth of 2.4%.

Source: Mediatel


Cinema is looking to build on a very promising Q1 result of 10% growth. GroupM have forecast a growth of 4.0% in 2012.

Source: Mediatel


Outdoor is one of the few media expected to flourish in 2012. With an average 4.4% growth. This success is due to the Olympics, Euro 2012 and Diamond Jubilee. This medium is then due to increase by 1.8% in 2013 as the capacity for digital formats reaches its peak.

Source: Mediatel


Digital media is expected to continue to boom this year. The medium continues to go from strength to strength. Group M believe they will deliver a 14.2% growth for the year.

Source: Mediatel

Overall, this year’s major events have affected how different media may have performed in recent months. 2013 will provide a challenge for all media given the return to ‘normality’ and no immediate signs of recovery in the economic outlook.

Combined Print and Digital Readership Available for the First Time

This week saw the NRS PADD release its first ever set of combined Print and Digital Data, allowing publishers to measure audience reach across all or their media channels. In the past media buyers, media owners and other interested parties, had been able to calculate their print and web based readership separately, but had no means of calculating their total unduplicated combined reach.

Overall, the figures indicate that rather than losing readers, publishers are in fact reaching more readers on more platforms than ever before through multiple channels. The decrease of readership in print should not be viewed as a negative as it can only be seen to be increasing their readership through other media, such as; website, mobile phones, iPads and tablets.

The data comprises average monthly data taken over a yearly period between April 2011 and March 2012. It does not include users who access national newspaper titles via Apple iPads or tablets.
The Sun, not surprisingly, was the most read UK national newspaper with an overall readership figure of 17.8 million over the month; print only figure of 14.5 million, web figure of 1.7 million for and 1.6 million people read both the print version and website.

Following closely behind, The Daily Mail has a total of 16.4 million readers; 9.6 million print only, 4.7 million online only and a duplicated audience of 2.2 million. The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday have a combined reach of 18.5 million readers.

Third-placed overall was the Daily Mirror with an overall readership of 11 million readers, split between 9.1 million print readers, 1.9 million online readers and a duplicated readership of 400,000.
The Guardian was next with an overall readership figure of 11.2 million, split between 6.4 million online readers, 4.8 million print readers and a duplicated readership of 2.25 million.

The Guardian just pipped the Telegraph, which had an overall readership figure of 10.5 million, split between 5.3 million online readers, 5.2 million print readers and a duplicated readership of 1.7 million.

The Times, meanwhile, whose website is behind a pay wall, reported a website readership figure of only 295,000, which was dwarfed by rival quality newspaper websites. Overall, The Times brand reported a figure of 5.74 million, made up of 295,000 website readers and 5.52 million newspaper readers. This is a long term business model for News Int. but they must be disappointed with the level of growth of paying subscribers.

Combined Print and Digital Readership Figures

Source: Mediatel

Tabloid and mid-market titles follow the same trends by having a higher print readership and a much smaller online audience, with the exception of The Mail brand which reported a monthly figure of 6.82 million (April 2012), undoubtedly the highest figure amongst mid-market websites.

The Metro, for example, has one of the largest print audiences of 10.7 million (April 2012) but still has a long way to go in order to compete in the online market with a reported readership of 1.6 million (April 2012).

In terms of the qualities, some show the online-only audience making up the majority of a title’s readership. The Guardian has around 2.5 million print only readers, 4.9 million online only readers and 1.5 million people reading both the print version and the website offering.

This title has always lead the way in online offering but the monetising of this offering remains a challenge that other publishing houses also struggle with.

ABC National Newspaper Round-Up: August 2012 – Sadly the Olympics Did Not Provide Dramatic Golds

Source: Mediatel

Daily Market

The overall daily newspaper market was down -10.1% year-on-year (YoY) and -0.9% period-on-period (PoP) in August, with just one title enjoying an increase in circulation over the year. Independent‘s sister title, i, posted a 47.3% YoY rise during the month and now has a total circulation of 282,000 copies.

On a positive note, six daily recorded increases during the Olympic and Paralympic month: the Daily Telegraph (+0.5% PoP), i (+0.5%), the Scotsman (+6.5%), The Times (+0.9%), the Daily Mirror (+0.6%) and the Daily Record (+0.3%).

Of the quality daily titles, the Independent saw the biggest actual loss – down by 99,000 copies over the year, as readers seem to be migrating to its smaller and cheaper version (i gained more than 90,000 copies in the same period).

The Financial Times and the Guardian also posted the largest PoP losses in the quality sector in addition to high YoY decreases in circulation of 15.6% and 15.3% respectively.

Both mid-market titles, the Daily Express and Daily Mail, posted YoY and PoP declines, however the Daily Mail is still the second biggest-selling daily newspaper.

In the popular market, the Daily Mirror and Daily Record enjoyed small increases during the month but all four titles were down YoY.  Over the year, The Sun has seen the biggest actual drop (down by almost 293,000 copies) but remains well ahead of its daily competitors with a total circulation of 2.5 million.

London Free Press

In the London free press market, City A.M. is able to boast a 38.5% YoY increase, up by almost 36,000 copies. The newspaper now targets more commuters in the South and South West, and as a result the number of stations where  City A.M. is available  has now doubled.

Metro (London), which is distributed to around 775,000 people, is up slightly (1.5% YoY), while the London Evening Standard‘s total remains static.

