40 Million Reasons You Need a Mobile Web Presence
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Opera is reporting that usage of its Opera Mini mobile browser has jumped 11% in just a month, around the world. In addition, they say data transfers have gained 16%.

Google Puts Its Own Dictionary in the Spotlight
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Google Dictionary is in the spotlight because Google is now using it for its "definition" link on search results pages for word searches. Previously Google pointed users to Answers.com.

Alan Meckler in Expansion Mode Again

 Alan Meckler who has bought and sold more B2B web properties than anyone else is… according to his Twitter post, back to buying again. 

We hope to close an acquisition late next week or early the next. And perhaps another by month end. Both exciting. More…

Our present platform plus coming deals will make us one of the more exciting blog networks in the BtoB space.

Google Ready To Advance In Russia With New Search Deal
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About three months ago, Google Russia lost its CTO to Mail.ru as she became the company’s deputy CTO.  Now, it looks like a reunion of sorts may take place, as reports indicate that Google Russia and Mail.ru have reached a search deal.

New Google Home Page: Does it Remove or Add Distraction?
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Google has launched its new homepage, which looks generally the same, but removes everything but the logo, search box, and two buttons until the user moves the mouse. Google says most people go to the Google home page to search, and they wanted to remove the other distractions, unless users specifically want to see them.

Two More Publishers Talk About Blocking Google
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A couple of major publishers are siding with (or at least edging towards) Rupert Murdoch in the News Corp./Google content dispute.  MediaNews Group and A.H. Belo execs have said that they’re interested in keeping Google away from parts of their sites.

Let’s talk about MediaNews Group first.  It operates 54 daily newspapers with a combined daily circulation of 2.4 million.  Corresponding websites are part of the mix, as are a TV station and some radio stations.

Italian Prosecutors Request Jail Time For Google Execs
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Italian prosecutors have – sort of – tried to put several Google executives (and the company’s former CFO) in jail.  The prosecutors requested sentences ranging from six months to one year in connection with a case that involved a YouTube video and a disabled boy.

Google Begins “Next Chapter” in Search Advertising
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Update: Google says its new ad formats are "the next chapter in search advertising", and its "AdWords New Ad Formats Initiative" will focus on two themes:

Is it Really Crazy to Block Google?
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After all is said and done Rupert Murdoch may still be seen as the sly old fox that really knew best. Many bloggers and journalists have pounded the insanity of Murdoch’s suggestion that News Corp publications might strike an exclusive indexing deal with Bing and delist itself from Google’s search engine.

Retailers Funneling More Money To Bing
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Bing has managed to turn retailers’ heads in a big way.  After looking at statistics from part of 2008, SearchIgnite reported that retailers spent almost 50 percent more with Microsoft’s search engine this time around, which puts Google and Yahoo partly to shame.

Critical Local Search Factors To Pay Attention To
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Local search is only one sliver of the search marketing game, but it is an increasingly important one, and one that is changing rapidly. These days people are going to the web to find local businesses, sometimes more than even the phone book. Having a presence in local search is imperative for any small business, but just as imperative is being able to compete for visibility.

35 Ways to Improve Your Online Video Performance
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There was an interesting session on online video at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East, which WebProNews attended. The session was called "Video Search Marketing Beyond YouTube". The following tips come from a combination of presentations from that session from speakers: William Leake of Apogee Search, John McWeeny of TurnHere, and Eric Papczun of Performics.

Will a Lack of Editors Affect Wikipedia Accuracy?
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Wikipedia is a very useful site for anyone looking to find information on any given topic. Chances are that you have used it for research at one time or another. Even if you don’t start by going directly to Wikipedia, results from the site are often at the top of search results in Google, and you’ll get there anyway.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Takes Over Social Media
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Shhh, can you hear that? What you’re hearing is the collective shrieks from Twihards everywhere as The Twilight Saga: New Moon is upon us. For those of you asking yourself, what is a Twihard? I’ve included the definition below.

twi-hard noun
A serious/obsessive reader of the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, one leap above Twilighters.

Yahoo and Microsoft Finalize Deal
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Update: Microsoft and Yahoo have closed the deal. WebProNews received an email from a Yahoo representative saying that they have "finalized and executed the definitive Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement and License Agreement in accordance with the letter agreement announced in July."

Statements from the two companies are as follows:

You May Get More Traffic from Twitter Than You Realize
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If you use Twitter or create content, you have probably figured out by now that it can be a great tool for driving traffic to your site. There are measures you can take to expand this if your content is not bringing in the Twitter traffic on its own.

Is Twitter a significant traffic source for your site? Comment here.

Google Acquires AppJet
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Another sign of the importance a certain search giant places on Google Wave came today as the acquisition of a company called AppJet was announced.  AppJet offers a product that mirrors certain aspects of Google Wave, only since it’s been around for a little longer, may have one or more legs up.

Amazon Launches Textbook Trade-In Program

Amazon.com has introduced a "Textbooks Trade-In" program, which allows people to exchange used textbooks in return for an Amazon gift card.

Users can search for the book on Amazon they want to trade and view how much credit they will receive in the form of a gift card.  If the offer seems reasonable, users can print a pre-paid shipping label and put the book in the mail.

Site Usability Issues Matter During the Holidays
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We’re well into the holiday season now, in terms of having sites ready for holiday sales. That said, it’s never too late to improve your site. Your sales may depend on it. There are lot of key ingredients that go into the recipe of a successful e-commerce site: marketing, analytics, customer service, prices, competition, and the list goes on. Somewhere in there is design, and more importantly, usability.

Google Finance Delves Into Streaming News

It’s possible to make hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars in a few minutes.  It’s also possible to lose tons of money in a short timespan, however, and this is even more likely to happen when someone’s dealing with outdated information.  So from now on, news stories will be streamed on Google Finance as they’re published.

The Young Are More Likely To Respond To Mobile Advertising

It appears that it is finally safe to say that if mobile hasn’t completely arrived it is certainly in the room and recognized for its potential. Should we declare 2010 as the ‘Year of Mobile’? Sure, why not. There will be others and honestly it means nothing to hype it. Let’s look at what’s actually going on at street level.

New Mobile Payment System Aimed At Small Businesses

Is it hip to be square again? Maybe according to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. His new startup, called Square, is a mobile payments (credit card processing) system that appeals to small businesses. But is he targeting the right customers?

Talks Surface of a Newspaper Industry Bailout

“You gotta be freakin’ kidding me!”

Yahoo Releases Top 10 Mobile Searches Of 2009
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Yahoo has released its top 10 mobile searches for 2009 and interestingly only two of the top searches match what people were searching for on their PCs.

While Michael Jackson topped Yahoo’s overall searches for 2009, actress Megan Fox landed in the top spot of mobile searches.  Those were the only search terms to make it into both the top 10 mobile and PC searches.

The NFL was the most popular sport search term for 2009, outpacing both the NBA and NASCAR.