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I Know You 'Like'? Me, But Can I Get a '+1'??

Getting a '+1'? doesn't only apply to guest lists anymore. Google recently launched its new social sharing button, which will compete against Bing's recent partnership with Facebook and the 'Like'? button. While Facebook is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, Bing still doesn't compare to Google in terms of search engine user percentage. Even after last year's Bing/Yahoo! merger, the two engines combine to make up only about 14% of the total market share in the United States (Google has an impressive 85%). So even though Facebook activity may be influencing Bing's organic search results, the Bing user base is still relatively small for the partnership to have shown great impact thus far. With unsuccessful past social media experiments of their own, Google is using their new +1 button as a means of influencing their own search algorithm. The social aspect of +1 comes from the fact that users need to be logged into a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Webmaster Tools, or other Google powered channels). From there, Google users can see which of their friends liked certain content, whether it's displayed on a link from a search engine results page, or an actual piece of content from a website. A recent study showed that 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they already know, and 71% of online consumers admit that reviews from family members and/or friends influence purchase decisions (Econsultancy July 2009, Harris Interactive June 2010). This data, coupled with the growing popularity of Gmail, and the worldwide popularity of YouTube should help get the +1 button to penetrate the psyche of a large amount of Internet users. I mentioned above that the +1 button can be applied to pieces of content and search listings, but the +1 button isn't only limited to organic listings. Paid listings can also benefit from the button. Google separately monitors which people clicked the +1 button sildenafil using a color coded display, which shows whether a user clicked the button on an organic listing, a paid listing, or on a website. The implementation versatility of the +1 button, combined with the social experience could have a great impact on click through rates for both organic and paid listings. Google has also rolled out detailed tracking solutions to support the +1 button. In Google Webmaster Tools, a user will soon be able to track detailed +1 activity, search impact, and demographic data. In Google Analytics, users will soon be able to track visits that were affected by social media engagement, which will pull data from all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter'?¦etc). It remains to be seen if the Google +1 button will catch on with Internet users, but if it does, the tools are in place to revolutionize the Google algorithm and bring social based search to the mainstream.

What's New In Social Media This Week'?¦

Check out the latest social media news for this week'?¦ GroupMe, a social media startup, is giving brands the opportunity to create and engage in group messaging conversations about them.  The brands will have the ability to send messages, answer questions, share photos, post promotions and more.  Read more'?¦ Ever wondered how the click-per-share ratio compares between Facebook and Twitter?  Mashable pulled 3 months worth of their social data and calculated the click-per-share rate.  Twitter users are more likely to share an article but not read it, while Facebook users click on more articles than they share.  Also, Twitter received about .38 clicks per tweet while Facebook received 3.31 clicks per engagement ' which is 8.7x more clicks than a tweet.  Read more'?¦ Only .05% of Twitter users' tweets attract attention.  Of the 260 million tweets with URLs that were analyzed by Yahoo Research, nearly 50% of the tweets came from 'elite'? users: media, celebrities, organizations, and bloggers.  Read more'?¦ Twitter has released a new set of developer tools that will make it easier to embed fully-functional tweets on the Web.  Read more'?¦

Microhoo! What, Where, When, Why, How...

Assuming the FCC doesn't spoil the fun, it looks like the second time is a charm for a search agreement between Yahoo and Microsoft. At a high level, Yahoo will use Microsoft's Bing search platform to power searches across Yahoo properties and Yahoo will be responsible for selling and servicing search for premium advertisers. Specific highlights of the deal are: '?¢ 10 year partnership, expected to close in 2010; Microsoft's Bing to replace Yahoo! search (organic) '?¢ MSN to serve paid ads through adCenter; Yahoo ads will be powered by Microsoft AdCenter ' likely won't happen until about a year after the deal closes, full integration over 24 months '?¢ Premium service sales will be led by the Yahoo search account team. Self Service via AdCenter '?¢ There will be no upfront investment from MSN '?¢ For 5 years: - MSN giving Yahoo 88% of the search ad sales made - MSN takes 12% rev from Yahoo '?¢ Projected $275MM in savings for Yahoo '?¢ Yahoo expects to boost its annual operating profit by about $500 million by 2012, when the two companies expect to have everything in place Based on the terms of the deal it will finally allow each respective group to focus on their strong suits. Yahoo will be able to focus on the sales end of things, something that Microsoft has been challenged with on the search front. Conversely, Microsoft will be able to turn their technological savvy loose to an audience that is large enough to matter. Will this relationship threaten Google's dominance in search? Most definitely not! No direct search competitor will unseat Google in that department because, regardless of Bing's bells and whistles, it's difficult to improve the search experience enough for the everyday search user to make the switch. From an advertiser perspective, the merger creates an audience, that in both size and composition, will be difficult to ignore. While the deal won't go down until 2010 and the actual switch won't happen for some period after that, sharp advertisers will certainly be paying a lot more attention to their Bing campaigns in the coming months, to make sure they are dialed in on the nuances of that platform.

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