Google’s Threat to Online Travel Sites (GOOG)

On the surface, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) experiment with placing hotel room rates on its maps is simply an attempt to keep Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) from stealing too much real estate in the travel business.

via www.fool.com

Google Exec Gives Desktops Three More Years | WebProNews

Never mind the associated cubicles, desks, chairs, and monitors that, for many people, have become part of everyday life.  A Google exec believes desktop computers will be irrelevant in three years' time.

No twisting of words or misinterpretations took place here.  John Herlihy, Google's vice president of global ad operations, simply said at University College Dublin's Digital Landscapes conference, "In three years' time, desktops will be irrelevant."

via www.webpronews.com

Eye Tracking Study: Users Largely Blind To Real-Time Results In Search

Online marketing firm OneUpWeb recently conducted an eye-tracking study about the impact of integrating real-time data into search results. The study involved 44 people divided into two groups: “consumers” and “information foragers.” The difference between the groups involved the tasks they were given:

The first group was told to search for a product they might buy, and were called the “consumer” group. The second group was told to simply look for information on a product, and were called the “forager” group.

via searchengineland.com

Google Apps Billed As Disaster-Ready Solution | WebProNews

We'll let you decide whether, given the recent loss of life in Haiti and Chile, Google's timing is a little off here.  But for better or for worse, the search giant picked today to promote Google Apps in a blog post titled "Disaster Recovery by Google."

Google LogoA few points in Google's defense: it created a Person Finder tool in response to the earthquake in Haiti, which it pulled out again following the earthquake in Chile.  Also, the company used its homepage and official blogs to solicit aid donations and spread awareness both times around.

via www.webpronews.com

Despite Growing Social Media Activity, U.S. Latinos Ignored by Big Brands – ClickZ

Seventy-eight percent of Fortune 1000 companies are not employing social media sites to market to Latinos, according to survey results released yesterday by Hispanics-focused agency Orci. Hector Orci, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based firm, said some advertisers "are leaving money on the table" while stating that 80 percent of Hispanics use social sites and collectively total $1 trillion in buying power.

via www.clickz.com

PKF Hospitality Research announced that U.S. hotels should enjoy double-digit revenue growth by 2012

PKF Hospitality Research announced that U.S. hotels should enjoy double-digit revenue growth by 2012, according to the March 2010 edition of Hotel Horizons. 

The company is forecasting hotel rooms revenue to grow 10.5 percent on a per-available-room basis in 2012. Until 2012, however, market conditions will remain relatively soft. For 2010, PKF-HR is forecasting  a 1.1 percent decline in RevPAR, the third consecutive year of falling RevPAR for the U.S. lodging industry.

However, while PKF-HR is forecasting a 1.1 percent annual decline in 2010 RevPAR, lodging market conditions will turn and improve throughout the year. In fact, the demand for hotel rooms has been greater during the first quarter of 2010 than it was during the same period the prior year. This growth in demand is expected to persist throughout the year and result in an annual increase in rooms occupied of 1.5 percent.

LinkedIn Marketing Tips – B2B Social Media Marketing – Online Marketing Blog

From Facebook to Twitter to You Tube, there’s no limit to the number of social networking sites that can be leveraged to interact with customers and prospects, and build positive brand awareness.

LinkedIn, however, stands apart from the crowd. The roots of popular sites like YouTube and Facebook are founded on the entertainment side of things. But since its creation, LinkedIn has been geared toward the professional business crowd.

via www.toprankblog.com

4 Easy Ways to Engage Your Facebook Fans

Leyl Master Black is a Managing Director at Sparkpr, one of the world’s top independent PR agencies. Leyl has more than 15 years experience driving high-impact communications programs for emerging technology companies.

While more than three million businesses, brands and celebrities have created Facebook (Facebook) Pages, many are struggling to figure out how best to use them. Companies are finding that even when they keep their pages updated with fresh content, they still aren’t seeing steady growth in their fan base.

via mashable.com

Estimate Puts YouTube’s Gross Revenue At $945m | WebProNews

An important, if not surprising, item: Another Google/YouTube exec has voiced his opinion that YouTube will be profitable this year.  More interestingly, an outside analyst has done the same, and also forecast a gross revenue figure of almost $1 billion.

via www.webpronews.com

Many URL Shorteners Are Slow and Unreliable

Dutch web monitoring company WatchMouse has done a thorough analysis of uptime and performance of 14 major URL shortening services, with quite disheartening results.

As it turns out, only two of these (goo.gl and twt.tl) have had a perfect uptime record between 02/14/2010 and 03/16/2010; the rest of the pack mostly had minor uptime issues, while snurl.com and tr.im had uptime below 99%.

shortURL_availability

via mashable.com