Three stars for Google’s new Product Listing Ad rating system

File this one under: you mean that wasn’t there yesterday?

I would have sworn that Google sponsored results always had star ratings on them but apparently not – because Google just introduced the star rating system as if it were a brand new product.

Sofia the First

Tada! Product Listing Ads will now have happy stars underneath each qualified item. (Note that one retailer has no stars. . . why is that. . . let’s investigate. . . )

First, the facts. Star ratings and review counts will appear on both Google searches and on Google.com/shopping.

The data is aggregated from multiple sources including “merchants, third party aggregators, editorial sites and users.”

Majority of YouTube gamers say no to pay for play

The FTC says it’s okay for bloggers and YouTubers to accept money and free products in return for a review as long as those facts are clearly disclosed. So it’s legal – but is it ethical?

Gamasutra surveyed more than 100 YouTubers who specialize in video game coverage and asked them if they’ve ever been paid for coverage and here’s what they found out:

gamasutra pay for play

The chart is divided into two sections; YouTube channels with less than 5,000 subscribers and those with more. Under 5,000, only a tiny percentage have ever been paid to play. Clearly that’s the breaking point for video game companies. Over 5,000, the majority still say no but 21% said yes.

Channel Sponsors

OkCupid says experimenting with consumers is a good thing

science-students-419554-mEarlier this month, someone at Facebook mentioned running a news feed experiment to see how people respond to positive and negative posts. What they found out was how people respond when they find out that they’ve been manipulated in the name of social science.

There was much ranting and raving, angry virtual mobs and the FTC was called upon to investigate this abuse of power.

Seriously – this is the internet people, not a hospital. Besides, once you signed the Terms of Service agreement (you know, the one you didn’t read) you gave Facebook permission to manipulate your data as they see fit.

Whether Facebook was in the right really doesn’t matter though, does it? Because once the public gets angry, there’s nothing to do but apologize and back away until the storm passes. . .

Get 50 minutes of online reputation management advice from @AndyBeal for free!

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Martin Brossman to discuss online reputation management for individuals and small businesses.

Martin is a passionate social media and small business coach and so had some great questions for me.

The video is 50 minutes long, and I don’t hold anything back.

Some of my favorite discussions in the video are outlined below:

About LinkedIn: “I don’t even ask for someones resume any more I usually ask can you send me your LinkedIn profile. It gives me a little bit of social proof”
Time Mark: 07:30 – Direct link to this location:
http://youtu.be/hmOY2ZquKWM?t=07m40s

My attempt to define the Hummingbird update and how it relates to Google reputation management.
Time Mark: 10:56  - Direct link to this location:
http://youtu.be/hmOY2ZquKWM?t=10m56s

Friday Roundup: AdWords gets dynamic, Yahoo gets Flurry and more

Adwords dyanmic linksAdWords, Yahoo, and don’t forget Google.

Let’s finish up the week with a couple of quick hits.

AdWords is adding deep linking, dynamic sitelinks to search ads. The links are automatically generated and added to the bottom of your existing ad based on searcher behavior.

For example:

When people use Google to search for used cars, they may perform multiple searches and click on several search results before scheduling a test drive on a dealer’s site. While searching, they might see an ad for Joe’s Used Cars with a dynamic sitelink for the test drive page on Joe’s website, based on the customer’s current search activity.

Nice way to get a relevant call to action without any additional effort on your part. (Other than a website with a variety of actionable content pages.)

Amazon rewards Prime Members who choose slower shipping

Amazon No RushOne of the main reasons people sign up for Amazon Prime is to get the FREE 2-day shipping. Heck, since I joined, I’ve seen things arrive the next day! It’s madness — in a good way — for the buyer.

But I’ve been hearing rumors that Amazon now has too many Prime members and can’t handle the shipping load. I think those rumors must be true because Amazon is once again pushing their No Rush reward program.

If you’re a Prime member, and you choose the slower 5-7 business day option, Amazon will give you a $1 Amazon Instant Video Credit.

Facebook reports 19 percent increase in daily active users

continents-3-1175614-mThere are more people using Facebook on a regular basis than there were last year. 19% more. Care to guess how many people that is? Go ahead and guess: how many Daily Active Users does Facebook have now? (I’ll put the answer at the bottom.)

Facebook just released their Second Quarter 2014 Financial Summary and it’s looking good for the social media giant.

Second quarter revenue was $2.91 billion. That’s a 61% increase compared to $1.81 billion this same time last year. I’d take that any day.

Leading the charge? Mobile. Mobile was responsible for about 62% of ad revenue for the quarter. That’s also a hefty increase over last year.

Here are a few more mobile stats:

  • Mobile DAUs were 654 million on average for June 2014, an increase of 39% year-over-year.