Google Step up Gmail Promotion

I logged into my gmail account today to discover that instead of the 6 Gmail invites that I had remaining to donate, I now have 50...

So it looks like Google are finally rolling Gmail out to the masses, or flooding the market with invitations at least...

Instead of going through a mini form process to hand out invites, you can now just enter the email address of the person you want the invite sent to.

It can't be all that much longer until they roll gmail out can it, or will they keep it as invite only?

Spyware - Things will only get worse

Thread Title: You're infected and we earn about $3 out of you! Thread Url: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/02/adware_market_estimate/ Thread Description:

The Reg are reporting on a piece by Richard Stiennon, the vice president of Threat Research at Webroot Software.

Because Richard is definately biased (his company aims to protect their customers from this type of application) his views should probably be taken with a sensible pinch of salt, but you can't just ignore out of hand the figures.

One company, Claria, revealed that their software resided on 40 million PCs and they generated $90 million in revenue a year. Another company, Avenue Media, claimed they had 2 million infected machines that generated $7 million annually. An average of $2.95 per-infection-per-year.

and

How many infections are there? Our online spy audit indicates that the average PC on the Internet has at least two pieces of adware on it. ClickZ Stats indicates that there are 280 million active PCs on the Internet.

Do the math. The Internet boom is alive and well as adware, spyware, and "slimeware" purveyors rake in over $1.6 billion a year, leading a new trend of hacking for profit.

The Reg bring up the sensible viewpoint

we remain unconvinced about Webroot's headline figure for the illicit ad market of $1.6bn, which it compares to the $10bn a year pulled in by Google, Yahoo! DoubleClick et al.

Let's presume the figures are inflated by 100% and the real income is only $800 million per annum, and the average income per infected PC is only$1.50 and that the average pc only has 1 infection of spyware on it.

These numbers are huge but whilst there is money to be earnt I can understand why people follow this route to earn it. I believe there is an answer, and legislation isn't neccesarily the right way forward in my opinion.

Google Hates Affiliates? - Check out Google Referal

Thread Title: Google Referral Thread Url: http://google-blog.dirson.com/post.new/0230/ Thread Description:

How funny is THAT? Google will now pay you $20 for each new customer you give them for Adwords heh..

Check out Google Referral

The Google referral program (beta) is for businesses whose customers and visitors include small to medium-sized businesses, and who want to help those companies become more successful by running Google AdWords, or serving ads with Google AdSense. The program works by giving approved sites unique links to Google, then compensating the referring site for passing on a new AdWords advertiser or AdSense publisher.

Basic information on the program here, FAQ here, application form here and Terms and Conditions here.

How you get paid

One of your visitors clicks on the graphic or link and is taken to a Google sign-up page. That person signs up for an AdWords account or applies to become an AdSense publisher. Advertisers qualify as completed referrals after they spend $20 with AdWords. Publishers qualify after they earn $75 in AdSense revenue. Every month, Google calculates the number of completed referrals you have directed to Google. Once you accrue $100 (five completed referrals) or more, you will receive a check. Google only issues checks once a month (for details, see the FAQ

And guess what? It's in BETA heh...

SEM Conference in Australia

Thread Title: SEM Conference in Australia Thread Url: http://www.searchengineroom.com.au/ Thread Description:

It is not often we have SEM conferences in Australia, the last I attended was in 2003, and the one touted for last year never eventuated unfortunately. Nice to see a new conference announced with a good lineup of major players. Should be interesting, and a good opportunity to catch up with everyone.

via peter

One of the Finest Posts on Dmoz - Ever

Thread Title: No sleep 'till DMOZ (- a sorry tale of abuse) Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=20701 Thread Description:

This is one of the finest, most eloquent posts i've ever read on the whole silly dmoz business - these threads come up on a monthly basis, in some places, a daily basis, but the cre8 boys and girls have been having an absolute field day with this one and tucked away back on page 7 or something ridiculous is this gem from Black_knight, aka Ammon Johns.

