Archive for October, 2010

Google Gains Search Ground

comscore us search engine sept 10thumb Google Gains Search Ground

Google gained ground in its dominance of the US explicit and total core search markets in September 2010, according to monthly comScore qSearch analysis.

Google Takes Larger Share of Explicit Core Search
Google Sites held 66.1% of the US explicit core search market (which measures user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results) in September 2010, up 1% from 65.4% in August 2010.

Second-ranked Yahoo Sites lost 4% of its explicit core search market share, dropping from 17.4% to 16.7%. No other explicit core search provider experienced significant month-over-month fluctuation.

More Explicit Core Search Queries Performed via Google, Microsoft
More than 16 billion explicit core searches were conducted in September 2010, up 2% from 15.7 billion the previous month. Google Sites ranked first with 10.6 billion searches, up 3% from 10.2 billion searches; followed by Yahoo Sites in second with 2.7 billion, down 2% from slightly more than that total the previous month.

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Microsoft Sites came in third with 1.8 billion explicit core searches, up 3% from 1.7 billion.

Google Also Grows Total Core Search Share
Google Sites accounted for 63% of total US core search queries conducted in August 2010, up 4% from a 60.5% share the previous month. Yahoo Sites followed with 19%, down 9.5% from 21% the previous month, and Microsoft Sites came in third with 12.5%, down about 2% from 12.8% in August 2010.

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Google Sites Jumps in Total Core Search Queries
The total number of core search queries performed via Google Sites jumped 8%, from 10.2 billion to 11.1 billion. Meanwhile, second place Yahoo Sites lost 5%, dropping from 3.6 billion to 3.4 billion. Third place Microsoft Sites increased its total number of core search queries 2%, from 2.16 billion to 2.2 billion.

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Total US core search queries grew 4% in September 2010, rising from 16.9 billion in August 2010 to 17.7 billion.

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Teen Texting Jumps 8%

nielsen teen ownership reasons yoy oct10thumb Teen Texting Jumps 8%

US teens age 13-17 sent and received average of 8% more text messages in Q2 2010 than in Q2 2009, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Teen Females are Queens of Texting
Teens age 13-17 sent and received average of 3,339 monthly text messages in Q2 2010, 8% more than Q2 2009 and more than six per waking hour.

 Teen Texting Jumps 8%

No one texts more than teens (age 13-17), especially teen females, who send and receive an average of 4,050 texts per month. Teen males also outpace other male age groups, sending and receiving an average of 2,539 texts. Young adults (age 18-24) come in a distant second, exchanging 1,630 texts per month (a comparatively meager three texts per hour).

Texting Trumps Safety
Texting is the main reason teens get a cell phone, with 43% claiming it is their primary reason for getting one. Safety, which was the main teen reason for getting a phone in 2008, is now less important. It is secondary among girls and less so among boys. Keeping in touch with friends is still one of the top three factors, too.

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Overall, percentages of teens citing specific reasons for obtaining a cell phone did not greatly vary between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010.

Voice Usage Drops in Younger than 55
Tracking use of voice telephony by age group, voice usage declined in every age bracket younger than 55 between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010. It slightly increased among the 55-to-64-year-old and 65 and older demographics.

 Teen Texting Jumps 8%

Voice activity has decreased 14% among teens, who average 646 minutes talking on the phone per month. Teen females, who are more social with their phones, average about 753 minutes per month, while males use around 525 minutes.

Teens Use More Mobile Data, Apps
While teen usage of mobile data and applications does not reach levels of activity seen by young adults, it has increased substantially since Q2 2009, growing from 14 MB to 62 MB. This fourfold increase is the largest jump among all age groups. Much of this boost is led by males, who are more gadget-savvy and consume 75 MB of data, compared to 17 MB in Q2 2009. Teen females use about 53 MB of data, compared to 11 MB a year ago.

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Teens are not only using more data, but they are also downloading a wider range of applications. Software downloads among teen subscribers who use apps enjoyed a solid 46% increase in activity, from 26% to 38%. This includes popular apps such as Facebook, Pandora or YouTube.

Usage of the mobile web has also surpassed activity on pre-installed games, ringtone downloads and instant messaging. Other mobile activities like mail and text alerts have also seen significant growth.

Teens Text 5x More than Adults
Teens ages 12-17 send and receive a median of five times more texts per day than adult texters, according to recent data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Slightly more than half (51%) of adults who text send one to 10 texts per day, compared to 22% of teens.

