Google seeks to eliminate fake reviews from Google+.
Google has put businesses on notice that it has refined its spam-detection algorithm and expects to be able to do a better job of eliminating fake positive reviews from Google+. This includes reviews written by reputation management specialists or the companies themselves, even if they're posting online versions of testimonies that customers wrote down on comment cards.
Search Engine Watch
Local digital advertising gaining share of total ad budgets.
Borrell Associates forecasts that local digital advertising will grow at a 31% rate in 2013. That far exceeds the 8.2% growth rate forecast for overall local ad spending, raising digital to 25% of total local ad spending. Among small-to-medium businesses, placing ads directly with Facebook is the most popular form of local digital advertising.
Search crushes social media as referral source for online retail traffic.
This past holiday season 40% of retail web traffic accessed a brand's site directly. Adobe reports that 34% of traffic was referred by search and 25% by other websites. Social media was the source of just 2% of traffic referred to retail sites.
Computers still dominate social media access, but mobile devices eat into market share.
At 94%, computers are still the most commonly used devices for accessing social media. However, smartphones and tablets are where the growth is, according to Nielsen and NM Incite. Social media access via mobile phone climbed by 9 percentage points to 46% in 2012, while access via tablet climbed by 13 percentage points to 16%. In contrast, the share of visitors coming from computers dropped by 3 percentage points last year.
Mobile ads earn a premium over desktop ads.
Kenshoo, a social media advertising platform, found that mobile ads were commanding a 70% cost-per-click premium over their desktop counterparts. Part of this is supply-and-demand, since the visual space on smaller devices is more limited. Mobile now accounts for 20% of ad spending on Facebook; Android holds 71% of marketing spend for Facebook on the smartphone platform, while Apple dominates Facebook ad spending on tablets.
Amazon tops the chart for holiday shopping satisfaction.
ForeSee's Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index found that industry-wide, customer satisfaction with online holiday shopping has essentially leveled off since 2009. Amazon earned the highest score on this year's survey, at 88 out of 100, while Gilt.com and Fingerhut.com landed at the bottom.
A new study measures the impact of Hurricane Sandy on connectivity.
The University of Southern California conducted an extensive survey to measure how the hurricane impacted Internet infrastructure. Overall, broken Internet connections nationally more than doubled when Sandy struck, from 0.2% right before the storm to 0.43% once the storm arrived. Outages were worst in New York and New Jersey, and New Yorkers experienced the longest downtimes.