Weekly Digital News Roundup: November 9-13
Google Changes Up The Search Results Page
- According to WebProNews, Google Search Lead Designer Jon Wiley said, “You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page — we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today…With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.”
- Essentially, Google has moved the search filtering options from the left-hand side of the screen to above the search results, freeing up more white space (both to the left and to the right of the main search results) in the process.
- It also, as Wordstream Founder Larry Kim points out, makes more room for ads, like those pretty product listing ads for Google Shopping results. “The New Google SERP layout makes the Knowledge Graph listings more prominent,” he writes in a blot post. “The knowledge graph cannibalizes organic search clicks (which were already on the decline) on informational queries because user queries are often answered directly in the SERP – a user doesn’t even have to click on an organic listing to get basic information about their query.” Google frequently gets better at not having to send users to other sites and Kim may be exactly right in that this design aids the search engine in this very concept.
Forrester: U.S. Online Holiday Sales Will Grow 15 Percent This Year To $68.4B
- According Tech Crunch, Forrester reports that this holiday season is expected to generate $68.4 billion in U.S. online sales. That’s a 15 percent increase over 2011′s total and 3 percent higher than the expected overall annual online retail growth rate.
- Why the large increase? Forrester Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says that the increasing number of consumers choosing the Web over physical stores and the rise in mobile commerce will help buoy sales this year. According to the report, the average U.S. shopper will spend $419 dollars online this holiday season, which is a 12 percent boost from last year.
- In the 2011 holiday season, the top 500 retail websites saw holiday traffic peak during Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, each of which drove more than 170 million unique U.S. shoppers to the web. This accounted for more than $2.5 billion in total online sales. Forrester is recommending that retailers focus on making the mobile checkout process quick and easy, and engage in mobile messaging via text and email.
Nielsen: Facebook Users Spending 30 Minutes Less There Now Than 6 Months Ago
- According to Marketing Land, Nielsen estimates that Facebook users spent about six hours, 40 minutes on the site in September. That’s more than triple the time spent on Yahoo and Google and almost four times the amount of time that users spent on YouTube. But six months ago, in its March 2012 report, Nielsen estimated time spent on Facebook at almost seven hours, 10 minutes — a half-hour more than the September number.
- The decline is likely due to increasing mobile use. In its most recent earnings report, Facebook says it had 604 million monthly active mobile users — about 60 percent of its overall user base. Nielsen says Google’s U.S. audience was just under 175 million people, about 21.5 million more than used Facebook during the month. Yahoo, YouTube and MSN/Windows Live/Bing rounded out the top five and were the only properties with more than 100 million users total. Those were the same top five six months ago, but MSN/Windows Live/Bing has switched places with YouTube since then.
- Also interesting are the data that Nielsen shared related to typical U.S. internet usage in September. The average person spent about 28.5 minutes online in 63 sessions/visits, visited 95 domains and looked at more than 2,500 web pages during the month. All of those numbers are down slightly from six months ago.