Back in August, Google gave AdSense publishers more control over what ads appear on their sites by launching an upgrading the category filtering feature and extending the feature's beta to the US and the UK.

So in essence, if you don't want certain kinds of sites showing up in ads on your site, you could block them. Google shows how the different ad categories contribute to your income, so you can take that into consideration.

Today Google announced that it will be providing users with more ad filtering options. Soon, the option for 3 more filter categories will be added for a total of 8 different categories. These will be coming in the next few weeks.

"To get started with category filtering, sign in to AdSense and visit the Ad Review Center, located under the AdSense Setup tab," says Google's Arlene Lee. "You can choose from the listed categories, which include religion, politics, and dating, and your selections will be applied to ads in English no matter how they're targeted."

Ad Review Center
"Please keep in mind that filtering ad categories may affect your AdSense revenue -- we recommend first reviewing the percentages displayed in your account to understand the amount of revenue you may be blocking," she reminds users.

Google says its continuing to work on additional filtering capabilities as well, but does not get into specifics. They are of course encouraging feedback.


A Joint Committee on Taxation report released today by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) found that regulating Internet gambling would generate roughly $42 billion over 10 years.

The report is based on the requirement of a federal license for operators that would allow them to offer online gambling throughout the United States, while keeping the federal prohibition on any form of sports betting.

"This analysis further reinforces the fact that a regulated environment will generate billions in new revenue to offset the costs of health care reform or other vital government programs," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

"With the completed analysis, and support for Internet gambling regulation growing daily, it's only a matter of time before Congress acts and begins allocating the billions in new revenue sitting on the table to one program or another."


Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would legalize Internet gambling and McDermott has a companion bill that would collect tax revenues on online gambling.

"We believe this tax revenue analysis will encourage immediate discussions and consideration of pending legislation to regulate Internet gambling," said Waxman.

"With everyone acknowledging that attempts to prohibit the activity have failed, this provides even more incentive for Congress to act."

Currently the amount of revenue that remains uncollected while Americans gamble online is more than $100 billion annually.


If you still don’t have a clue what do-follow is, do-follow is a simple attribute used within a link for the purpose of the search engines to give credit to a source. Links that point to a source containing this attribute, have more weight in helping to popularize a certain article to rank higher in the search engines – the reason why do-follow links are considered precious.

(List is organized by Alexa rankings)

  1. Digg – Alexa 110, PR 8
  2. Multiply – Alexa 222, PR 7
  3. Stumble Upon – Alexa 279, PR 8
  4. Reddit – Alexa 443, PR 8
  5. Mixx – Alexa 810, PR 8
  6. Mybloglog – Alexa 1,331, PR 7
  7. SlashDot – Alexa 1,345, PR 9
  8. Propeller – Alexa 1,684, PR 8
  9. Folkd – Alexa 1,896, PR 7
  10. Diigo – Alexa 2,236, PR 7
  11. Dzone – Alexa 3,045, PR 6
  12. JumpTags – Alexa 3,215, PR 6
  13. IndianPad – Alexa 3,287, PR 5
  14. Newsvine – Alexa 4,384, PR 7
  15. Mister-Wong – Alexa 4,625, PR 7
  16. Faves – Alexa 5,197, PR 6
  17. Connotea – Alexa 6,445 PR 7
  18. BackFlip – Alexa 7,319, PR 2
  19. SpotBack – Alexa 8,309, PR 5
  20. Spurl – Alexa 9,351, PR 5
  21. LinkaGoGo – Alexa 9,359, PR 6
  22. Searchles – Alexa 9,623, PR 5
  23. CoRank – Alexa 9,749, PR 5
  24. MyLinkVault – Alexa 9,817, PR 5
  25. Oyax – Alexa 10,958, PR 4
  26. BuddyMarks – Alexa 10,980, PR 5
  27. Kirtsy – Alexa 13,150, PR 6
  28. Tagza – Alexa 14,545, PR 5
  29. BookMarkTracker – Alexa 14,951, PR 4
  30. ShoutWire – Alexa 15,846, PR 5
  31. ClipClip – Alexa 16,226, PR 5
  32. SocialMedian – Alexa 17,914, PR 6
  33. Plime – Alexa 20,604 PR 5
  34. Yattle – Alexa 21,655, PR 3
  35. GiveALink – Alexa 22,620, PR 5
  36. BlogMarks – Alexa 24,382, PR 4
  37. DotNetKicks – Alexa 26,988 PR 5
  38. MyPip – Alexa 30,423, PR 3
  39. PinoyMug – Alexa 30,764, PR 3
  40. Tedigo – Alexa 35,125, PR 3
  41. Linkatopia – Alexa 38,994, PR 5
  42. Bringr – Alexa 59,740, PR 3
We hope you enjoy this list of over 42 Do-Follow Social Bookmarking Sites. If you have any more social bookmarking sites that you would like to recommend, simply use the comment form above to suggest more!


