My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by James.

1. Google coming to a high street near you

Google has ambitious plans to open a chain of stores in the U.S by the end of 2013, and later in Europe, with a flagship store to be stationed in Dublin.

Google products are currently available online via the Google Online Store, and have even started to appear in a few high street tech chains such as Dixon’s.

Of course having a strong position on the high street can help bolster the popularity of a product significantly, as proven time and time again by Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the success of the iPad can be attributed to the tablet being on show in Apple high street stores.

Like with the rapid growth of the Apple Store, I predict that we will see many Google stores opening over the next few years, minus the fan boys of course.

2. Facebook’s new internal search engine

Facebook’s new search function, Graph Search allows users to delve deeper into Facebook than ever before.

Graph Search will allow users to perform advanced searches in order to gain useful and previously inaccessible information, such as; all the photos they’ve ever liked; all the photos of two certain friends together; or a list of restaurants in London which friends have visited.

Google currently occupies 74% of the total online ad spend, however I think that with the development of social search such as this, we will see more of a shift towards Facebook in the not to distant future.

3. Microsoft re-launches anti-Google campaign


Microsoft has called out Gmail for invading its users’ privacy, as it was revealed the web giant has been scanning through personal emails in order to identify keywords for better ad targeting.

In an effort convert Gmail users to their own email platform – Outlook, Microsoft has launched a campaign, complete with website and the strapline, “Think Google respects your privacy? Think again.”

Smear campaign at it’s finest!

4. Google hints at the shift away from inbound links

While links with keyword anchor text still hold a degree of weight in Google’s ranking algorithm, recent updates suggest social signals are becoming an increasingly important element.

As search engines evolve I predict that inbound links will no longer be considered the holy grail of SEO, and metrics such as Facebook likes, shares, Tweets and +1s will become much more of a force.

5. PayPal release their chip and pin device

Paypal has launched a chip and pin machine for small business in the UK. Unlike standard devices, Paypal has created a machine that simply attaches to a smartphone, which is linked to an app that can take payments.

For small business traders such as market traders or taxi drivers who rely on cash payments, this offers a new smart payment method without having to commit to large payments incurred with installing most chip and pin devices.

More information here.