Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #130 January 18, 2012

Mobile growth a highlight of holiday shopping statistics.
IBM found that 14.6% of sessions on retail websites this past holiday season were initiated from a mobile device, a number which is up dramatically from 2010's figure of 5.6%. Mobile devices accounted for 11% of actual sales, double 2010's figure of 5.5%. In all, online sales for December 2011 were up 7.5% over December 2010 sales.
Search Engine Watch

Twitter and Google trade barbs regarding recent search changes.
Twitter released a statement saying that changes to incorporate Google+ information into search results would be bad for searches because it would drown out information from other sources. Google shot back by pointing out that Twitter itself chose to terminate a deal that had previously allowed Twitter content to be indexed for inclusion in Google searches.
Search Engine Watch

Microsoft shelves plans for TV subscription service.
While convergence between Internet companies and video content providers seems to be a hot trend, Microsoft recently abandoned immediate plans for a subscription television service, which would have featured content delivered via gaming devices. Apparently, the big stumbling block was the fees demanded by the established TV networks.

Intel ventures into social media monitoring.
Stepping outside of its traditional role as a chip manufacturer, Intel has launched a social media monitoring tool called Social Cockpit. The purpose of the tool is to quickly break down information in real time about social media references to a given product or brand.

Bing passes Yahoo, though Google is the real winner.
In December 2011, Bing passed Yahoo for the first time in terms of search market share, to climb into the second-ranked spot. However, according to the figures, compiled by comScore, this is less a case of Bing surging forward than of Yahoo slipping backward, as Bing's share increased by just 0.1% to 15.1%, while Yahoo lost 0.6% to end the year at 14.5%. The real beneficiary was top-rated Google, which gained 0.5% to reach 65.9%.
Search Engine Journal

Google faces possible government inquiry on Google Search plus Your World.
Google's recent move to integrate Google+ information into search results may have rubbed more than just competitors the wrong way. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Google's maneuver gives its social network an unfair advantage, and violates the privacy of Google+ participants.
Search Engine Journal

White House opposition may kill current anti-piracy bills.
Internet companies have just picked up a key ally in their fight against pending anti-piracy legislation: the White House. In a statement on January 14th -- appropriately, posted on a White House blog -- Obama administration technology officials said that the important task of protecting intellectual property should not be a threat to an open Internet.
The New York Times

Big vs. small battle lines are drawn in online retail.
Small online retailers are trying to appeal to consumer resentment of large corporations to counter the growing dominance of e-commerce giants like Amazon. The numbers don't bode well for the little guys, though, as 70% of online spending is flowing to the 25 biggest retailers. These top retailers saw a 19% increase in online revenue this past holiday season, compared to just 7% for smaller online retailers.
The New York Times

Hulu shows strong revenue growth, though short of prediction.
Hulu reported $420 million in earnings for calendar 2011, a 60% increase over 2010. The revenue came from a combination of advertisers and subscribers: The company now boasts 1,000 brands as advertisers, and 1.5 million subscribers, 1.2 million of whom came on board in 2011. Though the growth rate remains strong, the $420 million in revenue falls short of the CEO's April prediction of $500 million in revenue by year's end.

IP targeting may raise conflicts for politicians.
Linking IP addresses with personal data about the user is a controversial online advertising practice, but one that is now being touted by certain political advertising agencies. With privacy legislation before Congress, use of the technique this election season could create conflicts for some of the same politicians who have to decide on the future of such tactics.

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