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Google’s Christmas Present = DoubleClick

Today is a good day. As we all look towards a weekend that extends for a couple extra days, as many of us share the opportunity to get together with friends and family and as we ponder all the resolutions we’re going to break in the new year. But for none of us is today as special as it is for the folks at Google – well – perhaps even happier are the folks at DoubleClick.

Today Google, “… welcomed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s clearance of its planned acquisition of DoubleClick Inc.” This opens the door for Google to purchase the provider of display advertising technology earlier this year (on the last day of SES NY in fact).

Now all that stands between Google and the deal is the European Commission. Eric Schmidt obviously ” … hopes that will soon reach the same conclusion.”

But what does this mean for us? Not a whole heck of a lot really – it means that Google get to get better at targeting ads. Yeah, not something they’d do anyways right?

In this SEO’s opinion, the deal in no way compromises the right or ability of other companies to compete with Google. In fact, it appears to be the companies themselves that are helping Google take more and more market share. Yahoo! focuses too much on communities, Microsoft got in the race too late, Ask dropped Jeeves, etc. etc. Google has yet to make a major misstep and has enough trust and market share at this point to live through one.

I would also argue that the purpose of insuring competition is to protect consumers and to insure that better products get a shot rather than being crushed by larger properties. That fact of the matter is, the product (search) is free to consumers – the advertising side isn’t free but is fixed in it’s cost by what the market will bear (which is the same as it would be if Google did have a monopoly) and let’s face facts – while I’m not happy with every algorithmic shift, Google has the best and most comprehensive search utility ever created. They aren’t crushing their competition unfairly – they’re just producing a better user experience.

Now I’m not trying to say that they’re completely following their “Don’t be evil” motto to the letter each and every day. They’re definitely done some questionable things but overall they’re providing the service they promise and they’re providing it well. And to their favor, when something they do screws up, they can shift the algorithm again a couple days later. If only Microsoft had that same ability when they put out Vista. ;)

If you’d like more information on this purchase you can find a great overview on the Business Week site.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:57 pm on December 20, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

Digg For Sale

While there have been rumors that social media uber-site Digg.com has been up for sale, it’s only recently that they have hired Allan & Company (a small but reportedly influential private investment firm) to broker the deal. The price? They want a paltry $300 million dollars.

This of course leaves the question – who would want to buy it? Sure it’s cool enough but what value does it really hold? Well, not as much as some similar properties or they wouldn’t be looking for someone to broker a deal – they’d already have an offer and be looking for someone to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed (oh, and to negotiate the highest possible value of course).

When we think about it, who stands to gain the most out of the Digg userbase (it’s primary offering asset). It doesn’t hold a value or information anywhere near what Facebook has.

If I were a betting man (holdem anyone?) I’d put my money on a max offering of $150 million (if that) and the offer will likely come from an outsider as opposed to one of the usual suspects. Perhaps if anyone … ASK’s around they might find a bidder. :) And no, in reality I’m not saying Ask will be the buyer but that the purchase will likely be made by one of the suspects in that level of the game. Good – but not dominant.

SEO news blog post by @ 5:41 pm on December 19, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

Grisoft Supoenas Microsoft

I’ve gotta admit, I can’t confirm whether this is true or not and I found this info at TheInquirer.net so it’s worth noting that it’s likely true – but not 100% guaranteed (you know – like our SEO services ;).

Microsoft has been subpoenaed by Grisoft, developers of the AVG anti-virus software (great software – I use it at home) for allowing the website www.avg-soft.com to appear in the SERPs.

Well, at least it did. A search as of a few moments ago for the domain by URL produced 0 results – on MSN/Live at least though it can still be found on both Google and Yahoo! engines but not in what any of us would consider to be “prominent positions”. :)

And if you decide to visit the site in Firefox you get the friendly warning “Suspected Web Forgery”. You can see an image of it above. You know, in case any of you might want to go there to download the AVG anti virus software.

So it appears supoenas work – at least, if the story is true. :) And to give credit where it’s due – you can read the full story on the Inquirer website here (Link removed – no longer available).

SEO news blog post by @ 5:19 pm on

Categories:Uncategorized

 

News From comScore

Alright, I just realized that I’ve been missing some press releases from comScore over the past week (caught in filter) and of course – that’s when all the news comes in. Here’s a summary of what the stats are saying this week:

December 13, 2007:
Between the dates of November 1 to December 11, more than $20 billion was spent online showing a whopping 19% increase over last year. eBay has coined the second Monday of December as Green Monday (it is the heaviest online spending day of the season) and this year showed retailers $881 million in love, up 33% over last year and setting the record as the heaviest online spending day in history.