Sunday Newspaper Market

All of the titles in our Sunday market analysis saw their sales fall over the year, however, some titles enjoyed an increase over July.

The quality market performed well in the month, with the Independent on Sunday, the Observer, Scotland on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph all posting PoP increase in circulation. Only the Sunday times recorded a PoP decrease of 0.5%.

The Mail on Sunday and Sunday Express also saw their circulations rise in August – up 1.8% and 0.5% PoP respectively.

However, the Sunday Mail and Sunday Mirror were the only two red-tops to enjoy a PoP rise. The Daily Star Sunday, the People and The Sun (Sunday) posted PoP declines.

Over the year, the Sunday Mirror has suffered the biggest actual loss, down by more than 799,000 copies – losing its gains from the News of the World closure last year.

News International’s The Sun (Sunday), which has a total circulation of over 2.1 million, is the most popular Sunday title, followed by the Mail on Sunday (1.8 million copies) and the Sunday Mirror (1.1 million copies)

Looking To The Future

Despite almost universal YoY falls in print circulation, the most recent NRS PADD results show that media owners are for the first time recording their readership in terms of both print and digital platforms. As discussed in media bulletin article ‘Combined Print and Digital Readership Available for the First Time’,the emergence of multiple touch-point brands has resulted in print losses being counterbalanced by rises in online, mobile, ipad and tablet readerships, and as such, they should not be viewed as wholly negative.

In fact, it can be seen that some of those publications showing large print losses are the biggest winners in the digital arena – notable examples in the quality sector are the Guardian, whose 4.9 million online readers now comprise over half of the total readership, and the Financial Times who reported in July a 31% YoY increase in digital subscriptions to more than 300,000 in comparison with a 15.6% YoY decrease in print circulation.

Daily Titles

Daily Titles Mar 11 – Aug 11 Feb 12 – Jul 12 Mar 12 – Aug 12 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Daily Telegraph 631,113 576,902 577,746 -53,367 -8.5 844 0.1
Financial Times 357,472 305,408 299,627 -57,845 -16.2 -5,781 -1.9
Guardian 255,739 213,853 211,978 -43,761 -17.1 -1,875 -0.9
i 174,801 272,893 275,628 100,827 57.7 2,735 1.0
Herald (Scotland) 49,207 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Independent 180,286 95,380 91,669 -88,617 -49.2 -3,711 -3.9
Scotsman 40,950 36,170 35,949 -5,001 -12.2 -221 -0.6
Times 445,478 397,489 399,097 -46,381 -10.4 1,608 0.4
Mid Market
Daily Express 626,911 576,689 572,392 -54,519 -8.7 -4,297 -0.7
Daily Mail 2,057,671 1,946,434 1,941,445 -116,226 -5.6 -4,989 -0.3
Daily Mirror 1,170,769 1,085,698 1,083,459 -87,310 -7.5 -2,239 -0.2
Daily Record 309,187 281,045 279,758 -29,429 -9.5 -1,287 -0.5
Daily Star 702,220 612,945 610,279 -91,941 -13.1 -2,666 -0.4
Sun 2,812,375 2,594,552 2,581,900 -230,475 -8.2 -12,652 -0.5
Total Daily 9,814,179 8,995,458 8,960,927 -853,252 -8.7 -34,531 -0.4

London Free Papers

London Free Press Aug 11 Jul 11 Aug 12 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
City A.M 92,745 131,194 128,484 35,739 38.5 -2,710 -2.1
London Evening Standard 700,728 701,280 700,895 167 0.0 -385 -0.1
Metro (London) 763,424 783,981 775,252 11,828 1.5 -8,729 -1.1
Total London Press 1,556,897 1,616,455 1,604,631 47,734 3.1 -11,824 -0.7

Sunday Titles

Sunday Titles Mar 11 – Aug 11 Feb 12 – Jul 12 Mar 12 – Aug 12 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Independent On Sunday 156,571 123,017 122,929 -33,642 -21.5 -88 -0.1
Observer 290,339 249,464 248,380 -41,959 -14.5 -1,084 -0.4
Scotland on Sunday. 53,005 45,382 44,808 -8,197 -15.5 -574 -1.3
Sunday Herald 31,004 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sunday Times 1,017,461 928,776 924,823 -92,638 -9.1 -3,953 -0.4
Sunday Telegraph 489,508 453,478 453,870 -35,638 -7.3 392 0.1
Mid Market
Sunday Express 589,131 520,327 510,424 -78,707 -13.4 -9,903 -1.9
Mail On Sunday 2,000,114 1,820,257 1,808,896 -191,218 -9.6 -11,361 -0.6
Sunday Post 312,993 276,195 273,730 -39,263 -12.5 -2,465 -0.9
Daily Star Sunday. 432,795 494,954 469,440 36,645 8.5 -25,514 -5.2
People 596,864 497,860 458,936 -137,928 -23.1 -38,924 -7.8
Sun (Sunday) n/a 2,308,567 2,244,373 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sunday Mail 380,268 325,054 316,813 -63,455 -16.7 -8,241 -2.5
Sunday Mirror 1,325,691 1,172,184 1,093,290 -232,401 -17.5 -78,894 -6.7
Total Sunday 7,675,744 9,215,515 8,970,712 1,294,968 16.9 -244,803 -2.7