The topic of the day at today’s Search Engine Strategies conference was privacy protection and collection of user’s data as a panel discussed the popularity of various internet browsers and the issue of privacy online.

Session moderator Kevin Ryan, SES advisory board chair and CEO of Motivity Marketing, said that browsers will be important when it comes to the next generation of targeting customers.

A study done by Janco Associates in November found that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still dominates the browser market with 73 percent of internet users while Firefox claims almost 17 percent of the market. Google’s new browser, Chrome, only holds about 3 percent.

The panel also discussed the issue of privacy surrounding the rise of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Chris Sherman, executive editor of Search Engine Land, said "the ultimate question is, ‘who are we afraid will get their hands on all of this data?’" reported this week that Facebook is quickly closing the gap on MySpace to become the social networking leader. According to its findings, Facebook had 49.4 million visitors between November 2007 and November 2008, with 69.5 percent growth over the year. Over that same period, MySpace had 56.4 million visitors, representing a 14.4 percent drop-off for the year.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.