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Google Downplays Privacy Authorities’ Concerns
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Three weeks ago, data protection officials representing Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK wrote an open letter to Eric Schmidt, expressing concerns about Google Buzz and Google’s overall approach to privacy.  Now, Google’s responded, but the search giant was very selective in terms of which points it addressed.

AOL Names Microsoft Exec As CTO

AOL said today it has hired Alexander Gounares as its Chief Technology Officer and as a member of its Global Executive Operating Committee.

Gounares will lead AOL’s technology strategy, platform development and external technology partnerships, as a well as play a key role in the overall strategy and directions of the company. He will report to AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and will be based at AOL’s Dulles, Virginia campus.

U.S. Consumers Reportedly Go for Android Over iPhone in Q1

It’s been quite clear that Android usage has been growing steadily, but a report from the NPD Group finds that in the first quarter of 2010, Android devices actually outsold iPhones (still behind RIM) in the U.S.

Here are the market share numbers for sales in the first quarter according to the report:

RIM: 36%
Android: 28%
Apple: 21%

How Relevant Are Homepages to the Web’s Future?
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Update: Yahoo tells WebProNews the video (embedded below) " highlights the philosophy & possible creative for Yahoo!’s campaign." So while it may be on the web, I guess it won’t necessarily be the approach for TV. In other words, it sounds like they’re just considering this approach.

Why New Google SERPs Might Mean More Traffic for You
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Now that the masses have access to Google’s newly redesigned results pages, it’s time to consider this in an SEO light if you have not already been considering it.

How do Google’s New SERPs Affect SEO? Comment here.

Popular eBay Competitor Bonanzle Gets Funding to Improve Service
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We’ve run several stories on e-commerce site Bonanzle in the past. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a site where many disgruntled eBay users turned for an alternative place to sell their goods. Last year, it reached a million listings in 6 months and was voted the best eBay alternative according to Examiner.com. Growth continued from there, with the company surpassing 100,000 registered users in September, representing 5,000% growth in a year. 

Are Likes and Retweets the New Links?
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Search has been evolving for years, and it looks as though its really starting to enter a new era entirely. While search and social media may be two different animals, it is becoming more clear that they’re directly related, and will continue to be more mixed into one another.

Watch: Conan O’Brien Goes to Google

Update: When Conan visited Google last week, and ended up sitting down for a Q&A that lasted nearly an hour. Luckily Google has shared the whole thing via YouTube video:
 

Taobao And Yahoo Japan Partner On Ecommerce
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China’s top ecommerce website Taobao and Yahoo Japan have partnered to launch two online platforms to cross sell in each other’s markets.

The partnership will allow Yahoo Japan merchants to list some eight million items in a Chinese-language TaoJapan section.

Taobao, a subsidiary of ecommerce firm Alibaba group, will offer 50 million products from China to Japanese consumers on Yahoo Japan’s China Mall. The two platforms will launch on June 1.

Facebook Hires Former FTC Chairman

The odds that any privacy group – or even the government – will be able to back Facebook into a corner appear to have plummeted.  Facebook’s hired Tim Muris, former Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, to represent its interests in Washington.

Facebook Location Features to Involve Places Tab?
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Reports of Facebook launching location features have been circulating for quite some time. Such features were widely expected to be launched at the company’s F8 developer conference last month, but while Facebook did make some pretty big announcements, location features were not among them.

Yahoo CEO: “Google Is Going To Have A Problem”
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It’s no secret that Google has, on a very steady basis, dominated its competition and managed to return big profits.  And Carol Bartz may be in no position to question the company’s methods.  But Yahoo’s CEO nonetheless chose to point out a potential weakness this week, and she may be on the right track.

Does Carol Bartz have enough credibility to criticize Google?  Tell us what you think.

Facebook Finding More Ways to Compete with Google
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Apparently Facebook is not content with only taking over the web, but wants to get some penetration into the physical world as well. Taking a cue from another dominant company, Google, Facebook is now giving brick and mortar businesses decals to put in their windows. While Facebook tells WebProNews the decals are currently only a test with a small number of businesses, I would expect this to be expanded in the future.

Demand Media Aims to Sort Out eHow Content Confusion
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eHow, Demand Media’s most heavily trafficked property, which frequently has how-to articles ranking very well in Google resutls (not to mention videos in YouTube),  just announced a big change to how it provides content. I had a conversation with eHow General Manager Gregory Boudewijn and Stewart Marlborough, the general manager of Demand Studios (the content arm of Demand Media) about what this means for readers, as well as content contributors.

Why Facebook’s News is Great News for Your Site’s Traffic
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Facebook gave the web a lot to chew on with the announcements it made at its F8 developer conference this week. Essentially, it comes down to Facebook consuming/connecting more of the web. For more about the announcements, read this. Now it’s time to think about what it all means for businesses, and fortunately, it probably means good things.

Getting More Facebook Fans and Monetizing Them
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It seems like Facebook is controlling more and more of users’ online time, and that doesn’t appear to be on pace to change anytime soon. Facebook is already on the path to controlling more content, online retail, and online identification, and who knows what all announcements we’ll see come out of the company’s F8 developer conference this week?

Are You Blogging Within Your Fair Use Rights?
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With all of the struggles and controversies surrounding the news industry these days, there is a lot of confusion out there about what falls under fair use and what doesn’t. The more savvy bloggers who have been in the game for a while usually have a better grasp on the concept, but there are still plenty of others who aren’t so well versed. After all, anyone can start a blog, and not everyone comes from a news or legal background.

Businesses Should Know About These New Local Features from Google
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Facebook made some of the biggest news of the week with the anouncements from its developer conference, as far as online business goes, but Google had some significant news about local search that may have taken a backseat, but should not be ignored.

Microsoft Advertising Exec To Leave For AOL
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A longtime Microsoft employee who plays an important role in the company’s advertising department is leaving the organization, according to a new report.  Then here’s the detail that may make his departure especially embarrassing for other execs in Redmond: Alex Gounares is heading to AOL.

LinkedIn Has New Ways to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Site
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When you think about traffic-driving social networks, LinkedIn may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, and truth be told, there’s a good chance it will not drive the kind of traffic Twitter or Facebook will for your site. However, some sites have found it to be a quite valuable traffic tool, and the company seems to want to further cement its status as such.

Do you get substantial traffic from LinkedIn? Let us know.

Facebook’s Plans to Take Over the Web
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So, earlier in the week, we talked about how absorbed the web is going to get by Facebook. Based on Facebook’s announcements at F8 today, that is most certainly the goal of the company, and given the tremendous adoption of Facebook by users in general, and by important partners with content, get ready to get more absorbed.

Will Google’s AdSense be in Trouble Because of Facebook?
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Facebook is infiltrating sites all over the web. These sites are happy to add Facebook’s social plug-ins. What if Facebook launched an AdSense-like product – a product that lets publishers stick relevant ads from Facebook on their sites for a cut of the money?

Where Does Location Fit into the SEO Equation?
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We’re living in an increasingly open and revealing world where people are eager to tell you where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Not everyone is so eager, but location-sharing is a rising trend that is not to be ignored. Naturally, the phenomenon will have a growing impact on search.

There is still plenty of room for conversation about what location means to search.  Tell us what you think.

Google Launches New Features for Google Reader
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Google announced some changes it has been making to Google Reader over the past month. These include support for HTML5 HTML5 <video> and <audio> tags. This is helpful for sharing content with friends using mobile devices.

Another new feature is the "not interested" option for Google Reader’s recommended items. This lets you hide these items and let Google get a better idea of the kinds of things you aren’t into so it can make the recommendations better going forward.