Tuesday, 13 April 2010 15:59
As many recession worn Americans begin to spend more money, household-goods manufacturers are increasing their advertising efforts in an attempt to lure back consumers, according to a WallStreet Journal Report.
Several media outlets are reporting on recent statistics that show consumer spending rose in March, which is leading many major consumer products makers to compete for the market share they lost during the recession.
The industry’s ad spending is expected to grow in 2010.
Many major consumer products makers intend to spend an average 9.7 % of their annual sales on advertising this year, up from 8.6 % in 2009, according to a recent Sanford C. Bernstein research, the WallStreet Journal reported.
Emerging from a tail-spinning economy, recent studies show that Americans are more willing to eat out and buy new clothes. However, reigniting brand loyalties in consumers who turned to private label products during the recession could prove difficult for brand consumer product makers. Many consumers who switched to a private label product say those products are just as good or better than the brand.
Private label shares leveled off after a 1.1 percentage point gain last year and a gain of more than 2 percentage points since late 2007, according to Nielsen Data from Sanford Bernstein. That was the biggest one-year jump in private label shares in decades.
“In consumer Staples, you saw consumers trade down” to less expensive products because of the recession, and they were “quite satisfied, said Bill Pecoriello, chief executive of Consumer Edge Research LLC, in the WallStreet Journal.
Household-goods makers like Proctor & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Clorox Co. are enhancing the value and innovating their brands to persuade consumers to abandon private label products and return to the fold.
So look for new and improved products to hit the market this year: new scents, new product packaging designs, a closer shaving razor and etc..,
Monday, 12 April 2010 20:11
Internet users are all too familiar with slow websites, conjuring up painful dial-up flashbacks. It turns out that Google hates these slow websites as much as the users and wants to give owners of those slow loading websites a little incentive to speed things up.
A site’s speed is now a factor in Google’s Search Engine Ranking analysis. Google announced last weekend that they’ve been testing the site speed signal in its search engine ranking algorithm for the last two weeks.
What is site speed? Site speed is how quickly a website can respond to a web request.
Improving a site’s speed is not only beneficial to the owner, but improves the users experience. Faster sites = happy users, according to internal studies conducted by Google. A faster site will ultimately benefit the website’s owner in two ways, better search engine rankings and a more efficient site that keeps users on site rather than browsing to a competitor’s site.
While site speed is the latest variable in Google’s secret, volatile algorithm, site speed doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of the page. Content is still King. Google said fewer than 1 percent of search queries are affected by the site speed signal implementation. Site speed signal also only applies to visitors searching in English.
There are a few tools website owners can use to determine the speed of their site;
Page Speed – an open-source Firefox/Firebug add-on that webmasters and web developers can use to determine the performance of a web page and get suggestions on how to fix problems.
Yslow – a Firefox/Firebug add-on from Yahoo that analyzes pages and suggests way to improve their performance.
Web Pagetest – A website performance tool that shows a waterfall view of your page’s load performance and optimization checklist.
Webmaster Tools – Google’s website performance tool views your site and diagnose problems.
Thursday, 08 April 2010 19:05
The American Society of Media Photographers issued a statement on Wednesday saying they’ve filed a class action law suit against Google for copyright infringement.
“The suit relates to Google’s illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators,” the statement reads.
The society, along with several other visual artists organizations, filed the class action after the court denied their subsequent requests to join a $125 million class action filed by book authors against the Google Library Project.
Google books began in 2002 with the goal to digitally scan and publish online versions of every book in existence.
Three years ago, several authors, publishers and professional organizations filed the $125 million class action against Google Books because they said the project threatened authors, publishers, illustrators and photographers by giving copyrighted versions of their work to the online community for free.
After extended negotiations and the involvement of Congress, Google and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that would allow the search engine giant to only publish parts of copyrighted books online if they were out of print.
Visual artists, however, were denied inclusion in the initial lawsuit and settlement. And these artists may go after more than just Google Books. It appears they may be gearing up to go after Google’s popular image search feature.
“The new class action,” reads the statement, “Goes beyond Google’s library project, and includes Google’s other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists.
According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, “Through this suit, we are fulfilling the missions of our organizations and standing up for the rights of photographers and other visual artists who have been excluded from the process up to now. We strongly believe that our members and those of other organizations, whose livelihoods are significantly and negatively impacted, deserve to have representation in this landmark issue.”
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 20:43
That company Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Couch thwarts the alien’s plans to takeover of his mind by falling back to his aluminum foil compound. With his aluminum foiled office deflecting the alien’s mind altering signals, Couch can finally get back to work.
Perplexed by Couch’s mastery of aluminum foil-based technology, the aliens flee Earth’s toxic nitrogen/oxygen based atmosphere to plot, yet, another assault on the mind of That Company’s sales and marketing guru.
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 15:03
What does CNN.com, Google.com, Whitehouse.gov and Facebook.com all have in common? They all belong to an elite club of 12 websites that have a Google PageRank 10.
Facebook is the most recent addition to this club. The popular social networking website obtained PageRank 10 status after Google updated its Backlink and PageRank statistics on April 3. The last time Google updated its website ranking statistics was on Dec. 9.
