What’s Next for Google
Interesting piece threadlinked above over at Tech Review by the former owner of Front Page, Charles Ferguson. Front Page being the dreadful, code choking joke of the web-dev world.
Charles sold FP to M$ and made a bomb rather than see his company die. He likens that to the decisions now facing Google:
Google now faces choices as fundamental as those Netscape faced in 1995. Google, whose headquarters in Mountain View, CA—familiarly called the Googleplex—is only five kilometers from Netscape’s former home, needn’t perish as Netscape did, but it could. Despite everything Google has—the swelling revenues, the cash from its initial public offering, the 300 million users, the brand recognition, the superbly elegant engineering—its position is in fact quite fragile. Google’s site is still the best Web search service, and Gmail, its new Web-based e-mail service, Google Desktop, its desktop search tool, and Google Deskbar, its toolbar, are very cool. But that’s all they are. As yet, nothing prevents the world from switching (painlessly, instantly) to Microsoft search services and software, particularly if they are integrated with the Microsoft products that people already use.
As bloggers finally get a little more savvy in ways to thwart agressive search marketers automatically commenting on thousands of blogs at a time, wiki spam gains ground as the next wave of auto link generation strategy.
A wiki, for those still in the dark, is defined by Wiki.org as:
Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.
Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.
The threadlink above defines wiki spam:
Google measures its PageRank? based on links from one site to another, plus the PageRank? of the site linking to the other. Wikis are PageRank? machines, being both massively linked and with hundreds or thousands of pages. These two factors--openness and PageRank?--make wikis the ideal target for spam attacks. While this was well known for years, it took TheSeptemberThatNeverEnded before WikiSpam become economical enough to justify a spammer's attention.
and continues to explain why a wiki is an attractive spam vehicle:
Spammers are not asking you click on the link, although if you do they are happier. What they are looking for is higher Google results. The most useful wikis to spam are not even the most popular wikis, but rather the least traffic and the least PeerReviewed wikis. While previous spam techniques saught to hit sites with incredibly high PageRank?, it's possible now to use Google (ironically) and a robot to write links on millions of smaller WikiAsPIMs whose owners will not revert the vandalism since they won't notice. Millions of links from smaller sites is better than a few links from larger sites.
Affiliate Marketing 2005 -- Do Merchants & Affiliates Have Unrealistic Expectations?
A MarketingSherpa survey/report has some interesting findings from 2004 and predictions for affiliate marketing in 2005.
One of the areas covered is "worrisome tactics" of which i'll post a brief summary, there is lots more detail at the threadlink above:
30-40% of respondants use paid search placement to drive traffic
49% of all said they'd not work with a merchant that banned paid search
27% said they'd not work with a merchant that banned trademark terms
51% of merchants had restrictions on search marketing
21% had banned paid search
Search driven revenues to decline due to:
Googles "death stance" - the active chipping away at affilate avenues of revenue generation
Increased trademark protections
The list goes on to include email, popups and spyware. They also list things merchants can do to better their affiliate generated revenue but, the above is the most interesting to Threadwatchers i think.
So, what do the Threadwatch boys and girls think the future holds for affiliates?
Help-Stop-Smoking Site Rankings Drop Out Of Google - Non-Profit site - Please Help!
In the post above a google engineer, GoogleGuy exposes a website that was stated as being a non-profit quit smoking site as a clumsy blackhat affiliate fraud.
It's the funniest thing i've seen in a very long time and there is much to learn from it. First, here's choice quote:
Interesting, I didn't realize that SEW was okay with people posting specifics. bobmutch, you're saying that quitsmokingsupport.com is a non-profit site? Here's what I see when I look. Last time I checked, I saw dozens of links to quit-smoking-quitting-smoking-stop-smoking.com. Oh look, from quit-smoking-quitting-smoking-stop-smoking.com, I'm able to take care of my other health needs, from friendly vendors such as pheromones-perfume-cologne-attract-woman-man-human-androsterone.com,
better-orgasms-sexual-dysfunction-libido-enhancement-enhancer.com, and of course diet-pills-natural-fast-weight-loss-supplements-fat-product.com.
That's quite a bit of help.
He also goes on to point out that the website in question, for a "non profit" is linking out to a whole stack of blackhat agressive affilate scum sites... and that on at least one of them, it's easy to spot some very amateur hidden links using CSS.
So, what can we learn from this?
Dont post your sites on forums - well, duh...
