‘The Week We Searched For’ is my collection of this week’s most pertinent and interesting stories from search marketing, social media, internet culture, and beyond.
Bing Strikes Licensing deal with Wolfram Alpha
After months of whispering, it finally seems like Bing and Wolfram Alpha are going to strike a licensing deal. The deal will allow Bing to tap into Wolfram’s mega-intelligence on structure data, which will most likely help refine their search results. The verdict is ambivalent, however, as to whether the deal will drive more traffic to Wolfram Alpha. Techcruch’s article “What Wolfram Alpha Really Did This Summer: Struck A Deal with Bing” provides more insight into Wolfram Alpha’s technology and the implications of the deal.
Digital Book Worms: Google Book’s new technology and it’s growing enemies
Google announced on Wednesday plans to adopt the EPUB digital book format as part of their online book distribution efforts. Comparable with music MP3s, the format offers a standardized format for a spectrum of digital reading applications. Naturally, protesters against Google Books are up in arms. It can’t be too much of a coincidence that Open Book Alliance, a growing coalition against Google Books, which as of late includes Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo, also laid out their arguments against Google’s book deal on Wednesday. The deal is awaiting court review in September.
New Research on Tweeting Demographics
Forrester Research published a report this week on the demographic reach of social media outlets, revealing that the Baby Boomers are largely responsible for the viral success of Twitter. The research confirms that, although youth participation in social networking sites is near ‘universal,’ 18-24 year olds have steered clear of micro blogging, while their parents have become addicted. For further explanation into this generation riff, check out the New York Times’ article “Why Adults Have Fed Twitter’s Growth” and for a little comic relief check out The Gawker’s satirical commentary on middle age tweeters.
Google’s Insight into the Economic Crisis and a Call for International Marketing
Google’s international search marketing sales figures reveal that the global economic crisis may be weakening its grip on areas of Europe and Asia. While American and British have severely struggled in 2009, considerable growth in sales figures from Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and Greece suggest that these economies recovering and spending more on search marketing. Andy Aktins- Krueger discusses this new data in his blog post on www.searchenginewatch.com, suggesting that domestic search marketing agencies should start engaging in ‘international search marketing- just like Google!’
Zoho Announces Sign-in Integration with Google Applications
This week Zoho, a web-based software suite that offers word processing, web conferencing and invoice applications, announced the sign-in integration of their online application tools with GoogleApps. Zoho has historically partnered with Yahoo and Google, but Wednesday’s announcement to integrate the two ‘software as a service’ platforms, allowing users to sign in to Zoho using their Google credentials, could inflate the ever growing competition between Google and Microsoft. To read more about the partnership checkout The Washington Post article “Zoho Launches Sign-In Integration with Google Apps.”
LendingTree Google Loan Referrals
LendingTree, a comparison quote site for loan referrals, claims that Google is trying to enter the loan referral business and using their information to do it. LendingTree is suing Mortech Inc., which automates prices offers from different lenders, claiming that they violated their contract by giving Google data related to mortgage offers. To read more about this lawsuit and Google’s growing business ambitions, check out the Associated Press’ article “LendingTree: Google to Compete on Loan Referrals.”
Emerging Possibilities in Social Networking
‘Kickstarter’ is a Brooklyn based start up that facilitates conversation between starving artists, with hopeful ambitions and small time investors, looking to invest and engage in new projects. The beauty of the site is that it generates immediate, constructive feedback about the commercial appeal of ideas, before effort or money are invested. To read more about this evolving network/ marketplace check out Monday’s New York Times’ article “A Few Dollars at a Time, Patrons Support Artists on the Web.”