Search Engine Marketing Blog: Google’s Impressive Almost 66% Search Market Share

Whatever search engine you personally prefer, the recent August statistics released by comScore prove that Google has an impressive 65.8 percentage of US search market share under its belt. This compared to Yahoo’s 17.1 percent and Bing’s 11 percent.

But Google did lose a little ground when these results are compared to its 66.4 percent search market share in June.

So how is the search market share calculated?

ComScore calculates these numbers using a methodology called “Explicit Core Search”. This method excludes contextual links and slide shows. Yahoo and Bing recently added contextual links and slideshows forcing comScore to calculate metrics using another method also called “Total Core Search”.

And how do slideshows and contextual shortcuts make any difference?

A single click on a slideshow triggers a series of sites to load automatically and each slide is counted as a click. When users hover over some words in articles contextual links pop up and are counted as clicks too.
This different technique of searching was reflected in the Total Core Search statistics. Google accounted for about 61.6 percent of the market share while Yahoo was at 20 percent and Bing followed with 12.6 percent. This difference in patterns prompted comScore to change its methodology and offer two distinct fields, called Explicit Core Search and Total Core Search.

Experts have backed this change in methodology. This is because explicit core search tracks only those searches in which users entered specific queries to get results, unlike when you enter one query and get a cascade of links, all counting as queries.
With Yahoo joining hands with Bing, it remains to be seen if they are successful in leveraging their combined strengths to fend off Google and obtain a larger search market share.


Search Engine Marketing Blog: Facebook Places – The new way to reach your audience

When you have something that’s being used by half a billion people, it’s bound to have a huge immediate impact. So can your business when it is featured on your Place Page.
Facebook Places is a smart-phone location check-in feature that will allow you to share your location, find the location of your friends, and discover new places based on other Facebook user recommendations – much like Loopt, Foursquare and Yelp! provide.
Facebook Places has exploded as a habitual way of connecting. With people migrating their location check-ins to the network where they spend most of their time already – Facebook, it is a suite of advertising tools that provides you a way to list, claim and advertise your business.
You can grab your friend’s attention to your Place page by adding a story about your place page that talks all about your business on your profile. Data that you can collect on users and amount of times they check in will prove extremely valuable in tracking customers and advertising spend. What this means is that the customer that comes in every day can now be tracked and even incentivized to get a free gift for every tenth check-in. It’s like the digital/social version of the loyalty card.
 And more so, people are talking and telling others about your business therefore this has the potential for generating new referrals!
Offering coupons and special offers for people who check in is a natural way to tap the power of using online tools to drive offline sales. You can also make this more appealing and catchy by creating polls and inviting comments about your business. You can reward those who bring potential customers to your place page or share their experience with your business by offering them exclusive discounts or special offers.
All in all, Facebook Places is here to stay and I predict that advertisers will start becoming creative for leveraging Facebook Places.

Internet Marketing Business Blog: Social Media – A Game Changer!

"Social media marketing is here to stay" could very well be chalked up as the understatement of the year. Social media marketing has been on the rise for the past several years. Even so, there are still a lot of small businesses and corporations who continue to drag their feet on "getting social".
It is a new age where corporate reputations can be transformed in an instant, as consumers harness the power of social media to expose wrongdoing and vent their disapproval in enormous numbers. BP is just the latest in a string of global corporations who had to face social networking ire.
Others, such as Toyota and Goldman Sachs, have been forced into overdrive to repair damage resulting from perceived wrongdoing-often at immense cost and significant damage to their reputations. What makes these crises different today is that corporations are fighting to protect their reputations on all fronts, particularly online, and the challenge is getting more complex as millions more people sign up for Twitter, Facebook and the next generation of social media services.
The example of the month for Internet reputation management problems is British Petroleum. Their massive oil spill off the coast of New Orleans, an already-embattled city in a struggling state, has caused a reputation problem the likes of which have not been seen since Enron.
Twitter and Facebook continue to be the most used social media marketing tools by marketers, according to a new survey. Recent research shows one in four adult users of social media is now willing to lash out at companies online.
Twitter appeals to people due to its informality.  Facebook has now passed the 500 million mark and although it is popular, it's popularity in business application remains to be low. However, many business leaders are still failing to make the connection between protecting their reputation and being prepared to actively engage with their customers online.

More than ever before, people are using social media as a game changer to create major tremors across the corporate landscape. Whether it is to lobby Apple for its failure to respond adequately to the iPhone 4 product quality issues-which led to $9.9 billion being wiped off the company's value-or to ridicule BP for its ongoing problems in the Gulf of Mexico, social media's impact on corporate reputations and business strategy is increasing.

As a small business owner, isn't it time to jump on the bandwagon?

Online Marketing Blog: Facebook Continues Enhancements

Facebook could release updates to services within the next several weeks that would allow its more than 500 million members to personalize offerings from news feeds to business and location-based applications, according to sources.

Third-party companies involved with the latest update have been told to have their application programming interface (API) integration ready to go by Aug. 19.
Third-party developers say the API will provide deeper integration through a one log-in toggle that takes members across a variety of applications, similar to Google's OpenID API that allows users to sign in to third-party Web sites using their Google Apps user account.
The ability to seamlessly move from one application to another also provides a clear path for advertisers to target ads. The integration would also fortify Facebook's search feature. The app will likely provide advertisers and companies that have Fan pages on the site with a little extra zing. The services will offer more than a geo-location check-in feature similar to Foursquare.