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Why It’s Easier for a Startup (Than For Google) to Take Action on Content Farms
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A couple weeks ago, we reported that DuckDuckGo had followed its own blocking of content farms (like eHow) by promoting content from wikiHow. This begged the question: how much better is wikihow’s content? We had a conversation about that with Jack Herrick, founder of wikiHow (and one-time owner of eHow).

DuckDuckGo Founder Makes the Case For His Search Engine (vs. Google)
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Gabriel Weinberg, founder of alterative search engine DuckDuckGo sat down to talk with WebProNews about what people can get out of DuckDuckGo that they can’t get from the Google experience. 

"I’m not anti-Google," he says. "I know that they take privacy very seriously, and I respect what they’re doing, but they’re doing a few things that – one they can avoid, and one they can’t avoid – and both of which, we don’t do."

YouTube Attracts 8.4 Billion Streams In January
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 Online video usage in the U.S. is up significantly from the same time last year as time spent viewing video on a PC/Mac/laptops from home and work locations increased 45 percent, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The number of unique online video viewers only increased by 3.1% from last January, but the level of activity was up as viewers streamed 28% more video and spent 45% more time watching. Total video streams also saw significant year-over-year growth, up 31.5% to 14.5 billion streams.

RIM to Improve BlackBerry Contacts with Gist

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) announced that it has acquired Gist

Gist provides information about contacts, by creating a business profile for each one that includes recent news, status updates, and work details. It works by pulling contacts from various inboxes, address books, social networks, and other sources, then adding news, status updates, blog posts, etc.

Greplin Reportedly About to Open Up to the Public

We’ve written about Greplin a couple of times – once after the service launched, and again last week, when the company sent users an email with some new updates. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, the best way to describe it is truly personalized search. 

HP Buys Vertica, A Data Analytics Company

HP announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a real-time analytics platform company Vertica.

HP says the pick-up will enhance the company’s capabilities for information optimization, and that Vertica’s platform will help its customers analyze massive amounts of data for "real-time business intelligence."

Twitter Translation Center Opens Up
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Twitter has announced the launch of the Twitter Translation Center, which crowdsources translations from Twitter users. 

Smartphones Driving Mobile Media Consumption

Smartphones aggressively saturated the mobile market in 2010, driving an increase in mobile media consumption by users worldwide, according to a new report from comScore.

“2010 was a game-changing year for the mobile industry,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “Smartphone adoption, 3G penetration and unlimited data plans drove a surge of mobile media consumption across geographies and deepened the integration of mobile devices into everyday life.”

Kleiner Perkins Invests $38 Million In Facebook

Although it arguably doesn’t need much more support at this point, popular social network Facebook now has the backing of one of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capital firms.  Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is said to be investing about $38 million at a valuation of $52 billion.

MWC11: IE9 Coming to Windows Phones This Year

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced several new features for Windows Phone today in a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. One feature is a "dramatically enhanced" version of Internet Explorer 9, which will become available for the mobile operating system in the second half of this year. 

Barnes & Noble Works To Attract Amazon Affiliates
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Barnes & Noble has issued an open letter to Amazon.com affiliates  trying to convince them to join its network.

The letter comes after Amazon’s decision to stop its affiliate program in some states that require the online retailer to collect sales tax on purchases.

Send a Valentine’s Day E-Card Google Style with “Map Your Valentine”
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Google is no stranger to holiday celebrations. It almost seems like there are more days that Google posts "doodles" for its logo than days it doesn’t. Today, being Valentine’s Day, is of course no exception. Here’s what the Google Doodle looks like today, if you’re one of many who rarely goes to Google.com to do your searching (as opposed to searching from the browser). 

YouTube, LG Partner Over Mobile 3D Video
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Owners of Android smartphones made by LG may soon begin to lead the way when it comes to mobile 3D video.  YouTube and LG announced a partnership this morning that will result in users being able to view, record, and share 3D clips without glasses.

Compared to needing spectacles and being limited to a handful of special big screens, this arrangement should provide viewers with a more convenient experience.  It also promises to increase the selection of content available.

Cheap iPhones Coming This Summer?

Rumor has it that this summer, Apple will release a new line of cheap iPhones, which will cost about half as much as the current iPhone 4. 

A report from the Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter," says:

Qualcomm To Bring Netflix Streaming To New Android Devices
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Wireless company Qualcomm said today that new Android devices using its Snapdragon platform will have access to instant streaming of TV shows and movies from Netflix.

“We’re excited about this collaborative effort to help bring the Netflix application to Android devices running on the Snapdragon platform,” said Liat Ben-Zur, senior director of software strategy and ecosystems for Qualcomm.

Investors May Value Zynga At Between $7B, $9B

Late last week, reports indicated that several different companies (including Facebook and Google) have shown interest in acquiring Twitter for $8 billion to $10 billion.  Now, although nothing’s certain, fresh rumors indicate that investors might assign a similar value to Zynga.

New Radiohead Album “The King of Limbs” Marks Band’s 2nd Web-First Release

Radiohead announced that its new album, "The King of Limbs" will be released on the web this Saturday – February 19. This is the second time the band has gone web-first with an album release. 

In 2007, Radiohead released "In Rainbows," allowing fans to pay whatever they wanted for downloads of the album. Radiohead will try a different strategy this time – simply charging a set price $9.00 for MP3s and $14.00 for WAVs).

Microsoft Reportedly Paying Billions for Nokia Deal
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Nokia dominated the tech headlines last week, when it unveiled a new strategic partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows-based smartphones to the market. CEO Stephen Elop said that there was now a "third horse" in the race. 

JCPenney Gets Caught Gaming Google
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The New York Times did a little undercover work in the world of search and discovered that JCPenney was benefiting enormously from paid links. They ranked number one or close to it for some very prominent search queries including “skinny jeans,” “home decor,” “comforter sets,” “furniture", “tablecloths” and many other highly searched for terms.

(Note: Tweets regarding this from Google’s Matt Cutts can be viewed below.)

Bing Needs Users to Break the Google Habit
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One of Bing’s Facebook fans brings up a good point about the search market. Google is simply ingrained in so many people’s online habits, Bing’s biggest challenge is to simply keep Google users from being sucked back into the Google way. 

Have you tried to use other search engines besides Google, only to find yourself coming back? Was it for the quality of results or just out of habit? Let us know

Concerning Bing’s More-Accurate-Than-Google Search Results
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It’s pretty clear that Experian Hitwise has a comfortable familiarity with Tom Smykowski’s “Jump to Conclusions” mat, at least in regards to comparing search result accuracy with Google and Bing.  It’s either that or perhaps the “online competitive intelligence service” needs another lesson in correlation and causation.

9 Questions To Ask After A Site Links To You
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Inbound links increase the value of your website in the eyes of Google and the other search engines. And, they help more people find your website and all you have to offer. Each inbound link is like your website just got another vote of confidence.

So, once the link has been set up, your job is done. Or is it?

Getting links to point to your site is one of the most challenging parts of search engine optimization, but link building doesn’t end once a link has been set up.

Why Local Online Marketing is a Mystery to So Many
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No wonder local Internet marketing is a mystery to many SMB’s and even much larger businesses and organizations. Setting aside the fact that there are so many different channels, sites, directories etc that need to be considered, there is a new (and somewhat unfortunate) aspect that is creeping into the picture: complexity.

Report: Ad Startup Rejects Google Acquisition Bid
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As a rule, Google doesn’t put out press releases when it fails to acquire companies, making a new rumor difficult to confirm.  But the search giant may have tried to purchase an advertising firm called Admeld, and, despite having a solid reputation and more cash than many countries, been unsuccessful.