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The Traffic News Corp. Would Lose Without Google
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As you may know, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., is saying he may block search engines from accessing the organization’s content. He expressed this notion in a recent interview.

If Murdoch were to act upon this, it would mean theoretically that you would no longer be able to find Wall Street Journal, New York Post, etc. content on Google. Of course that would be in a world where scraped content isn’t frequently crawled by search engines.

New Google Labs: Related Links and Script Converter

Google has released a couple of new Labs projects. The first one is called Script converter, and the second one is called Related Links.

The Script Converter Lab lets users read the text of any script in the supported languages, which currently consist of:

- Hindi
- Bengali
- English
- Gujarati
- Kannada
- Malayalam
- Marathi
- Nepali
- Tamil
- Telugu

All you have to do is enter text or a web address in the box, select the language you want to read it in, and press convert.

Amazon and Walmart Engage in Price War Over Holiday Book Shoppers

Amazon and Walmart have been engaged in an online price war over holiday sales of bargain books. The whole thing began when Walmart announced that it would let customers preorder 10 of the most highly anticipated upcoming books for as little as $10 each. In a matter of hours, Amazon matched the price for all of the same books. Walmart then dropped the price to $9. Then Amazon did the same.

What Twitterers Want: News
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Twitter can be a lot of things for a lot of different people. However, according to online ad network Chitika, more of them want news than anything else. Chitika released results from a study of its users, looking at what Twitter users want.

Chitika categorized the sites that get the most links from Twitter. Here’s how it shakes out by genre according to the ad network:

The Most Loyal Traffic Comes from Facebook
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There’s no question that search engines can be a tremendous source of traffic. Social networks are also proving to be big traffic generators for a lot of content producers, and Twitter is one of the big ones.

However, it is Facebook and Digg that are driving the most repeat readers according to a study conducted by online ad network Chitika. Traffic is great, but traffic that returns is even better.

An Equation for Getting More Traffic from Twitter
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Back in June, Hubspot shared data, which indicated that about one and a half percent of all tweets were retweets. I’d be surprised if that number hasn’t increased in the last few months. More people are adopting Twitter and becoming familiar with the Twitter culture. More tools have come out, which cater to the easy re-tweet. More sites have adopted retweet buttons, such as the one from Tweetmeme. I seriously doubt people are retweeting less.

Photo Inclusion Can Bring in Traffic
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Hitwise has released some interesting data regarding photo-searching habits. The concept was conceived of as the firm noticed the popularity of the search "great north run photos".

"This made me curious about the popularity of searches for photos related to big events and news stories," says Hitwise’s Robin Goad.

Twitter Traffic Slows as Money Increases
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You might say Twitter is "in the money." As WebProNews previously reported, Twitter has been raising funds at a $1 billion valuation. Twitter CEO Evan Williams wrote on the Twitter Blog today:

There’s a lot of talk today about our financing. Yesterday we closed a significant round of funding with a group of investment firms that we’re excited to publicly thank: Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital, and Morgan Stanley.

Where the Traffic Went in August

comScore Media Metrix released its top 50 web properties list for August this week, and found that educational sites and humor sites were quite popular for the month. Home sites also saw some significant gains.

UK News Sites Getting Big Traffic from US
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British news sites are starting to see a lot more traffic from the US. UK Internet visits to News and Media websites grew by 8% last year according to Hitwise, and US Internet visits to UK News and Media sites have gone up by 54%.

Football, News, and School Drew Big Web Traffic in August

Compete has released the Compete 250 for the month of August. This is the firm’s monthly ranking of the top 250 trafficked Web sites. The categories that stood out the most during the month were Back to School shopping, Football and news searches for pubs like TheStreet.com and Businessweek.

Key Findings include:

Data Suggests the ‘Connect Program’ was the Reason Behind Facebook’s Surge

In case you missed it, Facebook is pretty popular. As of June 2008, they’d beat MySpace in terms of total unique visitors worldwide (ballooning to twice as many uniques as MySpace in January 2009)—and even in the US, one of the few Facebook-is-#2 holdouts, Facebook has caught up to MySpace.

Facebook in the News for Several Reasons

As you may know, Facebook surpassed MySpace in traffic a while back. New data from Hitwise indicates that the launch of Facebook Connect likely played a major role in this.

The following graph shows a major increase in market share of social networking visits starting with the time when Facebook Connect was launched:

Blogs Can Still Drive Big Traffic
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You would almost think blogging was dead, the way headlines are dominated by Twitter, Facebook, and social media in general. I’ve always considered blogging to be a part of social media anyway, as the commenting factor lends to engagement between author and user.

Twitter Is Ahead Of MySpace In The UK

Twitter, media sweetheart and microblogging service extraordinaire, has another coup to add to its list: they’ve now beat out MySpace in terms of most visits in the UK.

Google Wants Your Location for Live Traffic Reports
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Google is expanding its traffic layers in Google Maps. They’re now showing traffic conditions on arterial roads in selected cities, but is working on doing this to cover all U.S. highways and arterials when data is available.

The Top 50 Websites in the US
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Compete puts together a monthly ranking of the top 250 Web sites in the US, based on unique visitors, and breaks up the data by relevant categories and behavioral segments. In its latest report, Compete found that the top performers for July fell into four main categories: auto manufacturers that were part of the "Cash for Clunkers" deal, summer blockbuster movie sites, back-to-school shopping sites and social media news aggregates (like Digg or Tweetmeme).

Twitter Cracks comScore Top 50 Web Properties
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comScore Media Metrix released its top 50 web properties for the month of June. It’s no surprise that Google sites remain on top with Yahoo and Microsoft in the second and third positions respectively.

Facebook has moved up 2 positions to number 6 though, giving the social network its highest ranking to date. Twitter actually just made its first appearance on the list, coming in at number 46 with 20.1 million visitors.

Digg Sets Record Straight on DiggBar URLs
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There has been a lot of talk about the DiggBar and its handling of URLs this week, after the company implemented some changes in its service. To clear the air, Digg has addressed the situation.

Digg CEO Jay Adelson issued the following statement on Digg the Blog:

Is eBay in Trouble?
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eBay’s traffic appears to be on the way down. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise if you pay attention to the commentary on message boards and comment sections on eBay articles.

StumbleUpon Can Get You Big Traffic and Lots of Links
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Facebook and Twitter have both been proven to be valuable sources of traffic to many sites, but another potential source that you might be overlooking is StumbleUpon. It is true that in the past, StumbleUpon has been presented as a traffic tool, but the results weren’t always what webmasters and marketers had hoped for.