The percentages of texting adults and teens who send 11-20 and 21-50 average daily texts are fairly similar. Where teens begin to outpace adults is in the percentage who send 51-100 average texts daily (18% to 7%), and more notably in the percentage who send 101-plus average texts daily (29% to 8%).

Ultimately, adults who text typically send and receive a median of 10 texts a day; teens who text send and receive a median of 50 texts per day.

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More Americans Own Mobile Phones than Computers

pewresearch gadget ownership oct 2010thumb More Americans Own Mobile Phones than Computers

A higher percentage of US adults owns a mobile phone than owns a computer, according to new data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Cell Phones, Computers Top Gadgets
Pew data indicates that 85% of Americans now own a cell phone. Cell phone ownership rates among young adults have reached 96% of 18-to-29 year olds. Meanwhile, three-quarters (76%) of Americans own either a desktop or laptop computer. Since 2006, laptop ownership has grown dramatically (from 30% to 52%) while desktop ownership has declined slightly.

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Less than Half Own MP3 Players, Video Games
Ownership rates of other popular gadgets among US adults do not reach 50%. Slightly less than half of American adults (47%) own an MP3 player such as an iPod. This represents a nearly five-fold increase from the 11% who owned this type of device in early 2005.

Console gaming devices like the Xbox and PlayStation are nearly as common as mp3 players, as 42% of Americans own a home gaming device. Parents (64%) are nearly twice as likely as non-parents (33%) to own a game console.

Tablets, E-readers Grow with Early Adopters
Compared with the other devices on this list, e-book readers (such as the Kindle) and tablet computers (such as the iPad) are relatively new arrivals to the consumer technology scene and are owned by a relatively modest number of Americans.

However, these devices are proving popular with traditional early adopter groups such as the affluent and highly educated. Ownership rates for tablets and e-book readers among college graduates and those earning $75,000 or more per year are roughly double the national averages of 5% and 4%, respectively.

Multiple Ownership Common
Eight in 10 American adults (78%) own two or more of these devices, and the median adult owns three of the seven gadgets we asked about in our survey. Among other factors, device ownership is highly correlated with age.

For example, the typical adult younger than age 45 owns four devices, while the typical adult between the ages of 55 and 64 owns two and the typical senior (age 65 or older) owns just one. Those with high levels of income and education are also more likely to own a relatively large number of devices compared with those with lower income and education levels.

iPad Owners Valuable to Advertisers
iPad owners may currently represent a small segment of the adult US population, but they demonstrate a number of demographic trends that make them valuable to advertisers, according to research from The Nielsen Company. iPad owners skew younger and more male than owners of many other portable computing devices. Sixty-five percent of them are male and 63% of them are younger than the age of 35.

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India’s richest man builds $1b home

IndiasMostExpensiveHouse thumb Indias richest man builds $1b home India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has moved into his new home — a 27-storey mansion worth $1 billion.

The enormous Mumbai palace has three helipads, a dance studio, a ball room, a 50-seat theatre and an underground car park for 160 cars, according to media reports.

The 37,000 square metre home is believed to be the world’s most expensive and took seven years to build.

Mr Ambani, 53, is a major shareholder at Reliance Industries — an oil, retail and biotechnology conglomerate.

Forbes magazine has ranked Mr Ambani the fourth-richest man in the world and values his net worth at $29 billion.

The tycoon’s mother, wife and three children will live with him inside the 173m tall monolith, alongside 600 staff members.

The building has been named Antila, after a mythical island, and has views over Mumbai and the Arabian Sea.

Shiny Varghese, an Indian design magazine editor, said Antilia was "obscenely lavish".

"But we are heading into the sort of culture where money is not a question when setting up a home," Mr Varghese told The Guardian.

But an associate of Mr Ambani told the newspaper there was nothing obscene about Antilia, and that the businessman had simply "built a house to his requirements".

"He can’t just walk into a cinema and watch a film like you or me," the unnamed associate said.

"So he has built a house to his requirements like anyone else would. It’s a question of convenience and requirements. It’s only a family home, just a big one.

"It’s just another home that someone is living in. It’s no big event."

Story from ninemsn staff reporters

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Google eyes online consumer index

Google thumb Google eyes online consumer index US internet titan Google is readying its own ‘Google Price Index’ based on a vast database of online purchases, providing a daily measure of inflation, said a top company official quoted in the Financial Times.

