Android Becomes Number One in U.S. Smartphone Market Share

Today Nielsen is reporting that Google’s Android mobile operating system has beat out RIM BlackBerry and Apple iOS to become the number one mobile OS in terms of consumer market share. Android has now reached 29% market share, compared with RIM’s 27% and Apple’s 27%. However, that’s only one way to slice the pie.

Interesting news to note on the day after they have to pull Malware apps from their open app store.

Search Optimization and Its Dirty Little Secrets – NYTimes.com

The company bested millions of sites — and not just in searches for dresses, bedding and area rugs. For months, it was consistently at or near the top in searches for “skinny jeans,” “home decor,” “comforter sets,” “furniture” and dozens of other words and phrases, from the blandly generic (“tablecloths”) to the strangely specific (“grommet top curtains”).

This striking performance lasted for months, most crucially through the holiday season, when there is a huge spike in online shopping. J. C. Penney even beat out the sites of manufacturers in searches for the products of those manufacturers. Type in “Samsonite carry on luggage,” for instance, and Penney for months was first on the list, ahead of Samsonite.com.

With more than 1,100 stores and $17.8 billion in total revenue in 2010, Penney is certainly a major player in American retailing. But Google’s stated goal is to sift through every corner of the Internet and find the most important, relevant Web sites.

Does the collective wisdom of the Web really say that Penney has the most essential site when it comes to dresses? And bedding? And area rugs? And dozens of other words and phrases?

The New York Times asked an expert in online search, Doug Pierce of Blue Fountain Media in New York, to study this question, as well as Penney’s astoundingly strong search-term performance in recent months. What he found suggests that the digital age’s most mundane act, the Google search, often represents layer upon layer of intrigue. And the intrigue starts in the sprawling, subterranean world of “black hat” optimization, the dark art of raising the profile of a Web site with methods that Google considers tantamount to cheating.

This is a fantastic story, a modern day tale of intrigue and Machiavellian political influence, questioning the Google SEO sausage factory. Even better, the article reminds us every day, that the NYT proves journalism is alive and kicking in 2011.

Facebook Will Continue To Share User Addresses & Numbers With Third-Party Developers

Facebook will continue a plan to share users’ home addresses and cellphone numbers with third-party developers despite criticism from privacy advocates, users and members of Congress.

The social network announced an update to its platform in a January 14 blog post that would allow Facebook apps and other external websites to access this information if the user gave them permission. Mobile phone numbers and addresses were given a permission category separate from “Access my basic information” that would ask users to approve third-parties to “Access my contact information”.

Facebook is going to get the backlash it deserves. Hopefully, before everyone in America has their private phone numbers posted into a miassive torrent somewhere.

Oh, wait…