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Archive for February, 2012

TripAdvisor warned over trust claims on review site

February 14, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Online Marketing, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

TripAdvisor has been ordered to rewrite some of its marketing claims by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.TripAdvisor warned over trust claims on review siteThe ruling follows complaints by hotels that the site had said that its holiday reviews could be “trusted”.

The ASA said it was concerned that consumers might be fooled by fraudulent posts since the entries could be made “without any form of verification”.

TripAdvisor described the ruling as a “highly technical view” of “copy that was used in a limited capacity”.

However, the watchdog said that the ruling served as a warning to all UK-focused sites with user-generated material.

The ASA said that the US based firm’s site originally carried statements saying that it contained “reviews that you can trust” and that it had “more than 50 million honest travel reviews”.

It said that two hotels and the online reputation firm Kwikchex, which represented others, had complained that the claims were misleading since they could not be substantiated.

The advertising body said it acknowledged that reviewers were asked to sign a declaration that their reviews were real and that they had no incentive or competitive interest with the places commented on.

It also recognised that the site said that it used “advanced and highly effective fraud systems” to identify and remove fake content.

However, the ASA said it was still possible that “non-genuine” reviews could appear on the site undetected and that users might not be able to spot them.

It warned that this was particularly a problem in cases where an establishment only had a small number of reviews. It added that offering hoteliers a right to reply did not fully address the problem.

The ASA ordered the site to avoid running adverts in the same form again and said it must not claim or imply that all its reviews were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted.

The ASA’s ruling was based on a survey of the site carried out in July 2011 when it was still owned by the travel booking service Expedia.

It has since been spun off as a separate entity. The current management downplayed the risk of customers being misled.

New Apple CEO has £240 million pay package

February 03, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Computers, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Apple new CEO Tim Cook has been  given a pay package worth £240 million ($378 million) in 2011, most of which came in shares payable in the coming years.New Apple CEO has £240 million pay packageApple’s board granted Mr Cook 1 million restricted stock units, worth $376m, to signal its confidence in him when he took over from Steve Jobs in August.

His salary and performance bonus, about £540,000 ($900,000) each, made up the rest, a company filing showed.

Mr Jobs, who died in October, owned 5.5 million Apple shares.

He famously received a salary of only $1 a year.

Mr Cook will receive half of the shares in 2016 and half in 2021.

Analysts expect the Apple chief to have been the highest paid chief executive in the US in 2011.

The best paid boss in 2010 was Viacom head Philippe Dauman, with an £54.5 million ($84.5 million) haul based on a new contract that granted him shares and stock options.

China has 500 million web users

February 01, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: internet, Social Media, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

China has more than 513 million internet users, and nearly half of them are using microblogs – mostly Chinese microblogging tools collectively called Weibo.China has 500 million web usersThe numbers from China Network Information Center’s report sound staggering, but China’s Internet penetration rate is actually only 38.3%.

The country added around 55.8 million new internet users in 2011, which represents a 4% annual growth — lower than the average annual growth rate of 6% between 2006 and 2010.

Interestingly enough, the slowdown was to be expected, as most people with a high school diploma (90.9%) and nearly all with a college education (96.1%) are already online.

The rest simply haven’t got the funds or the education level to use the web.

Microblogging might be the answer for further web usage growth, as it has become an extremely important way of accessing the web in China.

The number of microbloggers increased by 296% year-on-year to 250 million in Dec. 2011.

For comparison, Twitter reported 100 million active users and 200 million registered users in Sept. 2011.

Unfortunately for the largest microblogging service outside of Asia, grabbing a chunk of the vast Chinese market is, for now, an impossible task.

“We would love to have a strong Twitter in China, but we need to be allowed to do that,” said Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at the AsiaD conference held in Hong Kong last year.

Weibo services, the largest of which is Sina Weibo, can compete anywhere they want. Sina Weibo is currently working on an international version; it’ll be interesting to see what it can do on the Western markets.