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Online Sales Are Down, But Are They Out?

It’s officially over folks. We are going back to slide rules and abacuses. Throw away your computers because there is a report that in the first 23 days of November online sales overall is off – gulp- 4%. That’s right 4%.

MPAA Knocks Movie Fan Site Offline
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When the realities of business and art crash into each other, it’s usually art that suffers. Bulls and China shops come to mind, as does the MPAA and the Internet. The Motion Picture Association of America’s latest pile of previously beautiful bits: Fanedit.org.

Social Network Users Ignore Most Ads
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While social networking continues to remain popular and grow, advertisers looking to grab users attention are seeing low click-through rates according to a new survey from IDC.

There are four major reasons why people use social networks: to connect and communicate; in response to peer-pressure; for entertainment; and for work-related purposes.

Once-Proud Lycos Shutting Down Lycos Europe
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The end seems to be near for Lycos Europe.  Although the company’s name used to represent one of the world’s most important Internet businesses, this branch may soon be chopped up, and then various parts and services will either be sold or terminated.

MySpace Music Finds Leadership

MySpace Music finally has leadership.  Last night, MySpace announced that Courtney Holt has officially been named the President of MySpace Music. He will begin his tenure there on January 5th, and he will be responsible for overseeing growth and development of the MySpace Music brand.

Change Your SEO Campaign

We are still in the wake of the historic election and the most prominent word that seems to be on everyone’s mind is change. Now, for change to come from Washington we all can safely say, regardless of party affiliation, that it will take quite a while. In other words, don’t hold your breath unless you are ready to pass out from lack of oxygen. There is one area, however, where you can enact change and possibly have an effect on your business before the Inauguration in January. That area is your search engine optimization efforts.

Search Marketing Has Two Sides

Search marketing has two distinct faces. One is a purely technical side that deals with percentages and code and all things geeky. The other is the reason why you do it: to do more business via the Internet. I have seen these two sides face off and claim that the mere existence of the other makes life impossible for them. I have seen these two not communicate at all. I have also seen these two sides cooperate. In the end though, this is all behind the scenes stuff. How we look to the business world should be on everyone’s mind.
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Rumors Swirl About Google CEO Exit

The day I become a billionaire is the day I vanish and no one sees me again unless I invite them to my ridiculously cool house. Pretend billionaires have that luxury, but it is likely the mentality that creates billionaires is the same mentality that keeps them working no matter how rich they become.

NYT Declares Facebook Experiment A Success
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Never mind all the economic doom and gloom; the New York Times is thrilled with how its venture into social networking has gone.  A new memo notes some numbers that beat internal expectations, and should sound pretty impressive to outsiders, too.

Amazon Offers Holiday Customer Review Team
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Amazon.com has unveiled a "Holiday Customer Review Team" that consists of half a dozen of its most active reviewers.

Amazon says the goal of the review team is to "provide fellow Amazon customers with top gift picks for the season as well as helpful tips on cutting costs over the holidays."

The reviewers have been given access to some of Amazon’s most popular Black Friday deals so they can offer up their opinions on the items with other shoppers.

Google: Domain Thefts Not Caused By Gmail Vulnerability
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It’s not unusual for companies to take a "move along, nothing to see here" approach to discussing problems; PR departments don’t want people to dwell on such things.  Only in this case, Google seems to be making honest use of the sentiment as it’s busted a rumor about a Gmail vulnerability and domain theft.

Microsoft Recommending Link Exchange Schemes?

Most of the SEOs were amazed by reading the article written by Skip Chilcott, Sr. Product Manager of Microsoft.

Blogs As Credible News Sources?

While I would suspect that the findings of a MediaPost Research Brief come as no surprise I do think there are some questions that may be considered as a result.

Google Increases Internet Search Share
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Google continues to dominate the U.S. search market share and in October it accounted for 63.1 percent of all searches, up from 58.5 percent in the previous year and up slightly from 62.9 percent in September according to comScore.

Yahoo landed the second spot with 20.5 percent, a decrease from 22.9 percent a year ago but up from 20.2 percent in September.

Microsoft ranked third with 8.5 percent in October, the same percentage it had in September but down from 9.7 percent from October 2007.

(Red), Bono’s Fundraising Program Starts Dec. 1st

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Hanging Out Online IS Good For Teens

I feel vindicated. Even though I’m not a teenager – a recent study has encouraging findings. Most parents of teens who spend time online think they are wasting time. They probably discourage it. But hold on, it might not be so bad.

The study, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, looked at “how digital media is changing how young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life.”

Aftermath Of The Motrid Ad Debacle

Last week there was a lot of uproar in the social media space about a Motrin Ad that caused Motrin to pull the ad within 2 days of launching it and post an apology on their site. Judging by this and the negative press it got, it seemed like a failure. However, in my last post I outlined few key measures to see if the ad was a success or a failure.

Amazon.com Black Friday Deals Page Now Live
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Amazon.com has announced it is now offering Black Friday deals beginning today that will run through Cyber Monday.

The online retailer is also offering customers a chance to win a $10,000 Amazon.com Shopping Spree in the Black Friday Sweepstakes. The Black Friday sweepstakes closes at 11:59 p.m. PST, November 30.

YouTube Owes SNL For Its Success?
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Here’s what we know: Before MTV put its video library online, YouTube was the go-to place for music videos; before Viacom sued now-in-Google’s-deep-pockets-YouTube, NBC had beef over a particular Saturday Night Live sketch appearing on a still virally-promoted, user-generated video site only trend setters and trend watchers were aware of.

Meebo and Universal to Put Fans in Touch with Musicians
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Universal Music Group and instant messaging and group chat provider Meebo have partnered up to offer an interactive experience between users and musicians. If you are not familiar with Meebo, it allows users to sign in through other services like AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, and MSN Web Messenger.

Fox, Buggia Forming O’Reilly Found Search Conference

It’s happened time and time again: a search marketer, full of interesting ideas, returns from a conference and then is able to explain only a fraction of them to his team’s developers.  Vanessa Fox and Nathan Buggia intend to circumvent this problem with the O’Reilly Found Search Acquisition and Architecture Conference.

Expedia Gets to Know NFL Fans
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Expedia and the NFLIn the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, travel site Expedia has released some data from a a recent survey regarding football fans (football of course, being a staple of the holiday).

Online Advertising Slowing, But Still Growing!
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Online advertising growth is set to slow into single digits for the first time in 2009 according to eMarketer’s revised projections.

eMarketer is basing its projections on the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) data. It says online ad spending will reach 25.7 billion in 2009, which is 8.9 percent over the $23.6 billion that will be spent in 2008.

Previously eMarketer predicted in August that online ad spending would grow 14.5 percent in 2009.

Userplane Opens Up Chat
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AOL’s social software provider Userplane updated its Chat App so that users can access it from any open platform social network. In English, that means users can chat across social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Ning, Bebo, and others.

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