Watch: Google Wave Shows Events of 2009
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To say that 2009 has been the year of Google Wave might be a stretch. It was introduced this year, and invites have been sent out to quite a few people now. It has been the subject of a fair amount of discussion, but it hasn’t reached the mainstream yet.

That said, 2009 was the year Google Wave was unleashed upon the world in its most primitive state. There is certainly a lot of potential for Wave, and we will no doubt see that more and more as time goes on if it truly does "catch on."

Social Media Will Not Replace Search
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Nielsen has shared some interesting findings from its research on how Internet users discover content. The research mainly focused on how content is found through search, portals, and through social media.

Microsoft Loses Appeal Over Word Patent

Microsoft has lost an appeal in a patent case over Microsoft Word. A U.S. court of appeals upheld a jury verdict against the company for infringing on a patent held by Toronto’s i4i.

Microsoft lost the case to a tune of $290 million. Reuters reports:

Google’s Year in Custom Search

Google’s Custom Search turned three in 2009, and it had arguably its biggest year to date. The technology is powering "many tens of millions" of queries a day on millions of sites, according to the company.

As many others are doing, Google is reminiscing about the year that is almost over, and reflecting upon some of its accomplishments. The Custom Search Team specifically is reflecting on some of its highlights for 3009.

Bing Shares More Of 2009′s Top Search Terms
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You may recall that a lot of entities -including Google, Yahoo, and Bing – released some top/best of/worst of 2009 lists back in late November and early December, seemingly forgetting about the last one-twelfth of the year.  Bing returned today with more data about search trends, however.

Drivers Who Text Six Times More Likely To Crash
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Motorists who write text messages while driving are six times more likely to crash than those who don’t text while driving, according to a new study by University of Utah psychologists.

Duplicate Content on Google, Bing & Yahoo
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Duplicate content is a common occurrence on the web and in many cases can hurt search engine rankings. While the search engines may not always technically penalize webmasters for duplicate content, there are still a lot of ways it can hurt.

WebProNews is covering the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East in New York, where representatives from the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) discussed how their respective web properties handle duplicate content issues. Following are some takeaways from each.

Google Makes Online Stores Incredibly Simple
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Update: Google has now introduced a gadget wizard for the Store Gadget. The company says:

Today, we’re excited to introduce a new feature for the store gadget: a wizard that streamlines the store creation process. By automating the manual steps in the original instruction guide, the new store gadget wizard should leave you with even more time to focus on your business.

Chrome Ad Campaign Nets Positive Results

Eight days ago, we wrote about a Google Chrome advertising campaign that’s taking place in the UK.  This morning, Hitwise followed up on the subject by publishing some statistics, and the stats indicate that that the campaign’s achieved a certain level of success.

Amazon Offers Free One day Shipping For Kindle Orders On December 23
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Amazon.com said today it is offering free one day shipping for orders of its Kindle placed on December 23 and promises delivery in time for Christmas.

The company is also offering free two day shipping for Kindle orders placed today. Last week Amazon said its Kindle broke another record with its best sales day. The company did not provide any specific sales figures.

Yahoo Announces Weeklong Shutdown
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This might or might not be an obvious point, but by unplugging their computers, shutting the lights off, and turning the heat down, people who leave their homes this holiday season stand to save a significant amount of money.  And now Yahoo should, too, as it’s announced a decision to close corporate offices worldwide for one week.

YouTube Now Has a URL Shortener
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YouTube has launched its own URL shortener, but it is not like other URL-shorteners, because it can only be used specifically with YouTube videos. This way, YouTube says, when you click on one, you know you’re going to a YouTube video no matter what. That should certainly cut down on the likelihood that you could be going to a malicious site.

8 Reasons You Need to Stop Ignoring Twitter
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There have been many articles written about why to use Twitter, and we’ve certainly published our fair share of them. However, the landscape is constantly changing. New trends, ideas, applications, and features come out, and they further emphasize Twitter’s place in said landscape. Following are some reasons why it is becoming increasingly important to marketers.

Google Ditches PageRank in Webmaster Tools
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Google has quietly gotten rid of PageRank in Webmaster Tools. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to a thread featuring an explanation from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa.

Facebook Publishes 2009′s Top Status Trends
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Facebook users are a pretty important group of people; after all, in recent months, it’s been established that there are more of them than there are individuals in the United States.  So to wrap up 2009, Facebook’s provided a list that helps spell out what its users have been thinking about all year.

Google Earmarks $20M For Charities As Holiday Gift To Everyone

Some time ago, Google established a tradition of sending top AdSense and AdWords users holiday gifts.  This year, it’s departing from that routine.  But people are going to have a hard time complaining about the decision, because instead, Google’s committed $20 million to a group of charities.

Ford Turning Cars Into Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots

Next year, Ford will be introducing it’s new version of SYNC, a technology it partnered with Microsoft on. This technology will allow you to have constant Wi-Fi in your car.

All an owner of a SYNC-ready car would have to do is plug in a compatible USB mobile broadband modem (or air card), and they will create a secure wireless connection that will be broadcast throughout the vehicle.

Google Arranges To Expand In Pittsburgh

Over the years, more than a few people have compared the Googleplex to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.  Now, fact and fantasy will come even closer to merging in Pittsburgh, as Google’s decided to lease 40,000 square feet at the former site of a Nabisco plant.

Hulu Captions Search a Preview of General Video Search to Come?
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Hulu has a new captions search feature available via Hulu Labs. The feature allows Hulu users to search the captions of videos across hundreds of different shows. Show and video pages now have a "Captions" tab, and search can be found there.

FTC Warns Of Online Free Trial Scams
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The Federal Trade Commission has joined an effort to warn consumers about deceptive online marketing related to free trial offers that require people to cancel or opt-out of a recurring charge for future products or services.

Google (Again) At Center Of Tax Avoidance Accusations
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Although it’s hard to predict the split between thank you notes and hate mail, Google’s accountants may be receiving a lot of letters over the next few days.  It looks like Google managed to avoid paying about $725 million in taxes in the UK last year.

Report: Google To Snap Up DocVerse

So much for the idea of December being a quiet month.  First we witnessed the acquisition of AppJet, and now, a new report’s indicated that Google’s more or less sure to buy a company called DocVerse.

The two deals are taking place in the same space, since, like AppJet, DocVerse is focused on allowing people to collaborate on documents in real-time.  The trick is that, while AppJet has its own software (EtherPad), DocVerse would provide Google more of a link to existing Microsoft products.

Online Holiday Spending Hits Record $913 Million
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Online holiday shoppers have spent a total of $24.8 billion so far this season, representing a 4 percent increase over last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week got off to a slightly sluggish start, with sales of $854 million on Green Monday (Dec.14) down 1 percent compared to a year ago, but was followed by three strong spending days that each surpassed $800 million. Tuesday, December 15 was a record spending day reaching $913 million, the first such day to surpass the $900 million mark.

Firefox 3.5 Currently Most Popular Browser in the World
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According to data from StatCounter, Mozilla’s web browser Firefox 3.5 is now the world’s most popular browser. It has just surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7, which has beend steadily declining.

For December 20, StatCounter has IE 7 at 21.2% market share, and Firefox 3.5 at 21.93%. Microsoft’s IE 8 is closing in though. Its share has been steadily increasing, presumably making up for most of the lost IE 7 share, and has approached 20.33%.