Many of you may be familiar with PageRank. If you are not familiar with this ranking system, PageRank is an analytical algorithm named after Google co-founder Larry Page. The algorithm analyzes all incoming links within a site and assigns a numerical weight on a scale of 0-10.
For example, Facebook has approximately 776,492 incoming links, compared to Google’s 727,036 links, according to Alexa.com, a web traffic rating website. Not every incoming link, however, is treated the same. A website can have all the incoming links in the world, but if those incoming links don’t have PageRank themselves they don’t help the website to which they link.
Facebook has experienced tremendous growth in its membership since 2004. Today, Facebook boasts more than 350 million members world-wide, more than any other social networking website. Facebook was ranked the most used social network by worldwide monthly active users, according to a study conducted by Compete.com in 2009. Even with those impressive numbers, Facebook has a long way to go before it exceeds the traffic Google receives. However, you can expect Google to continue to be traffic king for a long time to come.
Social networking competitors, LinkedIn, Twitter and Myspace have impressive page rank 9s, but it has been made very clear that Facebook is king of the social networks. The question is how long before someone comes and knocks them off their pedestal? How long before someone creates something bigger and better? Facebook is very user friendly, which is what has kept them on top.
Monday, 05 April 2010 15:27 |
Google announced the finalists in its first-ever Model Your Town Competition on April 1, and opened up the public voting phase. Members of the Internet Community can vote on their favorite 3-D modeled town. You must cast a vote before May 1.
The Finalist are:
- Barranco (Lima, Peru)
- Braunshweig (Niedersachsen, Germany)
- Donostia (Gipuzkoa, Spain)
- Dursley (Gloucestershire, United Kingdom)
- West Palm Beach (Florida, United States)
Each team used Google SketchUp and Google Building Maker to create detailed 3D models of their towns. Each town can be viewed in Google Earth by anyone in the world.
Contest entries were judged on the accuracy of the scale models; photo texturing; how efficient the modeled towns loaded in Google Earth; the level of building detail; metadata or text information about each indidual building; the coverage area of the town modeled and the elegance of the modeled buildings.
The winning town receives:
- $10,000 for the town’s public school district;
- A visit from Google;
- A video profile of the winning team featured on YouTube;
- A virtual tour of the town added to the Google Earth Website; and
- International Publicity
Google officials say Google Earth’s 3-D mapping tools benefit local governments and businesses by engaging the public in planning, fostering economic development, boosting tourism, simplifying navigation and geographic analysis; enhancing facilities management; supporting security and crime prevention and facilitating emergency management.
Thursday, 01 April 2010 18:45
April Fools Day joke honors city’s adoration
Last month, Topeka City Officials renamed the city “Google, Kansas – The Fiber Optic City” in a bid to lure the largest search engine company to test its fiber optic network in Topeka.
Google, recognizing Topeka’s commitment to garnering the attention of Google executives, rewarded the city of the Great Plains by changing the company’s name to Topeka.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt carried the April-Fools-Day hoax a step further in the company blog
“We didn’t reach this decision lightly; after all, we had a fair amount of brand equity tied up in our old name,” Topeka Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt wrote on The Official Google Blog. “Don’t be fooled . Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.”
“Our news product names will take some getting used to. For instance, we’ll have to assure users of Topeka News and Topeka Maps that these services will continue to offer news and local information from across the globe.
For a day users didn’t perform Google searches, but instead Topeka searches.
Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten garnered international attention in March when he declared by proclamation that Topeka would change its name to the City of Google for the entire month.
“It’s just fun. We’re having a good time of it,” Bunten said in march. “There’s a lot good things that are going on in our city.”
Thursday, 01 April 2010 14:06 |
Fired for Watering Virtual Beets
farmvillePLOVDIV, BULGARIA – A Bulgarian political official reaped the consequences last week when his desire for online virtual farming overwhelmed his civic duty.
Plovdiv City Council member Dimitar Kerin was fired after he was caught during budgetary debates cultivating his virtual crops and livestock on the hit Facebook game Farmville.
His addiction riled fellow council members so much last week that Kerin was voted off a council committee assignment for his Farmville obsession, reports Novinite.com, a news agency based in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Kerin, along with other members of the 51-member council in Bulgaria’s second-largest city, was warned to not misuse the wireless network and laptop computers. Council Chairman llko lliev warned several council members to refrain from playing games on social media websites during budget mettings, according to the report.
Despite the chairman’s warnings, Kerin couldn’t resist the temptation to till his virtual crop and milk his virtual cows.
Angered by Kerin’s reluctance to separate work from play during council meetings, Council Member Todor Hristov proposed firing the virutal agriculturalist, saying that Kerin “needs more time for his virtual farm,” Novinite.com reports.
In a close 20-19 vote, the council ousted Kerin, according to AOL Games.
FacebookFarmville is an online game where players grow and raise a variety of virtual crops and animals. The game encourages social interaction with other players by allowing a player to send gifts that other players can plant on their, respective, virtual farm. A player can spend hours tending their crops and livestock.
The recent firing of the Bulgarian politician is evidence of the growing social networking trend and the inability of many online users to separate work from their online lives. In workplaces throughout the world, workers are logging onto social networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, to play games online or interact with their friends.