I've posted most of it, but there's a fair bit more and you should really check out at least this one post if not skim the whole thing for the juicier mayhem contained with in. Get a load of THIS:

It is indeed good to have the input of so many of the 'upper echelons' of DMOZ editing personnel. Thank you.

It could only be better if the discussion was a little more two-way. So far it has mainly seemed that we have on the one hand webmasters (we for whom DMOZ is not) talking about their experiences, and on the other hand the editors (who are in fairness rather limited in what they may say, both due to DMOZ editor communications policies, and by nature of peer pressure within DMOZ) mainly saying that our opinions are not valid because we are webmasters and not the audience, and because it does not come through the proper channels of a form email to staff that bypasses the front-line DMOZ editors entirely.

The 'proper channels' that kctipton007 encourages us to use - the email to staff - is a closed channel that usually ends in the ignore or bin folder. There is absolutely no openness in the correct channels, and if you ask Keith himself honestly, he could not tell you whether this whole matter has already been sent to staff a thousand times in the last month and binned.

The staff email is much like contacting any other editor. They won't usually deign to reply, not even to confirm receipt. Hard to believe that they invite your email and then just ignore it? Not at all. That is the DMOZ way of doing things.

They invite submissions that they apparently do not want. Invite email they definitely have no intention of dealing with. You're missing the point. They make the invitation only to be polite. They don't want you to actually use it. It is only there so they can continue to claim to be open. In fact, the Free Masons are far more open to outsiders than DMOZ.

SMA-UK get's a Kickin' in the Forums

Thread Title: SMA-UK Thread Url: http://www.webworkshop.net/seoforum/viewtopic.php?t=4785 Thread Description:

Search Marketing Association UK is being given a right pasting by one of my favorite forum troublemakers PhillC over at webworkshop:

Well it seems to have died a death. Their website doesn't look like it's been updated since the launch last October. It still has the original press release on the front page, and nothing much else except a PDF info file, which isn't dated but looks like it's from back in October.

There is no discussion forum for people who might be interested but want to know more before shelling out £250 a year for an individual membership, or £1000 a year for a corporate membership.

But it's no surprise. SEMPO didn't do anything, so it was highly unlikely that SMA-UK would do anything

All fair points i think. Not exactly fucking inspiring is it? You'd think that a whole bunch of the UK's finest SEO's would be able to update the sodding homepage...

Surprise surprise, del.icio.us has a Spam Problem

Thread Title: Tags run amok! Thread Url: http://www.corante.com/many/archives/2005/02/01/tags_run_amok.php Thread Description:

If you're not familiar with del.icio.us, in short, it's a social bookmarking system working on the priniciples of folksonomies - a way of letting users classify content themselves - see the link for a quick primer.

Well, guess what? When you have 30.000+ users and you're giving away free links, people are going to abuse it. It's a crying shame, but it's hardly surprising - the funny thing about many things like this (they come and go on occasion, the kind of "let the users take control kind of things) is that it never appears to occur to the creators that people won't behave in the way that they'd like them too.

del.icio.us is doomed, the poor chap that owns it only works on it at weekends and evenings so unless he can magic some kind of moderation into the system and find people to administer the app then it's dead in the water already...

Google Priming for Content Buys

Thread Title: Google: Manager, Strategic Partner Development - Multimedia Thread Url: http://www.craigslist.org/pen/bus/57858489.html Thread Description:

See the job listing posted on craigslist above for what would appear to be a fancy term for "content negotiator".

Google is looking for a Strategic Partner Development individual who can bring their excellent partner/business development experience to assist us in obtaining and negotiating significant and complex relationships in the new area of multimedia search.

This high-visibility role requires someone who will be responsible for identifying, structuring and negotiating licensing relationships with some of Google’s largest and most strategic partners to acquire and monetize a wide range of video and audio content.

These individuals will need to establish and drive very senior level relationships with a range of content companies. In addition, these individuals will be responsible for negotiating and closing contracts. Ideal candidates must be extremely partner-focused, proactive, have a strong media background, be technically savvy, work effectively within a team environment and be comfortable presenting to Google and partner C-level management.

