AOL chooses Norwegian firm for niche service
Google loses out to FAST (who's site appears to be down?) in the grab for AOL's local search results:
In a blow to Google Inc., which provides general Web search for America Online members, AOL yesterday said it has chosen Fast Search & Transfer to power a revamping of its local search service.
AOL's deal with Fast, a Norwegian company with US operations in Needham, underscored Google's vulnerability in niche fields such as geographic-based search. Over the past year, AOL has tapped two other niche search engines, BizRate and Kayak, to provide shopping and travel search capabilities for the online service.
via Danny S who is also quoted in the piece:
"It's surprising that Google's local search product wasn't considered good enough,"
Google wants UK sites to be hosted in the UK not DE
An interesting slant of (using a Seth Godin term) initiating a purple cow from a David against a Goliath.
1&1 Internet are one of the larger European hosting companies. Their prices are extremely competitive, overall the service is superb and they advertise extremely agressively. Because of this they have seen tremendous growth, especially for quite a late entrant to the hosting business.
The small David in this battle is POBox Hosting. A UK company that is playing on fears businesses didn't have before they saw POBox's press release. Essentially it implies that if you host your web site with 1&1 you won't be visible on Google.co.uk.
What it omits to say is that (I believe) the majority of 1&1 customers use the uk tld for their sites so should still be accesable from Google.co.uk
A damn fine way to use some half truths to add some FUD in business. I say hats off to POBox for coming up with the ploy :)
Options Update: A Look at Google Ahead of Earnings
Schaeffer Research have an interesting and (to me at least) enlightening read about the mighty GOOG
comparing them to others such as Ebay etc.
As one of last year's hottest initial public offerings (IPO), Internet search engine behemoth Google (GOOG: sentiment, chart, options) is still managing to attract a considerable amount of attention. However, despite the stock's soaring technical performance since its IPO at $85 per share (GOOG is now trading in the $190 area), investors remain skeptical of the equity. Options speculators have targeted the stock's January 190 put in today's session, sending more than 6,167 of these bearishly oriented options across the tape so far today.
A Media Center in Your Pocket
In light of BusinessWeek publishing the article threadlinked above i thought it might be a good opportunity to bring together a few pieces that have been sitting im my FireFox bookmarks.
The BW article talks about the inevitable evolution of the humble(ish) mobile to full Media Center capability and status:
That little cell phone is about to become a viable alternative to some of those other gadgets. This year, the U.S. will see a flood of phones with music, gaming, and video capabilities usually found only in stand-alone electronics devices. For the first time, camera phones' resolution and zoom will become as good as that of low-end digital cameras. And today's sprinkle of phones that double as MP3 players will turn into a flood. The world's largest cell-phone maker, Nokia (NOK ), will double the number of handsets with MP3 capabilities in 2005. Of the 40 phones the company will introduce this year, 50% will feature built-in MP3 players.
This isnt a prediction, it's just the way things are headed.
What about iPod?
The biggest casualty of this could be the iPod and it's little brother the iPod Shuffle, in Dec Engadget proclaimed, along with countless others proclaimed 2005 to be the year of the MP3 Phone. This from Scott Moritz at TheStreet:
Rumour comes in that Barbara Coll is (as expected) to be ousted as president of SEMPO and Dana Todd is to replace her.
Furthermore, and bear in mind that this is just a rumour: Babs is dumping nominees she doesn't know and appointing "friends" to positions of power prior to her departure.
It doesn't stop there though....
From the same sources, very close to the org and quite credible: Babs will lose the presidency but retain her position as Chairman leaving her still firmly behind the wheel of the rogue org...
2004 was Full of Great Delights for Search Engine Marketing Guru Barbara C. Coll
Babs Coll is at it again, this time with an outstanding self congratulatory press release that spins the beleagured SEMPO search marketing org as a success whilst the industry itself is filled with nothing but scorn and resentment.
Incestuous Relationships and Marketing Spin for Personal Prestige
The release, produced by (strangely enough) SEMPO member SEO-PR spins the org nicely:
This year was particularly delightful for "The WebMama," gaining her and her company recognition from publications such as "BtoB" and "Silicon Valley Business Journal leading the new and influential Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) through its first year and a half as its Chairman of the Board and President; and landing some exciting speaking engagements and clients that demonstrate increasing influence by, and respect for, both Ms.Coll, WebMama.com and the SEM industry.
