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Holidays Articles

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:

Going Home For The Holidays? Google Wants To Tag Along

As people return home this holiday season, there will be all sorts of hugs and "have you had enough to eat"s.  Then they’ll be pressed into service, lifting heavy stuff or perhaps climbing ladders.  And Google would very much appreciate it if visitors install the company’s software, too.

Google Earmarks $20M For Charities As Holiday Gift To Everyone

Some time ago, Google established a tradition of sending top AdSense and AdWords users holiday gifts.  This year, it’s departing from that routine.  But people are going to have a hard time complaining about the decision, because instead, Google’s committed $20 million to a group of charities.

PayPal Wants You To Regift Fruitcakes For Charity

For the second year, PayPal is running the Regift the Fruitcake campaign, an effort to raise money for charity through the sharing of a virtual fruitcake. The slogan is, "By giving the gift no one wants, you’re giving the gift that everyone needs."

PayPal is asking people to participate by logging onto the site to create a fruitcake on behalf of a featured charity (there are 25 of them), make a donation to a charity using a PayPal account, and using Facebook Connect to regift the fruitcake to friends.

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 Makes Free Holiday Postcard Offer
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It is, of course, the thought that counts.  A message from a friend or loved one means a lot regardless of what form it takes.  Still, physical items tend to have more of an impact, and Google’s made a very nice gesture by offering to send out real postcards this holiday season.

A Google representative wrote in an email to WebProNews, "As a token of our appreciation to our most enthusiastic fans, we’re snail mailing (!) one free holiday postcard on their behalf."