Online Marketing News this Week – 18th Feb 2011

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Local Search and competition to sell smart phones

The table below shows market stats from a recent report by comScore. The report also tells us that 63.2 million people in America owned smart phones during the three month period ending Dec. 2010.  This is up 60% on the previous year which represents a market penetration of less than 30%. So there is a huge amount to play for.  The future of local search ‘on the go’, which has been mentioned many times recently on this blog, will be influenced greatly by both the speed of this growth and by the manufacturers who gain and maintain the greatest market share.  RIM (Research in Motion) by the way are the company who make the Blackberry.  Am I alone in being surprised that Apple is in third place?  Clearly Apple and Verizon aim to change that with the iPhone 4 becoming available at $199 this week.


Google vs. Bing ‘handbags at dawn’!

Am I wrong to be amused by the nature of this spat?

From Sphinn’s ‘discussion of the week’ last week:

“Google accuses Bing of copying its search results. Bing calls Google’s sting operation a “spy-novelesque stunt.” Google fires back by calling Bing’s search results a “cheap imitation” and a “recycled” version of Google’s search results. Now that the dust is settling a day later, our “Discussion of the Week” asks a simple question: Who won … Google or Bing? (And yes, there are many ways you can take that question and run with it, so go for it!)”

Social Media and Search Results

This continues to be a hot topic and will remain so.  Google announced further developments in their use of social signals in various search conditions.  The repercussions are way too many to go into in a digest.  For the first of many detailed responses on this subject read today’s post: Twitter, Social Media signals and Google Rankings.  Among the many complications for businesses trying to assess how they are doing in search terms will be the fact that search results will get increasingly personal and therefore unpredictable.  The no brainer is that social media policy and SEO policy must be integrated and, as always, carefully monitored.  That monitoring will need to become ever more sophisticated to take into account personal variations in search results.

AdWords automated rules available for all accounts

Automated rules has been on trial in America since December and became available to all accounts on Wednesday (Feb.16th).  Definitely worth considering with the obvious caveat that it must not lead to your account being under-managed.  However you could for example set a rule to automatically increase your bid by a certain % if your ad falls below a set position.

J C Penney and link spam?

If you are one of the many people who wonder how to build links and where from, or ask yourself why not just pay someone to go get links from anywhere they can, then this New York Times article about JCPenney is worth a read.  We could ask why Google places so much store by links when spammy links are still so hard to detect?  We could ask why assessment of the quality of a link profile is still so hit and miss?  But I think these problems will be solved to the detriment of sites that have indulged in lazy link building strategies.  I prefer to quote a  section of an article by Evan LaPointe at Search Engine Land:

“The sad part is that in the physical stores, you can interact with salespeople. These people will talk to you about what bedding will look good in your home. They will help you dress for your first day at the new job. They will tell you what the bulleted list of product features on a steaming iron actually does for you and your clothes.

What these salespeople don’t do (in most cases) is just blab out some marketing language about each product and have a call to action on their foreheads.”

This last statement is salutary and interesting.  If you want your site to sell better, give your customers more of what they need, more of what a good sales team would give.  It so happens that this will generate good content which the search engines will reward.

Related posts:

  1. Online Marketing News this Week – 18th Nov 2011
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