With recent video search (well, kinda..) moves and Yahoo, a much more media oriented company growing at a much faster rate it would come as little surprise to learn that Google would be tying a lot of these incessant beta's up and positioning themselves likewise...

thanks svw

Google Profits increase Sevenfold in Q4

Thread Title: Google 4Q Profits Increase Sevenfold Thread Url: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050201/earns_google_4.html Thread Description:

Plenty of financial reporting on Googles enormous Sevenfold increase in Q4 earnings, i've linked to the Yahoo Finance piece, mostly becuase im easily amused :) Here's a few snippets and links:

AP - Google 4Q Profits Increase Sevenfold

Google Inc.'s Internet-leading search engine fueled a sevenfold increase in fourth-quarter profits to soar past analyst expectations.

The Mountain View-based company said Tuesday that it earned $204.1 million, or 71 cents per share, during the final three months of 2004. That compared to net income of $27.3 million, or 10 cents per share, at the same time in 2003.

The Street - Google Beats by a Dime

For its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the Mountain View, Calif., Internet media giant earned $204 million, or 71 cents a share, up from the year-ago $27 million, or 10 cents a share. So-called net revenue, excluding the fees the company pays its search engine advertising partners, jumped to $654 million from $503 million in the third quarter.

MarketWatch - Google tops Q4, stock hits $200

For all of 2005, analysts expect Google to earn $3.42 per share, up 33 percent from 2004, and generate sales of $2.89 billion, a 52 percent rise. Current first-quarter estimates call for Google to earn 80 cents in the first quarter on revenue of $645 million, up 69 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Shares may be volatile as investors keep their eye on the calendar, knowing that another 177 million additional Google shares owned by insiders will be eligible for sale Feb. 14.

Yahoo & Google Duke it out over Flickr

Thread Title: Why It's Pouring VC Cash Thread Url: http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,1020117,00.html Thread Description:

Check out this little interesting snippet in the Business2.0 story threadlinked above about Google and Yahoo wanting both to buy the immensely popular Flickr photo sharing site based on folksonomy tagging

The forecast for entrepreneurs during the next few months? It'll be raining -- cash. Consider Flickr, a popular photo-sharing-meets-social-networking site based in Vancouver, British Columbia. When it went live a year ago, it attracted plenty of notice and even pulled in a few angel investors, such as Excite co-founder Joe Kraus. But that's nothing compared with the torrent of offers it's entertaining now. Google and Yahoo want to buy it outright, while venture capital firms are flooding it with all kinds of creative proposals. "We get four or five calls a week from VCs," says Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded Flickr with his wife, Caterina Fake. "We even had a health-care fund call recently. I guess they wanted in on the excitement."

Doesn't say where he got that info of course but speculation on at least Google buying Flickr is nothing new and it makes perfect sense for either company. Lets face it though, if Google get it we'll just end up with another half finished beta...

nice catch om!

AP to knock out Ads on Syndicated Stories

Thread Title: AP Partners With Winstar to Sell Ad Inventory Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3467131 Thread Description:

The Associated Press has tapped Winstar Interactive Media, a division of Interep Interactive, to sell ad inventory within its syndicated news and multimedia feature stories in the U.S.

The partnership offers Winstar the opportunity to sell ads on a network of over 450 syndicated newspapers and broadcast Web sites with over 6 million unique users per month, many of which have well-established regional audiences, said Tim Mahlman, Winstar Interactive's SVP of sales.

The clickz story threadlinked above doen't mention anything about potential conficts of advertiser interest...

Spamming New MSN for Fun and Profit

Thread Title: Search Engine Spam - Query on MSN Thread Url: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=search+engine+spam&FORM=QBRE Thread Description:

I've spent a little time this evening talking to some of the better er... enthusiastic link hunters out there about how to game the new MSN

"Just get links, from wherever is convenient"

Know what? It's easy, way too easy in fact. One professional search spammer told me "Just get links, from wherever is convenient" - it turns out that MSN's links are not weighted in any way like links are in Google and Yahoo, you can just go right out there and get the links you want, with the exact anchor text you want and be ranking for your terms in a very short space of time.

