You already know that every issue of Website Magazine is filled with practical articles on a variety of topics from industry thought leaders. What you may not know is that within each issue we dedicate a few pages to covering the most important news and events in the industry - those that are most meaningful to the success Web professionals. Take a look below at the 'Net Briefs from our August 2010 issue below and don't miss out on another issue - subscribe to our monthly magazine now!
Google’s Caffeine Boost
Consumers are encountering a much different search results page thanks to
Google’s new Web indexing system, Caffeine. Make no mistake – the impact on
Internet businesses will be substantial moving forward. Google claims Web search
listings are now 50 percent fresher as Caffeine enables index updates on a continuous
basis rather than every few weeks. The result is an environment where more
universally accessible content (video, image, audio and reviews) is available and it
is intersecting with real-time search in a prominent way. The new index will force
Web professionals to step up content development creation and their social media
creativity to stay ahead of the competition and relevant to consumers.
Creating videos to market your products
and services became much simpler thanks
to the introduction of a new set of cloudbased
video editing tools from YouTube.
Web marketers and content publishers
can now build a library of online videos and increase opportunities for
brand exposure at the same destination.
YouTube users have the capability to cut from videos, create montages
of different clips and add or change accompanying music using YouTube’s
commercial library of licensed songs. While in itself a significant development,
there’s also the possibility that the new video editor may be integrated
into Google’s Chrome operating system to provide a completely
Web-based tool for businesses looking to expand their use of YouTube.
Happy Bing Day!
Microsoft’s search engine Bing recently
turned one year old, and it has
maintained steady if not spectacular
growth since being launched last June.
ComScore has it accounting for 11.8
percent of U.S. Internet searches in the
most recent monthly data, while Hitwise
has a slightly more modest number of
9.43 percent. Both figures, however, are
considerably higher than the numbers
posted in May, 2009, the last data for
Microsoft’s search product before it was
re-launched under the Bing brand. The
real opportunity for small business
advertisers hoping to increase their ROI
with Bing, however, should come when
the Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal is
implemented later this year.
May was a telling month about the global power of social media, but it
didn’t start out particularly well for category leader Facebook and its CEO,
Mark Zuckerberg. An outpouring of criticism over the social network’s
privacy policies was followed by a sweat-soaked,
pseudo-apologetic stage appearance by
Zuckerberg, all of which resulted in a
Quit Facebook Day grassroots movement
scheduled for the last day of the month.
But research firm comScore reports that
Facebook gained more than 8.5 million
unique monthly visitors in May,
rendering the estimated 30,000
defections irrelevant. In the
U.K., social networks (11.88%)
gained a higher percentage of
Internet traffic in May than
search engines (11.33%) for
the first time in history — all
indications that social may
be on the way to overtaking
search as the smart choice
for advertising spend from
marketers around the world.
Not Just for
The demand continues to grow for online
video, which is great news for providers
like Hulu and Blip.tv and their advertisers.
According to a recent published report, the
number of people in the U.S. who watched
Internet video during television viewing hours
rose 14 percent in the last year. That figure is
now at around 65 million viewers tuned in to
their computers and mobile devices instead
of their televisions in the evenings during
the week, and they are increasingly watching
a broader range of content. Content then
becomes the key piece to the puzzle as
advertisers position themselves for the
launch of Google TV and other platforms
that will allow consumers to view virtually
anything on a single device.
Hot Button Issues
While Facebook has brought privacy to the forefront of Internet users’ minds, security has not been far behind as the most
hotly debated Web topic in recent weeks. Numerous Google employees were recently anonymously quoted as pointing to
breaches in the Microsoft Windows operating system as the cause for attacks from
Chinese hackers back in January, indicating that a companywide migration to Mac, Linux
or Google’s own Chrome OS was forthcoming. Microsoft almost immediately responded
with a post on its Windows blog that vigorously defended the product, and numerous
Internet security companies have subsequently come out with their own support for
the Windows operating systems. A week later, Microsoft launched a timely series of
television commercials touting the primary features of Internet Explorer 8: security
According to forecasting and analysis
firm MagnaGlobal, worldwide online
advertising revenues in 2010 are
predicted to grow 12.4 percent higher
than their 2009 totals. The projection
for 2011 is another 11.7-percent rise, with
growth leveling off at 11 percent for the
next three years and global online ad
spending to reach $103 billion in 2015.
Paid search is expected to account for
49 percent of the world’s total online ad
spending in 2010, up 16.5 percent from
last year. The channels that make up
the remaining 51 percent of the 2010
totals will constitute an 8.7-percent
rise since 2009. In the U.S., paid search
will represent 48 percent of the 2010
revenue, projected to reach $13 billion.
The Whole Package
Cisco Systems is trying to make it a little easier for small businesses to
meet their growing IT demands in the face of over-extended budgets.
Executives recently announced that Cisco is turning its small-business
storage platforms into multipurpose devices with several features geared
toward companies with less than 100 employees. In addition to hard drives
and backup and encryption capabilities, the new NSS 300 Series Smart
Storage systems can include a Web server, e-mail server, FTP server,
RADIUS authentication server and other free features if customers choose
to turn them on. Cisco said it believes that many small businesses don’t
have these types of servers and will welcome the ability to implement them
without having to buy and deploy a separate hardware platform.
Twitter dropped a bomb on the real-time search and social media community with
the introduction of its T.CO URL shortening service. Twitter has been routing
links within Direct Messages through its own link shortening service for security
measures for several months, but they were previously wrapped with a twt.tl URL.
When the new T.CO service launches for all tweets later this summer, users will
have a way to automatically shorten URLs when posted directly through Twitter.
Since the micro-blogging service will be routing links through their own analytics
system to gather metrics, its recently announced Promoted Tweets advertising
platform cannot be too far behind. Twitter users may continue
to use alternate URL shorteners, but the company plans
to wrap all shortened links that are
submitted. In one fell swoop, Twitter
may have single-handedly
squashed all URL shortening
Perhaps Apple’s worst-kept
secret was officially let loose in
June, with the announcement
of iPhone 4.
Among the most progressive changes in the
device are multitasking, HD video recording,
on-the-fly video editing and the ability to video
chat with both front- and rear-facing cameras
and the new FaceTime app.
During Steve Jobs’ unveiling, a crowded
Wi-Fi connection kept the device from showing
its stuff on several occasions. While not directly
linked to AT&T’s notorious call-dropping reputation,
it does hint at some potential problems;
including the notion that multitasking could
choke an already-burdened network. Who
doesn’t have this problem? Android — due to
the fact that its network is spread among
Social to Go!
New data from comScore shows that mobile usage of social
networking applications is exploding — to the tune of a 240
percent increase from April of this year, compared to April, 2009.
Mobile visitors to social networking sites via browsers grew
90 percent, to 30 million users. This data points to the importance
of a social and mobile strategy for businesses, including apps.
The same study found that mobile application usage overall
increased 28 percent, including news apps (124%), sports
information (113%) and online banking (near double usage).
Admob is Banned From the Premises
Apple’s proposed new developer terms would prohibit any
apps that include AdMob mobile ads from all of Apple’s mobile
devices, including iPhone and iPad. Instead, Apple will use iAd,
its own advertising platform.
Omar Hamoui, founder of AdMob, had this to say on his
blog: “This change is not in the best interests of users or developers.
In the history of technology and innovation, it’s clear that
competition delivers the best outcome. Artificial barriers to
competition hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall
technological progress.” He added, “…we’ll be speaking to Apple
to express our concerns about the impact of these terms.”