Google Introduces New Zagat’s For Web and Mobile

Most thought that Google’s purchase of Zagat’s and the integration of their reviews in the Google Local offering would mean that the Zagat’s brand would be going away.

Well, most were wrong. Google released a new Zagat’s yesterday. A post on the Official Google blog tells us

We’re launching a new Zagat website and mobile app for Android and iPhone that puts the very best restaurants and nightspots right at your fingertips. And for the first time, our trusted Zagat ratings and reviews are available for free with no registration required.

The new Zagat features the latest news and video content from our expert local editors, curated lists (think “10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC”), powerful search and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems.

Here is a video as well.

Online Beats Dollar, Drug and Department Stores for Back-to-School Shopping

Since Deloitte started producing their Back-to-School survey in 2009, online has hovered around the 17% to 20% mark with shoppers. It was the eighth most popular place to look for clothes, school supplies and needed tech but not anymore. This year, online claimed the third place spot with 36% of parents saying they plan to hit the internet for deals this year.

making the grade


Specialty clothing stores are also up in popularity while Dollar Stores took a significant hit. The move away from discount stores doesn’t mean that people are willing to spend more. They plan on spending more, but they don’t see it as a choice. 34% said they expect to spend more because prices are higher than last year and – here’s a sad fact – because school supply budgets have been slashed leaving it up to parents to make up the difference.

Chipotle’s Fake Twitter Hack: Can Customers Take a Joke?

chipotle headerTwitter hacking is as common now as pet rocks in the 70’s. True hacks usually lead to an hour or so of offensive Tweeting followed by numerous mea culpas from the company even though it wasn’t their fault. Sometimes, it’s partially their fault because the “hack” is actually a disgruntled or inebriated employee who decided to make his grievances public.

Then there are those times when a celebrity Tweet-blurts something terrible but instead of owning up to their misdeeds, they claim their account was hacked.

Now we have the case of Chipotle – the folks who “hacked” their own account as a publicity stunt. It worked. They picked up more than 4,000 followers and 12,000 reTweets. Mashable says their normal numbers are around 250 new followers and 75 reTweets. Chipotle has more than 200,000 followers, so it’s not like they were hurting before this all began.

Pinterest Joins the “Do Not Track” Ranks

Pinterest LogoIn a move that some (especially marketers) might find as detrimental to the future financial success of Pinterest, the popular image sharing site has decided to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to opt out of being tracked by the site.

How far Pinterest goes to promote this fact remains to be seen since it was given one sentence at the very end of a post from Friday of last week announcing other updates to the service which include a new edit button.

The New York Times reported about the do not track element telling us

In Silicon Valley there are hundreds of companies that track people’s habits with the hopes of offering more intrusive advertising. There are, in comparison, very few Valley start-ups that give people the opportunity to opt out of that tracking.

AdWords Updates Quality Score Reporting

google-adwordsGoogle announced on Friday that it is working to improve the quality of its AdWords product by updating its quality score process.

In an Inside AdWords post we are told

As part of our ongoing efforts to help improve the quality of our ads, we’re announcing an update that changes how each keyword’s 1-10 numeric Quality Score is reported in AdWords. Under the hood, this reporting update will tie your 1-10 numeric Quality Score more closely to its three key sub factors — expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. We expect this update to reach all advertisers globally within the next several days.

That next several days means that most, if not all, AdWords users will see this update this week.

How a Super-Villain Would Spend Google’s Revenue [Infographic]

billionaireWith Comic-Con just behind us and another weekend on the horizon, I thought it would be a great time to bust out the super-villain infographic.

This hand-drawn work of comic book-style art comes to us from Customer Magnetism, a digital marketing agency in Virgina Beach. It features a seriously insidious look at how a super villain would spend the 50.2 billion dollars that Google raked in last year.

The internet giant is probably going to spend its cash on silly things like product development, data security and hiring amazing and creative programmers. What a waste! They could be spending that money on a secret submarine lair in Norway or a crew of robot butlers. And let’s not forget a pen of hammer-head shark with “lasers.” Yes. I said “lasers.”

From Conversation to Content-Delivery: Professors Predict a Change in Twitter

twitter logo“Get ready for a TV-like Twitter.”

That bold statement comes from Columbia Business School Professor Olivier Toubia. He and his colleague, University of Pittsburgh’s Assistant Professor Andrew T. Stephen just released the results of a study they conducted on Twitter usage. They study is called “Intrinsic versus Image-Related Utility in Social Media: Why do People Contribute Content to Twitter?” and it concludes with the end of Twitter as we know it.

Don’t worry. There’s not going to be a giant Twitter Apocalypse or anything. (Sounds like a Syfy original movie.) Twitter usage is just going to keep shifting until it becomes more of a content-delivery system and less of a means of conversation.

Here’s why.