For years, the conventional wisdom has been that searchers are typing longer queries into the search boxes on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The evidence I’ve seen in the analytics for the four hyperlocal blogs that my wife and I write support that: On our Richland Real Estate blog, for example, seven of the top 10 referring keywords in 2009 were four words or longer.
But the folks at Experian Hitwise have shared some numbers with me today that suggest otherwise. According to their user tracking, one-word searches jumped by 17% in 2009, while longer searches were generally down.
After two strong winter months, the first month of January showed signs of weakness, with customers showing decreasing satisfaction in total average scores. While some areas (Mid-Scale Full Service, Extended Stay) rebounded successfully, other hotel segments saw strong declines. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being “fantastic” and 1 being “poor,” the average lodger reported a 2.72% decline in Resultant Quality Score (3.68 to 3.58), an 8.02% decline in Dining (3.74 to 3.44), a 3.9% decrease in Facilities ratings (4.10 to 3.94), Housekeeping saw a 1.74% decline (3.45 to 3.39), and Staff fell 3.65% (3.84 to 3.70). The bright spots were Room scores, which rose 1.73% (3.46 to 3.52), and Value, which stayed steady at 4.36.
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If you are still wondering why Google is pushing so hard with its new product Buzz, it is because it wants in on social traffic. For many sites on the Web, social traffic coming through Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace is beginning to rival, and in some cases overtake, search traffic as the single biggest source of traffic. This traffic comes from shared links, photos, and videos. By its own numbers, 5 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every week.
When you are trying to “fabricate” Word of Mouth (WOM) for your offerings, who do you think of approaching first? Chances are that your first choice is to enlist the help of your most loyal customers. After all, they have the success stories to tell others, they like you, and you have an existing relationship with them – it’s a “no-brainer.”
Google one day is going to have Labs for everything it does. Well, maybe not, but the company Feb. 12 formally introduced Google Maps Labs.
Like the other Google Labs before it, Maps Labs is an experiment devoted to building new features that let users view Google Maps in different ways and augment them with different tools.
Click on the green flask icon at the top right of the screen in Google Maps to see pick the new features you want to enable.
How much traffic does Facebook now send to other web sites? Analytics firm Compete says 13 percent of US traffic to big web portals — Yahoo, MSN, AOL — came from it in December, the most out of any traffic source. What does Facebook itself report about this data?
The company doesn’t typically share a lot of about the traffic trends it sees internally, but we can glean some new information from the Statistics page it occasionally updates. Facebook usually updates some stats on the page when it makes larger announcements about its traffic, and it did so earlier this month when it said it grew from 350 million monthly active users at the beginning of December to 400 million now. Out of all of the items with new numbers, content-sharing (like posting links to content on a web portal from within Facebook), is way up. So are stats for Pages.
We go into more details below, based on our ongoing coverage of these stats as Facebook has updated them; for reference, see our posts covering the other updates, from last December, September and July.
All in all, Compete’s content-sharing data appears to be directionally correct, as it and other third-party data services usually are about Facebook traffic.
Status updates: In December, Facebook said that more than 35 million users update their status every day. This number has not changed today, so either the number of people posting status updates has not gone up along with its 25% user growth, or Facebook hasn’t updated the stat, or both. However, Facebook says that the number of status updates is going up, from 40 million in September to 55 million in December to 60 million as of February. The rate of status-updater growth appears to have slowed considerably, in contrast to the site’s overall growth. It’s not clear why, although a series of news feed and home pages changes starting last fall have de-emphasized status updating as a feature.
Photo uploading: The rate of photo uploading also continues to grow, although not as fast as it had earlier this year. Now, Facebook says more than 3 billion photos are being uploaded every month, up from 2.5 billion in December, 2 billion in September and 1 billion in July.
Sharing pieces of content: Defined as “web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.” — so, the source of the new traffic Compete is showing to portals — this category has been seeing massive growth. Facebook reported 1 billion items shared a week in July, 2 billion shared a week in September, then a big jump to 3.5 billion in December, and another big jump to 5 billion a week as of earlier this month. This is a key metric in Facebook’s vision of helping people to share more, and the many big and small changes the company has been making to the site are apparently having a significant impact.
Events creation: For whatever reason, Facebook has only intermittently updated this stat, and it hasn’t done so since December, when it said 3.5 million events were created every month. It didn’t report new numbers in September, but it said 2.5 million as of July. Growth here hasn’t been huge, as far as we can tell; the new home page redesign makes events more prominent, so perhaps we’ll see more stats, soon.
Pages: There are now more than 3 million active Pages on Facebook, nearly double the 1.6 million it reported in December. While it didn’t previously disclose the same Pages stats, Facebook began doing so that month; compared against the latest update, they show new pattersn. Pages that Facebook defines as local businesses went from 700,000 actives to 1.5 million. In other words, local businesses comprised half of the overall increase in active Pages over the last couple of months. Facebook separately says that the average user becomes a fan of 4 pages every month, double the December average. However, it has not updated the number of fans from December, which as 5.3 billion.
And, for a fun look at just what the latest updates looks like in graphical form, check out this guest post from Muhammed Saleem on Mashable.
In honor of President’s Day, we’ve listed 25 of the best President’s Day quotes we could find below. Each quote comes from the mouth or pen of a US president.
1. I know only two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’, and the other one isn’t. -Ulysses S. Grant
2. I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world. -George Washington
3. If hard work is not another name for talent, it is the best possible substitute for it. -James Garfield
4. Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. -Thomas Jefferson
5. You don’t get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier. -George W. Bush
6. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. -Ronald Reagan
7. We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon. -Jimmy Carter
8. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. … Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. -Barack Obama
9. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. -Bill Clinton
10. History, in general, only informs us what bad government is. -Thomas Jefferson
11. If men were angels, no government would be necessary. -James Madison
12. Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education. -George H.W. Bush
13. The lesson of history is rarely learned by the actors themselves. -James A. Garfield
14. Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive. -Theodore Roosevelt
15. Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die. -Herbert Hoover
16. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
17. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. -Harry S. Truman
18. I am rather in
Google Buzz () only launched four days ago but it’s already taking off in a big way. Google () already made some changes to how Buzz works on Thursday but today the company has created a blog post highlighting some additional changes — including some ways to turn Buzz off altogether. Here are some of the big changes that Google is making to buzz, that it plans to roll out over the next few days:
PARSIPPANY, NJ, February 15, 2010 – When it comes to hotel marketing, your online reputation is the aggregate of guest reviews posted online. And, this refers to more than a few travel review sites. Guest reviews are posted on hundreds of travel review websites and an equal or greater number of non-travel social websites and blogs.
Our company provides, Live Chat services for our customers. In addition, we provide review services. We review thousands of review for hundreds of hotels. We provide a free national benchmark report based on J.D. Power’s hotel categories and summarizing guest review scores for reputation and the inclusive service attribute scores.
comScore has just announced its monthly qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. In January 2010, Americans conducted 15.2 billion core searches.
Image by SESConferenceSeries via Flickr
Google Sites accounted for 9.9 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites (2.6 billion), Microsoft Sites (1.7 billion), Ask Network (574 million) and AOL LLC (375 million).
Yes, yes, we all knew that Google accounted for 65.4 percent search market share. But Microsoft has grabbed 11.3 percent
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