Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #109 August 17, 2011

New study suggests the number one position in searches may be slightly less important than previously thought.
A study by Slingshot SEO found that articles earning the top position in organic searches experienced an 18.2 percent click-through rate, compared with 10.05 percent for the number two position, and 7.22 for the number three position. While this reinforces the importance of the top position, both the top click-through rate and the gaps between it and subsequent positions are less than in previous studies.

Survey puts Google on track to become the second largest social network in the US next year.
A new survey by YouGov projects that Google will reach 22 percent market penetration with in the next year, up from 13 percent currently. This would move Google past LinkedIn and Twitter, and into the number two position for market penetration, behind Facebook. Google users also seem active, with 45 percent checking the site daily.

Search and email remain the top Internet activities, but social networking is gaining quickly.
A Pew Research study found that search and email are tied for the top spot among Internet activities in the US, with 92 percent of online adults engaging in those activities. Getting news online has passed buying a product for the third spot, while social networking has risen quickly in recent years to reach 65 percent of the adult US Internet audience.
Search Engine Land

Some Internet Service Providers have been found to be interfering with search results.
The New Scientist has published an article accusing several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) of redirecting search results. These ISPs reportedly redirect the user to a merchant's site related to the search term, in exchange for a commission from the merchant. Google has asked ISPs to stop this practice but it is believed to be continuing, and also affects other search engines such as Yahoo! and Bing.
Search Engine Land

Google and Facebook enter into a gaming race.
Facebook released updates to its gaming platform that make games easier to find, and which facilitate playing games with friends online. The move came right on the heels of Google adding games to its site. Taken together, the moves are seen as an indication of how much the new threat from Google might dictate actions by Facebook.

Tech companies cautious, but not pessimistic, about the effect of financial volatility on IT spending.
According to a report by ZDNet, executives from technology companies attending an Oppenheimer tech conference acknowledged that recent stock market volatility could slow some future IT spending projects. However, the consensus was that conditions have not yet approached the degree of severity that would result in a 2008-style shutdown in IT spending.

Google takes control of Android hardware with acquisition.
Google has announced that it will acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings, which controls key patents for the hardware on which Google's Android platform is based, for $12.5 billion. This puts Google on an even footing with competitors like Apple, which control both the hardware and software of their mobile platforms. The deal is expected to be completed around the end of this year.
Search Engine Journal

Advertisers can now target specific zip codes via Facebook.
Facebook has enabled a feature which allows advertisers to target their ads according to user zip codes. Previously, targeting could not be more precise than to the city or state level. The ability to target ads more locally is expected to be attractive to small business and political campaigners.

Mobile advertising attracting small and medium businesses in large numbers.
According to Borrell Associates, 83 percent of small and medium businesses surveyed say they plan to engage in some form of mobile marketing this year. The average respondent expects to devote more than 20 percent of this year's marketing budget to mobile, though there were some conflicting results concerning how many businesses expect to be spending money on mobile marketing this year.

Google adds more detail to search result site links.
Google has introduced an expanded format for listing site links in search results. The new format will include the url of the link, and a brief descriptor of the content to be found at that link.
Marketing Pilgrim

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