Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yahoo! Buys Desktop Tool co. Konfabulator and It's Impact

There seems to be some serious moves over at Yahoo! of late. They are revamping the PPC system, and as Mike Ewan over at Developer's Shed pointed out in a recent article they have bought Flikr (a photosharing software co.), OddBall (a email co.), VOIP co. DialPad and now desktop widget Konfabulator.
These moves seem to paralell all the recent moves of Google - though a with a lot less noise.
So when is Yahoo! releasing their version of Talk IM - well considering they already have a full fledged video messaging system do they need to?
The recent letter by Ted Meisel (or Dean Capobianco if you received it in Australia) shows a little more than what people are talking about in response to it.
While it mentions the problems the new system upgrade and that any minor difficulties will be addressed quickly and hopefully be finished soon - it was an earlier comment that I think as more telling:
twice this is mentioned: "help us meet the needs of our growing customer base" and "to meet the increasing level of demand".
While growth at Google seems to be a given the recent numbers support these statements. Yahoo! has improved its position in relation to Google for basic search - if searchers' actions are the same then PPC is getting similiar increased numbers.
They will definitely take a broad hit when MSN spins off - but they have definitely created a solid safety net to help pick up the missing income.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Google's Recipe for SPAM Quiche

Got to love the sense of whimsy Google brings to itself. They are now giving a recipe for Spam Quiche at the top of the GMail account Spam folder.

May have to try this recipe just to say I have.

Though if we are to believe real men don't eat quiche, I am wondering if this is never intended to be made... merely laughed at by the numerous "real men" in this industry!

The recent diatribe by Doug over at I help You forum against the evil spammers and the pervasiveness of the conspirators who use or accept others doing it. Have a piece of quiche there Doug and calm down a little.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Skype Opens IM Network

The New Media Report seems to share my view of the Google/Skype ties with their report today:

VoIP pioneer Skype Technology has decided to open up its IM network to allow other programs to take advantage of and expand their user base. The company's text-based instant messaging service can now be integrated into web sites and internet applications. "Skype's mission is to make communicating through the Internet natural and easy to do, so in addition to voice communications we offer the power of both instant messaging and presence," said CEO Niklas Zennström in a recent statement. From online gaming to e-commerce, Skype IM integration will allow users to build a community almost anywhere, adding more warm bodies to a network 51 million users strong. The new SkypeNet and SkypeWeb API's will give software developers access to the company's IM protocols, allowing easy integration into other programs, including rival instant messenger clients. SkypeWeb will even let you post your Skype online status on your web site or blog with a few lines of HTML. Taking cues from Google much?

51 million users....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Will Google Buy Skype?

The speculation on the soon to happen announcement at Google is getting interesting. The mention of possibly buying Skype is one I think is a strong possibility of happening.

May have to look at what Skype is trading for tomorrow morning.

I'm Live Goes International

ImLive has rolled out international language versions of ImLive.com - the web's leading site for live videochat with experts.

After 6 months of work by a team of languages experts, this sizeable expansion makes ImLive the first VideoChat site to ever provide services for users in multiple different languages.

These new sites will enable people to enjoy the ImLive experience in Italian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese along with English. More languages are soon to follow.

These sites are more than just translated versions of ImLive.com - they feature only Hosts who speak the sites' language to provide the user with a more localized and personal experience, and each site is tailored to the mentality of its users' nationality. As opposed to the current domain of ImLive.com, these 5 new sites will be located at ImLive.net.

The new languages sites will expand ImLive's user base by millions of non-English speakers from all over the world, an augmentation that everyone can gain from. Host and Agent sign-up have already begun and Guests will be able to sign up starting September 5th.

If you have websites in any of these languages contact Assaf the ImLive affiliate program representative, at ace@imlive.com, for more details on this exciting new undertaking. In addition, ImLive.net is hiring!

Though largely a rewrite of their press release I really think this site will be around for a long time to come and are offering something that has a lot of merit. Definitely worth checking out and seeing if there is anything there you can make some money with.

Google to Launch Jabber-based Voice IM tomorrow

Since Google is in a second round of investment, it seems the "quiet time" rule is in effect. So speculation about the possible product rumored to be made public tomorrow is getting some attention at the search forums.

From what I have gathered the product will be Google Instant Messaging - using the Jabber-based platform which offers a wide scope of uses.

Apparently, Google has also been involved with VOIP so the messages may be going audio... instant voice messaging, add the Hello software they offer and you pretty much have an upclose and personal experience.

How long before people start using this technology to make a large portion of their phone conversations?

Google has a great working relationship with AOL - providing the PPC and organic results when everyone else is striking out on their own - if these two get together on the IM level then AOL goes vocal at the same time.... now that is a user base.

How long will it be before your computer starts saying "You've Got Voice Mail"?

The LA Times has a story on this today.

Reuters have done a follow up.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Free Back Link Analyser from SEOBook

While the battle for Search Engine dominance rages between the Titans Google, Yahoo! and MSN... another skirmish is brewing in the industry.

Aaron Wall, SEOBook author and counterculture search authority, has started to develop and distribute an impressive array of free tools for the search community.

His latest addition is the back link analyser, which seems to offer many of the features of tools like SEO Elite - but does not come with the sticker price.

