Thursday, November 29, 2007

GMail Offering Group Chat Now

You have to love the innovations. Sure I get pissed occasionally with some of the Google antics but they really are trying to improve the user experience.

I started using the Group Chat today. Not bad.

The Google Channel on YouTube is pretty good as well. Hey they even have Matt Cutts giving lessons on Snippets.

They even are backing the One Laptop Per Child program - with the "buy one get one donated from you" recently.

So you may still need to drop the "Do No Evil" motto - why not change it to "Help The Best You Can".

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Will Google DoubleClick Become Big Brother Or The Borg?

Yesterday a letter from the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust suggested that the merger of Google with DoubleClick could be a bad thing for the internet. It would allow Google to have too much control over all types of internet advertising and content.

The recent comments by Matt Cutts about what Google expects from webmasters - no follow, no link buying or selling, etc. is as Michael Gray said, in San Jose, not law. Google is not the government - though the Big Brother (and hopefully we are not thinking TV show here) comparisons have a little merit, I do not see it as the more accurate coupling.

Google is the Borg (and this time we are talking TV shows). It sucks up all elements of the web and bends them to the Google collective. I am tired of blasting the "Do No Evil" mantra - but it needs addressing.

When it first launched Google was the hippie uncle - cool product, no merchandising, very minimalist. Well look how far they have come now.

I just started to name products but deleted that as it would have taken way too long. Let's face it they are in every form of online marketing and with each entrance they decimate their competitors. Whole industries are dying because of Google and it is not going to stop.

When the United States eventually becomes the third world country its economy seems destined to get to, Google will have moved along to further building China and other faster growing economies.

I hold stock.... and think it a great investment - but I really don't like where they are going with all this. When Vanessa Fox left so did any fantasy of her becoming the Seven of Nine.... and Matt I am going to be looking for assimilation marks next time we are at the same event!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Microsoft Will Show You Your Competitors' Numbers

I had a meeting with a crew from Microsoft today about where we were going in the near future with search advertising with them.

The powerpoint presentation was impressive.... but showed how much they will let you know about your industry's search behavior in general, and your competitors information in particular. Not bad really until you realize they are sharing the same information about your numbers with your competitors!

They outlined top keywords used by our industry, volume available, range of CPCs and other demographic information. We were shown what our highest competitor was spending for how many clicks and what impressions.

We got information on 5 specific competitors - their impression numbers, clicks, average position and average CPC. You have to start thinking. Why do all the heavy lifting when Microsoft will share the knowledge with every new advertiser in the space.

We saw that we had a couple of competitors paying less per click - $4.50 compared with their $1.50 and averaged slightly higher in position and significant difference in their favor for CTR.

I like Microsoft - but they would not let me opt out of sharing my information.... as long as I get this report monthly I can keep my competitors behind me... we have done the heavy lifting and know what is worth buying.

Their offer for help writing creatives was turned down.... we know how to reach the right people why let someone who doesn't run the show?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Getting Directions Guys Can Live With

Google is implementing a plan that should have any guy wanting directions happy to use. You simply go to a gas station and while you are getting gas you have access to Google Maps!

It really is a perfect place for people to get directions - I used to stop at gas stations and look at the maps they had of their neighborhood (they usually were the ones given as part of your local phone book).

It is a major branding play but unless Google allows a bidding war on who gets the maps - will it be Hess or BP or Exxon etc - which would give the one with the maps a lot more traffic - I do not see how they make money (and we have all come to know Google is about making money).

Yahoo Opting Out of Search Soon?

I have to think that Yahoo has finally come to its senses and plans on dropping its push in search. Let Ask run its commercials and fill the void?

I guess Jerry Yang has decided he has too much on his plate and giving up the search battle will allow the company to concentrate on portals and banner ad sales. Makes sense since the search sales people have been absorbed into media sales.

Or is the decision based on the fact they figure Microsoft will get around to buying them soon and then it can be their headache.

I am thinking this since Yahoo is not exhibiting at the Chicago SES conference. They are doing PubCon - but hey everyone loves the drinkfest.... They did not exhibit at New York adtech either - and that was the biggest gathering of marketing people held this year anywhere!

I hope Microsoft gets there soon so my stock can get some value again.