Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #110 August 24, 2011

Survey shows how marketers use feedback from social media.
Social media monitoring has become an essential part of a modern communications approach, and a new survey by RSW/US and Web Liquid shows how executives are using the information that comes from this effort. 28% use it to influence their communication strategy, followed by 19% who use it to prompt customer service enhancements, 15% who use it to inform media planning, and 13% who say it affects their organic search optimization.

Online coupons show results in influencing consumer behavior.
With a 16.9% redemption rate, Internet coupons printed at home are catching up with traditional circular coupons, which have a 22.6% redemption rate. Perhaps even better, 46% of people who redeemed digital coupons were previously not buyers of the product, vs. only 34% for traditional Sunday print coupons.

Researchers find Microsoft tracking browsing history even after cookies have been cleared.
Researchers at Stanford University have identified what is being called a "supercookie": a tracking device that could restore cookies that the user had previously cleared. While Microsoft claims to have now disabled the function, it was evasive about its purpose, when it was taken down, or how easily it could be reinstated.

Google is testing a new format to take the pages out of search results.
Google has been observed to be testing a new format for displaying search results which would present those results in a continuous scroll, rather than breaking them into pages. While this could theoretically reduce the benefit of having first-page results, as a practical matter there is still a set of highest-priority results which are presented on the first screen the user sees.
Search Engine Land

Facebook continues to grow, but Google is still number one in the US.
A slight decline in its number of unique visitors in February of this year had some wondering if Facebook's popularity had peaked, but it has since reeled off five straight months of US audience growth. According to comScore, this puts Facebook at number four in the US with 162 million unique visitors in July, trailing number one Google at 182 million. Yahoo! and Microsoft sites hold the numbers two and three positions, respectively.

The device market may be reaching a tipping point from PCs to tablets.
A slowing market for PCs and an accelerating market for tablets may be marking a permanent transition in personal computing choices. Computer manufacturers will ship only 4% more PCs this year than last, while tablet sales are expected to double. However, it remains to be seen whether this is an industry-wide transition, as Apple has both defined and dominated the tablet market, currently selling more than two-thirds of all such devices.
The New York Times

Pay-for-praise schemes threaten the credibility of user feedback.
User feedback on products and services is an important part of the interaction between commerce and social media, but increasingly schemes in which reviewers are paid to write positive comments are diluting the value of user input. A team of researchers has experimented with an algorithm which it says can distinguish fake from genuine user comments 90% of the time.
The New York Times

The right to withdraw data is a key privacy distinction between Europe and the US.
In Europe, customers have the right to withdraw all information that has been collected about them when they opt out of programs like frequent flier miles, but in the US consumers do not currently have a similar right.
The New York Times

New media turns to old-school promotion.
Information technology companies have been increasingly employing a surprisingly low-tech promotional channel of late--radio ads. Marketers have found that the steep drop in the price of radio ads--ironically, due largely to online competition--have made radio a cost-effective alternative for certain types of promotions.
The New York Times

Economic concerns lead to first-ever drop in mobile device shipments for Western Europe.
With consumers troubled by economic developments in Europe, they have lengthened the replacement cycles for their mobile devices, resulting in a quarterly decline in shipments of the devices to the region. This is the first time this has ever happened, according to Gartner, which still expects 12% worldwide growth in mobile devices this year.
The New York Times

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