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Chrome Gains Ground in Browser Wars – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

Chrome Gains Ground in Browser Wars



Google Chrome surpassed 20% of the global internet browser market during the month ofJune 2011 according to Internet statistics firm StatCounter.

Chrome took 20.7% of the global market, up from 2.8% in June 2009. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has fallen from 59% to 44% globally and Firefox dropped slightly from 30% to 28%.

“It is a superb achievement by Google to go from under 3% two years ago to over 20% today,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “While Google has been highly effective in getting Chrome downloaded the real test is actual browser usage which our stats measure.”

StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US) from the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.

 



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In its rise to Web dominance, Google has displaced plenty of companies, upended several industries, and made a slew of enemies along the way. Some of the adversaries are industry giants in their own right, such as Microsoft and Apple. Others are little-known start-ups that get publicity for raising concerns about Google but often fade back to obscurity when the news cycle ends.

For some rivals, the enmity runs deep. They accuse Google of poaching employees and infringing on copyrights. And still there are others whose complaints about Google’s dominance seems more strategic, an effort to put a hurdle in the way of the Web giant’s inexorable march on new markets.

With the Federal Trade Commission opening a probe into Google’s competitive practices, those enemies will have a new opportunity to raise their concerns to trustbusters. The list of enemies is long. Here are a few:
Microsoft: There’s no company that competes more aggressively with Google over a broader swath of products and services than Microsoft. It starts with search and search advertising, where Google continues to trounce Microsoft, despite billions spent by the software giant to displace it. Google is making headway against Microsoft in the productivity applications business, offering online versions of e-mail, spreadsheet, and word processing programs that compete with Microsoft’s Office suite. Its Chrome browser has taken market share from Internet Explorer. Its Android mobile phone operating system emerged as the most viable alternative to the iPhone in the smartphone market, and not Windows Phone. Microsoft’s recent bid to acquire Internet video chat provider Skype is seen by many through the spectrum of competition with Google, which has its own Google Voice service. And Microsoft, which knows better than most the difficult of a prolonged scuffle with trustbusters, has been the most active Google competitor running to regulators to voice its concerns.

File photo of Google’s Eric Schmidt(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple: It’s one of the oldest memes in the world–the best of friends can sometimes turn into the worst of enemies. In its early days, Google and Apple worked closely, so much so that Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt sat on Apple’s board. Those bonds broke, though, as Google began to develop its Android mobile phone operating system.Schmidt stepped down from Apple’s board, and soon thereafter Jobs reportedly laid into Google at an internal company meeting, saying, “We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake, they want to kill the iPhone.” The companies now compete in the browser market, e-mail, voice chat and a host of other services. And with Apple’s new iCloud offering, the companies are certain to butt heads in data storage as well.
Facebook: Google’s battle with Facebook is really about the future of the Web. If you believe that Facebook, where more and more computer users are spending their Web time, is becoming something of an alternative Internet, then Google has every right to be worried. While computer users are hanging out on Facebook, they’re not searching the Web using Google. Indeed, Facebook has forged ties with Microsoft, giving the Redmond rival access to its users to add social-networking features to its Bing search engine. Google has tried to match some Facebook features, most recently offering +1, a service that lets users show love for Web sites much in the same was Facebook users can “Like” a site. But at last month’s D9 conference, Schmidt, now Google’s executive chairman, acknowledged that he “screwed up” in watching social networking soar without Google.
Groupon:Google has made its mint selling online ads. But one area that’s proven somewhat difficult for the company is the local advertising market. Groupon, which offers daily deals in regional markets in 175 North American markets as well as markets in 42 other countries, has clearly cracked that market. That’s why Google reportedly offered $6 billion to acquire Groupon, a deal Groupon ultimately spurned. Google’s response: start its own rival daily deals service. Earlier this month, it rolled out Google Offers, starting first in Portland, Ore.

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Oracle: Database software leader Oracle isn’t the most obvious enemy for Google. The two companies, who have a common enemy in Microsoft, don’t compete in any meaningful way. But Oracle filed suit last year, accusing Google of infringing on Java patents that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Last week, Oracle added another filing to the case, noting that it’s seeking damages that run “in the billions of dollars.”
PayPal: Google Checkout is a certainly a competitor to PayPal as a way to pay for goods and services online. But Google has plenty of competitors. The fight became more interesting when PayPal accused Google of poaching a key employee. Last month, PayPal sued Google, accusing it of misappropriating trade secrets from its mobile-payment business when it hired Osama Bedier, who had been a senior executive at PayPal, working on its mobile-payments platform. The same suit also accused Google VP of Electronic Commerce Stephanie Tilenius, another former PayPal executive, of violating her contract by recruiting her former colleague, Bedier. In response to the suit, Google said it respects trade secrets and intends to defend itself against the claims.