Questions have been raised time and time again in the popular SEM forums over issues with SEMPO and yet still, after a year and a half the organization continually ignores questions from the community it purports to serve One of the better online forums for search marketers is Danny Sullivans Search Engine Watch. Those looking for more information on why the industry itself loathes this farcical scam would do well to read the following discussions:
Will Sempo Survive?
Why doesnt Sempo Talk in Forums?
How Was SEMPO's UK Committee Formed?
Sempo and Non-Profit Legal Issues
SEMPO & The SEM Reputation Problem
The SEMPO Website and its Page Rank Distribution
Sempo Dual Advertising Continues
Mike Grehan Stirs Up SEMPO Controversy
Danny Sullivan leaves SEMPO
SEMPO: Even less substance yet more arrogance
Sempo Gone to the Dogs?
And in this particular thread that really does deserve to drink upstream of the herd, Mike Grehan, who I think it's fair to say is widely respected in the industry has this to say about this clicz article where Coll is again, particularly arrogant and offensive:
Scoop! Google to provide AdWords API to Advertisers
Now here's some news you will soon be able to use...
Google is about to announce technology that will allow its advertisers unprecedented levels of control over when, where, and who can view their advertising on Google search pages and those of Google partner web sites.
For the first time, the search giant will provide its advertisers with an application programming interface (API), which will enable them link their computer systems with Google and control parts of the mammoth Google ad delivery system. The API will allow advertisers to self-administer the delivery, the timing and the price they will pay for their text ads.
Intelliseek to Monitor Weblog Reaction to Super Bowl Ads
There's no escaping this stuff - now public opinion is so easily expressed online - and thus so easy to measure companies like Intelliseek, the folks behind BlogPulse are doing what appears to be a thriving business in montitoring brand buzz:
A convergence of factors -- the near-religious fervor in which Americans identify with, and talk about, their favorite products, the mass appeal of online communication and the buzz factor tied to Super Bowl ads -- has led marketing experts to focus more closely on what consumers are writing in blogs and on other Web forums
If you've not read much on this, then the Mercury News piece threadlinked above is a good intro - there's money in them there blogs...
Google loses trademark dispute in France
Cnet news reports..
A French court has ruled that Google must refrain from using the trademarks of European resort chain Le Meridian Hotels and Resorts to trigger keyword ads.
On Dec. 16, a Nanterre court in France ruled that Google infringed on the trademarks of Le Meridien by allowing the hotel chain's rivals to bid on keywords of its name and appear prominently in related search results. Le Meridien had sued Google's French subsidiary on Oct. 25 after failing to reach an amicable agreement, according to court documents.
In a blow to Google's keyword-bidding engine, the French court ordered the company to stop linking ads to Le Meridien-trademarked terms by Monday or face a daily fine of $194 (150 euros). The company must also cease linking ads related to Le Meridien brands within 72 hours of whenever Le Meridien notifies it of listings in violation, or face a daily fine of 150 euros. Finally, Google must pay all court fees and a fine of $2,592 (2,000 euros).
I think this ongoing struggle between Google/SE's and trademark owners is huge.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I dont think any search engine should be allowed to generate revenues off the use of a brand name or trademark.
The bottom line is Google is using the Parker Meridien name without their consent to generate revenues. Just because Google is not directly selling hotel rooms, doesnt give them the right to use the Parker name.
This all boils down to search versus navigation theme. A search would be for books, navigation would be for Amazon.
There is a platform coming that will allow TM and brand owners to take back control. So when I type Parker Meridien I go right to their site or wherever they think I will want to go to get the approp info.
The new platform ill involve companies BUYING keywords, not bidding on them.
This IMO will revolutionze the whole pay-per-click business.
There is a way that the Google's and other SE's can participate in this platform and generate enormous amounts of personalized advertising. There's plenty of revenues to go around if they do it right.
coop! Google is about to unveil a completely revamped Adwords/Adsense program
Google are reported to have about 1800 employees at a secret meeting right now to brief them on new adwords and adsense features to be unveiled imimently. Apparently in a bid to outmarket upstarts like Kanoodle...
As this is being writtten, about 1800 Google marketing people from its offices around the world are at an internal sales conference at a secret location in San Francisco, being briefed on a completely revamped Google Adwords/Adsense program and other new features.
Stop the spread of Viral Link Skank today!!
OMG, check it out - LinkCondom.com hahaha!
