Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #121 November 9, 2011

Google tweaks its algorithm to consider the importance of freshness to different searches.
Google has altered its search formula in an effort to distinguish between searches where fresh updates are important, and those where the results are more timeless (e.g., sports scores are more time-sensitive than recipes). An estimated 35% of Google searches are expected to be affected by the change.

Domain change can undermine SEO efforts.
One Internet professional presents two case studies where a domain change measurably altered the Google ranking of websites, despite content remaining essentially consistent. This kind of impact had not been seen in sites undergoing similar changes in previous years.

Facebook attracts the lion share of social media ad money, but big brands remain elusive.
Despite the fact that Facebook attracts a dominant share of social media advertising dollars--eMarketer predicts Facebook will earn 72% of a $3.9 billion US social media ad total next year--the sales are largely going to small, local advertisers. Meanwhile, big brands continue to question everything from Facebook ad formats to the value of accumulating "likes" on the site.
Marketing Pilgrim

Statistics shed light on search-driven and cross-channel shopping.
Understanding how consumers shop online is crucial for retailers, and some new statistics shed light on two key behaviors. One is the fact that over 70% of search referrals come from generic rather than brand-name search terms, underscoring the importance of SEO when building a retail site. Also, though not immediately as measurable as online sales, online shopping also drives a significant volume of in-store sales, as evidenced by the fact that 5% of clicks on retail sites went to store locator pages.

B2B marketers demonstrate different social media tactics than B2C marketers.
According to a new report from Webmarketing123, generating sales is the most important objective of B2C marketers, while the longer sales cycle of B2B marketing is reflected in the fact that lead generation is considered a more important objective among B2B marketers. Also, while B2C marketers opt overwhelmingly (75.3%) for Facebook as their leading social media choice, B2B marketers are split more evenly among Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Survey points to a very mobile Christmas.
A survey of adults who are prospective holiday shoppers, by marketing consultants Shopper Sciences, shows that digital trends will become a mainstream force in holiday shoppers this season. 48% of respondents plan to use their smart phones more for shopping. Much of this usage will involve research, as 42% of shoppers say they plan to do more research online before buying this year.

Google is experimenting with placing ads directly under search results.
In the past, Google had shown search-related ads off to the side of a search results page. They are now experimenting with listing those ads directly under the search results. Google reports that click-through rates are higher when ads are incorporated into search results that way, rather than being listed on the side of the page.

Mobile expected to reach 15% of retail site traffic this holiday season.
Currently, 11% of US traffic to retail sites comes from mobile devices, but an IBM analysis projects that this will rise to 15% this holiday shopping season. Google devices extended their lead over Apple devices during the third quarter in terms of share of total US subscribers, but the IBM analysis found that iPad users are much more likely to buy when visiting a retail site than other device users.
Search Engine Land

Yahoo!'s new tablet platform includes ad formats.
LiveStand, a new iPad app and publishing platform, was launched by Yahoo! on November 2nd. LiveStand includes new interactive ad formats that Yahoo calls "living ads" with features that include motion sensitivity. DreamWorks Pictures and Toyota are among the advertisers initially participating in the platform.

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