Google Reveals Instant Preview Ads, Panda Update Hurts Content Farms, Facebook Deals Open For Business, & More

Google Reveals Instant Preview Ads, Panda Update Hurts Content Farms, Facebook Deals Open For Business, & More

This Week’s Industry Update

Compiled By Rocket Clicks

Google Ads Become Part Of The Instant Preview Family

Google rolled out Instant Previews for organic search results last November, providing the user with a quick graphic on-page preview of the scrolled over link. On Monday, Google assimilated that feature into their Sponsored Links so users can preview the ad’s landing page before clicking.

Much like organic Instant Previews, this is intended to give users the power to judge whether the ad in question matches their desired query. It also increases the quality of traffic to your site, and comes free of charge unless the user clicks through to the actual landing page.

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Google Charges Fee For Some PPC Ad Calls

Remember those “What can I get for $1?” McDonald’s commercials? Well if you’re an AdWords user, you can get a call from someone’s personal phone that was generated from a computer or mobile phone. The change will officially go into effect in May 16th according to Google.

Source: Search Engine Land

Demand Media Takes A Hit In The Post-Pandacalypse World

If Google search-driven traffic were the gasoline in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Demand Media sites would be The Humungus and his gang. Much like their fate at the end of the movie, Demand Media has suffered an explosive reduction of Google traffic thanks to the Panda update.

Demand Media sites have lost around 40% of their previous Google traffic since the change, and are just one of many content farm-based sites feeling the negative effects of the expanded Pandacalpyse.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Rolls Out Groupon Competitor

Facebook Deals is now open for business, and ready to compete against the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial to give consumers discounts on local goods and services. Deals is currently operating in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco, but will most likely branch out from there if it proves to be a hit.

Here are some things Facebook Deals can offer:

  • You can receive offers daily through email, but the deals will also show up on your Facebook news feed.
  • Facebook will get some big mileage out of Facebook Credits, as those are the only currency accepted as payment for Facebook Deals offers.

It’ll be interesting to see if Facebook Deals succeeds and what kind of impact it can have on the group buying market.

Source: Business Insider

Yahoo Receives Praise For Buying Three Month Old Company

Twelve weeks ago, IntoNow, a Foursquare-like iPhone app for TV viewing, probably had no idea they’d be worth $20 million to a major web site and search engine provider. That’s the price Yahoo paid for the fledgling application, and most experts are calling it a win-win for both sides.

Yahoo snatched up the app company for a relatively cheap $20 million, and now has the power to brand the popular app as a Yahoo product. Considering Yahoo’s losses in the search market, this could help the company make up some of that difference in the long run.

Source: Business Insider

Google Marketing Executive Leaves Company For Egypt

Seeing one of Google’s employees on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world is no surprise. But that same employee announcing he is leaving the company to help his home country of Egypt may be somewhat unexpected. That is, if you haven’t already heard of 30-year-old Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim.

Ghonim recently announced he would be leaving Google to start a non-governmental organization in Egypt to fight poverty and foster education. Ghonim has been extremely active throughout the Egyptian Revolution, and became a major mouthpiece for the anti-Mubarak protesters. This short blurb doesn’t do Ghonim’s story much justice, and it’s hard to call his choice anything but commendable.

Source: Wired

Apple Faces Lawsuit Over iPhone’s Big Brother Tracking System

Two customers have file a lawsuit alleging Apple violated computer fraud laws by collecting location data on iPhones and iPads without consent. The lawsuit states, “The accessibility of the unencrypted information collected by Apple places users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking.”

Apple acknowledged the location data collection software last week, and claimed it was implemented to help them improve their location services.

Source: Wired

Sony PlayStation Data Breach Spawns Its First Lawsuit

In other “companies that forgot the phrase ‘personal information’ means something to their users” news, Sony has been sued for a personal data security breach of its more than 75 million PlayStation Network customers. The suit states that Sony did not take “reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users.”