Google has developed a plug-in for WordPress that adds the social features of Google Friend Connect to WordPress blogs. The plug-in allows visitors to these blogs to authenticate using any OpenID account, including Google, Yahoo, or AIM and then comment on posts without having to register. When a visitor authenticates, it creates a WordPress account.

Google Friend Connect"You can later add or remove permissions for the visitor from the WordPress site administration pages," explains Mauro Gonzalez, who developed the plug-in. "If desired, WordPress comments can be replaced by Google Friend Connect comments gadgets. In this case, no WordPress account is created, since Google Friend Connect handles both the rendering of the comments as well as comments moderation. Regardless of whether the Google Friend Connect comments gadgets are enabled or not, comment entries display the user profile picture and link to the user’s profile."

There is a set of social gadgets available that includes the Social Bar, Members, Recommendations, and Global Conversation gadgets. "When recommendations are enabled, a 'Recommend' button is displayed below your posts allowing the site members to choose the content they like most," says Gonzalez. "The most popular posts will surface to the top of the list within the recommendations gadget."

When a user of the WordPress blog posts content or comments on a post, this information will appear in the Google Friend Connect activity stream. Features of the plug-in like colors, size, labels, etc. can be customized in Wordpress like anything else.

The plug-in is available on the Google Code site. Examples are live in demos here and here.


Running an advertising campaign is complicated enough without having to mentally assign new meanings to most of the buttons on your keyboard. Google's giving advertisers a hand, then, by offering them AdWords shortcuts stickers.

The stickers (see a mockup below) are meant to be applied to your keyboard. Assuming your fingers don't block your field of view, they should subsequently make it easier to figure out what key combos will let you go to the Ads group tab, for example, or select multiple rows within a table.

The stickers are free, and are available to AdWords advertisers in 22 countries (No Bosnia included,well google thinks we are a shithool) for as long as supplies last. About all you need to do to get a set is supply Google with your name and address. (Although we should note that we have no idea how many stickers Google has on hand.)

This is reminiscent of a stunt Google pulled back in June; at that point, the search giant gave away laminated sheets of "Gmail ninja" tips.

It seems that Google's trying to make everything just a little bit easier on users, perhaps on the theory that they'll become heavier or more loyal users as a result.


Google and Microsoft have both inked deals with Twitter and Microsoft has also inked one with Facebook to integrate Twitter and Facebook updates into Bing search results. Google will be adding tweets to search results.

Google's Marissa Mayer says, " We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you'll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information."

There is a good chance that Google will be making a similar deal with Facebook, but even if they don't, their deal with Twitter and Bing's deals with both make it all the more important for marketers to be found in real-time searches and Facebook/Twitter in general.
A while back WebProNews compiled a list of five tips for getting found in real-time searches, which basically boils down to staying in the conversation for relevant topics that people are searching for. The tips were:

1. Use keywords
2. Talk about timely events
3. Have a lot of followers
4. Promote conversation
5. Include calls to engagement
I elaborated on each of these in the previous articles. Social media is viral by nature, and real-time search is nothing more than putting things in chronological order. You have to keep people talking to stay relevant "right now."
That said, we don't know all the details about how Google and Bing will be integrating its Twitter and Facebook results into the rest of their results yet. Bing has made available a beta tool for people to mess around with for searching tweets with the search engine. "You can now search for what people are saying all over the web about breaking news topics, your favorite celebrity, hometown sports team, and anything else you use Twitter to stay on top of today," says Paul Yiu of Bing's Social Search team.
Bing - Twitter search
The new Twitter developments in Bing include:
  • A real-time index of the Tweets that match your search queries in results. This feature makes it easier to follow what’s going on by reducing the amount of duplicates, spam, and adult content.
  • Giving you the option to rank tweets either by most recent or by “best match,” where we consider a Tweeter’s popularity, interestingness of the tweet, and other indicators of quality and trustworthiness.
  • Providing the top links shared on Twitter around your specific search query by showcasing a few of the most relevant tweets. Additionally, Bing automatically expands those small URLs (like bit.ly) to enable you to understand what people are tweeting about. Instead of showing standard search result captions, we select 2 top tweets to give users a glimpse of the sentiment around the shared link.