Also, they either have no duplicate content filter, or it has a major flaw - you can copy any page you like (provided you have the site owners.... ack, who am i kidding?) and providing you get more links coming into that page than the other guy, you win.

Is this the best start for MSN?

Ok, so i know MSN is new, and this is a v1 search tech but surely the fact that a child could game it is not good for MSN? The default homepage of a Windows install is still MSN if i've been informed correctly so there's plenty of incentive for people to want to rank now rather than "when it kicks in" right?

The interesting question for me though is this: If it's very easy to game, which it is, will users actually notice the fun and games search marketers are having with the new engine? After all, there's little point in spamming away like mad to rank for shoes if your site is about venezuelan beaver cheese is there?

Anyone care to offer thoughts on the new Mickey Mouse algo from MSN?

MSN Search Cock Up's - Cache Issues, Returning Google Results & more...

When you search on the new MSN the cached pages are served from the domain cc.msncache.com

I get a 404.

You heard it here 1st and I hope all the other media outlets pick up on this story and give Nick credit for the amazing resource TW is :)

Spam tool for hire....

Thread Title: Let us ping Yahoo for you... Thread Url: http://www.blogburner.com/ Thread Description:

Auto pinger for hire. Just pay up to 10c per page and we will ping away until the cows come home!

The above is a quote I could imagine being on the above site. Essentially a service to let Yahoo you have updated your blog.

Personally if you want such a service it will take about 5 lines and perl. If you REALLY want such a service I'll do it for you at half their cost, and I'll still be charging you 10 times too much :)

MSN's Ad Campaign to Hit 90% of US Households 40x in 8wks

Thread Title: MSN Takes On Google With New Ad Campaign Thread Url: http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=26819 Thread Description:

MediaPost runs all the gory details of M$' media blitz on Google for a slice of the Search pie:

The ad campaign aims to reach 90 percent of U.S. households 40 times in the next eight weeks, said Chris Cocks, MSN's director of global campaigns. "This will be our biggest campaign since the introduction of the MSN Butterfly in 2000," Cocks said. The initiative will hit 25 markets in 10 languages concurrently.

In the United States, the campaign, coordinated by McCann Erickson, San Francisco, will include TV, viral, and out-of-home advertising, in addition to heavy online media. Online advertising will appear on MSN's home page and other MSN properties targeting the company's 360 million users. Apart from the MSN network, online ads will appear on sites including CNet, USAToday.com, and CBS Sportsline.

MSN will primarily buy ads on cable TV, but also plans to purchase air time in the top 12 metro markets during heavyweight television events like the Superbowl this Sunday, the Academy Awards, and the NCAA finals in March.

That's one hellava campaign eh?

Niall Kennedy to manage Technorati Community

Thread Title: Managing the Technorati community Thread Url: http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2005/01/managing_the_te.html Thread Description:

Niall Kennedy who previously worked for NexTag will be managing the Technorati community according to his blog threadlinked above and this post by Richard Ault, one of the Technorati founders.

Starting Tuesday, February 1, I will start a new job as Community Manager at Technorati. I will be responsible for helping the world understand Technorati's service offerings and providing developers with the tools they need to build and extend Technorati. I will help make your voices heard and build new features to strengthen the links we create while consuming and producing content.

Adding a community manager to a staff of twelve is a big move for any company and a strong signal to a community of users. Expect big things and we will all be working hard to deliver new tools to track the world live web.

and hey Niall, people reply to your comments here dude! I still want an answer dammit! heh...

Good luck with the new job..

When Innovation runs ahead of Consumer Demand

Thread Title: Hey, what about the consumer? Thread Url: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?page=1&guid=%7BCA960A11-D563-4635-9B06-E6D0D0C1BD51%7D&siteid=mktw Thread Description:

Bambi Francisco has an interesting story at MarketWatch threadlinked above about the internet bubble burst of 2000 and the current arms race amongst Search companies and others.

