Online Marketing News this Week – 16th Sept 2011

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Google buy the review site: Zagat

Google have bought the review site Zagat. This is how the official blog begins its announcement:

“Did you know there’s a place in Menlo Park near the Safeway that has a 27 food rating?” one of my friends asked me that about two years ago, and I was struck because I immediately knew what it meant. Food rating… 30 point scale… Zagat. And the place… had to be good. With no other context, I instantly recognized and trusted Zagat’s review and recommendation.

Zagat have more 32 years experience delivering consumer surveys, reviews and recommendations.

Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of  UGC (user-generated content)—gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed.

This purchase will be a boon to Google Places and local search in general. Reviews play big part in local search and Google has been under fire for taking reviews from other sites like Yelp. Now in the food industry they will have their own very valuable source.

TouTube founders plan Delicious revival

One of the most popular social bookmarking sites a few years ago, Delicious, may be back later in the year. The site lost favor with its users and  owners, Yahoo!, were planning to sell or close it down. YouTube founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley bought it and plan to revive it. There was a time when getting on the home page of Delicious could bring a site huge boosts in traffic and backlinks. Chad Hurley told the New York Times:

“What we plan to do, is try to introduce Delicious to the rest of the world.”

US Legislators working on laws to cover Internet privacy

You may have been reading about the many cases involving data security and consumer privacy and wondering if it is causing any political and legal reaction. Internet Attorney, Richard B.Newman, gives us a scholarly run-down on legislative proposals and recent bills in the US. In general the proposals cover three areas:

  • Online and point-of-sale privacy
  • Mobile device privacy
  • Data security and breach notification

It is an area in which all Internet based businesses will increasingly need to keep themselves informed.

Bing announce new ‘Adaptive Search’

Bing announced this week that they will be adding a new Adaptive Search feature to their search results. It will begin over the next few days in the US. The feature seeks to use your search history to add context and improve your results.

“Every time you search on Bing, the information provided helps Bing understand what you’re trying to do. The more you search, the more Bing can learn – and use that information to adapt the experience so you can spend less time searching and accomplish what you set out to do.”

How much this improves the user experience remains to be seen. The Bing announcement reaffirms their commitment to “maintaining an industry-leading privacy stance” and points out you can “clear” or “turn off” your search history at any time. They also say:

“We certainly don’t want to make any assumptions that prevent you from seeing a diverse set of results and lock you into a “filter bubble”, so the results that correspond to differing intents (e.g. travel to Australia) will still be available to you on the page.”

Google warning to sites that sell links

In this video, Google’s Matt Cutts gives his three main suggestions for a drop in page rank:

  1. You simply lose a link from a third party page that had a lot of high PageRank.
  2. You have weird canonicalization issues with your site and domains that caused confusion.
  3. The selling of links is given as the most common reason for page rank drop. Selling of links is against Google’s code.

Matt Cutts also points out that the Google PageRank Toolbar is updated only 3 to 4 times per year because they do not want webmasters ‘obsessing’ over page rank instead of concentrating other SEO factors. Given that page rank is by now a very unreliable metric this is good advice!

IDC predict that by 2015 more users will access the Internet from mobile devices than PCs

By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices. As smartphones begin to outsell simpler feature phones, and as media tablet sales explode, the number of mobile Internet users will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6% between 2010 and 2015.

“Forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet,” said Karsten Weide, research vice president, Media and Entertainment. “Soon, more users will access the Web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it’s going to make the Internet a very different place.”

This report from the IDC also makes the following predictions:

  • Worldwide, the total number of Internet users will grow from 2 billion in 2010 to 2.7 billion in 2015, when 40% of the world’s population will have access to its vast resources.
  • Global B2C ecommerce spending will grow from $708 billion in 2010 to $1,285 billion in 2015 at a CAGR of 12.7%.
  • Worldwide online advertising will increase from $70 billion in 2010 to $138 billion in 2015, with its share of total advertising across all media growing from 11.9% to 17.8%.

Related posts:

  1. Online Marketing News this Week – 2nd Sept 2011
  2. Online Marketing News this Week – 9th Sept 2011
  3. Online Marketing News this Week – 30th Sept 2011
  4. Online Marketing News this Week – 23rd Sept 2011
  5. Online Marketing News This Week – 2nd Sept 2010
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