Google has not yet decided whether it will publish the index (GPI), which is still in development, the group’s chief economist Hal Varian said at the National Association of Business Economists conference in Denver, Colorado.

Varian said the GPI indicates a ‘very clear deflationary trend’ for goods purchased online in just under a year of data gathering, a potentially worrying prospect for US officials.

The GPI, calculated differently from official statistics of consumption — a key indicator of US economic growth — as it only accounts for products sold on the internet, but can be a much faster tool as results could be modelled at real-time speed.

The most recent official data from the Commerce Department was released at the beginning of October and showed consumer spending in August. Those figures showed spending rose 0.4 per cent in August as consumers spent slightly more than expected for the second straight month.

Story from www.ninemsn.com.au

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Email Still Tops Facebook for Keeping in Touch

Only 18- to 24-year-olds use the social networking site more than email for passing items on

Content-sharing has become a staple of internet usage for most online adults. Research from Chadwick Martin Bailey found that three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

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Earlier research from StrongMail and ShareThis also found email was still on top for content-sharing. Other studies have shown that, when limited to sharing on social sites, Facebook is No. 1.

Asked what gets them to share content online, web users polled by Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed selfish motivations. Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%). Asked to select the single biggest reason they shared content, the greatest percentage of respondents (45%) again said it was because they enjoyed it. Men and women reported similar reasons for sharing, but motivations varied by age. The oldest respondents cared more about the value of content to recipients: 67% of those ages 55 and older said they shared items because they would be useful to recipients, compared with just 45% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

120361 Email Still Tops Facebook for Keeping in Touch

This difference in sharing motivation could have a relationship to the method of sharing. Email is a more targeted form of sending content; while content-sharers may shoot off mass emails to large distribution lists, most email shares are likely sent to a person or small group selected based on the specific content being shared.

Sharing via social networks like Facebook, by contrast, typically involves feeding items to an entire friends list. The youngest users, who care the least about whether the recipients of their content actually want to see it, are also most likely to disseminate the information to the widest group. And the seniors and older boomers who find the recipients’ needs more important dramatically favor email for sharing, suggesting they are sending relevant items to only those who will want them.

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When Eyeballs and Dollars Don’t Match Up

No one can be faulted for thinking that the size of someone’s Facebook friends list is a proxy for that person’s level of influence. After all, people who are influential are often also popular, and in a Facebook and Twitter world popularity is measured in friends and followers.

But a new report from Vocus and FutureWorks principal Brian Solis throws a healthy dose of skepticism on the supposed correlation between popularity and influence. The report—provocatively titled “Influencer Grudge Match: Lady Gaga versus Bono”—surveyed 739 marketing and communications professionals who work with influencers to gauge their perceptions of what makes an influencer.

A surprising 90% of respondents answered “yes” when asked whether there’s a big difference between popularity and influence.

120396 When Eyeballs and Dollars Don’t Match Up

Nearly the same percentage, 84%, believed that there was a correlation between an influencer’s reach and his or her ability to drive action. This indicates that respondents made a clear distinction between popularity and reach, and regarded the latter as the key that determines a person’s influence.

The survey did not define any of these terms, so it was up to the respondents to interpret them. From the results, it’s apparent that respondents regarded popularity as the sheer number of contacts on a social network and reach as the ability to actually communicate meaningfully with some number of those contacts. As one respondent put it, “A person can have only a few contacts and greatly influence just those few.”

Asked which type of social network participant would have the most measurable effect on an outcome, 57% picked someone who has “a handful of fans/friends/followers that are tightly connected,” versus 8% who picked someone with “millions of fans/friends/followers with little or no connection.” Quality over quantity.

120398 When Eyeballs and Dollars Don’t Match Up

Despite this data, many marketers are on a seemingly relentless quest to beef up their own social network profiles and reach users with lots of friends and followers. In the Vocus-Solis study, 57% of respondents said they’d be willing to pay for an influencer to help them “drive actions or outcomes.”

Further, Twitter recently unveiled its Promoted Accounts platform, which allows marketers to essentially pay for access to users based on the sizes of those users’ networks. Quantity over quality.

And an eROI study of social metrics tracked by US marketers found that two-thirds tracked changes in the numbers of friends, followers and fans. More qualitative measures such as reach of messaging were much lower on the scale. Again, quantity over quality.

