Judge Declares Illinois’ ‘Amazon Tax’ Unconstitutional

affiliate-marketing In a big victory for affiliate marketers, an Illinois judge has declared that a state law allowing Illinois to collect sales tax on online sales by out-of-state companies -- a law sometimes called the "Amazon tax" -- is unconstitutional. According to a news release from the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), the judge ruled that having affiliates in Illinois doesn't establish a legal presence, or nexus, inside Illinois for tax purposes. The judge also agreed with the PMA's position that the 2011 state law is premature because of a federal moratorium on Internet taxes that runs through [...]


Marketing Day: April 25, 2012

Here's our daily recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. From Marketing Land: Champions League Soccer Breaks Super Bowl’s Record For Twitter ActivityThe Super Bowl may be the biggest sporting event in the U.S., but around the world American football doesn’t hold a candle to soccer’s … err, football’s … popularity. That was proved true on Twitter yesterday when the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea set a new tweets-per-second (TPS) record for a sporting event [...]


Champions League Soccer Breaks Super Bowl’s Record For Twitter Activity

twitter-logo-square The Super Bowl may be the biggest sporting event in the U.S., but around the world American football doesn't hold a candle to soccer's ... err, football's ... popularity. That was proved true on Twitter yesterday when the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea set a new tweets-per-second (TPS) record for a sporting event. Twitter announced that 13,684 TPS were hitting its platform during the match, breaking the Super Bowl's record of 12,233 TPS set in February. As Twitter becomes more mainstream -- you can hardly watch a TV show of any kind in the U.S. today without [...]


Flickr’s New Image Uploader Is Faster, Supports Huge Photos

flickr-logo-small Flickr has announced an all-new image uploader -- the Flickr Uploadr, as it's called -- that the company says offers a number of improvements over its predecessor. For starters, Flickr says the new Uploadr will send images to Flickr 20 to 30 percent faster on average, with international users possibly seeing uploads going 50 to 60 percent faster. Flickr and the Uploadr now also support bigger images: up to 50mb for Pro users and 30mb for regular accounts. The new Uploadr also uses HTML5, which makes the uploading process much different than before. Users can drag and drop images into the [...]


Google’s New Anti-Spam Algo Causing Anger, Frustration Inside Marketing Industry

google-logo If the 130+ comments on Search Engine Land's article are any indication, search marketers are reacting with a mix of frustration and anger toward the anti-spam algorithm change that Google announced yesterday. Many search marketers are saying low-quality sites are continuing to do well in Google's search rankings, and sometimes even having better visibility than before Google's changes. Search marketers probably won't understand anything more after seeing a first "preview" list of winners and losers from SearchMetrics, a company whose visibility index has pretty accurately identified win [...]


Trending Articles Now Showing In Facebook’s News Feed

facebook-logo-square In a new change today, "Trending Articles" have been appearing in Facebook users' news feeds.  The new feature scrolls through 5 articles that appear to be hot across all of Facebook.  This feature very much resembles Google's  the "Hot On Google+" functionality but adds in the name of a friend who has recently read the article: The articles that we spotted did escort users off of Facebook to an external story.  Each article can be hidden and all articles from a given source can be hidden: All sources that we have seen have been tied to the social reader app.  For more info [...]


Adding Email Engagement To RFM Scoring

Spring has finally arrived, and for most retailers that means something of a lull in holiday frequency (once Mother’s Day has passed), making it an ideal time to get a fresh perspective on email reporting. RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) scoring has long been the go-to method of ranking the value of customers on file. Historically, this metric has focused solely on purchase data -- or lack thereof, if a customer is in the database but has not bought anything yet. Adding email engagement on top of your RFM Scoring data can deliver a fresh look at the value of your customers, resultin [...]


Study: For Display Ads Clicks Have “Nearly Zero” Correlation With Conversion

For many years many publishers and researchers have been fighting a battle against the "tyranny of the click." They've been trying to argue that clicks are a poor metric to rely upon in assessing digital ad campaign performance. Digital measurement firm comScore has been a vocal advocate of developing an alternative set of metrics -- especially when it comes to display and rich media advertising. Another study supporting that argument, from comScore and Pretarget, argues that "ad viewability and hover time are more strongly correlated with conversions (defined as purchases and requests for [...]


Apple Cracks Top 10 U.S. Websites In March, ComScore Says

comscore-logo Although it was strong iPhone sales that powered Apple's monster Q2 earnings today, it was likely the launch of the new iPad that helped propel Apple into the Top 10 of all websites during the month of March. According to comScore's latest Media Matrix ranking of U.S. web properties, Apple had more than 81.1 million unique visitors in March. That's up from about 78.7 million uniques in February, when Apple was the No. 11 overall web property. Apple officially launched the new iPad on March 7th. The top five sites have remained the same for a couple months now (in order): Google sites, Mi [...]


New “+1 Less” Share Button Released For Google+

google+ The line between Google's +1 functionality and the Google+ network has always been somewhat blurred.  Today Google has announced a new Google+ share button that helps to differentiate the two services. Google originally launched +1 as a tool similar to Facebook's like functionality.  A +1 is the equivalent to a user vouching for a website by liking it.  Buttons were released around the +1 functionality that allowed users to +1 content directly from a website.  Today's new Google+ share button doesn't include any of the +1 functionality.  Instead of +1ing content users directly shar [...]


