After three long years, an antitrust probe by European regulators may finally be coming to an end for Google. Alleviating remaining concerns about Google blocking rivals from Web search results, the search giant offered "much better" concessions, sources tell Reuters. “A settlement under the European Commission's competition rules means that Google … will escape a possible fine of as much as $5 billion or 10% of its 2012 revenue.”
An annual search engine marketing study reveals some of the top tools, tactics and trends. This year, 28.3% females responded -- up from 20.7% in 2010, according to the Moz study, which also analyzes salaries. The study estimates a marketer's average salary as $73,034; whereas someone in search engine optimization makes on average $60,215; and paid search or SEM, $64,460. The most interesting part of the study briefly looks at how marketers cope with the loss of keyword referral data. Some 68.8% focus on conversion rate and performance metrics, while 62.2% focus on landing page traffic, among others.
AdWords gurus hosted a Hangout to discuss different bidding strategies that marketers can use to get the most of out of their budget. The group talked about automatic bidding, manual bidding, and some options for flexible bid strategies. The hangout allowed viewers to ask live questions and receive answers.
Samsung has signed a patent agreement with Google to share technologies. It covers existing patents and those filed during the next 10 years. Strengthening the ties between the two companies could reduce potential litigation, according to Bloomberg. The companies did not disclose terms, including any financial consideration for the use of each other's patents. They did say it paves the way for better collaboration on research and development.
It appears that Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and other tech firms that are fighting for the public to have a more comprehensive look into the government's data collection practices have made progress. The Justice Department has reached an agreement with the tech firms allowing them to share the number of government data requests they receive with their users. BGR points to the press release that describes the action.
Take a trip down memory lane with Newsday as it highlights the 15 best Super Bowl ads of all time in honor of the game on Sunday. It highlights everything from Britney Spears' 2001 Pepsi ad to Ann Richards and Mario Cuomo's ads that get crunchy with Doritos. And what about the 1999 raunchy Go Daddy ad, or Betty White and Abe Vigoda in 2010?
Yahoo has acquired Cloud Party, a multiplayer and 3D gaming platform that allows players to build their own world and avatars. It runs in a browser without a plug-in. On the startup's Web site, Founder and CEO Sam Johnson explains that the company will shutter operations Feb. 21.
Robert Hof sat down to talk with Google's Susan Wojcicki about everything from television and video to display and programmatic ad buying. When they got to the part about why brands are so slow to move more of their budget online, Wojcicki said marketers don't want to take a "media plan that worked last year and suddenly change it 100% this year and see what happens." She can see the way search and display advertising are coming together. I'm sure most marketers can too -- by looking at native advertising and some of the latest tests done with product listing …
Google apologized for the software glitch that interrupted thousands of Gmail accounts Friday, and took down Google+, Calendar and Docs. The company explained that most Google users experienced outages, and for one in 10, a disruption in connectivity lasted more than 30 minutes. Ben Treynor listed several steps that company engineers will take to correct the issue that include adding input validation checks for configurations, so that a bad configuration generated in the future will not result in service disruption.
Aside from interest, other things influence a consumer's desire to interact with content or make a purchase, but it all points back to the mood of the individual. An Apple patent describes a method to analyze the data behind a person's mood associated with specific characteristics over time. The technology infers the user's mood by applying rules to compare their current mood-associated data to at least one baseline mood profile for the user. A little geeky -- but it brings behavioral data into more than one type of ad or content targeting.