The Week We Searched For- December 12-16, 2011
Google introduces Author Stats reports to Google Webmaster Tools- Google introduced  a new report in Google Webmaster Tools called Author Stats, which is designed to provide insight into how often your content is showing up on the Google SERP. If your content is associated with your Google profile, you’ll be able to see impression and click data. The reports are available in the “labs” section in Webmaster Tools.
Google to build data center in Singapore- Google has started  construction on its $120 million data center in Singapore. The project represents part of Google’s ambitious investment in the Asian market and in Singapore, the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. The facility will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Julian Persaud, Managing Director, Google Southeast Asia, stated in his announcement, “Users like speed, faster is better than slow on the web, if you think about it, you’re only a click away from another service so bringing services to users in a speedy fashion and a reliable fashion is really critically important. And if you look at Southeast Asia in particular, it’s one of the fastest growing regions in the world for users coming online so it’s important that we keep up with users and think ahead and make sure we can deliver those services quickly.”
Google releases Google Zeitgeist- Google released  it 11th annual Google Zeitgeist video, comprised of the most popular searches of the year. This year’s video featured Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring, the tsunami in Japan and Osama Bin Laden’s death, among others. The video also heavily featured Google+’s user-centric features. Check it out:
Search tops social media for local business information- The internet is the top resource for people looking for information about local businesses, according to a new survey  from the Pew Internet & American Life Foundation. The study, based on a telephone survey of over 1,000 US adults, revealed that 51 percent of people use the internet to find information about local bars and restaurants. 47 percent use the internet to find information for local businesses. Of the internet outlets used, search engines trumped social media with 38 percent vs. 3 percent for restaurant searches and 36 percent vs. 1 percent for local business searches.
Google’s biggest advertisers: IAC, Amazon.com, AT&T- A new report  from Kantar Media for AdAge reveals IAC/Interactive Corp spent $174 million on Google PPC ads in the first three quarters of 2011, making it this year’s biggest Google ad spender. Coming in behind IAC were Amazon.com at $118.5 million, AT&T at $115.6 million, Expedia at $92 million and Priceline at $67.6.
Google Wallet receives its first batch of security criticisms- viaForensics discovered  serious security problems with Google’s recently released  mobile payment app Google Wallet. ViaForensics’ investigation revealed two key risks — Google Wallet stores data in the app and it does not encrypt most of this stored data. The problem with storing data in the app itself is that if you were to loss your device, someone else could easily access it. What’s more, while Google Wallet does encrypt credit card information and CVV numbers, it does not encrypt credit card balances, card limits, expiration dates, transaction dates, locations and names on cards.
Facebook rolls out Timeline- Facebook announced  yesterday that its long-anticipated Timeline profile page is now live. The service was originally unveiled at Facebook’s f8 conference back in September. Facebook is giving users a week-long grace period to test out the new format, before replacing all user profiles with Timeline. Facebook has also launched a mobile version of Timeline for Google Android.
Google releases Site Speed report- Google released  a new set of metrics this week for the Site Speed report in Google Analytics, aimed at helping site owners improve the speed of their site. New available data includes:
- Avg. Page Load Time- the time needed to load a page
- Avg. Redirection Time – the time spent in redirection before fetching this page. If there are no redirects, the value for this metric is expected to be 0.
- Avg. Domain Lookup Time – the average amount of time spent in DNS lookup for this page.
- Avg. Server Connection Time – the time needed for the user to connect to your server.
- Avg. Server Response Time – the time for your server to respond to a user request, including the network time from the user’s location to your server.
- Avg. Page Download Time – the time to download your page.
YouTube launches YouTube for Schools- YouTube announced  the release of its new YouTube for School service on Monday. YouTube for Schools enables network administrators and educators to keep studies focused on YouTube EDU videos and away from non-educational content.
YouTube acquires RightsFlow– Amidst serious conversations  over piracy, copyright and the internet in Washington, YouTube announced  its acquisition of RightsFlow this week, a New York-based company that helps artists, writers, record labels, distributors and online music services manage music rights.
Word’s out: Facebook’s loaded- Someone leaked Facebook’s private financial information  to Gawker this week. In short, the numbers expose what a lot of us already assumed— Facebook is filthy rich. As of September 2011 Facebook had $3.5 billion in cash, $5.6 billion in assets, revenue of $2.5 billion and $714 in net income. “The big picture is this: Facebook’s income is blowing up, and the company will likely come close to earning a full billion dollars in profit this year, more than double what it reportedly made a year ago and quadruple what it is believed to have made two years ago,” Ryan Tate writes on Gawker. “There have been news reports elsewhere on prior Facebook financial periods; our numbers from the latest quarter show the money keeps pouring in.”
Facebook’s numbers did not overwhelm everyone, though. Nicholas Carlson from Business Insider complains  that “the number look a little light.” “Facebook is not blowing away the numbers that leaked at the beginning of 2011. That in itself feels like a disappointment. The company is NOT going through a surprising run of growth. It’s also worth pointing out that Facebook still continues to trail the pace set by Google  during its first seven years as a company.”
What we’re reading:
- Blacklisting Provisions Remain in Stop Online Piracy Act-  Despite heavy criticism from internet engineers and technology companies, including a Google+ post from Sergey Brin, the House Judiciary Committee resisted pressure to take out controversial elements of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
- Facebook Is Said to Ready Its First Foray Into Mobile Ads by End of March – Facebook is expected to launch mobile advertising by March 2012. The new service is rumored to use Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads in the mobile News Feed.
- Your Life on Facebook, in Total Recall-  The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham shares her thoughts on the potential benefits and drawbacks of Facebook’s new Timeline profile.
- Zynga IPO could challenge Google’s high score-  The creator of Farmville is expected to go public today with one of the biggest tech launches since Google.