Aol’s Patch Needs 8,000 Bloggers .. Now .. For Free

Boy oh boy! The good folks of Aol can’t pass up any chance whatsoever for people to wonder what in the world they are up to. As the company has fully entered its “Arianna Online” era (or as history may put it one day, error) it is obvious that Huffington thinks that there are enough free writers out there that they can recruit 8,000 bloggers for their Patch service by May 4. Not a typo, May 4.

Forbes tells us

Arianna Huffington must not be taking that class action lawsuit against her too seriously. Not only is AOL’s new content chief not cutting down on the use of unpaid bloggers, she’s doubling down — literally. Patch, AOL’s network of hyperlocal news sites, is trying to recruit as many as 8,000 bloggers in the next eight days, according to editor in chief Brian Farnham.

Why Social Finally Works With Search

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"Why would I want to see what my Facebook friends "liked" or "shared" in my Google results?"

"Who cares whether my website has fewer +1s than the next guy if I have better content?"

"Tweets shouldn’t pass PageRank – what the heck does a Tweet tell me about whether a result answers my query?" 

The FTC Rallies Against Fake News Ads

If you spend anytime following the news on the web you’ve seen the ads. They look like newspaper articles and many even feature the logos of CNN, USAToday and. . . oh, look. . there’s one right there!

Even though they do say “advertorial” on them and they are found in sidebars where banner ads usually hang out, people still think they’re legitimate news sources, so they click and they buy the diet product that is hawked at the end of it all. The FTC says no more. They’ve gone to court to stop ten companies who produce these phony ads and they want to force them refund the money to consumers who fell for the claims.

The FTC charges that the defendants:

Traffic From Social Media Has Highest Bounce Rate

Now that we have a lot more data in the hopper, it’s beginning to look like social media isn’t the magic pill many people thought it would be when it comes to marketing.

Today, we have numbers from Outbrain. This is the company that makes the “You Also Might Like” widget that suggests related content at the bottom of a blog post. They examined traffic from 100 million sessions across more than 100 premium publishers in order to find out how people are discovering content and what happens when they get there.

As we’ve seen from other surveys, the majority of traffic comes from search engines (41%) and content sites (31%). They say social media sends 11% of the traffic, which is better than the 1% ForeSee suggested, but it’s still not fabulous.

Demand Media’s Stock Drops Like Its Google Traffic

Demand Media is trying to give the impression that everything is OK down on the content farm.

They have confirmed their financial guidance for the year but that confirmation is interesting considering the following two realities. Their Google traffic is down 40% after it was Panda-ficated. As a result, Demand’s stock as fallen 34% following their much talked about IPO in January. Since pictures are worth a thousand words I’ll save myself a lot of writing and you a lot of reading. The chart below came to us from SAI.

There were many of you who were upset that we talked about Demand in less than glowing terms and had predicted that the content farm game’s dependency on Google was more than just risky. Heck, even their own corporate reports said that. Now the reality is setting in quick and it’s not just Demand feeling the pinch but their stockholders as well. Looks like the latest content farm crop may be a crock.

Facebook Social Deals Starts 5 City Test

Facebook is adding to their original deals offering. Now, I can appreciate trying to get in on the deals frenzy because there is money to be made. What is starting to get kind of silly though is that everyone, their brother and their eighth cousin twice removed has some deal set up as well. While there are seemingly infinite deal options people still usually only have a finite need or amount of money so something’s got to give.

Search Engine Land’s Greg Stirling begins his post with

After several months of anticipation Facebook is launching its second deals program: Social Deals. The new effort more closely resembles Groupon-style daily deals, with several twists. The original “Facebook Deals” is now being called “check-in deals” to distinguish it from the new program.

Facebook Send Button: Because Sometimes It’s Personal

Facebook has just released a new button that allows users to share items with select people as opposed to everyone who follows them.

The new Send button pops up a small email blank with a drop-down address bar that automatically suggests folks you’ve recently communicated with on Facebook. You can override this by typing in a name, an email address or a Facebook group name.

This is actually a very nice feature. I often see things that I’d like to forward to a select group and not everyone who follows me. The downside is, it doesn’t work with Lists, only Groups. For example, I saw a great daily deal today that I would have shared with my mommy blogging friends, but in order to reach all the people on my “mommy blogger” list, I had to select them one by one. Not good.