Weekly Digital News Roundup: April 23 – 27

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    Google’s “Penguin Update”

    • Google recently launched its latest search algorithm, which has been dubbed the “Penguin Update.” Its goal is to more effectively catch people who span search results or violate Google’s publishers guidelines in order to rank higher.
    • Google writes: “We’re  launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines. This algorithm represents another step in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.”
    • Don’t confuse the Penguin Update with Google’s rumored “over-optimization” penalty. Googler Matt Cutts clarified this statement with SearchEngineLand.com this week when he said, “I think ‘over-optimization’ wasn’t the best description, because it blurred the distinction between white hat SEO and webspam. This change is targeted at webspam, not SEO, and we tried to make that fact more clear in the blog post.”

    Rising Tablet Sales Push Downloads for Video, Apps

    • According to the Tablet Technology and Markets report from Futuresource Consulting, tablet consumer use will increase by 200% across the U.S. and Western Europe over the next two years. The report details that consumers bought about 52 million tablets in 2011 across the two region, and the market is on track to exceed 153 million units in 2013.
    • Tablet usage is expected to rise, too. According to eMarketer, U.S. consumers using a tablet at least once monthly will reach 75.6 million in 2013 – up from 13 million in 2010. Apple is the dominant company among tablets since the iPad, with Android-powered devices remaining the company’s biggest competitor.
    • Consumers are downloading more apps and ebooks thanks to the proliferation of tablets. 10% of mobile app downloads in 2011 were attributed to tablets. Based on Futuresource’s findings, it’s interesting to note that tablet owners are more likely to pay for apps, especially in the U.S. Furthermore, digital book downloads are expected to account for almost 70% of book sales by 2016.

    Google Test: Paid-Search Ads in Email Marketing

    • MediaPost reports that email marketers may soon have the opportunity to tie campaigns into paid-search ads. Google’s new ad format, which is currently in the testing stages, allows consumers who are searching for a specific brand to sign up for newsletters, coupons, or other information from the paid-search ads served up in query results.
    • What does it look like? MediaPost states, “the ad format includes a box that displays a user’s Google email address when logged in to the service. A box next to the email address allows the user to enter in a product or brand. When the user chooses to click “Get offers” the email address gets sent to the advertiser.”
    • The article goes on to state that a Google spokesperson said tests have been running for several months. An earlier report citing the test points to a box reading “Subscribe to newsletter” rather than “Get offers.” The switch in wording since tests began suggests tweaks to the service could point eventually to a tie in with Google Offers or other coupon services, rather than just newsletters.

     

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