December 16, 2007:
The week of the 9th to the 15th marks the heaviest spending date of the season (likely) with $4.7 billion in sales showing a 22% increase over last year.

Today (December 19, 2007):
Top 50 Websites released. Comscore’s report of the top 50 website rankings is released. And here are the results:

  1. Yahoo! sites: 136,180,000 uniques
  2. Google sites – 131,538,000 uniques
  3. Microsoft Sites – 119,194,000 uniques
  4. Time Warner Network – 119,084,000 uniques
  5. Fox Interactive Media – 81,325,000 uniques
  6. eBay – 80,510,000 uniques
  7. Amazon Sites – 59,058,000 uniques
  8. Wikipedia sites – 55,157,000 uniques
  9. Ask Network – 51,636,000 uniques
  10. New York Times Digital – 47,997,000 uniques

And for the rest of the list you’ll just have to read their press release ont he topic (there’s lots of other interesting figures in there as well) at http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1974.

You can view their other press releases at http://www.comscore.com/press/pr.asp.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:30 pm on

Categories:Uncategorized

 

A Bunch Of Stuff

Well here we are, days later and no posts. I still have dozens of emails sitting in my Inbox waiting to be answered from my week in Chicago (last) but I felt the need to post today. I’m not going to get a chance to get into great detail on the personalization session in Chicago which I was really hoping to but that will take far more time than I have (hours) and so all I will say on that tangent is that I recommend visiting www.seobythesea.com. Great info on patents. You’ll also want to review my past article on the subject here.

Alright, now on to other news. Let’s begin with today’s radio show on Webmaster Radio. Jim and I discussed the Net Neutrality issues that Roger’s (a Canadian ISP). Rogers is injecting their own content into pages (such as usage warnings) and was caught doing so on the Google homepage. The content they injected mentions Yahoo! Here’s how it looks: Image found with a story on he subject on Wired.com here.

Not cool. Now, who owns the content? Is it Rogers for allowing the data to pass to the user or is it Google for creating the content to begin with? I have a hunch we’ll soon find out.

Jim and I also went on to discuss Google DoubleClick and some of their more recent issues. Ahhhhh, will it never end (I hope not – it gives me something to chat about on the radio). :)

One of the points of interest is the filing by liberal consumer parties objecting to Deborah Majoras (Chair of FTC) being involved with the voting on the issue given that her husband (John Majoras) works for the Jones Day law firm which represents Google/Doubleclick.

While the defense of this would be that John is no part of the deal (perhaps but would likely having influence nonetheless) and that Jones Day only appeared before the EU in that battle and that they have nothing to do with the FTC. That could be but I’m not sure why their site would read that Jones Day is representing Google/DoubleClick on, “international and US antitrust and competition law aspects.”

Now all this said, I think it’s all silly. Google has every right to the acquisition in my opinion. The reason competition laws were made was to protect the consumer. Google product is free so really, what are we being protected from. Yes yes, if Google has too large a hold on the marketshare they will control the advertising and then they can charge advertisers what they want right? Wrong. Advertisers will pay whatever it takes as long as the money made is higher than the cost paid to provide a product or service. Whether Google controls 55% of the marketshare or 80% this won’t change. They could control 100% of the market – I’m still not going to pay them more than I make to advertise my product. And have you seen what the bids are? This isn’t about cost per click, it’s about scale (they want more clicks) so the consumer won’t really be affected and the advertisers will just have more clicks to choose from which may, I would argue, lower the cost they need to pay.

But moving on …

We had Li Evans on the show to discuss social media and all that it isn’t. She was an awesome guest and a joy to chat with in Chicago as well. I couldn’t do it justice and so I’ll just direct you to read her latest article (it’s what the interview was about). You’ll find it on her site here. Great post, recommended reading.

So that was the show. I’ll give some advanced warning that I’m pretty sure we’re in for a bit of a shuffle on Google this weekend. I’m not sure if we’ll see one on Yahoo! but we likely should within the next week or two. Both engines have had updates recently and not all the effects were beneficial for the searcher (though in some cases the results improved – I’d have to say that overall they declined which means they will be corrected).