117831 When Eyeballs and Dollars Don’t Match Up

Story by Paul Verna, Senior Analyst

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Social Media Training Day Auckland New Zealand – Last Chance to Register

socialmedia thumb Social Media Training Day Auckland New Zealand   Last Chance to Register What a fantastic response we’ve had to our next social media training day in New Zealand, over 550 real estate agents are confirmed as attending the 2 sessions on the day, we still have room for a small number of additional places for agents who’d like to attend the afternoon session on Wednesday the 6th October.

Location is The Great Northern Room, Ellerslie Event Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse Auckland New Zealand, as I mentioned earlier the morning session is now fully booked, so the only session available is the afternoon session commencing at 1:30pm.

You can download the flyer with all the information on the sessions Social Media Training Day New Zealand Registration Form or you can book by faxing the completed registration form to 00617 5534 1046, you can also email your registration form to amazing@iangrace.com.au or info@mikeandrewconsulting.com

Room is limited, so the earlier you register, the more likely you’ll reserve yourself a place.

Your speakers for the day will include Ian Grace and Mike Andrew

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Companies Struggle to Keep Social Media Content On-Message

Nearly three-quarters of blog posts don’t reflect corporate messaging

Marketers and other corporate communications professionals may sometimes feel they have a thankless task: carefully craft messages about their company’s thought leadership, social responsibility efforts and new product or service launches, only to find those messages distorted as they’re disseminated through the media.

PR and communications firm Burson-Marsteller analyzed more than 150 messages sent out by companies in the Financial Times Global 100 list of firms and discovered a large gap between the messages that went out and how they were covered on blogs.

Message distortion was highest for companies in Latin America and the US, with a global average of 69% of blog postings not reflecting the message companies were trying to send. According to the report, bloggers tended to include “opinions, personal experience, knowledge of competitors and products, and speculation.”

119961 Companies Struggle to Keep Social Media Content On Message

Distorted messages are not a new phenomenon; they have been a problem in mainstream media as well. Still, the message gap between companies and the traditional media is significantly smaller: Less than half of all messages in mainstream media failed to reflect company messages, and here the US performed above average.

119960 Companies Struggle to Keep Social Media Content On Message

But as blogs continue to grow in importance and become integrated in mainstream outlets, along with the growth of other forms of social media, the chances for message distortion are likely to be high.

One way companies can combat the message gap is to make the most of owned media. If companies create their own compelling content and distribute it across social networks, there is no room for such a gap. Bloggers are not likely to simply reprint such old-media items as press releases, but relevant branded content can attract links across Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social web.

According to the “2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability” study from King Fish Media, HubSpot and Junta42, 73% of US companies with a social media strategy were using branded content they created in their campaigns. Such original content was considered the most important part of a successful social campaign, with nearly half of respondents calling it “extremely important.”

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Small Businesses Change Social Media Expectations

About a quarter of small businesses now marketing via social media

After climbing steeply, according to research from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, small-business adoption of social media marketing has plateaued at 24%.

The study of US small business found that those that do market via social media primarily use Facebook (82%), and that the most common activities are maintaining a company page on a social network and posting status updates or links to interesting content. About half of businesses that used social media also monitored brand chatter on social networks.

As small businesses have gained experience with social media, some have realized their expectations for the channel did not line up with the reality of the social web. As the wider marketing world begins to look at social as more of a loyalty channel than one for acquisition, small businesses are also finding that their hopes for spreading brand awareness and attracting new customers have not been fully met. By contrast, somewhat fewer small businesses had expected to use social media as an engagement channel, but nearly two-thirds have had success in that area.

119890 Small Businesses Change Social Media Expectations

The most common business objectives small businesses have achieved through social media marketing tell a similar story: Customers are connecting with companies through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but relatively few sales leads have been received through the sites.

119892 Small Businesses Change Social Media Expectations

Small businesses have found other frustrations as well. Many say their efforts take up more time than they had expected, although that percentage dropped from 50% to 43% between December 2009 and June 2010, suggesting companies are being more realistic about what’s involved in social campaigns. At the same time, however, the percentage saying their business had been criticized online nearly doubled, reaching 29%. Still, just a tiny 1% of small businesses said their image was hurt more than it was helped by social media—a number that’s also down, from 6% in December.

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