Video Ad Spending Is On The Rise, A Panda Is Lurking In The Forest, Cyber Monday Broke Records, & More

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This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

As Online Video Popularity Swells, So Does Video Ad Spend

Video ad spending jumped 27% over the past year, and projects to increase by another 20% throughout 2013, according to Adap.tv, an online video advertising firm. The company’s recent study concluded that 58% of participants plan to merge their online and TV ad planning together, and 67% said they believed both were closely related. Source: Search Engine Watch

Another Panda Update Is Coming

Last week, people were spooked by an apparent fluctuation in Google’s search results. Search Engine Land did some investigating, but Google denied a Panda update had occurred. Not coincidentally, Google villainously added, “…yet” as a post-script. So, prepare for light speed. Source: Search Engine Land

This Just In: People Love Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday sales skyrocketed to $1.46 billion in 2012, up 17% over last year’s total. That now stands as the single day online spending record to beat next year. Funny enough, comScore determined 47.1% of purchases were made from work computers. On the advertising side, the costs were just as inflated, as search ad spend on Thanksgiving Day increased by 59% over 2011. Source: Search Engine Watch

Mobile Traffic Increases  Over Thanksgiving Weekend Increases For Retailers

According to Mobile Web and app developer Usablenet, retailers with both mobile sites and apps saw their mobile traffic over Thanksgiving weekend increase by 117 percent from 2011 to 2012. Retailers that only have a mobile site saw a 98 percent increase in traffic from last year. Obviously, Usablenet wants retailers to adopt mobile, which is worth noting when looking at the numbers. Source: Digiday

Facebook Announces New Conversion Measurement Tool

Facebook announced the launch of a new conversion measurement tool to help marketers measure ad effectiveness and outcomes. Facebook’s ads product manager said the tool has been requested for some time because in the past it was difficult for marketers to directly attribute sales to Facebook ads activity. Source: Search Engine Watch

Amazon Introduces Amazon Pages For Third Party Vendors

Amazon is offering new brand opportunities for third party vendors this holiday season. The site introduced Amazon Pages by Amazon Marketing Services, which allow retailers to build a customized Amazon page complete with an Amazon URL, analytics and social media integration. Source: Search Engine Journal

Firefox Adds Search Engine Hijack Warnings To Browser

The latest “nightly channel” of the version 19 Firefox browser will display warnings to users when it appears that someone is hijacking their search results. In some cases, these warnings are triggered by aggressive malware that is attempting to steal search referrals. Source: Search Engine Land

Groupon Attempting To Become Local Deals Search Engine

Groupon announced that it will maintain a growing catalogue of less time sensitive deals for consumers to take advantage of. Groupon is calling this feature the “Local marketplace” and while only functional in New York and Chicago at the moment, the feature should be available across Groupon cities soon. Source: Search Engine Land

FTC Will Likely Dump “Vertical Search” Antitrust Claims Against Google

Enough evidence has surfaced to suggest that the FTC will likely drop its “Vertical Search” Antitrust claims against Google. Bloomberg reported that the FTC was having second thoughts about pursuing formal action against Google, with anonymous sources in the agency that their “vertical search bias” claim isn’t strong enough to stick legally. It’s a huge development given that “search bias” is the core of FairSearch and other Google critic’s objections to the search engine. Source: Search Engine Land

Bing Revamps Social Sidebar

Bing launched its Social Sidebar about six months ago and the search engine is already making changes to the feature. Bing is testing a new format that eliminates the gray background and displays more matching content from social networks and friends. The news Social Sidebar also replaces the Facebook share box with a post to Facebook button and drops the activity stream of general questions friends have posted on Facebook. Source: Search Engine Land

Someone Named Their Child ‘Hashtag’ Because People Are Awful Sometimes

No word on whether the twins, Like and Unlike, have been born yet. Source: Search Engine Watch

Webmaster Tools Access Glitch Sends Forums Into Chicken Little Mode, Google Fixes Problem Quickly

Google had a momentary lapse in Webmaster Tools security on Wednesday, as the program accidentally granted access to past employees/contractors for a few websites. As such, the world ended for a few hours, until Google patched everything up and promised it wouldn’t happen again. Source: Search Engine Journal

Android 4.2 Believes There Are Only 11 Months In The Year

Until recently, Christmas was not coming for users of the latest Android operating system. It appears Google forgot to include December in its calendar, leading to some snickering and corny jokes such as the one that led off this recap. Source: BGR

Notable Commentary

That’s Coffee For The Mind

Did You Know Search Engines Possess More Information Than The Web Itself?

