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Google to Charge $15 for First Search Query Checked

If the above headline were true, Google would have found itself at the bottom of the annual Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient poll, along with all of the major airlines.

Fortunately, for us and them, Google doesn’t charge for its search engine and, when it comes to taking care of its employees, leads corporate America.

Largely for its reputation for treating workers well, Google claimed the No. 1 spot from Microsoft Corp, which fell to 10th place.

"The ratings they get focus on how they treat their employees, their workplace environment," said Robert Fronk, senior vice president at Rochester, New York-based Harris. "They absolutely get tremendous credit for the social responsibility, which for them is also linked with their vision and leadership."

Teenagers Not Internet Zombies

Who knew? A study by OTX finds that on average teens (aged 13-17) spend 11.5 hours online a week (yep, not a day . . . no comment on how many hours I spend online a day. . . .). Nearly a quarter of teens spend over 15 hours online per week, while 45% spent eight hours or less online.

The study also looked at what teens did online. 58% have made a purchase online (though it doesn’t say whether the study made it clear that iTunes counts ;) ):

On average teens who make purchases online are spending $46 per month, and 26% of teens are spending $50 or more. Clothes and music [only 41%? Again, iTunes counts, folks!] are the two most popular online purchases, followed by books, electronics and DVDs. . . .

Facebook Catches MySpace; MySpace to Get Botox

Do you believe in simple coincidences? If you do, then you’ll believe that MySpace’s announced facelift has nothing to do with the fact that Facebook has just caught up to its global audience numbers.

TC has comScore data charting Facebook’s unstoppable worldwide growth and how it has now matched MySpace’s 115 million monthly visitors number (although still behind MySpace’s US audience numbers).

In no response whatsoever, MySpace plans to rollout a major new look on June 18th. The company has announced that its homepage, navigation, profiles, search, and MySpace TV player will all get a new look.

"This is more than a facelift; we’re changing the way people interact with the site and with brands," MySpace said, adding that a major advertiser had signed on to take over the US MySpace homepage on the first day of the relaunch.

Lack of Quality TV Pushing Consumers to Online Entertainment

Here’s a shocker–the majority of shows on TV are boring and cable is expensive.

It’s no wonder then that consumption of online video has gone up significantly as less and less people watch TV.  Ipsos MediaCT conducted a study involving 1,102 early adopters who currently stream and download video online. From February 2007 to February 2008, video consumption from television went down 7 percent in just one year among this group.  Video consumption online went up 72% in the same time period.

What is surprising about this study?  The phenomenon of turning online for entertainment is not isolated or driven by a few select demographic groups, but rather is relatively consistent across all age groups and genders.

US Blog Readership Stands in the Shadow of the UK

Over the last 3 years, UK internet traffic to blogs and personal websites has grown by 208%, according to new data from Hitwise.

The web intelligence company has just released new data on blog readership in the United Kingdom which shows 1.19% of all UK web traffic flowed to a blog. (Not a single blog–that would be a great site to own–but to blogs in general)

This chart shows just how much blog readership in the UK has grown…

How does this compare with US readership? Despite what we may think about the US being on the "cutting edge" of social media, only 0.73% of all US traffic flowed to blog/personal journal sites.

Google Leads the Top 10 U.K. Search Sites

No surprise here. Google continued its dominance in the number one position of the top 10 search sites in the UK, with just over 74% share, according to comScore. eBay ranked second with 6 percent, followed by Yahoo! Sites (4.3 percent) and Microsoft Sites (3.4 percent). Rounding out the top 10, U.K. properties, Rightmove Sites and Bebo.com claimed .8 and .7 percent respectively.

Month over month, there was nominal movement in the stats. The only notable is the presence of Social Media sites in the top 10. Facebook.com, claimed a 1.8-percent market share in April. We’ll watch how that develops over the next few quarters.

UK Share of Search (according to comScore)

April 2008 vs. March 2008

Property

Mar-08

Apr-08

% Change

Google & Amazon Please Step Forward; the Rest of the Internet, You Can Go Home Now

In 2004, the chilling video “EPIC 2014″ predicted that Google and Amazon would merge in 2008 and pretty much rule the world.

Brace yourself, because Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay argues in a 310-page report that the video is becoming a reality. OK, he’s actually predicting strong growth for Google and Amazon–and few others–but the outcome is pretty much the same. According to Reuters

“We expect two players to continue to perform strongly, Google and Amazon,” Lindsay writes. “Both Google and Amazon.com are still racking up annual growth rates in the 30-40 percent range, with only a relatively modest slowdown in sight.”

If you’ve not ever seen Epic 2014, you must–I repeat must–watch it.