Sites you link to can affect your rankings - well, duh...
Google aren't stupid - well, duh...
Think before you post - well, duh...
That one has made my week, it's an absolutely corking thread - killer funny!
Where's venture capital headed in 2005? Spam, for starters
SiliconBeat in the threadlink above discuss where VC money will be going next year. Spam (loose definition) is one key area as brands are forced to follow a TV abandoning consumer.
One VC from Mobius said:
Advertising as we have known it is over. Brand owners need to go where you are, and that isn’t on network television or the newspaper. In order to promote their brands and attract and maintain relationships with consumers, brand owners will have to come to you, on your wireless device, with your media stream, on your pc. In addition, they’ll have to follow you wherever you go -- into the retailer, the entertainment venue, or your place of business. As this revolution occurs, it will create huge opportunities for those companies who have created compelling in-venue experiences that can incorporate brand messages in a seamless manner. Also to benefit will be those companies who have created new and interesting ways to make brand advertising fun, unobtrusive, personalized, relevant, and continuing for the consumer.
It's an interesting read, and provokes speculation on where brand advertising is headed over the next few years.
Will we see brands die on TV and will they chase us wherever we go? Will it intude upon our online habbits and media consumption as it stands now?
Yahoo! and Nextel Join Forces to Launch Yahoo! Mobile Internet Across Nextel's Digital Wireless Network
Yahoo! and Nextel have reached an agreement to provide Yahoo Mobile services on Nextel handheld devices.
This will inlude email, messenger, news and games.
Doug Garland, vp of Y! Mobile said:
"Our new relationship with Nextel and the launch of Yahoo! Mobile Internet across their network is further proof of Yahoo!'s appeal to our carrier partners, and we are pleased to continue to develop solutions that drive adoption and usability of mobile data services in the United States."
Sounds like a great move to me, i know were the service available to me, i'd most likely use it. What do you think?
Pete Blackshaw has a small piece at clickz talking about the future of advertising and specifically, predictions for 2005 - The main points are:
Blogs continue to trail blaze, monetization becomes key
Cinema adds to get squeezed as consumer backlash breaks out
Product placement makes it BIG as traditional ads continue to catch flak
More integrated branding cock ups. TV ads failing to sync with the company website become more and more common
Noisey ads get ditched in favor of sponsored quiet time: "this moment of silence was bought to you by..." :-)
So, with those general ad predictions out of the way, what do we think is in store for internet advertising / marketing in 2005?
Here's a couple off the top of my head:
Podcasting breaks all possible rules and becomes the no.1 viral ad form for companies aiming at the younger markets
Viral becomes much, much bigger
RSS ads: Overture's contextual RSS ads prove a success, google follows suit
Yahoo launch a contextual ad network
We see at least another 100 (well, maybe not..) contextual ad networks spring up and the 80/20 rule sets in leaving just Adsense, Overture and Kanoodle as the main players
Towards the end of the year, we see the first real examples of mobile advertisng that normal websites could use
Come on, embarrass yourself by trying to predict the future...
This one gets asked a lot but there is some decent advice and comments on this one.
The discussion about whether or not there is such a thing as "filters" being applied by Google has come up several times, so it seems it would be good idea to examine the issue and get a clear picture about how filters operate.
Good idea Marcia :)
some google penalties
-30 ( )
Guestbook / Links Pages
Site Has PageRank but will Not Pass it On
Prime Keyword Penalties ( oop )
Redirects, Duplicate Pages or very simalar Pages
I wonder how many of these Mr DaveN has encountered personally? hehehe
All in all a top thread, one for the bookmarks to show people. Knowing the faces present here, would anyone care to add? Perhaps even suggest some known Yahoo ones?
Google is on it's way of indexing the worlds information with an estimated 15 millions books with a indexing cost of around $10 a piece! Question is how they going to monetize it.
Note: It's a New York Times Article so you need to register to read full article or use Bugmenot :)
Google, the operator of the world's most popular Internet search service, plans to announce an agreement today with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web.
Although Google executives declined to comment on its technology or the cost of the undertaking, others involved estimate the figure at $10 for each of the more than 15 million books and other documents covered in the agreements. Librarians involved predict the project could take at least a decade.
Two domain names get preliminary OK
ICANN have given the sponsor proposed TLD's .JOBS and .MOBI a preliminary nod of approval.
