Friday, March 31, 2006

Early April Fool's Jumps

People want to be up and gaining PR for all sorts of April Fools' pranks. But when I was a kid if you started early or went past the time the joke was supposed to be on you.

Here is a post that hit me ealier today - annoying when you have to read some of it twice just to make sure your eyes were working.

The user survey by EMarketer I could not find on the Emarketer site... so is this an prank or a press release from Emarketer?

Google Map Developers Get A Hand

The popularity of MashUps.... the API development of variations of the Google Maps pins etc. - has grown rapidly. Many of the serious developers have had to work within the ad delivery that Google offsets the expenses with... That is until Monday.

PushPin is launching their own assistance program - obviously for serious marketers at $1,600 a month. But it drops the ads and provides some dedicated support.

EWeek gives an overview but the future of this effort is worth watching.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Google Wins BioPiracy Award

Okay this seems a little silly but the efforts of Google to create a database of genes has brought them under fire from those people who oppose what can happen when we have such a database.
According to the Coalition Against BioPiracy who hold the Captain Hook Awards, Google will create a scarry world like the movie "Gattaca". Come on... though Big Brother is out there, he is not hiding here yet.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Google to be added to S&P 500 March 31st

Guess Google gets the nod of being a solid indicator of the internet's contribution to the financial economy. It is getting added to the S&P 500 Index on Friday.
According to a story by UPI will be replacing energy group Burlington Resources.
The Finacial Times also wrote about this last week.

Monday, March 27, 2006 Using Jambo to Provide Pay Per Call

Okay discussions of the growth of Local Search in 2006 have been made here earlier in the year, but this report was worth noting. Interchange that runs as well as and even sms messaging for is continuing to push the development of Local Search.

I will keep an eye out for more news about the local search industry.... it is something we need to add to the SEM arsenal if it has not already.

Google Hires Bram Moolenaar: Text Editing Guru

Bram Moolenaar, the philantropic linux-programmer whose Vim is an extension or continuance of Unix editor Vi, is a recent addition to the Google Supreme Collection of Engineers....

Given Google is about to push an online word or text processing program to meet Microsoft in the on demand program, he seems like a smart addition to the Google Team.

Wonder who Bill reaches out to as a counter, or will Yahoo! get into it as well?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Google Launches Finance Section

Google launched its counter to Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money today - making a big statement about its intention to compete in the information portal areas. Obviously the Finance section is an interesting if not obvious choice to start with.

Finance is the biggest growth area of the web. Not only does it attract a high number of searchers looking for all types of information, but the people that work in the space have been involved with search marketing for quite some time and most of the really competitive PPC areas fall under some aspect of Finance.

Reuters does a good report on the impact.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Google showing Tax Id Numbers and Much More

As per usual Orion, aka Dr Garcia, has started a thoroughly interesting thread over at Search Engine Watch.

This time it is the lack of security many websites have and how Google can be used to find these security flaws.

Hey in one of them you can see the Tax Id. number for the California branch of The Church of Scientology.... that should get Tom Cruise and John Travolta's attention... so either the Mission Impossible team is about to hack Google - or Johhny's Pulp Fiction character is going to whack Larry and Sergie.

Now where are the scantily-clad female support characters???? That could be the stink going around on Google ads about preteen sex.

Google is getting exciting again.....

Web Site Sues Over Dropped Google Listings

I can't believe the desperation websites fall to when they lose their spots in the Google SERPs. blames Google for an 80% drop in business because they fell in the search results.

Talk about someone wasting their money.... though they may get a whole bunch of free traffic that could make up for the loss... and the extra links to their site could push them back to the top for their terms again.... so it could be a clever ploy.

Let's see what happens!!!

MSN AdCenter Pushing Out More Traffic

Was sent this email today from MSN.

Just a short note this time: on Wednesday, March 22, we’ll be raising adCenter traffic levels to 70%. AdCenter customers should start to see an impact to their campaigns beginning Thursday, March 23, however it may take several days to reach 70%. Just like last time, your budget may be impacted due to the increase. Also, as more traffic is directed to adCenter, you should expect a decrease in traffic from your Yahoo! Search campaigns.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

MSN Spaces to Take on MySpace?

MSN Spaces is initiating its version of MySpace in the UK. The bog version will allow users to post videos from cell phones (size limits) and pics and other media.
It will be interesting to see how this one develops. Guess Google is not the only one to spread its base recently.

The Value of Directory Listings

It seems there is always a time when directories are being examined for their worth. Do they help with organic SERPs? What is happening with DMOZ - the Directory Project in Flux? What happens with Yahoo! links now that they have highly ranked sites using Google Analytics? Is there value in directory listings - either from direct traffic or their impact on your SERPs?

Best of the Web is a directory that has been around for a long. Started in 1994 as another of the "Best Of" review sites that were a popular way, prior to effective search engines, to find sites on the web. A time when "random surfer" behavior was at its peak, establish the directory with "web age" and numerous pages of listings well placed in the search engines.

