Do you regularly use analytics to make decisions about account performance? If not you might want to become familiar as the analytics industry is growing and maturing. Garry Przyklenk of Search Engine Watch has written a post taking a look at the growing importance of web analytics in 2010. The goal of using analytics has shifted from spitting out reports with as much data as possible to driving account decision-making. Read his article to understand how analytics has changed in the past year and what to expect in 2011.

Facebook has called a halt to RapLeaf’s access to user data. RapLeaf, one of the largest social data providers, for several months has been selling marketing companies Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn customer URLs as well as demographic details and even the user’s full name. But, because of the actions of Facebook in response to a user lawsuit, in regards to information being shared with RapLeaf, other social media platforms are expected to follow suit. If they do, they’ll shut down a wealth of cheap information to marketing companies looking to tweak their PPC strategies based on social media user’s behavior.

Google did some remarkable things in 2010: Google Instant, Google Caffeine, all the AdWords updates and on and on. However, this doesn’t mean that Google didn’t also have a few epic fails.  As Rob Young of Search Engine Journal reports, Google Buzz has been named the “Biggest Flop of 2010” by, which leads to an interesting development in the chronicles of Google’s widespread successes. Why don’t people trust Google to do social media? What is it about Buzz and its wayward companions (Wave, Picasa, Blogger, Latitude, and Knowl) that caused them to flop?  As Young points out, what is laughable now may be a sign of bigger trouble looming in Google’s future.

Google may not have hit the jackpot with Google Buzz, but this top-dog search engine apparently has what it takes to become a competitive cell phone service provider. According to Rob Young with Search Engine Journal, Google could be your next phone carrier. And rightly so! He cites a CNN Money article to support this claim, explaining that Google has already taken many steps in the right direction: licensing out Android, collaborating with Samsung on the Nexus S and Nexus One handsets and providing a ready-to-use phone call service through Google Voice. …Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?

This week, Greg Jarboe of Search Engine Watch posted some viral videos from 2010 in response to a guest post in the YouTube Blog about what makes a video worth spreading. The end of the year is a great time to review your paid advertising efforts from the past year and evaluate their effects. Perhaps your ads could use that extra bit of creativity, or you’d like to explore the expanding area of video advertising?  Hopefully you’ll find some inspirational ideas by watching these videos (again) and come up with some great, innovative advertising ideas of your own for 2011! Happy New Year!