Internet marketing news roundup, April 29

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From evidence of the continuously blurred relationship between social media and search to the buzz across both channels about the Royal Wedding, the internet marketing community had plenty to discuss this week.

From evidence of the continuously blurred relationship between social media and search to the buzz across both channels about the Royal Wedding, the internet marketing community had plenty to discuss this week.

Social media developments started the week off strong when Facebook announced its “Send” button. As Brafton reported, the social plugin (currently available to limited web developers) allows site visitors to share content they find across the web with select friends. Users can send messages to specific groups or individuals on Facebook, and they also have the option to email friends directly.

Another Facebook email feature released this week is the updated Facebook Deals service. The social giant is inviting local marketers to share deals promoting their businesses to Facebook users, distributing deals to subscribers' email addresses as well as within the social network through (among other things) wall posts.

This might be of interest to marketers, as Brafton reported that a recent Visibli study makes clear that Facebook wall posts have a relatively long lifespan. Posts can drive engagement for up to a day, with shared news content generating the most comments, the study found.

Depending on the type of content they publish, marketers may find men are more likely to share social content across Facebook and other platforms. A study from Nielsen and AOL reveals that men are more likely than women to share web content. They are far more likely than their female counterparts to share how-to content or industry reports. Still, women are slightly more inclined to share “common interest” content than men. Notably, the study found that email was the most popular sharing platform.

Data from Janrain indicates that Facebook is the most popular content sharing platform on the web, preferred by 58 percent of online consumers. Twitter came in second at 32 percent, while LinkedIn lagged in third place at 13 percent. This will likely be good news for many businesses, as a separate study says that 88 percent of marketers plan to increase social budgets.

Janrain also found that Facebook logins now exceed Google logins for the purposes of sharing content across the web – likely bad news for Google CEO Larry Page, who is trying to push social-based Google logins with +1.

Google isn't giving up on social media. Rumors about Google's push into the social gaming market were ignited when the company posted a job listing for a game product manager. Additionally, the search giant is now culling from more social networks to deliver Google Realtime search results. (And both Mark Zuckerbeg and Larry Page made Time's 100 list.)

In other Google news, the company is now showing Instant Previews for ads (though the benefits of this for advertisers are still being debated). Also, its Panda update continued to generate some buzz as a new study following Panda's global rollout suggests the majority of U.K. sites are being helped (not harmed) by the update. This might remind marketers that quality content can help their sites achieve ranking success – and this may mean more relevant traffic.

Brafton reported this week that a recent Outbrain study suggests SEO provides the most engaged audiences and social traffic is more likely to bounce. The study found traffic from search engines and content site demonstrated more page views, among other things.

SEO marketers should also remember to consider Bing when optimizing their sites. Microsoft announced its FY11 Q3 earnings, and the company reports that Bing and MSN's 14 percent annual revenue growth was primarily driven by search revenue.

Still, it seems Google will continue to have a strong lead on Bing in the mobile search market. The latest figures from Nielsen suggest that Android devices are the most in-demand smartphones right now, and Google's OS currently leads the market.

Of course, this data presumably polled consumers before the iPhone and Android “Locationgate” scandal. Brafton reported that consumers are upset about potential mobile location data collection. In spite of the fact that Google has reported nearly half of mobile consumers have clicked on local ads, Locationgate may mean local mobile SEO will make consumers feel more secure about businesses discovered via portable devices.

Indeed, Google's recent mobile survey found that 77 percent of mobile users regularly use search engines. Google claims that smarpthones are now the “ultimate shopping companion,” and nearly three-quarters of smartphone owners have made purchase decisions based on mobile searches.

Several headlines this week suggest mobile commerce is on the rise. In addition to Google's survey, Brafton reported that InMobi predicts mobile shopping will reach $9 billion in 2011. Its latest study suggests 74 million Americans currently shop using their mobile phones.

In addition to these search, social, content and mobile developments, internet marketers were not immune to buzz about the Royal Wedding this week. In fact, the topic was inescapable as search and social users, leading search engines and a number of social content platforms flooded the web with queries, images and info about the monumental event. As Brafton reported, the pervasive online chatter about the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton demonstrates the importance of sharing news-worthy content on the web in order to include your brand in online conversations.

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Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Head of Marketing Content & Communications. She has covered SEO, social marketing and new media news for several years. Katherine has a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing has been featured in a number of web publications.
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