BOTW is $49.95 a listing, well under the $300 of Yahoo! Directory.

Careful examination of the position and development of any directory is the best method of assessing its worth for listing. There are numerous lists of directories to make a start with. Just evaluate the benefits.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 Pushing Local Search in TV Ads

I saw the ad the other night. Straight to the point... use Ask to find out about local needs. Plumbers, pizza, hospitals - all the highlighted points from the local interface.

It is interesting how the search engines are starting to compete for branding on television to get people to use their search engines. MSN had been doing it for a little while - though have not seen any recently. Superpages and Verizona are also using the TV to brand local search.

Obviously the engines see this as being the next big area where they can drive more traffic to the engines. I have to admit I agree... we may have hit the wall where growth of regular search will no longer grow at expontential numbers like before. The growth will be equal to the growth in users of the web and a small incremental increase as it becomes more widely used to gather information - but the numbers are reaching saturation and this push to show people other ways of using search has scope and huge growth potential. Obviously the engines agree as they are working with the old method of local search - phone directories.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Loving and Hating Google

Danny Sullivan opened a Pandora's Box over at with his articles 25 Things I Love About Google, and the opposite side, 25 Things I Hate About Google.

It is an educated, slightly satiric overview of the pros and cons of Google.

That was until the pposters got at it in the forums. Now mayhem prevails and the lovers and haters are out in force.

Check it out it makes for entertaining reading.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Accoona Trying New Search Directions

Accoona is trying to push the search envelop with the annoucement last week of their search portal.
The company is developing an AI approach to search with search segmentation similiar to the personal search methods used by other engines but with some interesting changes.

One of the enhanced search engine's new sets of functions, called the News function, enables users to instantly cross-reference search keywords to a suite of frequently used data-search categories. Users are presented with a set of eight drop-down buttons that allow results to be prioritized; refined by time period, media outlet, company name, country, or state; cross-referenced to a list of people; or differentiated by media type.
Information Week.

They are also developing a business segment that allows searchers to set the data sources for their searches.

This may be worth keeping an eye on.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Policing Web Becoming More of a Reality

The freedom of the internet is coming under a lot of pressure lately. Google's Orkut seems to be a haven for child pornographers and drug dealers in Brazil. The Federal government suggests Google deliver user information in 21 days. Censorship of search results delivered in China is the norm for Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

The question really is how much freedom should there be. We have freedom of speech but cannot yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. Child pornographers should not be protected by such freedom.

If the Chinese government can determine what gets seen by searchers in their country, the same should be available to fight serious crime. I understand Google does not want its information shared - the possibility of it somehow getting into its competitors' hands is more their concern than the privacy issues they are using to argue not handing over the data.

This global village needs a realistic view of what freedoms it is entitled to. I will glaldy allow my information to be given to the government if it helps stop terrorism or criminal acts against children etc.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Forget Click Fraud, There Are Now Click Terrorists

I cannot believe it, we received a threat from a disgruntled business associate that he would organise a campaign to cost us money through PPC.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before this occurred.

Have a problem with someone who advertises on search engines? Don't go for the let's boycott the company products routine - the cry has become let's cost them money and click on their PPC links.

Since it becomes a group activity it is even more difficult to track than other click fraud. Though no doubt some enterprising terrorist will set up AdSense and Yahoo Ad accounts for the activists' website so the click actions also fund the groups other activities.

It's a Brave New World.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Google Shows Financial Forecast for 2006 By Mistake

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google posted financial information about 2006 without intention. Though this slip seems to be another slight fumble the Big G has made in the opening months of this year, the predicted number of $9.5 billion is interesting considering a recent forecast by eMarketer of search reaching $10 billion by 2009.

Could Google have been letting people know that recent predictions were way off?

Monday, March 6, 2006

251 result in MSN Never Seen

Funny how things are discovered... I was trying to see what other terms Stanford may be running spam pages on when I find that MSN will only give you 25 pages of results for any search.
So if you are beyond 250 in the SERPs you can't even see where you are... this link shows what I mean

I was trying to get to the 29th page but if you see on the page I am just getting page 25. It stops there... you tell this also by the number in the string srch_type=0&first=281 the starting result should be 281 for page 29 but it does not load.

Could be a bug.... or the MSN wall is 25 pages deep... or actually 250 results deep.

Women's Internet Worth $600 million, branded as the "women's internet", was bought today by NBC Universal for $600 million, according to

So the women's side of the web has been given a value and a low one at that!

Google Easy On Stanford Spam

I came across an organic listing for a high-end AdWords' keyword and was surprised at first to see a Stanford edu page.
Guess Larry and Sergie are supplementing their donations to their Alma Mata via the organic listings. Come on guys you talk about church and state division and have been really lenient with the various transgrassions of your old school.
Seems to me at this stage you should have it flagged to doublecheck what is coming form there. After all the university does hold a bunch of your research and information. What are the odds a few grad students with access are looking for ways to pay their school bills.