Updates from the Super 6: Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, Google, Apple and Facebook

Updates from the Super 6: Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, Google, Apple and Facebook

Thursday is now tech and SEM industry news roundup day on the Raven blog. Thursday news day allows you to read up on what happened in the flurry of the early work week and digest it before the weekend dawns. This week was marked by official announcements from major tech giants, so let’s away to the news.

Search engines continue integration

The search engines were busy this week. Yahoo! and Microsoft proudly announced that Yahoo! search back-end functions had transitioned to Microsoft’s search platform in Australia, Brazil and Mexico, marking another milestone in the global search alliance. At Ask.com, the Q&A wheelhouse of the search service got an injection of personalization through a new “Browse by Interest” tab and integration with Facebook and other social networks.

Search ad spending increased

When a relatively mature market posts high growth figures, it’s worth looking into. That’s just what happened to search ad spend this last quarter. Year over year, search ad spend grew 23 percent, according to a report from Efficient Frontier. The analysis indicated that Google was a major benefactor of the influx of ad dollars to search, supported by Google’s earnings report today showing a 22 percent jump in revenue year over year. And, of course, search marketers and agencies also benefit from the growing demand for search advertising as providers of a service gaining popularity and mainstream recognition.

Apple earnings fly high

Apple reported earnings for the quarter this week, and blew expectations away with a 71 percent increase over last year. Though the celebration was dampened by news of CEO Steve Jobs’ medical leave of absence, it appears that any fears of losing Jobs’ singular vision for the company were offset by the quarter’s impressive profits. Trading on Apple stock reached a new high after the numbers were released.

Goldman Sachs backs off from Facebook investment

Finally, we can’t overlook the news around Facebook, Goldman Sachs and ongoing plans for public investment. Following scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the investment banking and securities firm rescinded its offer to its wealthiest U.S.-based clients to invest in the booming social media company. A special-purpose investment vehicle Goldman Sachs formed prompted the SEC to investigate if the company is trying to skirt regulations. Some analysts have noted that Facebook’s interest in maintaining its own financial privacy stands at odds with the company’s push to loosen its users’ online privacy.

And with that we leave you to your regularly scheduled weekend.