What do Google , MSN, Yahoo, Blekko and Skype have in common ???? They all made news in the online marketing industry in May .

Here is a roundup of the top news stories doing the rounds for May.

Google has refined its Mobile news to become more relevant. It’s added a new feature called “ News Near You” in Google News. The new feature pulls all the news articles that are relevant to a user based on their location and surrounding areas

Facebook faces embarrassment over a recent disclosure that they hired a PR firm ( Burson Marstellar) to spread negative stories about Google. The social network secretly hired a PR firm to plant negative stories about the search giant. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.

The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.” Confronted with evidence, a Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson, citing two reasons: first, it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.

Twitter has rolled out a much needed revamp of its Twitter for Mobile  page. It’s added top aligned icons for @replies, messages, your stream and search.

Yahoo is rolling out a revamped Smart Ads platform to its homepage and is stepping up its sales efforts for a video version of the same platform. It is also partnering with ad firm Mixp for a video version. Video ads can be tagged to be served to specific groups differentiated by a browser’s IP address or other information that consumers submit to Yahoo.

Blekko, a search engine trying to become the 3rd option ( outside of Google and Yahoo ) , is carving out other distinctions between it and Google and Yahoo as well, the most recent being a series of updates to its user and search privacy options. The search engine recently announced that it will hold user information for only 48 hours. Google and Yahoo, by contrast, keep this data for more than a year

Microsoft bought Skype in an all cash deal valued at $8.5 Billion. Steve Ballmer is making Microsoft’s largest acquisition on a wager he can use Internet calling to play catch-up in mobile and Web advertising. Skype currently boasts over 170 million active users.

You Tube ties up with Hollywood studies to begin offering movie rentals on You Tube. Movies are available to rent at industry standard pricing, and can be watched with your YouTube account on any computer.