Google Toolbar Lab Open for Business

google-toolbar-logoDon’t have anything to do this weekend? Wondering how you are going to fill the hours between now and whenever then is for you? How about kicking around the new Google Toolbar Labs for a while. The Google blog announced the new opportunity to test things out and help those crazy Googlers improve on the Google toolbar.

Just as Google Labs and Gmail Labs are playgrounds for new ideas, Toolbar Labs was built to get ideas out there quickly to see how you like them.

The first two Lab versions of the toolbar are interesting and quite different. The first is called Google Toolbar with My Location. This is designed to create the same experience for computer users that was given to the mobile set last September with Mobile Search with My Location.

MySpace Officially Names Owen Van Natta as CEO

As we expected

News Corporation today announced the appointment of Owen Van Natta to the role of MySpace Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Mr. Van Natta will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Jonathan Miller, News Corporation’s CEO of Digital Media and Chief Digital Officer.

You can read the full announcement here.

Yelp Finally Allows Businesses to Respond to Reviews

As previously reported, Yelp has launched a system to allow business owners to address reviews left by their customers.

The new system will finally ease the frustration of businesses not being able to share their side of the story–especially when facing a very negative review. The system will look like this:

Now, before you rub your hands together in delight, Yelp’s well aware of just how over-bearing business owners can be, so it’s going to be very strict in what it will and won’t allow business owners to post. Here are the guidelines for business owners planning to respond:

Public Comment Guidelines

Use public comments to:

Forrester Predicts Huge Growth for Social Media Marketing

Forrester Research is holding its own conference down in Orlando and has just revealed its predictions for the growth of online advertising. The bottom line is that social media and mobile will be the hottest, but just about everything will see an upward trend.

Forrester Report

55% of Search Marketers Plan to Increase SEO Spending this Year

While the recession may be hurting the search engines’ revenues, it’s apparently not having an affect on the spending habits of search marketers.

According to the latest UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report from Econsultancy, search marketers plan to increase their spending this year.

Highlights include:

  • 55% of UK search marketers plan to increase their SEO spending this year.
  • 45% plan to increase their paid search budgets
  • 49% plan to include Twitter in their marketing efforts–up from 3% last year–and 65% are including Facebook.
  • 48% are seeing an increase in ROI from their SEO campaigns (compared to 6% that have seen a decline) and for paid search, 43% have seen an increase (versus 15% that have seen a decline).

Microsoft’s Online Advertising Revenue Drops 16%, Time to Give Up?

Microsoft reported its first ever year-over-year quarterly drop in revenue, in its entire 30-year history!

I’ll let that sink in for a second.

In its three decades of existence, Microsoft had never before seen a year-over-year quarterly drop, so if you needed a sign of just how bad this recession is, this is it!

Here are the official numbers:

…revenue of $13.65 billion for the third quarter ended March 31, 2009, a 6% decline from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $4.44 billion, $2.98 billion and $0.33 per share, which represented an increase of 3% and declines of 32% and 30%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.

Facebook Vote Results In!

Based on a post for the General Counsel for facebook-logoFacebook, Ted Ullyot, the results for the Facebook vote are in and the new rules / terms of service are in. Or are they?

As I read the post my greatest question was did they actually get 30% of their active users to vote so the following statement in a post from Facebook’s Grand High Poobah, Mark Zuckerberg, would play out

We encourage you to participate and make your voice heard. For this vote and any future one, the results will be binding if at least 30 percent of active Facebook users at the time that the vote was announced participate. An active user is someone who has logged in to the site in the past 30 days.