Google Editions To Debut This Month

A company best known for delivering search results and pushing ads should begin to sell digital books sometime in the next 30 days.  A Google exec has gone on the record saying that an ebookstore called Google Editions will launch within that window.

Groupon Adds Big Features for Businesses, Would Fit Nicely with Google

Update:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Bing Adds Facebook Integration to Shopping Search Results

Bing has added Facebook integration to Bing Shopping in the form of shopping lists. Users can select items they are thinking about buying, add them to a list, and post that list to their Facebook Wall from Bing, and ask their friends what they should buy. 

Google Weaves Privacy Tools Into Holiday Shopping Ritual
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Love it or hate, it’s the holiday shopping season again, and with that comes the need to hide presents and protect one’s wallet from thieves.  Luckily (or a little bit opportunistically), Google’s got a range of privacy tools ready to help people achieve their goals.

Google Launches New “Click Type” Reports for AdWords

Google has added a new kind of report to AdWords called "Click Type". This is designed to help marketers measure how different elements of AdWords ads impact their clicks, clickthrough rates and conversions. 

Disney Still In Google TV Talks

Don’t hold your breath, and skip crossing your fingers, too, since you’ll likely need your digits for something else before an agreement’s reached.  But it looks possible that Google TV will still be able to strike a deal with at least one major network, as a Disney exec has admitted that discussions are taking place.

An Inside Look at How Microsoft Handles SEO Across its Massive Site
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Search and Social Media: Who Can You Trust?
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The New York Times published a very interesting (and very long) article over the holiday break that raises a lot of questions about Google and search in general. I’ll let you read the 8-page story yourself if you want all the details, but what it boils down to is that Google doesn’t always point you to the best possible results. 

American Express Partners With Zynga On Virtual Goods

American Express said today it would allow its card customers to pay for virtual goods from Zynga using their reward points.

Cyber Monday Sales Jump 19 Percent

U.S. online retail sales on Cyber Monday were up 19.4 percent over the same period last year, with the average order up from $180.03 to $194.89 for an increase of 8.3 percent, according to a new report from IBM’s Coremetrics.

Compared to Black Friday, Cyber Monday online sales were up 31.1 percent with the average order up from $190.80 to $194.89 for an increase of 2.1 percent.

LinkedIn Cooks Up New Share Button
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All over the Web, clusters of Like, Tweet, Digg, Reddit, and Buzz buttons may grow a little larger today.  LinkedIn unveiled a "share" button of its own this morning, and aside from the organization’s late start, there’s no obvious reason why it wouldn’t catch on in many circles.

Indeed, Bloomberg, Forbes, and SiliconValley.com have already integrated the new LinkedIn share button, which means the site’s secured some impressive backers.  And LinkedIn’s also made sure that no one needs a lot of technical expertise in order to follow suit.

Report: Launch Of Google’s Social Project Delayed
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Although rumors surrounding something that might be called "Google Me" have swirled for months, few onlookers have claimed to know anything solid about Google’s social media effort.  Now there seems to be a good reason why: conflict within the company is apparently rather intense.

Ben Parr reported earlier, "Mashable has learned that Google’s big social play could debut in March or April, a far cry from earlier rumors that pegged a 2010 launch date."

EU Launches Search and Advertising Antitrust Investigation Against Google
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Update 2: Google has posted a response on its Public Policy Blog.

Flock Makes Upgrade To Chromium 7

Social web browser Flock has released a new Chromium 7-based version of its browser on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Flock says its new 3.5 version offers greater ease of use and faster performance, likely in response to its recently launched competitor RockMelt.  The company says it has reached an installed user base of  over 9.5 million users globally and calls itself “the social browser market leader.”

Facebook’s Valuation Hits $50 Billion On Private Market

While this pronouncement may be a little early, it looks like Facebook investors are in for a very merry Christmas indeed.  The value of the company’s stock has continued to rise on the private market, and the company’s now supposed to be worth a whopping $50 billion, up from $41 billion earlier this month.

Blekko: Search and Shop Safely This Holiday Season

Community-driven search engine Blekko has been in the news a lot since its launch, and today it announced a way for users to do their holiday shopping without having to worry about shopping on an untrustworthy site. 

Supreme Court Lets eBay Win Stand In Tiffany Case

An eBay-related dispute that began way back in 2004 seems to have finally run its course.  Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision not to let Tiffany appeal previous legal losses regarding trademark violation and the sale of counterfeit goods.

Tiffany’s lawyers have argued for years that eBay should be proactive in keeping counterfeit products off its site and thereby protecting Tiffany’s reputation.  eBay’s representatives maintained that the site’s policy of responding to complaints is more than enough.

Know HOW You Want to Monetize Your Blog
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Groupon Responds to Acquisition Rumors
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Update 4:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Update 3: Kara Swisher is now reporting that Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, citing "sources close to the situation."

Ads In Social Media Driving Purchases

 Fifteen percent of social media users in the U.S. are more likely to buy brands that advertise in that  medium, representing slightly more than 30 million people 13-80 years old, according to a new study by Knowledge Networks and MediaPost Communications.

Social media site ads also drive brand exploration, with 25% more inclined to find out more about brands that advertise on social media sites.


Are Bing’s New “Artist Pages” for Music Search Ready for Prime Time?
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Microsoft has released new "artist pages" for Bing. When you search for a musician or band, it should bring up one of these pages directly on Bing, including things like an artist bio, genre information, a list of playable song samples, discography, videos, news, tour dates, web results, etc. 

Bing Users Really Into Kim Kardashian
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It’s getting to be that time of year. December is just around the corner then a new year will sneak up on us quickly. Bing sent us its lists of top searches and top people searches for the year 2010. 

Rumors Hint At Microsoft Online TV Service
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Google TV, Hulu Plus, and Netflix may have a serious new competitor in the making.  Rumor has it that Microsoft is developing an online TV service of its own, and that Microsoft intends to use the Xbox to ensure the service is available to a very large audience.

Cyber Monday Attracting More Than 100 Million Americans
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More than 106.9 million Americans plan to shop online today during Cyber Monday, up significantly from the 96.5 million who shopped on the same day last year, according to a new survey by Bigresearch conducted for Shop.org.

A survey released last week found that nearly nine in ten (88.2%) retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday, growing each year since 2007, when 72.2 percent planned promotions.