Happy Friday, Resolution Finders!

By Brooke Nichols

What a glorious way to start another frigid February weekend (if you're in the cold country) than with some hot topics from the Search world. Enjoy, and stay warm if you can!

Breaking AOL in Two
In the wake of this week’s Microsoft-Yahoo news, there is another tale of potentially more momentous implication – AOL could give Google just the ammo it needs in a battle for Web users made all the more intense by Microsoft's (MSFT) $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo! (YHOO). Google already owns 5% of AOL. Google "is our partner, and we are talking with them all the time," Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes said. Buying AOL would raise a familiar set of concerns that we have heard the past year. "Clearly there are significant antitrust, data collection, and privacy issues here," says Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a nonprofit group focused on preserving competition and privacy on the Web. "The question is, is the government going to draw a line in the silicon sand and say it is time to stop both Microsoft and Google from grabbing hold of the key means of monetization of digital media?" Regulators would have a harder time blocking Google-AOL if, as many experts expect, they clear Microsoft's Yahoo takeover.

Rating the Super Bowl Advertisers' SEO Record
Football season is over, which is always a shame. For Giants fans, the season will linger and always trigger great memories. For the rest of us, there is always next year. For advertisers, fans are left with brief memories of ads humorous and perhaps intriguing. So what happens when fans take those memories to their favorite search engine?

Presidential Site Traffic Spikes on Super Tuesday
Some voters wait until the last minute to decide who to pull the lever, punch the ballot or press the button for, and sometimes they wait as late as voting day. Indeed, campaign sites for the five top presidential candidates experienced traffic spikes on Super Tuesday, according to Hitwise.
Online campaign observer Josh Levy, associate editor of Personal Democracy Forum and techPresident, called the traffic boosts predictable. "It was the biggest day of the year for the candidates, the first time the majority of the country was actually paying attention," he suggested. "So a lot of the people got off the couch, went to their computers, and searched."

Fear and Anxiety: How do they apply to Multichannel Marketing?
Understanding the impact of your search marketing dollar and planning future spend has grown more complicated in a multichannel environment, but is by no means impossible. It's time to start behaving like a multichannel marketer.

Strike business gold in local search
While experts have been predicting local search would accelerate for the last few years, it is finally gaining traction. Borrell Associates estimated an $8.5 billion search spend in 2007 for local online advertising, which includes local search, local banner ads and local video.


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