Bing already displays some Tweets for certain people results at the very top of the regular web search results page. That's a good place to appear.

Google announced a new Google labs project that injects social media into its own search results. This was also announced at the Web 2.0 Summit. Ben Parr with Mashable has the details from Mayer:

- The bottom of search results will soon have social networking information from your friends, like their Flickr (Flickr) photos or their status updates. It’s a blended search integration, similar to seeing news or image results.

- These are pulled from social networks connected to your Google Profile. The more that are connected, the more social information that will appear in search results.

- They have also improved searching for images using social networks. Images become more relevant using social networking data.

- It will launch in Google Labs in the next few weeks.

The deals with Microsoft and Google make social media marketing all the more important to marketing in general, and specifically search engine marketing. Where social media has generally fit into the SEO equation thus far, has been the promotion of content, which inspires links and conversation, which can in turn help search engine rankings.

Now, if status updates and tweets become directly integrated into search results in Universal Search-type fashion, it will be not only be about promotion and outside links, it will be about direct exposure right in the results, not unlike the importance of online video right now (as you're probably aware, videos are often displayed prominently on the first page of Google results).

Now, forgetting about Google for a moment, pretend that the deals with Microsoft are the only ones that happened. You may also recall that Microsoft has a certain deal in the works with Yahoo. This (if everything goes according to plan) will see Bing results taking over Yahoo's own. Yahoo may still be controlling the front-end of its search, but Bing will be controlling the back-end. Ranking for Bing will mean ranking for Yahoo.

So with Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook deals all in place for Bing, getting found in real-time searches may not only mean getting found in Twitter searches, Facebook searches, and such. It may also mean getting found in Bing searches and in Yahoo searches. That's pretty much the meat of the non-Google U.S. search market.

Now let's bring Google back into the equation. It has a deal with Twitter and may very well have one with Facebook before long. Kara Swisher who broke the news about Microsoft's deals says Google's been talking with both social networks. Still think real-time search and social media are not worth your time?


Machines with Microsoft's Windows 7 went on sale today. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the hottest topics on the web. Everybody's talking about it on Twitter. Everybody's searching for it. Microsoft and Windows queries are all over Google's Hot Trends list. Everybody wants to know more about Windows 7.

Well, let's look at what people are saying about it. Here's a sample from the Twitterverse:

Windows 7 Tweets

For a little more meat on the subject, let's take a look at some recent videos uploaded to YouTube about Windows 7. First, here is CBS talking about the release:

Here is a review:

Here is a longer review:

Here is a comparison with Vista:

Windows 7 is now available on new PCs and is available as an upgrade on some old ones. Have you tried it yet?


It seems like just yesterday we were talking about how email was improving. Google has now added a feature to Gmail that lets you preview the contents of Google Docs documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in your inbox.

This works the same way YouTube, Yelp, Picasa, and Flickr album previews have already been working. Gmail automatically detects when you receive a document link and displays the name and type of document below the email. You can then click "show preview" or "open in new window."

Google Docs Previews in Gmail
If you click "show preview," you won't have to switch between the email and the document, making it much more convenient in many cases. The feature is available as a Gmail Lab, so you'll have to activate it for it to work.

This is just the latest of Google's frequent enhancements to Gmail. Earlier this week they released the "Got the Wrong Bob?" feature, which is the latest addition to Google's "embarrassment-reducing" email tools. It is designed to keep you from sending a message to the wrong person (something you've more than likely done at some point in your life).


Google has started adding "Ads by Google" to more of its ads around the web. The reasoning for this is that a lot more advertisers are using Google's rich media ad formats these days, and the fact that they come from Google may not seem so obvious all the time.

"You'll soon notice a small 'i' (for 'information') icon overlay in the bottom right-hand corner of these ads, which will expand when the user hovers over it," explains Dan Friedman from Google's Inside AdWords crew. "This was specially designed for rich media ads. This new message will appear on your AdWords rich media ads, and will show up on standard AdSense ad units."

It will look something like this:

Ads By Google - Rich Media Ads
Just as in the past, when users click "Ads by Google," they will be taken to a page where they can learn about Google advertising. Google says tests have shown that this doesn't affect ad performance.

