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Did Groupon Make the Right Decision? What’s Google’s Next Move?
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As you probably know, Groupon recently turned down Google’s $6 billion acquisition offer. CEO Andrew Mason was reportedly concerned about the direction Google may have taken it in, as well as what would happen to its employees. 

Google Street View Adds Images Of Romania
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Armchair explorers with nice monitors should be glad to know that another portion of central Europe is now accessible through Street View.  This afternoon, Google announced that photos of Romania have gone live, and there are definitely some impressive sights to see.

Twitter Should Be Getting More Useful at the Geographical Level

Twitter is making it easier for developers to tap into Places data, which should fuel more interesting functionalities around locations in a lot of apps.

Online Holiday Spending Tops $17 Billion
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U.S. online holiday spending has surpassed $17.5 billion in the first 35 days of the November -December shopping season, up 12 percent, according to a new report from comScore.

Google’s Social Layer May Be a Toolbar
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Update: A screenshot of what this toolbar might look like has appeared. Google of course says it is always testing features, and has nothing new to announce. 

More Than Half Of Americans Say Best Deals Are Online
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Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans feel that the easiest way to complete their holiday gift purchases is online, while 87 percent favor brick-and-mortar stores, according to research firm StrategyOne.

When it comes to finding the best deals overall, Americans are divided — with 52% stating they found the best deals online, while 48% say they could find the best deals in retail stores.

South Korean Regulators Go After Facebook

A person might imagine that South Korean authorities would have better things to worry about right now, what with North Korea on the (maybe literal) warpath.  Nonetheless, the Korea Communications Commission has found the time to declare Facebook in violation of data privacy laws.

Americans Ignoring Internet Banner Ads
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Online advertising is considered a good way to target and reach consumers, but nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say they tend to ignore Internet ads, according to a new survey from Adweek Media and Harris Interactive.

Among those who ignore Internet ads, 43 percent say they ignore banner ads the most and 20 percent say they ignore search engine ads the most. Smaller percentages say they ignore television ads (14%), radio ads (7%) and newspaper ads (6%); just 9% of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.

 

Google Opens New Pittsburgh Office

People who enjoy gawking at Google’s "creative" workspaces now have on more area to look over.  This morning, Google officially opened an office in Pittsburgh, and the 40,000-square-foot environment is hard to mistake for any other company’s property.

Netflix In New Streaming Deal With Disney
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Netflix and Disney-ABC Television Group have reached a new licensing agreement that will allow Netflix to stream episodes from the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel and ABC Family.

Ted-Sarandos-Netflix Under terms of the agreement, Netflix will not be allowed to stream current shows earlier than 15 days after the initial broadcast.

Google SVP Labels Local Ad Market Her “Biggest Focus”

Susan Wojcicki is often credited with creating AdSense, and for years, she’s been in charge of all Google’s advertising products.  A significant shift may be occurring within the company, then, as Wojcicki recently said that the local advertising market now receives most of her attention.

Amazon Set To Expand Kindle For The Web

Amazon.com has expanded its  Kindle for the Web to allow anyone with access to a browser to buy and read Kindle books.

 Retailers, authors, bloggers and website owners will be able to offer Kindle books from their own sites and earn referral fees through the Amazon Associates Program for sales made through their site. Amazon said its expanded Kindle for the Web will be available in the coming months.

Salesforce Continues Big Week of Announcements
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Salesforce continues to make big announcements as it hosts its Dreamforce event. So far, the company announced Database.com, Chatter Free, and the pending acquisition of Ruby platform Heroku.

Salesforce Acquiring Heroku – Major Platform for Social Apps

It’s only Wednesday, but it’s already been a huge week for Salesforce. The company is hosting its Dreamforce conference, and has already introduced a free version of its "Facebook for the Enterprise" Chatter product, and launched Database.com to go head to head in the Database space with Oracle. 

Anti-Domestic Violence Group Joins Facebook Advisory Board

To be clear: there have been no recent headline-making complaints on the subject, and no signs that Facebook’s poised to change anything.  But it looks like Facebook might soon be better-equipped to alter or improve its privacy features, as the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has joined the social network’s Safety Advisory Board.

Bing Adds Shopping Mall Maps to Local Results
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Bing is now including Bing shopping mall directory maps in Bing Maps. 

Google Shows Off Chrome OS, Launches Pilot Program
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At a special Chrome Event today Google made some announcements regarding Chrome’s usage and strides in its performance. They also launched the Google Chrome Web Store, announced earlier this year at Google I/O. The main thing everybody was really waiting for however, was the launch of Chrome OS. 

Google Completes AdWords Birthday Tribute

One month ago, Google invited marketers to create short videos in celebration of AdWords’s tenth birthday.  Now, the company’s finished piecing together a YouTube-centric tribute of sorts, and the creation might also act as free advertising for more than a few companies.

TigerLogic Launches A Real-Time Facebook Newspaper

Update

Google’s Chrome Web Store Rolls Out Today
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Google announced the opening of the long-awaited Chrome Web Store today. The store was first announced at Google I/O earlier this year.

A developer preview was made available in August, so developers could upload apps and experiment with packaging, installing, and integrating payments into them. Now the rest of us get to see the fruits of this project.

Google Instant Coming to Chrome

At a special event for Chrome today, Google announced that its browser is up to 120 million users, representing 300% growth since January of this year. 

Chrome Experiences 300% Growth This Year

eBay Adds Milo Shopping Results To RedLaser App

eBay has added local shopping results from Milo, its most recent acquisition, to its RedLaser barcode-scanning application, now available on the iPhone and Android.

With the integration of Milo, shoppers on RedLaser can find out, through a single scan, which local retailers have an item in-stock along with the best price. Shoppers can scan products from 50,000 U.S. stores.

Google Exec: China “Heart Of The Future Of The Internet”

Despite hacking incidents, harsh criticisms, various threats, and all other sorts of unpleasantness, Google still has high hopes for its operations in China and the country in general.  One exec described it today as "the heart of the future of the Internet," and another revealed that the company’s revenue in China has increased.

Making The Most Of The Holidays
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The holidays are fast approaching and with them the short window of vast opportunity for many online retailers. As an SEO we get inundated with panicked requests for rankings before the holidays. Of course that’s not going to happen at this point (at least – I wouldn’t start organic SEO campaigns now for the holiday season) so what can you do to make the most of what you’ve got this holiday season? Improve your conversions.