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Consumer Groups Ask FTC To Block Google AdMob Deal
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Two consumer groups Monday asked the Federal Trade Commission to block Google’s $750 million deal to acquire mobile advertising firm, AdMob, on anti-trust grounds.

In a joint letter to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) said Google is simply buying its way to dominance in the mobile advertising market, reducing competition to the detriment of consumers.
Jeff-Chester

Things to Consider if Page Speed is to Become a Ranking Factor
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About a month ago, WebProNews interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts, who suggested that page speed may soon become a ranking factor in the world’s most popular search engine. Speed has been a consistent theme with the company over the past year or so, with the release of various tools and announcements. It has become quite evident that Google places a great deal of importance on speeding up the web. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Cutts’ suggestion could soon become a reality.

Mozilla Announces New Firefox Timeline
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Mozilla’s next salvos in the browser wars won’t come quite as soon as the company previously promised.  Firefox 3.6, which was supposed to ship this month, now isn’t scheduled to be finished until sometime during the first quarter of 2010, and the release of Firefox 4.0 has been pushed back, as well.

A Convenient Content Truth
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Big businesses with huge pageviews fueled by Google have emerged in recent years that exist only because of a unique SEO / Adwords relationship with Google. Google gives them a huge presence in the long tail SERPS and they in turn give Google increased revenue by being a Google Adsense partner. Not just any Adsense partner, but a Google partner that turns Google search generated traffic into billions of Adwords clicks totaling tens of billions of dollars. 

IBM CEO Dismisses Idea Of All-Powerful Google
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Believe it or not, the company that became IBM was founded in 1896, and at the moment, IBM has a market cap of around $172 billion.  So it’s not going anywhere.  And IBM’s CEO – who has been with the organization since 1973 – doesn’t think Google will become nearly the behemoth some people have predicted.

Amazon Sells More Kindle Books Than Real Books On Christmas
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Amazon.com has announced that for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books on Christmas Day.

In addition, Amazon said its Kindle reader has become the most gifted item in the company’s history. The Kindle Store boasts more than 390,000 electronic books.

Increase Search Traffic with Horizontal Content
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Those new to blogging or article writing have often been told to focus on one very niche topic. One narrow vertical. That has commonly been considered the way to gain credibility, readers, links, and ultimately traffic, which assuming the blog/site itself isn’t your primary source of income, could lead to sales of your products/services. But is keeping it narrow really the best way to go?

What Would You Change About Google Search?
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Google’s Matt Cutts, as you may know, frequently appears in videos for Google’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel. In these videos he answers questions submitted by Google users. One of the latest ones features a different kind of (and perhaps more fun) question:

Tips for Getting Found in Real-Time Searches
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Update: Now the game is really on with Google rolling out real-time search results into regular search results pages.

Original Article: Real-time search is still an emerging concept. At this point, using a real-time search engine will bring you results by time/date. This doesn’t always cater to relevancy, which is why there is still a lot of work to be done in this field.

Can You “Rank” in Google if Everyone Has Different Search Results?
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Google has extended its personalized search functionality to users who are not even signed in. This goes for Google users around the world, in over 40 languages. What this means is that when you search with Google, it will provide results that are aimed at higher relevancy to the individual user, as opposed to relevancy for the average person.

10 Reasons Social Media isn’t Replacing Email
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Update: VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick has written a separate piece adding 10 more reasons.

Google Shares Search Predictions
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This time of year everybody likes to start making predictions about where industries are heading. This is especially true in the search industry. My guess is that we will see quite a few pieces this month regarding where search is going in 2010. These can make for entertaining reads and get the mind going with regards to how we are going to have to plan for an ever-changing future of search engine marketing.

FTC Guidelines Raise Big Blogging Questions
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Update 3: The new FTC Guidelines went into effect this week. A recent WebProNews interview with Wendy Piersall, Founder of the Woo! Jr. Network, looks at some interesting points about them that you may not have considered – some "gray areas" if you will.

Who Owns Your Content?
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Have you ever wondered what would happen to your content on third-party sites if those sites ceased to exist? You may own your content on them as it stands now, but what if they went away? 

Would you be ok if your tweets or your status updates disappeared? Discuss here.

Press Releases Can Have a Long Search Shelf-Life
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As a follow up to a recent article we ran on how press releases can be great for search, a representative for PRWeb, a press release distribution company, contacted us with another interesting example. This one looks at the shelf-life press releases can have, with regards to search traffic.

Google Offers Some Disturbing Suggestions
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Update: Google appears to have removed the "little kids" suggestions.

Original Article: Google’s "suggest" feature can be quite useful. It can save you time when typing your query if you happen to be searching for something that a lot of others have searched for before you. The feature is even useful for Google itself, because a while back, they began incorporating ads into it.

20 Goals for Business Social Media Use
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I probably don’t have to tell you that many businesses are still struggling with the concept of using social media. Many simply can’t find a good reason to use it at all, and many more find themselves using it but struggling to validate that use. They can’t find the ROI. They feel that too much time is being wasted. Basically, they’re just using social networks because they feel like they’re supposed to. They just want to keep up.

Bing Gets a Bunch of New Search Features
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Update: According to Bing, all of the features that were announced are now live. However, they do not appear to be live yet for me. I am guessing they will be soon at least.

Link Building for Bing Rankings: Dos and Don’ts
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It’s easy for businesses to get caught up in Google’s expectations for their sites, when trying to market through search. That’s certainly a wise thing to do, considering Google dominates the search market by a huge margin. Still, there are other search engines that people are using, and it is also wise to make sure your site is performing to the best of its ability in those too.

Google Seeking Not To Cross The Creepy Line
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Google CEO Eric Schmidt while appearing on Fox Business made some interesting comments about Google’s emergence as a huge Microsoft-like business power. I thought most interesting was Schmidt’s statement about Google becoming like Microsoft, "Hopefully, we won’t repeat the mistakes that Microsot made ten years ago that ultimately led to all these things that happened with them".

Schmidt elaborated:

Apple Fans Respond To The “Droid Does” Advertising Campaign
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The Motorola Droid advertising campaign is in full swing, and I’m sure by now you’ve seen the commercials, if not you can see the commercial below. Basically, the campaign is all about taking digs at the iPhone while showing Motorola’s support for the Android OS.

Key Perspectives on the FTC Blogger Guidelines
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An interesting development has occurred in the story of the controversial FTC guidelines for sponsored blogging/social media. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has called upon the FTC to rescind the blogger rules, and has questioned the constitutionality of them. As you may know, there have been a lot people calling them an infringement on free speech.

If You Care About Search, You Must Care About Social Media
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All of the search engines are rushing to incorporate more social media elements into their interfaces. Examples of this are evident in things like Google and Bing’s deals with Twitter and Facebook. You can see it in Yahoo’s new Twitter tab for news results.

Using Facebook Traffic to Drive Brand Loyalty
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WebProNews recently covered a study from Chitika, which found that Facebook was the most valuable social media tool for driving repeat readers to content sites. The study was based on 33 million unique users across Chitika’s publisher network in September. It compared the number of visitors coming from major traffic sources Digg, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter, to the number of times those visitors came back to the referred site.