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Facebook Offers A Look Into Usage Stats
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Facebook has updated its user statistics, which show that its total number of users is up to 140 million. Half of them are outside of college (which is significant considering the network’s roots), and the fastest growing demographic is 25 and older.

Embedded Video Woes and Google Reader
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Ever had trouble getting your embedded videos to show up in Google Reader? You’re not alone. Apparently your site has to be on a whitelist for it to work for you. For example, YouTube videos work, because YouTube is on the list. WordPress videos don’t, because Wordpress is not on the list.

Somebody complained about the problem in a Google Groups post, and was met with a response from a Google Reader Engineeer, Mihai Parparita:

Digital Music Sales Up
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The decline in U.S. CD sales led to a decrease in overall music demand by 2 percent in the third quarter, according to the NPD Group.

The overall drop off in music purchases includes CDs, digital music downloads, and P2P file sharing sites.

Scarlett Johansson’s Tissue Worth More Than Palin’s Turkey
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Seriously, the market’s screwy right now. That 38-pound turkey that was offed behind Sarah Palin only sold on eBay for $225, half of which went to local veterans. Scarlett Johansson’s snot rag? Current bid is over $2,100.

Mustangs, Harleys, Smart Cars On Searchers

Automakers foreign and domestic are coping with illiquid credit and declining sales, and search engine volumes reflect that. Over the past three years, the most popular car companies, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford have seen steady decline in search traffic.

Mustangs, Harleys, Smart Cars On Searchers

Automakers foreign and domestic are coping with illiquid credit and declining sales, and search engine volumes reflect that. Over the past three years, the most popular car companies, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford have seen steady decline in search traffic.

Mustangs, Harleys, Smart Cars On Searchers

Automakers foreign and domestic are coping with illiquid credit and declining sales, and search engine volumes reflect that. Over the past three years, the most popular car companies, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford have seen steady decline in search traffic.

Mustangs, Harleys, Smart Cars On Searchers
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Automakers foreign and domestic are coping with illiquid credit and declining sales, and search engine volumes reflect that. Over the past three years, the most popular car companies, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford have seen steady decline in search traffic.

Google Improves Android and iPhone SERPs
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Google is now providing optimized search results for Android and the iPhone. Results pages on these devices are now designed to compliment the devices they are being viewed upon. You can view a few examples in screenshots here, or you can see the results in action on an iPhone in the following video:

Report: Online Retailers Moving In Right Direction
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The news may be a little hard to believe today – the Dow has closed down about 221 points – but a fresh report from Compete says that online retailers aren’t having such a bad holiday season.  In fact, thanks to a charge led by Amazon, the latest unique visitor stats are pulling ahead of the levels set in 2007.

Google To Auto-Sort Sitemap Formats
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Submitting sitemaps to Google has been simplified, the company announced this morning. Webmasters will no longer have to specify which type of sitemap they are submitting. Google will determine the filetype for them.

Google still prefers webmasters use Google Webmaster Tools for submission, though, but they also accept files listed in the robots.txt file, or submitted via the HTTP ping method.

Google Continues to Take Other Languages More Seriously
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About a month ago, Google announced some things it was doing that would improve the way sites rank across different language versions of its search engine, in an effort that would clearly make Google more useful on a global scale. In what seems to be a continuation of this tradition, Google has announced a couple more language-based improvements to its products.

Gamers Sticking With XP, Searching For Wii
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Go to a retailer like Target early some morning, and you’ll likely find a group of non-employees waiting to be let in.  When the doors open, a race to the electronics department ensues, and the cashiers get busy.  So since gamers are so willing to spend money, two new reports take a look at where their interests lie.

Digital Media Revenues To Surpass Movies, Home Video
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Worldwide revenues from digital media will surpass revenue generated by movie theaters and home video combined for the first time in 2008, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The report, "Global Media & Entertainment Market Forecast, 2004-2012," predicts that global revenues from media and entertainment will exceed $845 billion this year, with more than 10 percent, or $90 billion, coming from online and mobile channels.

In comparison, the worldwide filmed entertainment market will generate $83.1 billion in revenues this year.

How Google Detects Click Fraud
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Even as we approach the end of 2008, click fraud is still something that needs to be dealt with in the search engine advertising industry. Google takes a number of precautions to keep it under control though.

Online Video To Play Larger Role For Marketers
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More marketers and advertisers will embrace online video in 2009, according to a new survey by PermissionTV.

The survey found that online video will be a top priority for digital marketing budgets and also indicated a strong preference among marketers for increased interactivity in online video capabilities to help promote their brands.

More than two-thirds of respondents (67%) identified online video as a main focus of their 2009 digital marketing campaigns, versus social media campaigns (41%), search (34%) and podcasts/webcasts (32%).

How Will Personalized Search Affect Niche Engines?
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As I was writing a piece on RushmoreDrive, the search engine (and more) that was created as a way to provide relevant results from the black community, I started thinking about how the future of search could impact its use and the use of niche search engines in general. Unfortunately, I have more questions than answers on this topic, but it raises some interesting questions nonetheless.

Social Media’s Popularity Too Much For Montenegro Gov’t
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Yesterday, a new report from Nielsen Online claimed that a lot more online video viewing takes place during business hours on weekdays than just about any time on weekends.  Officials in the tiny country of Montenegro were probably pleased to hear this, as the stats help justify new social media restrictions.

YouTube Unveils High Definition Category Page

YouTube now has a page listing videos specifically available in high definition. Also, these HD videos now open in a larger player than before, pushing features like comments, the ad box, or related videos down the page a bit. Note you still need to click “watch in HD” when on the video page.

LinkedIn’s Exec Lineup Changes
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Recession-triggered personnel shuffles are causing all sorts of people to turn to LinkedIn.  Somewhat ironically, big changes are now taking place inside that company, too, with the current CEO leaving, the old one regaining his title, and a former Yahoo joining the picture.

Relevancy by Race?
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Murray Dick and Mark Ward have an article up at BBC News looking at Rushmore Drive and minority-based web searching. They look specifically at a search engine called RushmoreDrive, which we pointed to back in April upon its launch.

Spammers Turning To Targeted Attacks
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Spammers are now taking their cue from search engines and advertisers by making their emails more personalized in attempts to steal users information, according to a new security report from Cisco.

The report found there was a 90 percent growth in threats coming from legitimate domains, nearly double what was seen in 2007. While targeted spear-phishing represents about 1 percent of all phishing attacks it is on track to become more widespread as savvy criminals personalize spam and make messages appear more credible.

LinkedIn Sets Up Shop in Chicago
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LinkedIn has opened a new data center in Chicago. A post at the LinkedIn Blog says:

LinkedIn has grown by leaps and bounds this past year and currently we are adding professionals to our site at the rate of one user per second.  The primary goal for the LinkedIn Operations organization is for our site and partner applications to be available 24/7.

Free Shipping Offers Lead To More Online Holiday Spending
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Online holiday shopping continues to be on par with last year, with spending through December 14, totaling $20.17 billion, according to comScore.

For the first fourteen days beginning December 1 (Cyber Monday), sales totaled $9 billion, up 2 percent compared to a year ago. The most recent week saw ecommerce sales slipping 2 percent.