Google’s Electric Bills Must Be Pretty Darn High

This post falls into the category of “things that you never really think about but when you do you scratch your head and wonder a bit”. We don’t have an actual category like that here at Marketing Pilgrim due to character limits and other more sensible reasons.

The New York Times is reporting about Google’s electric usage and here’s what they tell us

Google disclosed Thursday that it continuously uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, but it says that in doing so, it also makes the planet greener.

Every time a person runs a Google search, watches a YouTube video or sends a message through Gmail, the company’s data centers full of computers use electricity. Those data centers around the world continuously draw almost 260 million watts — about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant.

Bing Powered Search Continues to Chip Away at Google’s Search Dominance

It’s that time of the month again! It’s the time where we prognosticate about the future of the search world and act as if we can tell what is going on in the minds of all searchers all around the globe.

To summarize: Google is still the leader by far. Take a look at the chart below from Experian Hitwise.

Congrats to the Bing powered search team. There has been upward movement since last August with share going from 24.56% to the current 28.99%. That’s impressive on many levels. What is interesting though is that in order for Bing to be considered the real contender it has to pass its kissing search cousin Yahoo in the race and it hasn’t even gotten there yet.

Google, Zagat and Yelp: A Reviews Perfect Storm

By now you may be aware that Google made another purchase yesterday. This time they jumped into the deep end of the places review game by buying the venerable review service Zagat’s. They have made no bones about what this means to the Google local offering which is still in flux and coming together one purchase and baffling systems change at a time.

The Google blog post from Google’s VP of Local, Maps and Location Services, Marissa Mayer tells us

So, today, I’m thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

Layaway Returns to Wal-Mart

78% of people who responded to Fannie Mae’s latest survey said they thought the economy was headed down the wrong track and for the fourth month in a row, there’s been an increase in the number of people reporting a financial decline.

Wal-Mart believes it, because they’re doing something they haven’t done in awhile — offering holiday layaway on toys and electronics.

When I was a kid, layaway was as common as the bank Christmas Club. It was the perfect way to spread out gift-buying expenses albeit a strain on the gas tank as you drove back to the store every week to plunk down the payment due. As credit cards became more popular, layaway faded into the background and Wal-Mart discontinued the program in 2006.

Bloggers Miffed by the Old Bait and Switch

A few weeks ago, a select number of food bloggers were invited to take part in a special event hosted by celebrity chef George Duran. The event was to feature a “a delicious four course meal” at an exclusive, underground Italian restaurant. They would talk about food trends, sample good wines, and though it wasn’t mentioned, promote a new product.

Bloggers aren’t dumb. Everyone who accepted the invitation knew that it was for PR purposes and they all expected a pitch. What they didn’t expect was a bait and switch and their reactions captured on hidden cameras.

The entire stunt was to promote Marie Callender’s frozen dinners. The bloggers, after talking extensively about fresh ingredients, natural foods and even food allergies, were served boxed lasagna and pie.

Klout Hits the 100 Million “Influencer” Mark

If nothing else, the social influence ranking service Klout creates conversation. Just do a Google search for the term and you will see opinions that vary from “Why you should care about Klout” to “Why your Klout score doesn’t really matter” to “Is Klout a good judge of your social media influence?“. Hey, if they aren’t talking about you then you’re not doing enough, right?

Well, the service hit a milestone as noted in the company blog by Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez

Today, I am excited to announce that 100 million people now have Klout Scores. While this is an exciting metric for our team, I think it’s important to recognize the broader implications of this milestone. One hundred million people with Klout Scores means that there are 100 million voices effectively leveraging the social web to share their opinions, hopes and dreams and shaping the decisions of the billions of people now listening to them.

Google Recognizes Top Help Forum Contributors

Just about everyone in the Internet space is likely to have spent at least some time in a Google help forum. Whether that time was helpful or aggravating depends on the time of day, the user’s need for information in a timely fashion and, most importantly what brave non-Google soul is monitoring that forum to help someone out.

It’s the way that Google has provided ‘support’ for quite some time. Under the guise of “the best situation is when users help other users” the folks at Mountain View have been able to keep their exposure to the outside world limited and they seem to like it that way. Unless they are selling (did you know there are now 1,000 Adword phone reps supporting that platform?) Google treats the general population with the same attitude that the pope treats his followers. You can look,listen and worship but let’s not get too close.