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Google + AJAX = bad news for third-party analytics providers

In my opinion, being able to track how people are finding your website through search engines is one of the most important data points available to business owners and marketers.

After all, since SEO can make or break a website, knowing which search terms are producing organic traffic is crucial to evaluating your SEO success and analyzing what you can do better.

But a new change that Google is testing makes it impossible to track this data if you use a third-party analytics provider.

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Chris Anderson re-evaluates the economics of 'free'

He may be selling books, but reality has not been kind to Chris Anderson. His theory that the future of business is selling more of less as presented in his best-selling book, The Long Tail, is refuted by observational data.

And his latest novel idea - that the future of business is $0.00 - looks downright absurd in today's economy. That's the thesis behind his upcoming book, Free. In fact, it's so absurd that Anderson had to address the elephant in the room in a recent guest piece in The Wall Street Journal.

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Facebook grows...older

facebook If you haven't already had to grapple with whether or not you should friend your Mom, you may well be facing that conundrum soon.

Women over 55 are the fastest-growing demographic on the social network,  their ranks swelling a jaw-dropping 175.3 percent since late September, according to InsideFacebook.

Overall, users over 26 comprise the fastest-growing segment on the social network -- originally geared at college students, remember? Forty-five percent of Facebook's 45.3 million active US users are 26 years old or older.

Teens, meanwhile, comprise less than 12 percent of registered users.

While registration rates continue to rise in all demographics, there are almost double the number of 55+ women on Facebook than their male counterparts.

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GoDaddy wins Super Bowl

Have you heard? Sex sells.

At least it invites repeat viewings. Which is how GoDaddy's "Enhanced" spot starring Danica Patrick and her pet beaver, ranked #1 as the most-(re)viewed Super Bowl spot on TiVo.

Ms Patrick and her beaver beat out the bells-and whistles contender, the first-ever 3D TV spot for "Monsters vs. Aliens," which didn't even crack the top 50. The ad did require consumers to snag a pair of free 3D glasses to get the full effect.

Beverage spots are always big on game day, and usual suspects Coke and Pepsi made the top 10 list, but Bud Light did so an impressive two times.

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Q&A: Paul Cook of TagMan on duplicate payments

Paul Cook is Managing Director of Positive Feedback, which owns the TagMan tag management product that was a recent winner of an Econsultancy Innovation Award.

TagMan makes it easier for companies to implement web analytics and can reduce de-duplication, which is a growing concern for many e-commerce and marketing teams.

We interviewed Paul to find out more about the thorny issue of de-duplication...

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Where's the money at? Veritude reveals 2009 IT hiring trends

With the global economy continuing to tumble and the layoff announcements continuing to flow day after day, it's a depressing time to be looking for a job.

But that doesn't mean that they're not out there and despite the layoffs at major technology companies, IT is still crucial to most businesses and there are opportunities out there. In its 2009 IT Hiring Trends report, staffing provider Veritude provides a good overview of where that opportunity is.

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Retailers need to look to mobile internet - survey

Mobile shopping25% of shoppers are using mobile phones as part of the buying process when in retail stores, using phones to compare prices and look for reviews or recommendations from friends.

A recent survey suggests that retailers have an opportunity to get more mobile users shopping instore by providing them with mobile apps and more mobile-friendly websites to allow customers to access this information to help make a purchase decision. 

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7 Valentine's Day tips for etailers

With Valentine's Day less than 2 weeks away, it's a good time for etailers to take advantage of this underrated holiday to boost sales.

From flowers to candy to consumer electronics, the economy may be tough but Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that wise men and women in committed relationships aren't going to cut corners on. Here are 7 tips for etailers looking to maximize Valentine's Day sales.

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Site review: Spotify

Swedish startup Spotify launched its online music streaming service in public beta a few months ago, looking to compete with established music sites like Last.fm.

Offering either subscription or ad supported version of its service, Spotify offers the artist and related tracks radio that is a feature of Last.fm, but has also provided a good range of tracks that can be listened to on-demand.

Spotify

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How recession-proof is online shopping?

onine shoppingDo online retailers have a better chance of beating the global recession than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts?

It's no secret that consumers are cutting back big time. Frugality is the new chic. Tight budgets and high fuel prices are leading to an increase in cocooning that can't be wholly attributed to bitter winter weather. Even New York City is reporting subway ridership has scaled back to levels not seen since the 1950s, as workers lose jobs and shoppers don't leave home to shop.

Hard to find bright spots in such scenarios, but grim economic times could bode better for online retailers than their beleaguered meatspace counterparts. A recent Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates survey finds 26 percent of consumers saying they'll shop more online if their personal financial situation worsens in the coming year.

These so-called "recession shoppers" aren't just buying online to save shoe leather and tire treads. They're hunting for rock-bottom prices, deep discounts and solid deals.

Most of all, recession shoppers love coupons.

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Leveraging the synergies: death to PRspeak

I have recently been working on a style guide for Econsultancy, to help internal and external writers achieve a measure of consistency. 

As part of the style guide I’ve compiled a ‘Common Words’ section (because 'email' has no hyphen, but 'e-commerce' does), and an ‘Acronyms’ section (because if you don’t know your SEO from your WTF then people tend to LOL). 

I am also assembling a ‘Banned Words and Phrases’ section, to try to rid our pages of the meaningless guff typically found in press releases and Powerpoint slideshows. There is no room for ‘bleeding-edge solutions’ at this inn.

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Publishers must adapt to economic and digital trends

Some of the challenges and opportunities facing publishers are brought into sharp focus by our 2009 Vertical Search (B2B) Report published recently.  

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