With the holidays approaching, many e-commerce businesses are starting to look toward attracting the holiday shopping crowd. With more people doing their shopping online in an effort to nab great deals and avoid long lines in stores, there are many opportunities for Internet sales in the coming weeks.

Google Updates its Interface

The millions of people who use Google’s search engine every day will notice a slight change in the way search options are displayed. While options such as Images, Maps, and News used to show up to the left of all search results, they will now display at the top of the screen. This change brings Google’s search engine closer in line with its mobile applications and also frees up space on the edge of the screen for possible options in the future. Although it seems like a minor alteration, it signals how thoroughly large companies like Google are catering to those who use the Internet on mobile devices.

Instagram Usage Doubles on Election Night

As Barack Obama sealed a second term as the President of the United States, millions of Americans turned to social media to add their voice to the developing election night stories. Photo uploads on Instagram related to the election caused a huge spike in traffic, more than doubling the normal number of images uploaded. The rate of Instagram pictures online surged immediately after the election was called for Obama. More than ever before, social media now allows individuals to connect themselves to the events around them, commemorating major news with pictures and words immediately after they happen.

Massive Twitter Password Recall

Thousands of Twitter users received emails asking them to change their password due to a recent hacker attack that affected many accounts. Those whose accounts were at risk were asked to choose a new password at their next log-in. Unfortunately, the email sent by Twitter reminding people to change their passwords actually resembles a traditional phishing attempt. If you are unsure of the email you receive, you should log in to Twitter directly instead of clicking on an email link, then change your password in your account settings. Passwords should be changed regularly anyway and should be a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.

New Google Panda Update

Google unrolled a new update for its Panda algorithm on November 5th, keeping the schedule of four to six weeks between updates. This update affects an estimated 1.1% of all English search engine queries, which makes it smaller than many previous updates. The previous update on September 20th affected 2.4% of English language queries. Panda is an algorithm targeted at increasing the quality of search results and decreasing potential spam. To find out if your website is affected by the new Panda update, you should monitor recent traffic carefully and consider revising your site if you notice a dip in search referrals.

This week in internet marketing has shown how people share major events via social media, which can be a very important piece of knowledge as you approach a holiday marketing plan. Be sure to remain secure in all accounts, however, and monitor your e-commerce site carefully for unexpected changes.

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