This tool is FREE!

A couple of weeks ago he gave us a free hub analyser.... guess his goal is to be the philantropist of search.....

Keep them coming Aaron!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Yahoo! Offering Improved Affiliate Programs

Guess the push to attract more advertisers is getting more emphasis these days. I remember when Overture refused to have referrals - except in Europe (which started its own problems).

Now apparently it is becoming more important.

They are going to copy the Google Qualified Professional approach (even charging the soon to be industry standard $50) and give incentives for the new customer signups - though they will offer $80 referrals for new high-end advertisers sent to them (as was already being done through Commission Junction).

They have also announced an enhanced program for smaller agencies.

Google New Share Offering Inside Joke

It seems the decision to release 14.159265 million Class A shares has a little numeric whimsy to it.

It is the decimal rounding of Pi 3.14159265....

Boys we are getting really geeky!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Guess Larry and Sergey Are Planning A Party

Google needs a little more cash. They have applied to be able to sell over 14 million more Class A common stock. Putting another $4 billion plus in the company coffers.

Didn't think the bar tab for the Google party was that high....

Or maybe they are filling the war chest so they can make a cash offer for Baidu stock!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Google Starts New PPC State Roll Out

Though it will not be full implemented for a few days, today marks the beginning, or should I say end of disabled terms in your AdWords accounts.
They will allow you to pay a little more but stay alive for thos e pesky terms that were for poor CTR for negatives you could not work out or interpretations of the keywords you had not thought of.... but now that is all gone.

A new era in Google terms has begun and it should be interesting to revisit this change in say 6 months.

Ask Jeeves Unveils PPC interface and starts selling

Okay step right up, get your red hot PPC here now.

Do I sound like a shill?

It is amazing how many people are pushing this product and how Ask Jeeves was swept to top tier status at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference.

Yes they have a well branded product and some traffic numbers, but to equate them as having equal footing with Google, Yahoo! and MSN is questionable at best.

Good luck with the new product roll out AJ. I would say persevere and you will soon be in the top company - but you have already got there!!!

Rupert Murdoch Buying Web Properties

News Corp. and its Fox Interactive Media unit has been grabbing up web companies in true Murdoch fashion. With MySpace, Scout Media and Intermix already in the fold, the company is in the process of acquiring video search provider, Blinkx, according to a recent New Media report.

The interesting part is Fox it seems is the only broadcast affiliated media company that is aggressively buying these days.

ABC is jettisioning employees (prefering the popular outsource mode). CBS sold off the well known and branded MarketWatch. While NBC never really got involved in the web in any big way.

Guess Rupert's less top-heavy corporate approach can run and gun a lot easier.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Google Wins and Loses against Geico

Though the court did not find in favor of Geico as using their trademarked name as a keyword (which is the current rule at Google), they did find against Google when it came to the ads previously run contaning their name.

The ruling, handed down August 8th, made a point of noting that previous ads did break the trademark laws and as such found in favor of Geico.

This ruling may have consequences if other companies try and seek redress for ads Google ran of competitors that use the company's name in any ad without permission.

AOL Hot Search Lives Up To Its Name

This is from personal observation. We have received some of this traffic over the last 3 weeks and then lost it and the spike that pushed traffic off the charts to one of our sites.
The funny thing was it was converting well, and we were paying so much but this traffic was helping to bring our averages down plenty.

China, China, China

Okay so Baidu went public and is trading at great numbers... though it has dropped considerably from its high of over $150.
Yahoo just bought a 40% stake in Alibaba - the largest ecommerce site in China (part of which is an auction area similiar to EBay).
Sina and Sohu - the two other big search engines are doing well...
This recent MarketWatch article gives a good overview.

Friday, August 5, 2005

SEOBook Rolls Out Another Great Tool

I don't know where he finds the time. But Aaron Wall is always coming up with something. This time it's a hub finder.
Basically you can list yourself and a bunch of your competitors for a term and it finds the sites that have common links for. Play with it for a few minutes and you will be hooked.
On top of that he cornered me for an interview and had the time to write that up too.
I really think he is cloned.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Study Finds Lack of Common Search Results Across Engines

Digital Moses posted an interesting article about the differences in the various engines' search results. Though this is something everyone is aware of to some degree, the actual study conducted by two universities shows just how different the results are.
A white paper of these results gives great details and interesting insights.
Add that to the fact that findings show the average searcher is not too loyal and the potential for swings to any engine seem larger than many may think.
So if a new engine emerges it always has the chance of taking over the space. Well that I think is a bit of a stretch but an amusing thought!

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Interesting Global Usage Study

This study conducted in Chile, shows some interesting insights into the global internet usage.

More such studies are needed.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Is Google Dropping SPAM Directories

There are a bunch of conversations about this at various blogs and forums.

Guess people are not search as much. Maybe the summer humidity drained people and forced them away from keybaords.

Best of Luck.

Guess Someone Graffitti'd Blogger

It was bound to happen. All the ghood ones become targets. So Blogger has finally been christened. Their site was jacked and interesting activities occurred which are available here.

Ask Jeeves to Start PPC

I must commend Ask Jeeves for its perseverence and the new PPC search engine. But my experience with Ask Jeevs so far have been very rough.