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Hulu CEO Shares 2009 Stats
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Hulu had a good 2009, and to celebrate the end of it, the company’s CEO, Jason Kilar, has decided to share some stats.  Here’s a quick hint as to just how successful his organization was: to describe Hulu’s growth, the word "double" often doesn’t cut it.

Good News For Facebook: Virtual Stuff “To Make Billions”
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Facebook – along with a few other social sites and the developers of games for them – may be in for a great few years.  Certain experts believe that the business of virtual goods is going to take off in a big and very profitable way.

Google Gets Patent For YouTube Gaming
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Using YouTube may become a much less passive experience in the near future.  Google’s received applied for a patent on a "Web-based system for [the] generation of interactive games based on digital videos," and several facts point to the search giant moving ahead with the idea.

Pepsi Shifting NFL Ad Dollars Online

In what may be a mini ‘bell weather moment’ in advertising, Pepsi has decided to keep its usual Super Bowl advertising money in its bank account. While they are not exactly saving it they are certainly redirecting it to online opportunities. I say this is a potential ‘bell weather’ moment because it ends a streak of 23 consecutive years where Pepsi has advertised during the event that attracts some of the largest viewing audiences in the history of television.

Nexus One Price, Plan Details Leak
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A couple of the mysteries surrounding the forthcoming Nexus One/Google phone may have been solved.  Information related to the price of the phone and its plan has leaked, and assuming the details are accurate, the device should line up pretty well with the existing marketplace.

Facebook Nabs #1 Honors For Site Visits On Christmas Day

While most of us in the Internet marketing “industry” were all aghast at the Facebook privacy problem of ’09, the rest of the world could have cared less. You know those people, right? The ones who don’t live and breathe this stuff to the point that all perspective is lost?

Ghost Tweeting: The Real Phantom Menace
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One of the coolest parts about  my job is the fact that I am always up to speed on the latest and coolest stuff in the world of search, social media and things of that nature. Over the course of the past decade, there have been no shortage of things to keep my eye on. That’s one of the cool parts of my job. What makes it interesting however is not necessarily the emergence of these new tools and/or technologies but how they end up being used.

What’s Happened in Social Media Over the Year
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As we did last year, we have gone back through our archives and picked out some of the most noteworthy social media items we have covered since 2009 began. Now that 2009 is almost over, it was worth going  back and seeing what all has happened.

If you come across missing items, please feel free to
share them in the comments.

YouTube Embraces Role In Iranian Protests

Online tools have played important roles in the Iranian protests; right from the start, the appearance of videos on YouTube and trending topics on Twitter helped spread awareness about the disputed presidential election.  And YouTube doesn’t want anyone to forget that it’s still doing its part.

Microsoft Dubs China “Most Important Strategic Market”
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As much time and money as Microsoft’s devoted to increasing its share of the U.S. search market, it looks like the corporation has another major target in its sights, as well.  Microsoft acknowledged this week that it intends to expend a lot of energy on China.

How Press Releases Can Be Great For Search
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Press releases are not only great ways to spread the word about any announcements your business might have. They can also drive traffic, particularly from search engines. This is not news, but it’s a commonly overlooked fact.

Have press releases brought you significant search traffic? Discuss here.

2009 In Review – According To Twitter

Now that Twitter employs a Chief Scientist, we will benefit from the ongoing interpretation and publishing of Twitter behavior and activity to better understand how Twitter is constantly evolving.

Duplicate Content Owners Catch a New Break from Google
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Google announced that it now offering cross-domain support of the rel="canonical" link element. If you are unfamiliar with this link element, Google’s Matt Cutts discussed it with us here. Basically, it’s a way to avoid duplicate content issues, but until now, you couldn’t use it across domains.

Facebook’s Merry Christmas: Becomes Most Visited US Site
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According to new statistics from Hitwise, a lot of people may not have done the Norman Rockwell thing this holiday season, gathering around a fire with family members.  Instead, they may picked computer screens and online friends, helping propel Facebook to a new high.

A 136-character tweet from the Hitwise_US account announced the big news this morning: "Facebook was the most visited site in the US on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1st time the site has been the #1 visited US site ever."

Is PPC More Important to a New Site Than SEO?
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In a recent article, we looked at a debate over what is better between search engine optimization and pay-per-click. Of course both should be used typically, but on a recent panel at SES Chicago, participants were asked to pick a side to highlight the benefits of each compared to the other. It made for some pretty interesting conversation.

Online Retail Sites See Holiday Surge
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Online retail websites experienced significant growth in November as the holiday season officially kicked off, according to a new report from comScore.

LinkedIn For iPhone 3.0 Launches
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Professionals who both own iPhones and are members of LinkedIn are in for a treat.  LinkedIn for iPhone 3.0 has been released, and the new app (which remains free) represents an improvement over the old one in almost every way.

Email Marketing Budgets Set For Increase In 2010
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Nearly half (40%) of email marketers plan on increasing their budgets for the channel in 2010 and 47 percent said their budgets would stay the same, according to a new survey by Silverpop.

In the coming year, more than half (52%) of email marketers said increasing customer loyalty was a top email marketing goal. Overall, 51 percent of respondents want to drive incremental revenue with their email program; 65 percent of those with larger email budgets says that’s that their top goal in 2010.

Top Ten WebProNews Videos of 2009
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In keeping with the theme of reflecting upon the year 2009, we thought it would be fun to go back through our video archive and find the ones that were the most popular from this year. It turns out, WebProNews readers (or viewers rather) really wanted to watch Matt Cutts videos. He appears on the list several times.

Here are the top ten WebProNews videos of the year by views:

Hulu Falls Short In Comparison To Blockbusters
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If you massage the stats enough, Hulu’s an entertainment giant, hanging neck and neck with this year’s most popular movies.  If you adopt a more objective perspective, however, it becomes pretty clear that the video-centric site hasn’t exactly achieved blockbuster status.

Stone Makes “Several Billion Tweets Per Hour” Prediction
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To some degree, it’s part of a cofounder’s job to act as a corporate cheerleader; a pessimist could hurt his company by scaring people away.  Biz Stone appears to have all but literally grabbed a megaphone and shouted "rah, rah," though, as he predicted that Twitter usage will hit monster levels next year.

eBay Declares Mobile Success For Holiday Season
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If any of your Christmas presents were a bit odd-looking or seemed like impulse buys, it might be because the gift giver did his or her shopping using a small, accessible screen.  eBay reported today that mobile transactions picked up dramatically this holiday season compared to last.

eBay

Google Tries To Connect AdWords Users With Experts
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Companies that need a little help with AdWords may now find it easier to receive some thanks to Google.  Only the help won’t come directly from Google, as the search giant’s in fact launched a search engine for Google Advertising Professionals.

What’s Better: PPC or SEO?
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At SES Chicago, there was an interesting session in which a group of search marketing professionals debated the issue of which is better between PPC and SEO. Participants included Dave Naylor, Chirstine Churchill, Michael Gray, and Karen Weber, and Rand Fishkin.