Google also recently started adding YouTube promoted videos into the AdWords/AdSense mix. In addition, they have introduced a new way for local businesses to advertise, and given advertisers more tracking options.


For big brands learning to use social media effectively can be challenging as they try and find the best approach.

In a keynote with Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, Monty spoke about Ford's entry into the social channel.

Monty said Ford started using social media about 2 years ago and it started as a hobby, but it worked well so they kept at it.

Scott Monty, Ford
Scott Monty, Ford

Ford began by getting involved in the conversation instead of just pushing products. Monty said Ford "wanted to humanize the company." They tried both a corporate and personal approach.

Ford does not blog but they do interact via Twitter. "Blogging is not our strategy. We will blog when it is appropriate," Monty said. They have go-to bloggers when they have breaking news.

Monty said the biggest mistake Ford made with social media was being too narrowly focused for too long, but it's also an opportunity to branch out.

"We don't know what's going to happen next," said Monty. Because they are there participating everyday the community steps in so Ford does not have to do all the heavy-lifting.

Monty said Ford is trying to be more creative with their online advertising but has not brought that into social media because they want to humanize the company.

For the future Ford wants to stay current and provide users with what they want all on one site. The company is integrating social media into their customer service.

"Social media is the cocaine of the communication industry," said Monty. It's not about correcting your communication process, it's about correcting the product industry.


Google has quietly gotten rid of PageRank in Webmaster Tools. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to a thread featuring an explanation from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa.

"We've been telling people for a long time that they shouldn't focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it's the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true," says Moskwa. "We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it."

Barry Schwartz Search marketers are wondering why Google tells people not to focus on PageRank and removes it from Webmaster Tools, but still keeps it in the Google Toolbar. "Back in 2007, Google wanted feedback on removing PageRank from the Toolbar," says Schwartz. "I felt it was a good idea but the idea died out. Google cannot remove PageRank from the Toolbar, it is too much of their branding. No matter how much Matt Cutts and the Google search quality and webmaster trends team want it removed, I cannot see Google's executives allowing it."

Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim says the role of PageRank has been reduced to nothing more than a "comfort blanket for SEO Noobs." He adds, "I say this, with a high degree of confidence that most experienced SEOs pour over the data in Google Webmaster Tools, whereas those new to the industry likely let the toolbar be their only guiding light."

He also notes, however, that PageRank data can still be useful. For example, it can be a good indicator of a site's behavior in Google's index. "Any green means 'go.' No green, means there's something to investigate," says Beal.

Despite this usefulness though, Moskwa pretty much closes the case on Google's position on it. In fact, she even points to a FAQ page about crawling, indexing, and ranking, which says that webmasters shouldn't even bother thinking about it. It also says that PageRank is just one of over 200 signals that can affect how your site is crawled, indexed, and ranked.


There was an interesting session on online video at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East. The session was called "Video Search Marketing Beyond YouTube". The following tips come from a combination of presentations from that session from speakers: William Leake of Apogee Search, John McWeeny of TurnHere, and Eric Papczun of Performics.

The tips are all aimed at making your online video efforts more successful by optimizing them for search engine performance and ultimately driving more views and traffic back to your site. So, here they are in no particular order:

1. Encode video files with good metadata like titles, dates, authors, descriptions and keywords.

2. Offer multiple formats (e.g. mov, mpeg, mp4, flv).

3. Include keywords (and the word "video") in the filename.

4. On the page, follow general SEO principles for optimizing (title, meta, H1, etc. tags and URLs).

5. Include contextually related links to articles and other videos on the page.

6. Post captions and/or abstracts as additional relevant on-page content.

7. Use Unique URLs.

8. Use one video per URL.

9. Use embedded players rather than pop-ups or links to files.

10. Create nav links to the video content.

Place video files in one central directory called "videos" off the root of your folder structure.

12. Enable comments.

13. Include social bookmarking tools.

Social Bookmarking tools

14. Allow visitors to subscribe to your videos.

15. Let viewers grab your embed code - easily (with a link).

Remember internal linking (consider site-wide links in your page footer).

17. Distribute your video to the top video search sharing sites.

18. Include titles, descriptions & keywords on YouTube, etc.

19. Create a video site map with a mRSS feed.

20. Control associated page text to optimize for search engines.

21. Control the player (which may drive future video SEO).

22. Shorter videos are better.

23. Don't spend a fortune.

24. Include end slates with URLs.

25. Drive people back to your site.

26. Thumbnail images matter.

Look for new opportunities for video placement (think about things like Google's product search).