Go on, whois it, you know you want to...
So how long was it gonna be before someone came up with something like this eh? This one pagers a cracker, i'd wondered what the ex wmw admin who published it had been doing in his spare time :)
Now is the time to act and stop the spread of Viral Link Skank. For far too long now the Internet has functioned as a network of interlinked sites that have been likened unto a 'web' of sites. This is clearly an poor view of the Information Super Highway. To that end the Powers That Be have banded together to fix this massive problem and reshape the web into a more useful controlled environment.
Stuck in the Middle with AOL
Jupiters Niki Scevak points out that amidst all the hubub surroundig AOL's New Search Improvements was the fact that they have also sealed a deal with PayPerCall firm Ingenio to distribute the firms ppcall ads.
Apparently Ingenio have also just had a site revamp - sheeesh! I'd hate to have seen what it looked like before! Why is it that ad firms always have dreadful websites? Is it like hairdressers with awful hairdo's?
ahem.. moving on:
his is a significant milestone for pay-per-call billing. The seemingly innocuous capability of paying for each telephone call rather than each click is the most important expansion point in commercial search. To date, the billions of ad dollars you see are by and large spent by those advertising products online. To a lesser extent it is those advertising products which are converted offline, but the people who spend the most - eBay, Amazon, Expedia - all convert product sales online. The important word there is product.
Niki goes on to say that he expects Yahoo to follow very shortly as ppcal becomes more and more viable with Google waiting till someone makes some money at it before developing their own inhouse solution. He says they're a great search company but "a rather lethargic one in advertising options."
Those G boys need some real media brass at the TOP
The 70/30 Rule of Search
Gord Hotchkiss at MediaPost, threadlinked above has an interesting little article out. It's not interesting to SEO's with what it actually says, in fact, he's just pointing out the patently obvious - it's interesting nonetheless though...
Go read it, it's only a tiddler..
So what was the point of that?
So, if you read it you'll see that it's a well written bit of waffle for the media types that read mediapost. What interested me is that im starting to see more and more of this lately - the whole promotion of "organic" over paid...
Am i talking shite or is that as significant as i think..?
AdBrite Raises $4 Millions From Sequoia
Adbrite, the small ad marketplace startup from FuckedCompany founder Pud, or Philip Kaplan as he's known now he's stopped trashing dot-com start-ups and is buliding one heh.. have just secured $4M from Sequoia
Russell Speaks Back
Pull out the popcorn boys and girls, it's been a long time since we had a good old fashioned Threadwatch mayhem post :)
Yahoo mobile guy and TW member Russell Beattie is somewhat embroiled in a cat fight with fellow TW member Graywolf. It all started when GW posted some pretty acerbic comments about RB's thoughts on the whole nofollow foolishness:
Russell on the other hand is a self-righteous hypocritical spam zealot.
Not nice.. he goes on to call RB out for breaking adsense TOS in a post he made about high paying keywords - We called RB a spammer that day, it was pretty funny, but harmless in it's intent: See Beattie wants to be a search spammer
Now we have Russell's Retort
My, aren't you a f***ing moron. The out of context
quotes and misuse of the word zealot really gave
Why don't you try another hobby, I'm thinking the
whole blogging thing isn't suiting you. Good thing
Technorati indexes you as it seems no one else is
reading (1 referral from your website? LOL. Why
Go away now, I think your Mom wants to use the
See Russell Speaks Back
Graywolf proceeds to tear the response apart piece by piece...
Now, i can see (i think) what's going on here. Graywolf wants to get some link love - he's getting some right here :) and Russell, well... i like him, even if i dont think he's very keen on me heh... but he has been uncharacteristically rude recently - even right here on TW.
SEW are reporting that Yahoo Search has had some subtle changes to the default page.
+ Three news headlines (and a direct link to Yahoo News)
+ A direct link to Yahoo Finance along with Dow Jones and NASDAQ Averages
+ Yahoo Mail users can login and have direct links to their inbox (along with the number of new messages). A direct link to compose mail is also visible.
I like it and think the clean uncluttered additions are sensible. All these small changes add up to a large change and this might be the change that makes me jump ship for my default searches.
The Register is reporting that Scientists at Okayama University in Japan have rather agreeably discovered that unidentified compounds in lager and stout may help to prevent DNA damage leading to cancer.
Whilst not search related it sure is TW Meet related and good to know.