 Related stories
• Full coverage on the Google antitrust investigation
• Google versus trustbusters, a history
• In D.C., it’s all about beating down Google

Copyright holders: Not all copyright holders, to be sure. But Google, in its quest to organize all the world’s information, often acts first and asks questions later. News organizations, including Agence France Press, once challenged Google for posting headlines, photographs, and news summaries on its Google News aggregation site without permission. And in its most ambitious effort to digitize every book ever written, Google ran afoul of authors, photographers and publishers. Even a settlement struck with key groups was rejected last March by the federal judge overseeing the case.
Travel search sites: Google’s push to dominate the most widely searched queries led it to acquire ITA Software, a little-known but powerful provider of technology to the travel industry. Expedia, Kayak and Hotwire, among others, use ITA’s software to fuel their services. So they banded together to raise concerns to regulators that Google’s acquisition of ITA posed a serious competitive threat. The Justice Department approved the acquisition in April, but with the caveat that Google continue licensing ITA’s travel technology to rivals for five years on “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” terms, and that Google forward to regulators any complaints from travel competitors about where they land in Google’s search rankings.

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and covers Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. He’s the author of the book, Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons (Penguin/Portfolio). He started writing about Microsoft and technology in 1998, first as a reporter for The Seattle Times and later as BusinessWeek’s Seattle bureau chief.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20074178-93/googles-enemy-list-a-primer/#ixzz1QVcxkV2B

Boost Your CTR With These 5 PPC Ad Copy Strategies  – Search Engine Watch (#SEW).


Boost Your CTR With These 5 PPC Ad Copy Strategies

, June 17, 20111 Comments

Strong creative can be a huge competitive advantage in the world of paid search. When you can pay less to get more, you’re doing something right.

The compounding factors of improved CTR, increased quality score, and reduced CPC can make a tremendous impact on performance. Ad copy testing lies at the heart of seizing this competitive advantage.

With an endless number of attributes to test, it can be a little daunting to pick a starting point. Looking for a positive impact? Here are five ad copy attributes you can test.

1. Price Points & Percentage Off

If you’re a retailer, this is must. You’re missing out big if you aren’t testing into specific price points and percent off offers.

Important: don’t make assumptions here. Test out multiple price points and percentages off to find out what will resonate with consumers. Here’s one of my favorite illustrations of why not to assume anything when it comes to price points:

PPC Price Points

A 76.5 percent CTR lift on the higher price point. We can make assumptions as to why the higher of the two price points experienced the higher CTR. Maybe the “or Less” factored in, or maybe “$39” just sounded too good to be true. Hard to say. This is precisely why we test.

2. Google Sitelinks

By now you have hopefully enjoyed the benefits of running Google Sitelinks in your ads. The presence of ad sitelinks can lift CTR by more than 30 percent.

Surprisingly, many advertisers still haven’t added these to their campaigns. Maybe they’ve tested it and found that their ads perform better without sitelinks, but this is doubtful. I haven’t seen an instance where an ad’s CTR decreased as a result of having sitelinks present.

Don’t let your sitelinks get stale. Remember to rotate in new pages to test, and test variations of the ad copy. Keep refining.

3. “Official Site” 

Using “Official Site” directly following the name of the brand in the ad headline has almost always lifted CTR and reduced CPC. There is an absolute correlation between the power of the brand and the influence that “Official Site” will have on improving performance.

Recognizable brands that carry more weight will typically benefit from this. In instances where there are many affiliates competing in the space, the brand will also benefit from this tactic.

“Brand Name – Official Site” can also lift performance on non-brand terms, especially in instances where the brand is considered a leader. Depending on your account, it may be worth experimenting with this.

With the recent modification of Google displaying the root URL of the display URL within the headline, there’s been speculation that “Official Site” many not be as necessary as it once was, and those valuable headline characters can be better utilized. Sounds like another great test!

4. Sense of Urgency

Any good direct marketer understands this principle. Give consumers a reason to feel as though they should decisively take action, and they are more likely to do so.

