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Competition Analysis Basics for SEO
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In my last article titled, “Keyword Research Basics for SEO” I discussed keyword research and the basics of keyword selection. Of course – you can’t solidify your targets until you understand what you’re up against. All the keyword research in the world won’t help you rank for the keyword phrase “windows” in 6 months with a brand new site.

Facebook Privacy Issues Getting Worse

Privacy is always a concern when you are spending time on the internet. Facebook is one company who has landed itself in some hot water over privacy of late and it has just gotten worse.

Google Generated $54b for Businesses, Publishers, Non-profits in ’09
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Google has released a report that details its economic impact in each of the 50 states in the U.S. In the report, Google says it generated $54 billion of economic activity for American businesses, website publishers, and non-profits in 2009.

"In a time of tighter budgets and a slow economic recovery, we’re glad to support so many small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country by helping them find new customers more efficiently and monetize their websites through targeted advertising," says Claire Hughes Johnson, Vice President, Global Online Sales.

MSN Homepage Gets Bing Prominence Tweak
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Update 2:  Microsoft has decided to give Bing a little bit more prominence on the recently redesigned MSN homepage. Probably not a bad idea, considering MSN.com had nearly 90 million unique visitors in March, according to Compete. Bing had 52 million.

$100 Android Tablets To Arrive This Year

A Taiwanese processor supplier has some exciting news for people who think they’d like the iPad, but would prefer not to shell out $500 to $830.  A Via Technologies executive indicated late yesterday that Android tablets starting at $100 should be released in the U.S. later this year.

Facebook to Give Users Way to Turn Off Third-Party Services

Update: Facebook announced today that it will be rolling out simplified privacy settings starting tomorrow.

Facebook Users Consider Leaving Over Privacy Worries
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Facebook’s privacy issues have 60 percent of its members considering leaving the social network, according to a new survey by IT security firm, Sophos.

The survey of 1,588 Facebook users found that 16 percent of those polled have already stopped using the social network due to inadequate control over their data.

Sophos says the survey revealed that the majority of users are frustrated with the lack of control that Facebook gives them over their own data. Most don’t know how to set their Facebook privacy options safely, and find the process confusing.

Android Chief Hints At “Mindblowing” Next Version

Late last week, we learned that the next version of Android is codenamed "Gingerbread," and that it should be released in the fourth quarter of this year.  Now, the Googler in charge of Android has started to narrow down the timeframe and talk up the product.

Google Partners With Biggest Energy Monitor Manufacturer

The Google PowerMeter energy monitoring tool may be ready to go from interesting experiment to omnipresent product.  Google announced today that it’s entered a partnership with Current Cost, the largest global supplier of real-time displays that monitor energy usage.

Amazon Launches New WebStore E-Commerce Product
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Today Amazon launched a new WebStore product, which lets retailers build sites around Amazon’s e-commerce platform. Those who use the product can give customers an Amazon-like online shopping experience, with minimal, actual Amazon branding.

Twitter Decides it Will Be the Only One Offering Ads in the Timeline

Update: Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb has a helpful piece up, detailing some of the widespread confusion around this issue, and why things may not be as bad for ad networks as they initially seemed.

Original Article: Twitter announced today that it will not allow any advertising from third parties in its timeline or any service that leverages the Twitter API. The company is updating its terms of service to reflect its new policy.

Major Facebook Backer Hints At Further Investments
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Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian investment firm that’s poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Facebook, is preparing to go on the hunt again.  Its founding partner and CEO, Yuri Milner, talked this weekend about making additional investments, and also said a little about Facebook’s worth.

Google’s Stock Gets More “Buy” Recommendations
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There’s good news for Google’s CFO (and the company’s shareholders) this morning: two different financial firms have declared now a great time to purchase Google’s stock.  MKM Partners declared Google a "buy" this morning, while Citi added Google to its "Top Picks" list.

Yahoo and Nokia Team Up on Mobile Messaging, Maps
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Yahoo and Nokia officially announced a partnership, which has been expected for several days.

The two companies, which have collaborated for five years,  will provide consumers with e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services. Specifically under the partnership:

Yahoo: You Know, We’ve Got Web TV Offerings Too

A few days ago Google unleashed Google TV upon the world, and got a lot of people talking. Not everyone has been impressed initially, as Google is certainly not the first company to blend television and the web. However, having been present during the keynote presentation in which Google TV was introduced, I can tell you, there was a lot of excitement in the room (despite Google’s connectivity problems during the demonstration).

IBM Pays $1.4 Billion to Acquire Sterling Commerce from AT&T
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IBM and AT&T announced today that IBM is acquiring Sterling Commerce from AT&T for the price of $1.4 billion. Sterling Commerce provides B2B solutions for 80% of the Fortune 500.

Google Assimilates Travel Site’s Team

A few travel experts are themselves completing a trip this morning.  Google’s managed to get the folks behind Ruba – a travel site – to join its organization, and they’re all going to the Googleplex.

Ruba is 15 months old, and prior to this arrangement, was backed by Benchmark Capital (which has also invested in eBay, Twitter, and Yelp) and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (of Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, and Tesla Motors fame).  That speaks to some pretty interesting things taking place.

Google Has New Mobile Ad Formats
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Mobile advertising will continue to play a major role in Google’s revenue going forward. While the jury is still out, so to speak, on the proposed acquisition of AdMob, Google has been placing a great deal of emphasis here at Google I/O on the fact that it already knows a thing or two about advertising.

In fact, AdMob really hasn’t come up a whole lot in the discussions that I’ve been witness to. But that hasn’t stopped Google from talking about various mobile ad formats its offers. A portion of a lengthy keynote delivered Thursday morning was devoted to this.

Google Launches Encrypted Search Option
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Just in time for the weekend and hours-long browsing sessions at home computers, Google’s given privacy advocates a gift.  This afternoon, the search giant released the encrypted version of Google Search it mentioned after admitting to collecting sensitive data sent over Wi-Fi networks.

FTC Launches Site Warning Of Loan Scams
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The Federal Trade Commission has created a website for a fake lending company that warns people about how easy it is to be tricked by scammers charging upfront fees for bogus loans.

The website is part of a consumer education campaign to help consumers manage their money and learn how to spot scams.

MySpace Opens Offices To Social Gaming Developers

It’s becoming hard to imagine how MySpace could get more serious about social games.  This afternoon, the social network went several steps beyond encouraging or even paying game developers by instead offering to share office space with some of them.

Europeans Embrace Mobile Music More Than Americans

Nearly a quarter (23.8%) of mobile users across the five largest European mobile markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) listened to music on their mobile handsets during the first quarter of this year, according to a new report from comScore.

The 54 million total music users in the EU5 countries represent a 10 percent increase in the past year.

Ecommerce Spending Up 10 Percent In Q1
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Although the stock market has still been moving up and (mostly) down in a disturbing manner this week, comScore’s provided evidence that the ecommerce market is healthy again.  According to comScore, ecommerce spending for the first quarter of this year was up ten percent on a year-over-year basis.

Google Releases Playable PAC-MAN Doodle
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Google has released a really cool playable doodle of PAC-MAN to celebrate the game’s 30th birthday.

The Google Blog offers all the fun details. "Today, on PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday, you can rediscover some of your 8-bit memories-or meet PAC-MAN for the first time-through our first-ever playable Google doodle. To play the game, go to google.com during the next 48 hours (because it’s too cool to keep for just one day) and either press the ‘Insert Coin’ button or just wait for a few seconds."