Marketing Day: April 24, 2012

Here's our daily recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. From Marketing Land: Apple Posts Q2 2012 Earnings: Their Profits Exceed Google’s RevenuesApple has announced their second quarter earnings for 2012, sending their stock (AAPL) soaring up over $40 in after hours trading. Apple earned $39.2 billion in revenue and $11.6 billion in net profit in the quarter, whereas Google earned $10.65 billion in revenue and only $2.89 billion in profit. Apple in Q2 2011 earned revenue [...] Amazon, Nevada Agree On Sal [...]


Apple Posts Q2 2012 Earnings: Their Profits Exceed Google’s Revenues

apple-cash-money-featured Apple has announced its second quarter earnings for 2012, sending their stock (AAPL) soaring up over $40 in after hours trading. Apple earned $39.2 billion in revenue and $11.6 billion in net profit in the quarter, whereas Google earned $10.65 billion in revenue and only $2.89 billion in profit. Apple in Q2 2011 earned revenue of $24.7 billion and net profit of $6.0 billion, so Apple's growth has well beat expectations. Apple Sales: 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 88 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, a 151 percent [...]


Amazon, Nevada Agree On Sales Tax Collection

amazon-logo Nevada is the latest state to reach an agreement on sales tax collection with Amazon.com -- news that should be welcome by affiliate marketers in the Silver State (and elsewhere). As Internet Retailer reports, Amazon will start collecting sales tax on items purchased by Nevada residents on January 1, 2014, or sooner if the federal government passing a law that lets states collect sales tax from online merchants. The agreement is very similar to one announced earlier this year between Amazon and the state of Indiana. The news is good for affiliate marketers because it should mean they [...]


New “Devices” Area In Google Play Sets Up Coming Tablet Sales

Google announced earlier that it is now selling the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus in the Google Play market. Google's original attempts to sell Android handsets directly via its website were unsuccessful and the effort was discontinued. This new initiative is possible because of improvements in the Google Play market. In addition, $399 is not a bad price for an unlocked phone. The appearance of the Galaxy Nexus is also likely something of a "dry run" for the arrival of a Google-branded tablet later this year. That tablet is supposed to be 7 inches and compete directly with the Kindle Fir [...]


The “Storage Wars” Begin As Google Drive Finally Arrives

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 9.23.19 AM After literally years of speculation and a few weeks of intense anticipation, Google Drive has arrived. Google Docs is being folded into the new service. Indeed Google Drive is a logical extension of Google's current cloud platform. It's the "next step" in Google Docs' evolution according to the blog post by Google's Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome & Apps. 5GB of Storage, Expandable to 16TB Google Drive users will have access to 5GB of free storage in the new service. Additional storage can be purchased starting at $4 per month (20GB up to 16TB). Google Drive is intended to work with m [...]


More Facebook Insights: How To Calculate 30 Day Metrics

Facebook provides a wealth of data that can be used to calculate many useful metrics not readily available in the standard Insights report (see last month's column for three examples).  Unfortunately, Facebook does not segment data on a monthly basis.  All Facebook data is segmented into daily, 7-day, or 28-day time periods. This means that Facebook metrics can’t be easily incorporated into monthly reports.  This is a problem not only for custom metrics that can be calculated using Facebook data, but also for the standard metrics displayed in the Insights interface.  For example, the [...]


Fear, Reverence And Drama: The Enemies Of Integrated Search

In one eye-opening moment recently, I was thinking about Search Marketing in the context of our industry -- and the collective programming of all the conferences, roundtables, panels and workshops that take place. Thinking about how search is reflected in these environments, I found myself looking back over the past two years and realized just how many times I'd been led to a table to facilitate, walked into a room to participate, hopped on the phone to contemplate or stood in front of a class to illuminate -- the merits and practices of integrated search. Yes, search, in its various for [...]


Quora: We’re Not Just About Tech Content, You Know?

quora-logo-150 About a year ago, while researching Quora for one of my speaking commitments, I typed "bikes" into its search box to see if there was even a single question-answer combo about such a non-tech / non-web topic. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Quora had a reputation as being extremely heavy on tech and web-related content, with little content of interest for the so-called "regular Joe." But that's not what I found. There were several active topics with plenty of bike-related content. Last summer, I used this screenshot below in a blog post on my Small Business Search Marketing bl [...]


Marketing Day: April 23, 2012

Here's our daily recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. From Marketing Land: Facebook Updates S-1: 901 Million Users, $1.06 Billion In Revenue, 23 Million Shares To InstagramFacebook has amended its S-1 filing to include a range of new facts and data. Below are some of the more interesting details that I was able to find on my first review of the revised document. Revenue & Users In the first quarter this year Facebook made $1.058 billion. That was up from $731 [...] Facebook To Buy 650 AOL Patents From Mi [...]


Facebook Updates S-1: 901 Million Users, $1.06 Billion In Revenue, 23 Million Shares To Instagram

facebook-home-page-featured Facebook has amended its S-1 filing to include a range of new facts and data. Below are some of the more interesting details that I was able to find on my first review of the revised document. Revenue & Users In the first quarter this year Facebook made $1.058 billion. That was up from $731 million a year ago but down from Q4 2011. In 2011 as a whole the company made $3.71 billion. Ad revenue in Q1 was $872 million; "fees and payments" revenue was $186 million. The company has $3.9 billion cash on hand. Facebook also disclosed that 15 percent of Q1 2012 revenue came from Zynga: Thirt [...]


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