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You Can Now View Query Path Reports in AdWords Search Funnels
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Google introduced a new feature to its AdWords Search Funnels today: the Top Paths (Query Paths) report. Search Funnels are a set of reports that describe ad click and impression behavior on Google.com that leads up do a conversion.  

Using Social Media As A PR Tool For Your Business
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If  you want to promote your product, brand or business you need to branch out from just using traditional public realtions tools such as press releases.

Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

Reputation Management Should Be Proactive, Not Reactive
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Fionn Downhill, CEO of reputation management firm Elixer Interactive and Attorney Geoffrey Wozman spoke in a session at SES Chicago called "Brand, Trademark & Reputation Management." Downhill says online reputation management combines marketing and public relations. 

Rumors Hint At Hulu Plus Price Cut

With its limited selection of content, still-present ads, and price of $9.99 per month, Hulu Plus doesn’t appear to have been a hit so far.  Now, however, there’s a rumor Hulu’s going to see what sort of interest there is at the price point of $4.95 per month.

Peter Kafka‘s usually-reliable sources told him that discussions are underway.  They didn’t guarantee that a change will take place, or indicate when the matter might be decided for sure.

ABC, NBC, CBS Block Content from Viewers Using Google TV
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Not only is Hulu being blocked on Google TV, but so is the content at network sites like ABC, NBC, and CBS. Essentially, the TV stations are just blocking people from watching their content on the web (via their own sites). I’m having a hard time figuring out why this makes sense for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, Google TV is simply providing a web browser for users to access web content on their TVs. With regard to the content, it’s no different than if you were to hook up your computer to your TV and go to these stations’ sites. 

Iffy Forecast Overshadows Positive Earnings For Amazon
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This afternoon, Amazon delivered its third quarter earnings report, and just about everything pertaining to the period ending September 30th was positive.  Unfortunately for Amazon, shareholders are sending the stock lower in after-hours trading due to lower margins and concern about the fourth quarter.

We’ll start with the good news, at least.  Amazon reported $7.56 billion in revenue versus estimates of $7.35 billion.  Earnings per share hit $0.51, too, rather than $0.48.

Google’s Q3 Lobbying Costs: $1.2 Million

Anyone interested in keeping track of Google’s lobbying habits can now put a new data point on their graphs.  Consumer Watchdog reported today that the company spent $1.2 million in the third quarter of this year, up from $1.08 million a year ago.

That represents an 11 percent increase, which is perhaps not too startling.  In fairness to Google, we’ll also note here that plenty of other corporations splurge lots more in an attempt to make friends with Congress (Microsoft spent $1.63 million in the third quarter, for example).

AmEx and Yahoo Partner on Small Business Resources

Yahoo and American Express have expanded upon an existing partnership to offer small business owners new tools and content. The features will be available via a new Yahoo Business Solutions site that AmEx is sponsoring, located within Yahoo Small Business.

Using Social And Local Search For Your Business
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 Local search and social media are becoming increasingly important for all businesses.

Influential VC Firm Creates $250M Social Fund

Entrepreneurs who are interested in creating social apps and services may be in luck.  This afternoon at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced the creation of the $250 million sFund Initiative designed to assist some individuals.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, and Comcast’s Brian Roberts were all on hand to lend support (along with John Doerr and Bing Gordon of KPCB), which may be an interesting sign of the sFund Initiative’s importance.

Yahoo Answers Just Got More Valuable for Businesses
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Yahoo has released a new mobile version of Yahoo Answers. For users, this means a more convenient way to access what I believe is the biggest Answers site on the web from their mobile phones in an optimized, less painful fashion. With Yahoo Answers for mobile, users can:

Optimizing Your Website For Google
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Coverage of SES Chicago will continue.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes from the event this week.

Google Picks Stanford Residences For Broadband Test

A physical site for one of Google’s ultra high-speed broadband networks has been chosen.  The company announced today that it will build one network for the 850 or so homes that are part of Stanford University’s Residential Subdivision.

This move makes sense for a number of reasons.  A post on the Official Google Blog explained, "Most important was Stanford’s openness to us experimenting with new fiber technologies on its streets."

Getting Your Site Ready for TV
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If you’re not already, it’s time to start thinking about optimizing your site for televisions. With more connected devices coming out and gaining popularity (not to mention people simply hooking their computers up to their TVs), you’re going to want to have a site that is presentable on large TV screens, as well as small ones. 

244,000 Germans Opt Out Of Street View
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Street View has at times seemed doomed in Germany, with politicians, privacy advocates, and lots of private citizens protesting the program.  Fewer than 250,000 people opted out when given the chance, however, which from Google’s perspective, is something of a victory.

Granted, 250,000 is a very large number, and Google’s only counted opt-outs from 20 cities in which it’ll soon launch Street View.  The trick is that opinion polls had indicated half (or more) of Germans didn’t like the idea of the program.

LinkedIn Stays Current for BlackBerry-Using Business Professionals
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In August, RIM announced the BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 operating system aimed at delivering "integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals". Now LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals has a new app designed for this device and operating system. 

YouTube Can Help Promote Your Business
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Does your business have a video strategy? Do you want more people to watch and share your videos?

eBay Beats Forecasts, Sees Stock Jump
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This afternoon, eBay delivered its third quarter earnings report, and it’s a good bet that the company was eager to do so.  eBay beat analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter, gave better-than-expected guidance regarding the fourth quarter, and also discussed an interesting stock buyback program.

Let’s start with the third quarter results.  eBay managed to report earnings per share of $0.40, which is a significant improvement compared to the $0.37 analysts predicted.  It also earned $2.25 billion in revenue rather than the expected $2.18 billion.

Apple Fans Get All Kinds of Good News Today
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Apple made a series of announcements today, including a new MacBook Air, a sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store, a public beta of FaceTime for Mac, and the introduction of iLife ’11 with upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

The New MacBook Air

Facebook Photos Goes Drag-And-Drop
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Three weeks ago, Facebook took several steps to improve its handling of photos, introducing a streamlined tagging and uploading process, a better photo viewer, and support for high-resolution pics.  Now the company’s at it again with a drag-and-drop option.

Microsoft Lands Huge NYC Cloud Computing Deal
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The most populous city in America has decided to turn for Microsoft for a cloud computing solution.  New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met in person to announce a partnership-in-the-making earlier today.

Watch: Live at Facebook HQ – How Businesses Can Best Use Facebook
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Facebook has been running a series called "Building Social for Business". Past entries can be viewed here.

Today, Kevin Barenblat, CEO of Context Optional, will be at Facebook’s headquarters at 3:30 Eastern (12:30 PT) to talk about how businesses can best use Facebook, and answer questions from the audience. 

You can actually submit questions as well. 

When Tweeting with URL Shorteners Goes Wrong
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Former eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman is of course running for Governor of California. A spokesperson working for her has provided us all with a lesson about being careful with our social media content, and to always check our links before we share them with the world. 

Keeping Your Brand Relevant
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What do you do when your brand is on the verge of losing relevance? Former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett had to take on that challenge.