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Five For Friday ? December 31, 2012 ? January 4, 2013

Here are five of this short week’s most interesting and important news items and articles:

1.* 2012 U.S. Online Holiday Spending Grows 14 Percent vs. Year Ago to $42.3 Billion — If you are wondering what the grand total of holiday spending online wound up to be this year, particularly as compared to last, comScore has the details.

2.* FTC: Google Pushing Its Own Products in Search Results Is Fair Game — One of the biggest news stories of 2012 was the continuing FTC investigation into antitrust allegations against Google, but the case was settled this week in Google’s favor.

3.* Pinterest Makes First Acquisition by Scooping Up Recipe Discovery Site Punchfork — Marketing Land reports on Pinterest’s first foray into the world of acquisitions.

4.* 16 Commonly Asked (and Answered) PPC Questions — PPC Hero has a nice roundup of frequently asked questions about pay-per-click marketing that should interest all levels of paid search pundits.

5.* Case Study: Quadrupling A Small Account’s Conversion In Just 90 Days — Brad Geddes at Search Engine Land provides an intriguing look at how some attention to CPA bidding resulted in an incredible increase in conversions.

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