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The Week We Searched For- November 13, 2009

Yahoo, Microsoft and Google to Provide Free Wi-Fi Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and eBay announced this week their plans to offer free Wi-Fi from various outlets across the country for the upcoming holiday season. Google has partnered with Boingo Wireless network [1] to bring free Wi-Fi to 47 national airports, Microsoft has taken care of hotels and airports across the country, provided that users use Bing for search, and Yahoo has computers and mobile phones covered in Times Square. Corporate rationale has, most likely, less to do with bringing holiday joy to the nation and more to do with potential ad revenue. To read more about how offering free Wi-Fi will benefit Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and eBay, check out Om Malik and Stacey Higginbotham’s article. [2] Debates Continue over Social Media Marketing and the Pharmaceutical Industry The debate over social media marketing and pharma ads continued this week with a two day public hearing [3], hosted by the FDA. The goal of the hearing was to determine whether or not the FDA needs to take political action to regulate the presentation and promotion of approved drugs on the internet. Google and Yahoo, as well as other ad-supported sites, attended the hearing, seeking federal simplification of drug advertisement guidelines. [4] Google Launches Flu Shot Finder Google launched a flu shot finder this week [5], which enables users to search for clinics offering both traditional and H1N1 flu shots. The project is a collaborative effort between Google, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services. So, if you are feeling a bit feverish, check it out at Google Flu Shot Finder. [6] Google to Test “Skippable” Ads on YouTube Google started testing “skippable” ads this week, which will allow users to skip ads and go directly to their video content. The experiment will keep track of which ads are skipped, before what content and who the users are.  With this data Google gains rich insight who, what, when and wheres of ad-skipping and may look to shift the traditional advertising model from  cost per impression or per click to cost per engagement, as Laurie Sullivan addresses in her article [7] on MediaPost News. Bits