Leslie Walker of the Washington Post writes up an investigation by ClickFacts that estimates approximately 35 percent of a single advertiser’s paid search clicks from Google were "bogus." According to Walker’s piece, 17% of the leads that came from Yahoo! were similarly dubious.
According to this N.Y. Times piece, Google is going use Base as a channel to deliver traffic and e-commerce to large European retailers. It’s not entirely clear but it appears this is a version of what Amazon has done in hosting certain retailer Web sites. It’s not a hosting deal per se. It’s a way to display product information and presumably provide e-commerce to these retailers. As the article points out, there are those retailers that already have an online presence and won’t necessarily need that kind of support, but who currently do heavy paid search marketing at Google.
Base and its uses are very much still evolving. Shopping/product information is one of the primary consumer interests online. With Froogle in the U.S., Google has adopted an "agnostic" approach to shopping, using partnerships with retailer aggregators StepUp.com and ShopLocal to provide offline retail/product information in addition to the customary e-commerce. (Remember e-commerce is only 2.5 percent of U.S. retail.)
More to come …