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Holidays Articles

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). 

comScore Documents Record Online Retail Holiday Season

Heading into the holiday season, many economic experts seemed to fear that the average present would be a homemade scarf or coffee mug.  Instead, the latest (and probably last) comScore data concerning the holiday shopping season shows that U.S. online spending hit a record $30.8 billion.

That works out to an increase of 13 percent compared to the same period (November 2nd through December 27th) in 2009, which isn’t at all bad.  It certainly beats the rate of inflation and hints that people weren’t trying to be tightfisted.

Experian Hitwise Finds Holiday Retail Traffic Consistently Up
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As we wrap up 2010, there’s still more evidence online retailers came out of the holiday shopping season in good shape.  Experian Hitwise shared data indicating that retail traffic has been up on a year-over-year basis for the better part of two months.

The differences haven’t always been huge; on both Christmas and the day after Christmas, Experian Hitwise recorded just a three percent change in the market share of visits to its "Retail 500" category between 2009 and 2010.

Google Announces $20 Million Donation To Charities
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This week, tens of millions of people are resuming their normal work/school habits, perhaps packing up holiday decorations and definitely returning to less-than-merry states of mind.  But Google’s not quite through being cheery, as the company announced this morning that it’s donating $20 million to charity.

Apple Expects to Top A Million Apple TV Sales This Week
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Apple announced that it expects sales of Apple TV to top one million units later this week. 

Apple TV has a few things working to its advantage. The main one is the price. It’s only $99, compared to the first Google TV set-top box – the Logitech Revue, which is on sale (at Best Buy) for $249.99 with a regular price of $299.99. 

Ask Breaks Down Popular Holiday Gifts Based on Questions Asked

As Christmas approaches, Ask is sharing some info about the hottest gift items this season, based on users of its Q&A service. 

According to Ask’s findings, in the gaming category, Xbox is at the top of the list, with over 5% of all Ask.com questions being related to the console. According to the company, gamers asked nearly five times more questions about the Xbox than the Sony Playstation. Nintendo’s Wii was somewhere in between. 

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.

Google Offering Free $10 Calling Credit For Military Families During The Holidays
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Google said today it is offering a free $10 calling credit during the holidays to military families in an effort to help them keep in touch with their loved ones serving abroad.

Facebook Proving to Be an Excellent E-Commerce Tool For the Holidays
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If you had any question about whether or not Facebook can be effective for e-commerce, you might be interested in new data the company has shared with us regarding the time period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. 

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. 

Hilton Launches Facebook Sweepstakes For Free Holiday Weekend
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Hilton Garden Inn has launched a Facebook sweepstakes for a chance to win a free weekend getaway aimed  at helping people recover from the holidays.

 Facebook users can enter the sweepstakes at Facebook.com/HiltonGardenInn and five people will be chosen at random to receive a free-two-night weekend stay at their choice of more than 510 locations globally.

 

Speed: Recommended for Content, Conversions and Holiday Traffic
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It’s become clear that site speed and performance have become increasingly important on the web, particularly with Google. The company has made a plethora of announcements over the past year or two directly related to making the web faster in general. Most recently, for example, Google announced mod_pagespeed, a tool for webmasters to use to automatically optimize their sties. "It’s like Page Speed, but makes the changes automatically," Google told WebProNews.

Google Launches Resource to Prepare Retailers for Holidays

Google has launched a new site called "ThinkHoliday", which counts down the days until Christmas, and provides information for businesses and marketers that will help them prepare for the holidays. According to the site, 71% of consumers have started researching their holiday purchases, and 89% of them have started shopping online.

Brick and Mortar Retailers Will Benefit from Online Inventory Listing
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Earlier this month, Google announced that it was making public its documentation for Local Shopping inventory for Google Merchant Center. This is a feature that lets retailers let consumers know about what they have in stock. Milo.com is another site that based upon a similar principle, and it’s doing pretty well. 

Google Has a “Search Story” For Father’s day
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You probably remember Google’s Super Bowl commercial. It was the company’s first TV ad, and it kicked off a broader campaign called Search Stories. In fact, over 150,000 people have created their own search stories, and there is even one for Toy Story 3.

Spammers Sending Malicious 3D Easter Emails

Easter is coming up, and of course that means spammers are taking advantage. They do this with most holidays. And like they do with other holidays, they are using the holiday to disguise malicious emails. Symantec shared some examples with us.

"MessageLabs Intelligence has intercepted Easter ‘e-card’ spam emails offering a ’2010 Easter 3D e-Card,’" a representative for Symantec tells WebProNews. "Spam authors are attempting to use the recent surge of interest in 3D media to increase the likelihood of people falling for their scam."

Google Has All Kinds of April Fools Day Fun
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April Fools Day is upon us, and that means of course that you’ll be fed lies all day long. It’s an interesting day, particularly in the tech, news, and tech news industries, where even companies get in on the fun. Google is no stranger to April Fools tom foolery, and they’ve got a number of silly announcements up today.

Twitter Earns Itself a Candy Heart Phrase
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You know those candy hearts everybody has around Valentine’s Day with the little sayings on them? Showing just how much of a stronghold Twitter actually has on pop culture, this year, one such saying that will appear on these candies is "Tweet me."

Facebook’s Merry Christmas: Becomes Most Visited US Site
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According to new statistics from Hitwise, a lot of people may not have done the Norman Rockwell thing this holiday season, gathering around a fire with family members.  Instead, they may picked computer screens and online friends, helping propel Facebook to a new high.

A 136-character tweet from the Hitwise_US account announced the big news this morning: "Facebook was the most visited site in the US on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1st time the site has been the #1 visited US site ever."

Google Shares Top Retail Searches for the Holiday Season
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Google has shared the top retail searches for the 2009 holiday season. These results are based on the company’s Insights for Search tool.

"Using Google Insights for Search, we can see that the hottest toys over the last seven days include stalwarts like Pikachu and Legos, as well as newcomers, such as the Nerf Marshmellow Shooter and the surprise hit of the holiday season, a blanket-with-sleeves known as the Snuggie," says Eric Lopez of the Google Retail Team.

Google/NORAD Santa Tracking About to Begin Again
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The North American Aerospace Defense Command, otherwise known as NORAD is tracking Santa Claus’s rounds this year, keeping up a tradition that has been going on for 54 years.

Norad has been working with Google for several years by way of Google Maps and Google Earth. Last year, they started using Google Analytics as well. Google is now sharing a video of last year’s Santa tracking: