Studies & Stats

Social Media The New Search Engine?

It seems that social media sites have become a search engine of sorts. A recent report released by the Nielsen Group has search engines such as Google, wondering if their days maybe coming to an end. However search engines are still the favorite option when it comes to searching at 37 percent, but social media sites are climbing up the chart. 

Jon Gibs, VP Media Analytics for Nielsen, said, “roughly 18 percent of users see [social media] as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure. And as social media usage continues to increase, I can only expect this figure to grow.” (more…)

Facebook Passes 250 Million Users

facebook-logo1Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Founder of Facebook, announced about a week ago that the social networking site now has over 250 million users. Just a few months ago, back in April of 2009, Facebook passed 200 million users. The growth of the site is pretty phenomenal and reinforces the fact that Facebook is the #1 social networking site in the world, although in the U.S. MySpace still holds a slight advantage. In the global market however, Facebook is more than twice the size of MySpace and continues to dominate in every category.

To give you an idea of Facebook’s adoption, the U.S. has a population of just over 300 million, and the world has about 6.7 billion people. That means in the U.S., with over 75 million users, 1 in 4 people have a Facebook page, with about half of those logging in each day. Worldwide, Facebook reaches about 4% of the popluation. You can see more Facebook statistics here.

One of the most interesting things about the growth of Facebook was not the fact that it had so many global users, but instead that those aged 35 and up were the fastest growing population of users and responsible for fueling much of the recent gains. That means the older population is embracing Facebook as a networking tool for business beyond simple social connections, which is definitely not the case for MySpace.
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Swine Flu Research Indicative of New Information Trends

swine-fluAlthough some of the initial swine flu hysteria has seemed to subside, search trends indicate that it’s still very much in the public consciousness. After hearing multiple stories and stats from both the local and national news, people fired up their computers and turned to the search engines.

People, of course, turned to their most trusted search engine—Google. Within that engine, queries such as “swine flu symptoms” and “swine flu” rose as quickly as the hysteria itself. The following is a list of the top ten visited websites based on these search terms.

1. CDC.gov
2. Wikipedia.com
3. News.Google.com
4. News. Yahoo.com
5. MySpace.com
6. CNN.com
7. Yahoo.com
8. PandemicFlu.gov
9. Facebook.com
10. WHO.int
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Study Indicates a Rash of Twitter Quitters

twitter-retention-rateWhile a staggering amount of people seem to talk about Twitter, the latest polls and research indicate that talk is about all that Twitter can muster nowadays. According to these latest numbers, the hype surrounding the microblogging site is far exceeding the practical rate of usage.

To that end, a study by Nielsen Online determined that over 60 percent of new Twitter users quit using the site after only one month. Put another way, the retention rate for the site hovers around 40 percent. To put that dismal number in perspective, other social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace boast a retention rate around 70 percent.

All the dedicated Twitter users, however, look for hope in the facts. After all, no one can deny the impressive rush of people who signed up for the service. But even these numbers can be viewed as troubling statistics for Twitter. After all, other social networking powerhouses also experienced explosive initial numbers. But unlike Twitter, they were able to hold onto their users.
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XML Sitemaps and Search Engine Marketing

I’ve always held the belief that XML sitemaps are an important technical aspect to an effective marketing campaign, especially when it comes to blog and search engine marketing. However, this belief was only supported in theory. Sure, every piece of marketing advice and documentation pointed to why XML sitemaps were beneficial, but there wasn’t any data to back up that claim. It was a search engine optimization assumption, in that because this technology was supported by Google and all the other major engines, it made sense to include it in a comprehensive marketing campaign. The question is, does this actually help the engines index your site better or faster? Or is this just a myth pushed by myself and the rest of the SEO community to justify the addition? Couldn’t search engines find and index your site or blog easily on their own?
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Psychology Your Way Into Sales

It’s no surprise that humans react in odd and irrational ways, particularly when it comes to spending money. To that end, Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, offers many insightful lessons into the quirky (and largely predictable) human psyche. And in turn, these lessons may help web businesses shape their image and behaviors in order to garner as many sales as possible and become a successful online destination. Here are some important aspects of online sales tactics to consider when running an e-commerce or service-oriented business:

Relativity
It turns out Einstein knew what he was talking about—relativity does matter. Although this kind of relativity isn’t exactly what the theoretical physicist had in mind, there is something to be said for comparing your products to others. When products are offered in a standard and deluxe version, the standard version suddenly looks like a bargain and tends to sell. Create instant price comparisons on your site, and people are less likely to leave the site to shop around.
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iePlexus Marketing Is A Recipe For Online Business Success

Family mementos are an important part of passing memories and traditions from one generation to the next. For most, these cherished items include jewelry or photos – but for Long Island, New York resident D. Boyd, they’re pots and pans.

In fact, Boyd still uses some her grandmother’s cookware passed down to her by her mother. But these aren’t just any pots and pans, they are cast iron.

“My mother used cast iron constantly, and I learned to cook using those pans,” said Boyd.

There’s no childhood memory better than that of delicious cooking smells wafting from the kitchen. Boyd said her mother would often make her scrambled eggs for breakfast. And if she was lucky, she would make her favorite dish, “German meat patties,” for dinner. The meat patties weren’t anything complicated – just a combination of hamburger meat, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and spices. But they were scrumptious nonetheless.

Decades later, when Boyd’s parents were elderly, she and her husband moved in with them to help out.  Boyd began doing most of the cooking using her grandmother’s cast iron.
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SEM Opportunities Untapped In China

In the United States we have a tendency to think we are the most technologically, politically, and socially advanced. But, as far as internet use goes, Americans aren’t logging on as often as Chinese users. With 253 million internet users, China recently surpassed the United States with the world’s largest web population. The Chinese also have another edge on American web users – they have more fun online.

A recent survey of 2,500 web users from 16 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Korea, and Australia found that China’s users were more likely than others to describe web-based activities like blogging, posting on message boards, reading forums, and watching online videos as “fun.” Chinese web users are also more active in their internet use than users from other countries. “Web 2.0 is far more advanced in Asia, and in China, than in the U.S. and Europe,” said Bernice Klaasen, head of interactive research at TNS Media Intelligence Singapore. “In Western countries, about 1% of users create content online, about 10% participate through methods like comments or discussions, and the rest are lurkers.”
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Respect Your Readers

People do read online. In fact, you’re doing it right now. Many past surveys have claimed that people don’t read content online, but they do, and web content writers, designers, and developers have no excuse for furnishing pages with meaningless blather. Creating evocative text takes longer than most deadline-consumed writers are willing to spend and costs more than most business owners are willing to pay.

The 2007 Poynter Institute’s Eyetrack study found that nearly two-thirds of online readers read all the text of a particular story once they begin to read it. About half of online readers are methodical. That means they start at the beginning of a story and read word-for-word through the end. The other online readers are scanners. The study also revealed that online readers were drawn to navigation bars and teasers, while print readers preferred large photos and headlines.

Word Cloud

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Online Businesses Profit From Big Business Losses

In a time when countless retail giants are cutting costs, laying off and closing their doors, many small business owners are left wondering whether they’ll be next. It’s easy to see that the economic down turn has forced consumers to rethink their spending habits. Though the media tends to focus more on large corporations, small businesses across the country are getting hit just as hard.

In Austin, Texas people are saving money by waiting longer to get their hair cut. The Austin American-Statesman staff interviewed hairstylist Deborah Schrimpsher, who said that her customers now average only one haircut every two months, instead of one every five weeks, and that many people are choosing to color their hair at home.
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