Tag Archives: aol

AOL just will not be a serious competitor to Google, Yahoo or Microsoft

Reading Dylan Fuller’s post on AOL CEO, Andy Fulco, talking tough:

“I hope they beat each other’s brains out over search and leave the display market to us,” he said to the Interactive Advertising Bureau annual conference. “I think it’s a mistake. But I think Napoleon said never interrupt your enemy when they’re in the middle of making a mistake.”

Dylan is right there are some cool products being talked about. But this is how to lose users.. go along to the Xdrive website and click the link for more info about their new ultra cool Xdrive Desktop Lite app – a 404 error.

So I download it instead.

I already have an account.. I can log in via the website just fine – but I just get a login error via the Xdrive Lite app. I know it is in beta still but surely they can do better than this?

AOL are lucky Google’s Gdrive is not out yet and Microsoft’s version (Skydrive) is currently unusable – you have to select individual files to upload to their online storage – thats great when I have a few thousand files.

[update] ah – they fixed the link now and updated the front page design entirely – much better, there is also no advert either on the front page interestingly. For me though, the product still just doesn’t seem to work as advertised. I selected a directory and dragged it to the app. It should sync right? Well the list of transfers shows all the files but after it syncs some files, it just seems to get stuck – files are no longer being uploaded. I don’t know why.. some form of error message of status bar would be useful! Incidentally this was the same issue 4 months ago when I last tried Xdrive 🙁

Who clicks on ads? It’s all about relevancy.

apophenia wrote an article about “who clicks on ads? and what might this mean” which talks about that common phrase from people – “I never click on ads”. It then concludes that the majority of people clicking on ads online are from the lower socio-economic groups online, taking this conclusion from a study produced by AOL. Go here to read the full article.

AOL’s customer base has traditionally had a bias towards this demographic and this would certainly lead to them having a skew towards this demographic clicking on ads. Even more so, marketers advertising inside AOL seem to understand this and display banners suited to this demographic. Yet those same marketers do not seem to do this in the wider Internet. If this demographic is clicking in the majority on online ads, then surely the majority of agencies are wasting their client’s money online?

I don’t agree with this conclusion, not just because doing so would mean Google’s valuation would very quickly collapse 😉

People do click on ads online, but they do so only when it is of interest to them (or to put it another way, when they benefit from clicking). Whether it is because they are in the market for a car and see a car ad they liked, or because they have seen a film trailer they want to find out more about. Marketers everywhere are trying to show an ad to the right person in the right place and at the right time. Achieve this and click-thru and economic returns would be sky high. This is why Google is doing so well, its technology is able to place adverts in front of you at a time when you are interested in a specific topic.