If you’re running an offer in your ad copy – and you should be if you can – test using an end date. Here are some iterations that work well:

  • “Ends 6/11” – a specific end date. Drop this in the ad copy about five days prior to the end date
  • “Ends Monday” – test using the day of the week vs. the actual date
  • “Hurry!”, “Save Now”, “Ends Soon” – Even without an end date, there are ways to create that sense of urgency with the consumer

5. Extended Headline

This is another recent modification to how Google displays ads. You no doubt have seen this, and hopefully have been experimenting with it.

Google Extended Headline Mens Suits

Ultimately Google will make the call on whether your description line #1 will be moved into the headline of your ad. While you can’t explicitly opt into (or out of) this, you can influence the probability of your ad displaying as such.

First and foremost you need to be in the premium position above the organic results. By crafting your ad so that each line of copy appears as a distinct sentence that ends with proper punctuation, you’ll at least be in a position to have your ad appear with the extended headline.

Applying some of the tactics mentioned earlier, like sense of urgency or price points, into the extended headline can help boost CTR and is worth experimenting with.

Test Your Ad Copy!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of managing paid search accounts is the ability to test, and the learning that comes from it. Curiosity, creativity, and discipline are required. With the competing priorities of so many things you can and should be doing while managing an account, ad copy testing should always remain high on the priority list.

 

1 – Google Reader Sharing

This has been around for a while, but I’m still surprised at how few of my peers are using it.

If you have Google Buzz turned on, you’ll notice when you next log into Google Reader that there’s a section for “People You Follow”. In this section, you can share links – or random thoughts, with all the people who are following you, or a select group, and they can share with you.

Those links also show up on your Google Buzz page. I enjoy getting suggestions from people who know and understand me, and what kind of news I like or need. I also like being able to split my audience into targeted groups of people so I can send them updates just on things they would want to know, instead of the whole fire-hose. Accessing Google profiles from within Google Reader has helped me get to know a lot of people better as well.

2 – Your Google Social Circle and Social Content

Surprisingly, lots of people are dismissive of Google’s Social Search. This was understandable when the searches that turned up social results were still at the bottom of the screen. But recently, Google has integrated Social Search results into the main results, and some social signal data is reportedly already part of their algorithm. This alone makes it worth paying attention to, whatever your experience is with social media.

Besides that, there’s a lot you can learn just from the Social Circle Google has discovered for you, which is derived from how you fill out your Google Profile.

For example, if you’re connected to someone with a common name on Twitter, and you can’t figure out which LinkedIn profile belongs to them due to a common name, Google Social Circle can help with that.

Each person/entity is grouped with the social links that they’ve decided to make public on their Google Profile. True, you can also find this by searching the Google Profile directory, but if you’re looking for several people at a time, this is a heaven sent timesaver.

You can also spot trends of what sites you’re not on that are becoming hot, or figure out which service your friend is using that has the least noise, and thus, the highest chance of contact. The secondary connections section can also help you find new people to connect to in your favorite social media site.

3 – Google Insights for Search

Is your business seasonal? Does your favorite search term reflect this? Has the term you targeted peaked? Are there other related terms you could attain rising in popularity? You can use Google Insights for Search to research all these things.


4 – Google Correlate

Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends. This might not seem important at first glance, but one thing I’ve used it for is to help local businesses with regional chains decide what local search project to prioritize. Another is to find keyword sets I wouldn’t have thought of on my own, by typing in phrases to see what other phrases they often appear within searches.

5 – Google Follow Finder

Not yet a Google Labs graduate. Plug in your name and see who Google thinks you should follow after digging into your social graph. I like to use it to find more people who are like my favorite Twitter friends.

6 – Google News Timeline

Google News Timeline can help you examine the growth of a story, track mentions of your company in the press over time, or see what’s hot in different types of publications. It can even give you a link you can refer back to later, if you want to follow the progress day-to-day.

7 – Google News Near You on Google News for Mobile (On your mobile phone)

This will add a new section to the mobile version of Google News that will tell you what’s going on in your immediate area. Once you browse to the Google News site on your cell phone, and share your location, you will then get a new section called “News Near You”.

That section will give you news according to what’s near your physical location.

Those are just a few of the new or updated tools and resources for search, news and social media that you can find in Google. Keep an eye on the Google Blog and the Google Labs site for more.

