Google Cracks Down On Content Farms, AdWords Gets Stronger, Microsoft Loses Money Online, & More

Google Cracks Down On Content Farms, AdWords Gets Stronger, Microsoft Loses Money Online, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Cracks Down On Content Farms

No one likes to get ambushed with spam emails about everything from facial cream to phony investment schemes. Accordingly, there’s been a recent call to action by the blogosphere for Google crack down on content farms that produce spam-like content by the thousands daily and show up high in search query results.

That criticism of Google has not fallen on deaf ears, as the search engine giant announced they are tweaking their algorithm to fight against webspam that shows up in SERPs simply because of their massive daily publishing numbers. Companies like Demand Media and web sites like Bleacher Report are two prominent examples of content farms that will be affected by the change.

Source: Official Google Blog

Google AdWords Reporting Introduces New Interactive Measuring Tool

Google announced a new AdWords report that allows you to track and measure customer interaction with your ad before clicking through on video or display ads. The new tool is located under “Free clicks” in the Dimensions tab, and displays measurements of time spent watching an ad video or any clicks on expandable tabs on the ad.

Free click type

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Apple To Release NFC Point Of Sale Capability

If you’re counting down the days, hours, and minutes to the next iPhone and iPad release, you’ll be happy to know a new feature planned for each device. Apple is looking to implement a near-field communications (NFC) point-of-sale system in their next generation of smartphones. This will allow you to use your iPhone and/or iPad as a credit card.

Apple isn’t the first company to utilize NFC capabilities, as Google has already demoed on the technology. But Apple has been known to set the standard for smartphone innovation, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Source: The Register

Microsoft’s Online Efforts Keep Losing Money

Microsoft’s reported earnings in the last quarter of 2010 were a healthy $6.63 billion, mostly stemming from success with Xbox, Kinect, Windows, and Office products. However, the company’s online revenue is a completely different story.

The graph below illustrates Microsoft’s constant online losing streak, highlighted by a $563 million loss in 2010’s last quarter and an overall hit of $2.5 billion in the last four quarters:

Source: Business Insider

Facebook Will Soon Require Facebook Credits To Use Games

The monetization of Facebook continues as it readies for IPO in the next 18 months. While not every game needs to have credits, if there are any in-game purchases, it has to be done using Facebook Credits, which would be better named something like “ZuckerBucks.” Facebook likely takes a 30% cut off all of these transactions. This move might also open the door for “Pay with Facebook Credits” options on sites outside of Facebook.

Source: Tech Crunch

Android In-App Payments On The Way

The in-app payment system for Android devices was originally scheduled for release around the holidays, but was pushed back because of other priorities. The platform will soon be released and available on the majority of Android devices on the market, according to Google Android group manager Eric Chu.

Source: Tech Crunch

LinkedIn Goes Public A Year Before Facebook

In a post on their own blog, LinkedIn announced that they have filed to go public. The amount of shares that will be made available and how much they will cost is still undetermined.

This is interesting news to think about, considering that Facebook will not go public until 2012. Let’s see if beating Facebook to the IPO hype will be a big benefit for LinkedIn and any other company that make this same decision before the end of the year.

Source: LinkedIn Blog

Lions, Tigers, And (Tweeting) Bears, Oh My!!

Joining the gummy and honey filled variety of loveable bears is “Charatter,’ a robotic talking bear that reads every tweet that comes into your feed. Launched and currently only sold in Japan, the tweeting bear hooks up to your iPhone or PC and runs off of a downloadable application. To add to the cute factor, the “Charatter” has lips that move and apparently has a thick Japanese accent when it reads tweets in English.

It’d be interesting to see how long one of these bears lasts for someone that has an insulting nemesis on twitter. Probably not too long considering there is no volume control. If anyone is interested, here’s a great free idea- create “prolonging life” software for “Charatter 2.0” that filters out negative commentary. You’re welcome.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Notable Commentary

From Web Page Masters

Desperately Seeking A Free WordPress Theme? Don’t Ask Google

This title is not an attempt at reverse psychology. When I say don’t ask Google, I really mean don’t ask Google. Read this article to find out what eight out of the top ten search results for “top free worpdress themes” were infected with.

Analysis By: Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

‘From Beginner To Ninja in Five Easy Steps;’ A Beginner’s Guide To Building Agile SEO Tools

Ever wonder if you had the capability to build useful SEO tools? This article says do and also teaches you how to by using Google Docs. Click the link and prepare to get your hands dirty.

Analysis By: Tom Critchlow, Distilled

It Didn’t Get Lost In The Mail. You Ordered From A Fraudulent Website

This very interesting article looks into fraudulent websites that take your money for goods but never actually send them. Click the link to find out how these tricksters manage to rank very high on the first page of Google results, sometimes filling in the first 10 out of 10.

Analysis By: Invseo, SEOmoz

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Link Building And More

You have Ontolo’s Garrett French to thank for this encyclopedia of knowledge about link building. Clear your calendar. You’re going to need to if you plan on sinking your teeth into these 65 new link building resources.

Analysis By: Garrett French, Ontolo