Where’s my PageRank? There was a lot of talk  on Thursday about the disappearance of Google’s PageRank. PageRank is still alive, but Google has changed the lookup URL:
Microsoft to win EC approval for Skype acquisition- Microsoft is expected  to win approval from the European Commission for its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype. The deal has been under scrutiny internationally because of anti-competition concerns.
Google’s management doesn’t use Google+- According to data gathered by the tech blogger Michael Degusta of TheUnderstatement , only three members of Google’s twelve-person management team have posted on Google+ since it launched three months ago. What’s more, the management team has only posted 29 times collectively.
YouTube launches political site- In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 presidential elections, YouTube has launched a special site dedicated to political news. The site seeks to provide users with a breadth of information across the political spectrum. According to Ramya Raghavan , YouTube news and politics manager, “We wanted to paint a really holistic view for what politics looks like on YouTube. We’re seeing that citizens have an enormous appetite for getting political information online.”
Android continues to gain traction in US smartphone market- Google’s Android operating system continues to gain ground in the US smartphone market. According to a new report  from comScore, Android gained 5.6 points between June and August 2011. Android operated phones currently represent 43.7 percent of the smartphone market.
Google Gives Landing Page Quality More Weight- Google has announced that it will roll out  a new algorithm that increases the importance of landing page quality in AdWords Quality Score. According to Jonathan Alferness , Director of Product Management for Google’s Quality Team, “What we’ve seen is that there are ads available in the auction that are as good a quality as the top ads. But the landing pages — the merchant sites, the advertiser landing pages — are of much higher quality than the ads that we see at the top of our auction.”
Google downgraded on threat from Facebook- Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus brokerage and investment banking firm, downgraded  Google from “buy” to “hold” this week because of the increasing threat from Facebook and other social media sites. “The Internet’s center of gravity is shifting from Google to Facebook,” explained Rohan, “Search is an effective and efficient marketing channel, particularly for direct response advertisers. Advertisers have fully embraced search, as it represents over half of U.S. online advertising … But as social and mobile media emerges, there is reduced advertiser enthusiasm to spend more on Google. Further, our checks indicate that the growth of search advertising has decelerated recently in some areas.”