Videos in Product Search
28. Figure out what keyword phrase is most relevant (and winnable) for your video.

29. Look into including videos in Google Place Pages.

30. Set up a Google video XML sitemap.

31. Use tools like Tubemogul's to optimize metadata across the major video sharing sites.

32. Track viewership.

33. Advertise with video via rich search ads with Google/Yahoo and YouTube promoted videos.

34. Make sure your videos live on your domain and use 3rd parties for distribution purposes.

35. Stay on top of technology changes and new standards.


Bidding on keywords that are related to brands that are trademarked is a legally murky issue when it comes to infringement.

In the session "Trademarks & Paid Search: How Thing Have Changed?" the panel discussed the issue of keywords, trademarks and infringement.

Deborah Wilcox, Baker & Hostetler, LLP
Deborah Wilcox
Baker & Hostetler, LLP

Deborah Wilcox, Partner, Baker & Hostetler, LLP, said, "Trademarks are all about brands." Just because a word is in a dictionary does not mean that the word is free to use.

A generic keyword is not trademarked. Descriptive keywords are not yet strong enough for a trademark.

Establishing trademarks right is usually associated with who is using the mark first.

Infringement occurs when someone is using another's mark that is likely to cause consumers confusion or to cause a mistake or to deceive as to source.

Is the sale or purchase of a trademarked keyword constitute use in commerce? If the ad that is triggered has the actual keyword in the title or text, then yes.

Trademark law is established to protect consumers from being misled in purchasing decisions.

Courts apply multi factor test

  • strength of the trademark.
  • Similarities in goods and services
  • wrongful intent to trade off of goodwill
  • actual consumer confusion

With keyword triggered ads, how might there be confusion?

- Are all the users typing in a search term, looking for the trademark owner's site?

- Are users able to distinguish among all the different ads they are served within the results, or are they duped into thinking all the sponsored links are official links.

Permitted use of trademark:
- Descriptive fair use of mark in ordinary dictionary sense... (talking about apple the fruit)

- to identify the authorized product (resellers and making things that are compatible with the brand)

- providing information (writing or blogging about a brand)

- comparative advertising (can be very subjective -- for example when you compare your product by name to your competitors name/brand) -- very tricky and subjective..

Laura Covington, Associate General Counsel, Global Brand and Trademarks, Yahoo, said Yahoo's trademark policy is premised on fair use. Competitors cannot bid on trademarked terms.

4 ways to raise trademark related questions from yahoo with search marketing:

Trademark complaint
Counterfeit complaint
False and misleading complaint
Copyright DMCA

Microsoft Trademark policy:

Limited range of advertisers that can bid on trademarked terms:
Resellers, information sites and dictionary terms.

Google's Trademark Policy:

Google will launch a limited investigation. If the investigation fids infringement, they will take the trademark out of the ad, but leave the ad up.


Yahoo has given Yahoo Search Marketing advertisers the ability to have their ads shown in filtered searches. When Yahoo launched its new search results pages last month, they added the ability for users to filter results by site. Relevant ads are now appearing with these results.

"On our new search page, if a searcher types in a phrase such as 'buy pink floyd', he can further refine his search results by clicking on links on the left-hand side of the page, which include sites that users often find useful. If the user clicks on one of the suggested sites, he’ll get a smaller set of results from that domain only," explains Yahoo's Jeff Hecox. "Now, if the user selects a site that is also a Sponsored Search advertiser, that advertiser’s ad should still be displayed in the new set of results."

Don't worry about competing ads in these cases. If a user searches for "buy pink floyd" as described above, they can choose "Amazon.com" to filter the results and get only Amazon results, for example. The only paid results that would show would be for Amazon, Hecox says.

Yahoo Shows Ads in Filtered Results
So in other words, this will only affect you as an advertiser if you have a site that is actually used in Yahoo's filtering options. So the question is, how do I get my site to be listed as a filtering option? Yahoo says that the domains its system uses to filter results are chose based on a number of factors, such as their listings' quality, popularity, and user response.

For smaller advertisers, this may be a hard nut to crack. However, as far as users are concerned, Yahoo deems this a way to increase relevancy and user control of the search experience.

The move is just one of Yahoo's new ways of creating more opportunities for its bigger advertisers. Another was demonstrated by the creation of the Vitality campaign for General Mills, which illustrates how you can bring existing content together to target a demographic and then serve ads to that same demographic.