About The Author
Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a website promotíon specialist. Get more daily tips on generating traffic from Google. Sign up here today – freetraffictip.com/tv/ – and get video footage that will show you how to find out what Google knows about your site.

Web Design & The Rule of Thirds – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Optimization – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, Twitter usage has climbed to 13 percent of U.S. adults online – up from 8 percent in November. Usage among people ages 25 to 34 and 55 to 64 has more than doubled since late 2010.

These statistics are impressive but they don’t tell the whole story about recent developments with Twitter and the fact that it is on its way to becoming the Web’s next great search engine. For that, you need to optimize. But first, let’s look at how Twitter is getting closer to its goal of becoming a legitimate powerhouse.

Earlier this year, Twitter acquired TweetDeck, the service that helps users organize information on Twitter and eases the burden of constantly streaming updates. They also recently acquired AdGrok, an advertising platform intended to help Twitter monetize the site. Other recent developments include an embeddable button that allows users to more easily follow their favorite accounts on Twitter, and the ability to share photos on Twitter directly (expect video to follow).

One can argue all day that Twitter is used by a small percent of the population and that the number of accounts is inflated, due to users having several accounts at one time. But what cannot be argued is that the amount of information that flows through Twitter is enough to challenge any other source on the Web. Although it might not be a core of Twitter’s current usage, the new acquisitions point to a new phase in the service’s development – a budding real-time, social search engine. It should now be treated as such. Below, are 10 tips for Twitter optimization to make sure that your business is at the forefront of the Web’s next search boom.

  1. Use TweetDeck. Twitter acquired the TweetDeck so that they could centralize Twitter functionality and keep a tight grip on the information flowing through the site. You can be sure that those who use TweetDeck will have an inherent leg-up on the competition.
  2. Use Hashtags. As it stands, hashtags (#web or #sports, for example) are a good way to get your tweets indexed, searchable and noticed by other users. Don’t be afraid to get creative with hasthags, either. Sometimes they can create new streams of content or simply catch the attention of other users who will retweet your message.
  3. Use Keywords. Think like a SEO professional. Research keywords and use them in your updates.
  4. Be Witty. Keywords are necessary. But you must also entertain, from time to time. Clever tweets have a way of being re-tweeted. Also, consider using teasers to encourage clicks on links.
  5. Use Descriptive Short URLs. When possible, edit short URLs to include content keywords. Not only will they stand out from the rest, but users will be inclined to use that URL rather than re-shrinking it on their own – resulting in better, more accurate click and share data.
  6. Vary Content Types and Providers. If users wanted to only read about your company, all the time, they would subscribe to your RSS feed or bookmark your blog. Mix it up with content from other sources and by type (video, audio, photos). Remember that we are focused on search, and multimedia is increasingly important for search engines and users.
  7. Tweet Regularly and Promptly. You don’t want to be a nuisance but be sure to post quality updates on a regular basis. It ensures you stay top-of-mind with consumers and provides more content available to index and search. Tweet every piece of content you produce. Twitter is used by many to find breaking news. Provide it.
  8. Post Contests, Giveaways and Promotions. People love a good deal and Twitter users are no exception. Running promotions will attract followers. And the number of followers is undoubtedly part of the search formula at Twitter and on standard search engines, where tweets are increasingly displayed.
  9. Re-tweet and Follow. By re-tweeting others and following other accounts, you will earn more followers and encourage interaction – another factor that Twitter will take into account when assigning “status” to information providers.
  10. Listen. Many people use Twitter to contact businesses, air grievances and seek support. Listen up, and reply promptly and fairly. It shows that you respect your followers, can foster any number of opportunities for cross-promotion and branding, and can prevent a bad experience from “going viral.” Solicit feedback, too. People like to feel that they are making a difference.

Online Ad Revenues Jump 23 Percent – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

Online advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $7.3 billion for the first quarter of 2011, representing a 23-percent increase over the same period in 2010, according to figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry and a significant increase over last year’s first-quarter revenue level, which had been the highest on record to date.

“The consistent and considerable year-over-year growth we’re seeing demonstrates that digital media is an increasingly popular destination for ad dollars, and for good reason,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “As Americans spend more time online for information and entertainment purposes, digital advertising and marketing has emerged as one of the most effective tools businesses have to attract and retain customers.”

Search made up for 46 percent of the ad revenues, followed by display advertising with 24 percent. Sponshorships (3 percent of the share) have grown 88 percent since 2009, and classifieds (10 percent) are up 15 percent.