I tend to agree with techdirts point about the .mp domains not really being needed and although i can see more use in it than .mobi, the .jobs tld is well, superfluous to say the least.
The .jobs domain situation is even worse. Were people really having that much trouble finding the "jobs" pages on various company websites? That seems unlikely. In fact, the stories we've seen suggest recruiters are being inundated with resume spam from undeserving candidates. All this really means is that all these companies will now feel the need to go out and register their company name with the .jobs registrar, even if they have no real need for it.
This from the AP story threadlinked above:
Sponsored by leading mobile phone and technology companies, including Nokia Corp., Microsoft Corp. and T-Mobile, the ".mobi" domain would set apart Web sites and other services that are specially designed to work around the limitations of cell phones, including their smaller screen size and data capacity.
The ".jobs" suffix, meanwhile, would go to members of the human resources community.
A company might keep job postings at "Company.jobs," rather than force visitors to navigate the main site, whose home page tends to have only general information about a company and its products.
You can also find the ICANN .job & .mobi prosal details here
Well, what do you think, are they useless or fantastic? I'll be getting a .mobi for sure but im not convinced on either tld...
Mozilla aims for mobile browser market
"We can be ported to many platforms that Opera can't," he said. "Mozilla has been developed to work on every flavor of Unix and every type of processor, chip or widget set."
Turner said there are two mobile phone companies that are already using Minimo. He would not reveal the names of the companies that it is working with, but he said there will be at least one announcement in the near future regarding a partnership with a television manufacturer.
Some nice insight from Doug Turner on the future of mobile browsing.
IBM is building software it hopes will make it the Google of corporate-search technology
As IBM dumps it's PC biz it's making a play for a higher margin software / solution model:
The new database-related software will let corporate customers store documents in XML, or Extensible Markup Language, format, which will greatly speed up text-related queries, she said. An early, or alpha, version of the tool is being tested with about 30 customers and is expected to be completed in the second half of next year. IBM has not named the product or decided how to package it.
Msn has got their sights directly targetting Google on this one. Havn't managed to give it a go yet because download seems down atm.
Find anything on your computer
Documents, photos, music and more!
Find email messages in seconds
From Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express
Try the new MSN Search
Search the web smarter and better
Block those annoying pop-ups
Surf without interruptions
Fill out forms online F
Fill out forms and web site passwords in one click
Added: Official Announcement
David Dawson, the group program manager for MSN Desktop Search just blogged the official announcement.
Added: More.. blog coverage
Charline Li and Gary Price have just put out reports including additional information and a link to the press release - Ok, that's it for updates, im sure the rest of the search blogs will follow shortly, but this is old news to Threadwatchers now :)
comScore Study Reveals the Impact of Search Engine Usage on Consumer Buying
Some interesting stats from a new comScore survey on the influence of Search on consumer buying in the consumer electronics / computers category point out by Gary.
Here are the highlights:
Vast Majority of Search-Influenced Buying Occurs Either Offline or in Subsequent Internet User Sessions
25 percent of searchers ultimately purchased a CE/C product
92 percent of these purchases occurred offline
Among the 8 percent of post-search purchases that were made online, the vast majority occurred in subsequent user sessions
Only 15 percent of online purchases following a CE/C search occurred in the same user session as the search itself
With 85 percent of conversions occurring in a latent (or non-search) session
Nearly 40 percent of all purchases occurred 5 to 12 weeks after the initial CE/C search was conducted.
There's quite a bit more at the threadlink above...
AOL Abandons Exclusivity in Favor of Ads
The walls surrounding America Online Inc.'s well-manicured gardens are crumbling. In a move both risky and essential, AOL is abandoning its strategy of exclusivity and will free much of its music, sports and other programming to non-subscribers in hopes of boosting ad sales.
Jeremy Z said
Welcome back to the world of the relevant, AOL. It's a bold move, but it's about time you woke up and noticed the World Wide Web.
Can't help but agree, the walled garden approach is tried and tried again from forums to content networks to ISP's and it (surprisingly enough) seems to enevitably backfire in the end...
Threadwatch member jimsthoughts pm'd me this little tool sometime today. As im not generally keen on linking to ranking/link check tools (cos everyone and his dog has one) it took me a little time to get round to looking at it (been a busy day :-)
It's a cracker though, really nice work. It'll find all the unique domains that link to you and then grab their IPs - now, if it could sort those IP's by unique C-blocks jim...
You can find some discussion of the tool over at the SEW post threadlinked above.