Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #145 May 2, 2012

Preliminary analysis shows big winners and losers from Google algorithm change.
Searchmetrics did a spot check to see which websites gained and lost SEO visibility as a result of changes to Google's search algorithm. For some sites, visibility rose as much as 30%, while for others, it fell by as much as 73%. The big losers tended to aggregate information using databases, compile news stories from other sources, or rely heavily on templates. More visibility changes related to the Panda 3.5 update (approximately April 19) than the anti-spam Penguin update (reported on April 24).
Search Engine Land

Link issues may be to blame for loss of search status after Google's recent update.
Some websites that have seen search rankings plummet since Google's recent update can blame their links. This article identifies five potential linking issues being flagged by Google's new algorithm -- for example, links from suspect or low-quality sites, or a disproportionate amount of links using exact keyword anchor text.
Search Engine Watch

More devices support Google Wallet payment service, but adoption obstacles remain.
Sprint has added three of the devices used in its mobile network to the list of those that can support Google Wallet. However, Google still faces a variety of barriers to adoption, including whether many customers are ready for this style of transaction, and if they are, whether they would prefer the rival ISIS system, which has major players such as Verizon, AT&T, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover behind it.

New ad options are possible for Skype.
After Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion late last year, it was inevitable that the software giant would look for new ways to profit from this investment. In late April a Microsoft advertising executive confirmed that the company was looking at new ad units for the service. One possibility is a click-to-call ad format, which based on previous comments from Microsoft might be launched initially in overseas markets.

Kraft example highlights fee-vs.-exposure dilemma for apps.
Brands launching apps related to their products face a decision: Do they attempt to generate a revenue stream by charging for the app, or do they make it free in order to maximize its promotional reach? Kraft's experience provides an interesting example: In just four months since dropping its $0.99 fee for its iFood Assistant mobile app, Kraft has seen downloads triple compared to the total garnered since the app was launched a few years ago.

Ad metrics show impressions having higher conversion rates than click-throughs.
A study by Pretarget and comScore found that click-throughs had a very low correlation (0.01) with sales conversions, while ad hover/interaction (0.49), viewable impressions (0.35) and even gross impressions (0.17) all showed significantly higher correlations with conversions.
Marketing Pilgrim

Social benefit can be a deciding factor in buying decisions.
The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study examines the impact of a brand's commitment to social causes on customer buying behavior. Roughly half of those surveyed buy a product from a brand that supports a social cause on at least a monthly basis. Also, 53% say that when price and quality are equal, social purpose is the most important deciding factor in choosing a product. This last figure is up from 42% in 2008, and one theory is that with Americans cutting back on charitable contributions for economic reasons, they hope to at least have a social impact through their buying decisions.
Marketing Pilgrim

Smartphone penetration among young adults means top future growth rates are elsewhere.
Marketers may be first drawn to the fact that smartphone penetration in the U.S. has crossed the 50% mark among those ages 18-24 and 25-34. However, eMarketer projects that this means the place to look for high future growth rates is at either end of the age spectrum, among older and younger users.

The effect of Facebook's Timeline format seems to vary with a brand's popularity.
Overall, early data on points of engagement immediately before and immediately after the switch to Facebook's Timeline format show more engagement with brands after the switch. However, a more detailed study of specific brands by Simply Measured found that while Timeline increased engagement for less popular brands, it seems to have decreased engagement for brands that were already popular.

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