Feeds

Yahoo! boosts Freedom of Information awareness

Pay-per-click adverts promoting FoI

Application security programs and practises

The UK's Cabinet Office is using paid-for search engine placements to promote public awareness of the Freedom of Information Act.

Directgov, the government’s central internet portal, has been using Yahoo!’s Overture sponsored links service to direct web users to its FOIA page.

The government has revealed that it pays 10p per click to Overture for the sponsored link, which comes up under searches for the term "Freedom of Information Act".

This information itself came to light following a Freedom of Information request made by Steve Wood, a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, who runs the award-winning Freedom of the Information Act Blog.

In total, between July last year and February this year, 1,917 click-throughs were registered to the page through Overture sponsorship using the term "freedom of information act" and 1948 using "freedom of information".

In total, the government has spent £386.50 on sponsored links since last July.

And the number of views of Directgov’s FOIA page has increased considerably since the Overture service began, rising from 400 in July 2005 to a peak of over 6,700 in October last year. In January this year, 3,895 views were made.

Directgov’s use of Overture is not the first time the public sector has used sponsored links to generate more traffic.

Last April, eGov monitor revealed that Bristol City Council had become the first local authority to use pay-per-click advertising to generate more web traffic when it launched a sponsored links through Google and Yahoo! to attract visitors to its e-democracy initiative, AskBristol.com.

Cabinet Office response to FoI request (PDF: 68KB)

A break down of the click-through statistics (Word: 69KB)

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.