Source: CNet

Greplin Indexes Millions Of New Documents Each Day

Greplin, a startup that indexes your social media information in the cloud, has indexed around 1.5 billion documents since their opening in February, and average about 30 million more every day.

Both numbers make sense when you consider that Greplin indexes everything you’ve ever written on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Calendar, and Gmail so it can easily be combed whenever you feel up to it. By the way, this is all managed and monitored by six engineers and one support person.

Source: Tech Crunch

Now Bidding On…MySpace. Starting Bids At $100 Million

News Corp. will start taking offers for MySpace in the next week, with around six private equity firms expected to submit bids. News Corp. bought the floundering social networking site in 2005 for $580 million, which is most likely more than anyone is willing to spend on a site that loses ground to Facebook on a daily basis.

Source: CNet

Social Media Best Practices For Companies

It’s no secret that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are quickly becoming major hits for companies large and small that want their customers to feel directly connected to their products and business. The Wall Street Journal outlines some best practices employed by large companies as they utilize social media outlets as a means of public relations and consumer interaction.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Netflix Beats Largest U.S. Cable Company In Terms Of Total Subscribers

Although 7% of Americans subscribing to Netflix may not seem like a big deal, it’s more than enough to make the video subscription service more used than any cable provider in the country. Netflix’s global subscriber rate has increased by 70% over the last year, and the company earned $60.2 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Growth gets harder as companies get bigger, so it’ll be interesting to see how Netflix deals with their rapid success.

Source: CNN Money

Would You Pay $23,698,655.93 For A Book About Flies?

A couple of Amazon book merchants used an algorithm to automatically reprice their books based on rival book prices. As a result, instead of prices lowering to penny levels, hyper inflation occurred and made a couple of books more expensive than the average salary of a Major League Baseball player. In the words of Jason Bateman in Dodgeball: “That’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.”

Source: Boing Boing

Notable Commentary

To Bring May Flowers

SEO And Great Content: Easy As Pie

SEOmoz guru Rand Fishkin lays out some simple steps for building out great content that is also SEO friendly. Much of it involves asking for visitor opinions and catering to their needs and wants. This may seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be re-stated.

Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Affirming/Debunking Mac Vs. PC Stereotypes

Are you a (Mac/PC) person? This handy dandy infographic will tell you whether you and your personal interests fit in the demographics of either platform. Think of it as another way to lump your perceived uniqueness into a neatly sorted “us vs. them” group dynamic. In all seriousness, this article is a pretty fun (and funny) read, regardless of your computer/platform preferences.

Analysis By: Amanda Green, Hunch Blog

Who’s Spending The Most Money Vying For Your Attention?

Good has compiled an infographic showing which companies spent the most advertising cha-ching over the past year in their attempts to get you to buy their products. They even provide a +/- number indicating the spending increase or decrease since the last fiscal cycle.

Analysis By: Good

Post-Pandacalypse Averted: Five New SEO Tactics

Adam Audette at Search Engine Land does a great job of breaking down the SEO effects of Google’s Panda project, and how to change your SEO strategy to remain effective under its site crawl and indexing changes.

Analysis By: Adam Audette, Search Engine Land

Positive Names Can Be Powerful

This article explains that giving something a better name actually improves its outlook with users of the product. The article references several health foods and how having a better name positively affected the product itself.

Analysis By: Roger Dooley, Neuroscience Marketing

Subscribe To The SEOmoz Top 10 E-Mailing List

When experts offer something valuable for free, you typically want to take it. Simply subscribe at the link below and SEOmoz will e-mail you a top 10 list of the most important pieces of SEO news and updates each month.

Analysis By: SEOmoz

What Did Google Find Out About Smartphones?

Google recently did a study about smartphones and came up with a lot of interesting findings. After reading their data we’re pretty sure you’ll never have to wonder if you should optimize for mobile. Ever again.

Analysis By: Google

This Toilet Is Well Worth Its $6,400 Cost

Somewhere, George Costanza is smiling.

Analysis By: Wall Street Journal