Well it’s true, and Bill Slawski is here to break it down for you. Because Google, Yahoo, and Bing collect data from search queries and online sessions, they have an incredible amount of behavioral information that allows them to tweak results based on intent. This allows Google to answer multiple questions with one search, eliminating the need for another search for additional information about something. Slawski explains that this also lets search engines enhance previously underserved queries with relevant results. Analysis By: Bill Slawski, SEO By The Sea

Lowering Your Cost-Per-Lead Generated

If you work with a company that relies on PPC for lead generation, this post is for you. Abby at PPC Hero runs down a quick list of tips to help get the most back for your buck from cost-per-lead acquisitions. It was written a little over a year ago, but the principles remain relevant today. Analysis By: Abby, PPC Hero

Here’s An Updated Comprehensive Guide To Link Building

The YOUmoz post is a solid gold reference for all your new age link building needs. Analysis By: Scott Mclay, SEOmoz

‘News Keywords’ Are A Meta Tag You Can Actually Use

Google’s meta news keyword tag has been live for a couple months, but much like the authorship tag, few have rushed to embrace it. Danny Sullivan lays out why it’s different than meta keywords, which Google devalued long ago, and how Google wants you to use it if you specialize in editorial content. Analysis By: Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land

Looking Back On SEO In The Year 2012

In what should be the first of many nostalgic reviews of Internet marketing’s progression through 2012, Tom Schmitz provides an organized look into the biggest Google developments throughout the past year. Analysis By: Tom Schmitz, Search Engine Land

A Social Analytics Dashboard For Everyone

Anna Lewis has a very useful “how-to” article on integrating a social media analytics segment into your Google Analytics dashboard. It’s very simple and straightforward. Analysis By: Anna Lewis, Dashboard Junkie

A Tutorial Guide Through XML Sitemaps

Everyone understands the importance of XML sitemaps, but not all webmasters are truly masters of their domain. Search Engine Journal has a very helpful starter’s guide to this crucial piece of your SEO strategy. Analysis By: Lyuben Georgiev, Search Engine Journal

You Should Really, Really Care About These Search And Social KPIs

As social and search move closer together in terms of defining a business’ value online, the number of metrics to choose from doubles accordingly. As such, it’s increasingly important to pay attention to only the most valuable Key Performance Indicators when determining the success of any social media or SEO campaign. Analysis By: Jordan Kasteler, Search Engine Land

Interview With A Google Webspam Expatriate

Anytime you can get someone who worked with Matt Cutts to talk, it’s worth a listen or read. In this case, Search Engine Journal converses with Andrew Weyher, a direct compatriot of Cutts who often worked on combating dirty link profiles and general bad SEO practices. Analysis By: Jayson DeMers, Search Engine Journal

Auditing Another Site’s SEO Presence Can Help You

That may sound like a slightly crazy time-waster that could be better allocated somewhere else, but Rand Fishkin does have an interesting point about how doing SEO on a non-client’s website can improve your own client’s/company’s SEO strategy. Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Google And Bing Paid Search Features New In 2012

Joseph Kerschbaum highlights some of the most important new Google and Bing paid search features of 2012. Analysis by: Joseph Kirschbaum, Search Engine Watch

Determining When You Need A Mobile Site

Carrie Hill discusses how to gather the necessary evidence to determine if it’s time for a mobile website. Analysis by: Carrie Hill, Search Engine Land

The Rising Importance Of Co-Citation

Rand Fishkin discusses the diminishing importance of anchor text and the rise of co-citation’s importance in its stead. Analysis by:  Rand Fishkin, SEOMoz

‘Tis The Season To Weep For Humanity With The Year’s Top Searches

Bing has released their annual guide to depression, aka the top search terms used in 2012. Unsurprisingly, fame correlates to relevance, however undeserved it is. The top searched person was Kim Kardashian, “Gangnam style dance” won the top “news” search, the iPhone was the most searched for term, and Hurricane Sandy came in fourth, just ahead of Honey Boo Boo. Read the rest of this at your own peril. Analysis By: Miranda Miller, Search Engine Watch

Using Narrative Web Forms Can Increase Conversions

As the author states, no one enjoys filling out informational forms, be they for a bank, credit card, or insurance company. So why would similarly formatted online forms retain customers? This article explains how a “Mad Lib”-like format can help your conversion rate. Analysis By: Bnonn, Kissmetrics

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