Google and Facebook team up on profile searches
Facebook now allows Google to include material from public Facebook user profiles in its search results. People clicking on a result based on this material will find themselves landed in the applicable Facebook profile via Facebook's app. The move helps Google further extend its search dominance and make inroads toward searching within apps, while the inclusion of profiles in Google search results should drive traffic to Facebook.
Study suggests advertising dollars have a multiplier effect
Research firm IHS Economics & Country Risk released a study maintaining that the nearly $300 billion spent on advertising in the U.S. drove a total of $5.8 billion in sales activity. Some of this was the knock-on effect of payments to suppliers prompting more spending, but the study figures that the direct impact was $2.4 trillion in sales -- about eight times the amount spend on advertising.
Artificial intelligence may start to influence SEO
Over the past several months, Google has been subtly integrating RankBrain, an artificial intelligence program designed to recognize associations between words, into its search algorithms. While the impact has not been as abrupt as that of past algorithm changes, the nature of artificial intelligence learning is that the impact could become more pronounced over time. The idea is to recognize search patterns and the relationship between different terms to intuit what a searcher is really looking for even if an exact keyword term is not used.
Search Engine Watch
Amazon sues users over fake reviews
Online reviews have always been suspect to some degree, but a recently-filed lawsuit is an indication of just how commonplace it has become to fabricate them. Amazon is taking 1,000 people to court for posting fake reviews on its site, and the case may demonstrate that the practice is a violation not just of Amazon's terms of service, but also of federal and state law.
Search Engine Journal
Google+ continues to search for its niche
Google+ has long suffered from a lack of definition about where it fits in the range of social media alternatives, but it is trying to carve out a niche among people who share common interests. Google+ is now targeting users for its Communities and Collections features. The company claims that Communities is attracting 1.2 million new participants per day, and that Collections has been growing at an even greater pace in its five months of existence.
Search Engine Journal
Yahoo fights back against ad blockers
In an effort to combat ad blockers, Yahoo recently denied some users access to their e-mail accounts unless they turned off the ad blockers on their devices. Yahoo characterized the move as a test affecting a small number of users, but it could be an indication of a new strategy to protect its advertising revenues.
The New York Times
Consumers and apps: easy come, easy go
The proliferation in the number of apps available has had little lasting impact on most consumers. Despite huge numbers of apps being downloaded, relatively few get regular use: 63 percent of survey respondents said they used five or fewer apps daily. Perhaps even more telling is that only 29.1 percent of apps downloaded on Android devices are retained for a full day. The one-day survival rate is even lower for downloads on iOS devices, at 25.5 percent.