Her point, is that while they're all very busy keeping up with eachother and trying to outdo one another at every turn with innovation, they may very well be missing the point: Consumers are not ready.

llow me to remind you that it was in March 2000 when the Nasdaq hits its peak, investor complacency turned into fear, and, importantly we began to realize that the products and services being sold or offered were ahead of their time.

Translation: They were clumsy versions of what the consumer of the future would need, embrace and pay for.

In like vein, it appears to me that many companies -- in their effort to keep up their expected growth trajectory -- are throwing service upon service at consumers.

Some of these services are merely slight improvements over what's already out there. Some are services that consumers aren't even aware they need.

Unless these services are useful or differentiated enough, consumers won't pay for them. Nor will they stick around long enough for advertisers to pay to reach them.

Makes for an interesting need and good food for thought...

Skype for Linux & Mac Launches

Thread Title: Cross-platform Compatibility and Extensive Features With Skype Thread Url: http://skype.com/company/news/2005/macosx_linux_v1.html Thread Description:

Good news for me as a Linux guy and also for the Mac crowd today as Skype breaks it's betas out into full versions of the free VoIP software for both platforms. Features include:

Skype's Global Directory - the user-built global Skype contacts directory with numerous search options and an easy add-a-contact tool Instant messaging – cross platform messaging ability Conference calling – instantly create a free 5-party conference call Logs – reference or discard call and message history Presence – easily manage availability and view status of contacts Customization – MyPicture image display, ring tones, call alert options File transfer –send and receive files via Skype Mobility – sign in to a Skype account anywhere in the world SkypeOut –pre-pay to call traditional phones around the world, at local rates Multiple Skype accounts on one computer End-to-end encryption for superior privacy

You can grab the downloads here

Mobile Content and it's Risk for Verizon

Thread Title: Verizon takes mobile TV prime time Thread Url: http://telephonyonline.com/mag/telecom_verizon_takes_mobile/ Thread Description:

There's a great piece threadlinked above from telephonyonline detailing Verizon's moves into Mobile "mobisodes" with the launch of it's VCast service tomorrow:

Verizon and News Corp. claim the mobisode is a milestone in mobile content, which may not be over-stating it. It shows that major entertainment companies are willing to devote resources, money and talent toward creating something solely for the mobile format. The studios are willing to bet that the tiny screen of a handset can be an entertainment medium in its own right — a so-called “fourth screen” on par with the movie, TV and PC screens — not just an adjunct to wireless.

“We certainly believe that wireless is becoming a new medium for entertainment,” said Paul Palmieri, executive director of business development for Verizon Wireless. “We're targeting mainstream media and bringing it directly to subscribers. These mobisodes are a signal of what's to come.”

But the industry is also taking a risk. Video streaming is barely in its nascent phases. The repurposed sports, news and entertainment video streams currently available have limited audiences. The format of the short video clips optimized for a tiny screen may seem a bit arcane to consumers bred on living room TV. News Corp. and Verizon are gambling that they can spur the market for multimedia by creating an entirely new format of wireless entertainment. And while industry observers laud both companies for taking the plunge into these unknown waters, many of them expressed doubts as to whether the mobisode will be a success.

Risk or not, the potential of the handset is too great to ignore, said Lucy Hood, senior vice president of content for News Corp. She pointed out that there are 1.3 billion mobile subscribers in the world today, compared with 1.1 billion TV homes — and the growth in handset purchases is far outpacing that of TVs. “This is a growth market that we want to be a first mover in,” Hood said.

Google becomes Domain Name Registrar

Thread Title: Google Is Now A Domain Registrar Thread Url: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/01/31/google_is_now_a_domain_registrar.html Thread Description:

scroll down to 895 - it seems Google are now a fully licensed domain name registrar, what could this mean? Get out of sandbox with a GOOG domain name buy? heh...