Google has decided to start including promoted YouTube videos in AdSense. This means that these videos are now an available ad unit that can be displayed on AdSense publisher sites.

YouTube promoted videos include a thumbnail image with three lines of text, and when clicked, they take the user to a video or a channel on YouTube, so it's not like there will be full-sized YouTube videos in AdSense ad spots on publisher sites.

"Extending Promoted Videos to AdSense sites will enable these content producers to broaden their reach, while providing you with another way to earn from your ad space," says Arlene Lee of Google's Inside AdSense team. "At this time, these ads are only available in English to US publishers, but we're looking forward to expanding to additional regions and languages in the future."

The promoted videos are contextually targeted to AdSense publisher pages, and publishers will earn from them on a cost-per-click basis. They are available in the following formats:

- 300x250 Medium Rectangle
- 336x280 Large Rectangle
- 728x90 Leaderboard
- 250x250 Square
- 200x200 Small Square

"Just like other ads, Promoted Videos compete in our standard ad auction, so they'll help drive up competition among advertisers bidding to appear on your pages," says Lee. "When a Promoted Video wins the ad auction, it'll be shown alone in one of the eligible ad formats."

Videos of course have to meet YouTube's advertising guidelines and terms of use, as well as community guidelines. Publishers can prevent promoted videos from appearing on their sites by adding "youtube.com" to their competitive ad filter list. This will block all YouTube content.

It should be noted that the addition of promoted YouTube videos to AdSense has nothing to do with Google's video ads offering.

YouTube promoted videos could be a good way to increase AdSense clicks, because the very nature of them draws the user's attention to watch a video, and at the world's most popular online video site. Plus the videos should be relevant to the content of the page. This could be a big money maker for AdSense publishers. It should be big for people promoting their videos as well.


We talk a lot about social media marketing - using social networks like Facebook and Twitter to market brands and drive traffic to sites. There is no question that these can be effective tools for doing both of these things.

As time goes on, it may become helpful or perhaps even necessary to use these tools for actual e-commerce. The common thinking behind social media marketing is that you don't want to be too sales-pitchy in your conversations, and in some ways that is still very true. However, while social media is largely about conversations, it's not only about conversations.

As time progresses, social media becomes a lot of things to a lot of people. We've reached the point where social networks are simply "where we hang out" online. People are not only having conversations. They're sharing pictures. They're playing games. They're looking for information. They're using social networks to help them make purchase decisions. Sometimes this is through conversation. Sometimes it's as simple as being a fan of a brand's Facebook page and receiving timely updates.
Facebook has virtual currency, and is starting to open up possibilities for transactions for physical goods. Facebook Connect has just been made easier for webmasters to implement on their sites. That's huge. As people spend much of their time on Facebook, they are pretty much relinquishing a certain amount of trust to the social network, whether they realize it or not (and whether they should be or not, but that's another issue).

If your site is plugged into Facebook via Facebook Connect, and they can log in to your site to make purchases just by being logged into Facebook, they may not find themselves as concerned with security issues. Security concerns have long hindered the true potential of e-commerce, and as a result, plenty of trustworthy e-commerce sites have likely missed out on tons of sales, just because of the distrust of the method of purchasing in general.

Now I'm not saying that Facebook Connect is a sign of security. In fact, some might even suggest that it damages security, simply based on the fact that Facebook is often associated with security issues. I'm just saying, users are always signed in to Facebook anyway, and if they see your site is connected with Facebook, they may have no problems signing in with their Facebook info.
"Facebook Connect would allow you to go to a Website like Dell.com and authenticate yourself using your Facebook profile, allow your identity to be known and access your friends so you could spark up a chat," says Paul Dunay, Global Managing Dir. of Services, Social Marketing with Avaya in an interview with eMarketer. "So I could say, 'Hey, Jeff, I’m looking at this new fancy laptop or this netbook. I heard you bought something. Would you recommend this to me?'

"So you could almost take your friends shopping with you. That is the potential with this example," he adds. "We're in a period now where we’re all starting to get comfortable with Twitter and get comfortable with using Facebook and LinkedIn and a lot of these other tools, and now we’re about to expand."

You want to stay relevant in real-time searches to stay current in people's minds as well. It's simple branding. That doesn't mean you have to send out excessive tweets promoting your product. It is information that Twitterers often seek, and by simply discussing information, you're brand is still visible, even if that information isn't directly related to your brand.

What role do you think social media will play in e-commerce in the future?

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