Friday Round-Up: gifts from all your favorite social media sites

Cowboy SantaIt’s Friday and time for another round-up. Do you realize that one week from today it will all be over. Instead of buying gifts for each other, we’ll be standing in even longer lines to return what we got so we can buy what we want. That’s the American way.

The day after Christmas is one of my favorites because I love a post-holiday sale. Half price Hickory Farms cheese boxes, rolls of wrapping paper for 25 cents, 75% off red and green wrapped chocolates; it’s the second most wonderful time of the year.

For now, here are some gifts from your favorite social media sites and more!

‘Impersonator: Rise of the Bad Bots’ coming soon to a website near you

They pop up on your site when you least expect them. Most won’t do you harm but a few were born to be bad. Worst of all, they have the uncanny ability to impersonate a human being. They’re bots and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. (Insert dramatic ‘dun-dun-dun’ music here.)

Impersonator Bots

Web security company, Incapsula just published their annual bot report and while overall bot traffic is down, Impersonator bots are on the rise.

Impersonator bots pretend to be something they’re not so they can sneak in and cause trouble; fake search engine bots, DDoS Bots, Spy Bots etc. We’ve seen a steady increase in these types but don’t panic — yet. Incapsula also noted a decrease in two other types of angry bots; hacking tools and scrapers.

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2014 Year in Review: Search

Google 2014 top searchesSearch is more than just an online tool to help you find things faster. Search is a time capsule. Gathered one keystroke at a time, with millions of people submitting billions of queries; search results tell us what was important to a large portion of our population at any given moment in time. The trend lists, Google, Yahoo and Bing produce at the end of the year, are mini-history lessons for future generations.

When I see these year-end trend lists, I wonder how many of these topics – topics that were so important to us in 2014 – will resonate with others twenty years from now. . . fifty years from now. How about in 3014? (I wonder what search will look like then?)

Online spending breaks million dollar a day record


free-shipping-day-180-150Happy Free Shipping Day, everyone!

Today’s the day when the post office rejoices (business!) then laments (too much business!) as shoppers around the globe rush around online to find those last few gifts for family and friends.

Luke Knowles and his wife started Free Shipping Day seven years ago but it really took hold in 2011 when shoppers responded and made it the highest-earning Friday in online retail history.

History has been made again and we’re only halfway through Free Shipping Day!

According to comScore, 2014 has been a record year for online sales. For the second consecutive week, all five weekdays hit a milestone of at least $1 billion in online desktop sales. This is the first time in history that this has happened twice in the same holiday season.

Blondes may have more fun but they take 30% more time to click than brunettes

Blondes ClickBlondes may have more fun but they take 30% more time to click on a web page link as compared to brunettes. This fun fact comes from a delightful new study from Paris-based Content Square.

Content Square tracked the on-page movements of 4,000 French citizens as they perused one of 20 e-commerce sites.

They found a few paths that make sense and a few more that are just plain, quirky and fun. So make of these what you will and before you send your objections, note that I didn’t come up with these facts, I’m just reporting them.

Going back to the blondes and brunettes;

  • Brunettes average hesitation time before click: 0.49 seconds
  • Men average hesitation time before click is 13% higher than brunettes

Do you see what I see: the road to 100% viewability

peek-a-boo-christmas-kitten-911631-mGetting 100% of anything seems like an impossible dream. The government takes a percentage of your paycheck. A percentage of that muffin ends up as crumbs on the plate. And people who say they’re giving you 100%. . . well, clearly it’s just an expression.

Still, ad buyers such as Unilever and Group M insist on 100% viewability for all of their digital ad units and back in November Conde Nast said they’re make it so. Really?

Today, the IAB chimed in on the subject with a clear message – “100% viewability is unreasonable” and marketers should happily settle for 70%. (To be clear, the Media Rating Council said it was unreasonable and the new IAB paper says they agree.)

Report shows super-spenders are more reliant on organic search

internet searchHow do you typically find online information or websites you’ve recently visited?

Forrester asked 4,600 US adults this question and I would say “the answers might surprise you” but that would be cliche. Let’s just take a look at what happened and see what we can do with the results.

Organic search landed in the number one spot (no surprise) but the second, third and fourth options weren’t that far behind.

Search only got 36% of the vote. I expected it to be closer to the 50% mark. Want to guess what came in second?

Time’s up: Facebook.

25% of respondents said they got their info from Facebook! I am surprised by that.

Third place went to TV ads with 23%, fourth to TV shows with 21%.