SEO news blog post by @ 6:39 pm on December 13, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

Live From Chicago

Well big apologies for not getting a chance to blog about Chicago before now and even this post will be short. I’ll save all the details until I’m back and can put up some resources for those who attended my session.

After many delays I arrived in Chicago on Tuesday at 9:30PM and the fun began there. After a couple hours of chatting and chumming with those SEO’s that chose Chicago in December rather than Vegas (we call ourselves – the ones who weren’t thinking straight :) it was time for rest to be fresh for my speaking on the Personalization panel at 10:15 after which I had the opportunity to host Webcology (a radio show I co-host on Webmaster Radio) . A great show and big thanks to the WMR crew.

After that it was a Blackhawks game (big thanks to David Dalka – an expert in local and mobile search marketing than I had the good fortune of meeting in Chicago) where they were beaten by the Canucks (being from Canada I love hockey and the Canucks so it was a good night) and off for some blues with assorted SEO’s and show organizers.

Today, exhausted, I got the pleasure of speaking on the “So You Want To Be A Search Marketer” panel. It’s not a panel that’s going to drive a lot of business but it’s great to help out up-and-comers in the industry avoid some of the mistakes and hurdles we’ve gone through over the years. Goodness knows we got our share of assistance and advice from those who came before us. :)

And now, with only a few hours before my flight out I’m off to the Art Intitute. My only exposure to it thus far has been in watching Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (great movie BTW).

Upon my return I’ll be uploading photos, and posting some resources that will supplements my session on personalization. If not before it’ll be up by Monday so be sure to check back – there’s some interesting stuff coming. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:00 pm on December 6, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

SES Chicago, Blogger & Paid Links

Today’s post is a rushed hodge-podge of topics. A lot is going on and yet – time is short. I’m rushing through last-minute stuff to make sure I’m ready to head to Chicago tomorrow morning for SES. SES Chicago is already underway but I only get to be there for the two days I’m speaking. Fly in Tuesday, fly out after Jim and I host our radio show on Thursday afternoon (it’s going to be a great show so be sure to listen to WebmasterRadio.fm). :)

If you want to keep posted on my sessions, the session I attend, eta. you can do so on our website at http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/ses/sesch07/.

Blogger has now stripped links from comments. It appears that Blogger-run blogs no longer accept you to post a link to your site as a comment. As a move to combat blog sp@m this is going to be highly effective. An incidental victim of the move are people who use blogs heavily and comment legitimately. They will lose some of their links and they likely deserve some of them however I’d say that those spanked with just cause will outweight the innocent bystanders.

And putting their money where their mouth is, Google has dropped paid listings for text link ads. My question to them would be however, why are you advertising them on my site?

If you look at the add that appears just today on our site:
Google advertising paid link brokers.
Now I’ll admit that I’m not particularly offended by displaying the ads. We don’t buy text links but I don’t have any special vendetta against people that do (Google seems to be taking care of that themselves) but if the folks at Google feel it is unethical to advertise paid links on their own site, why are they OK with pushing the ads onto mine?

SEO news blog post by @ 7:04 pm on December 3, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

SES Chicago, Blogger & Paid Links

Today’s post is a rushed hodge-podge of topics. A lot is going on and yet – time is short. I’m rushing through last-minute stuff to make sure I’m ready to head to Chicago tomorrow morning for SES. SES Chicago is already underway but I only get to be there for the two days I’m speaking. Fly in Tuesday, fly out after Jim and I host our radio show on Thursday afternoon (it’s going to be a great show so be sure to listen to WebmasterRadio.fm). :)

If you want to keep posted on my sessions, the session I attend, eta. you can do so on our website at http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/ses/sesch07/.

Blogger has now stripped links from comments. It appears that Blogger-run blogs no longer accept you to post a link to your site as a comment. As a move to combat blog sp@m this is going to be highly effective. An incidental victim of the move are people who use blogs heavily and comment legitimately. They will lose some of their links and they likely deserve some of them however I’d say that those spanked with just cause will outweight the innocent bystanders.

And putting their money where their mouth is, Google has dropped paid listings for text link ads. My question to them would be however, why are you advertising them on my site?

If you look at the add that appears just today on our site:
Google advertising paid link brokers.
Now I’ll admit that I’m not particularly offended by displaying the ads. We don’t buy text links but I don’t have any special vendetta against people that do (Google seems to be taking care of that themselves) but if the folks at Google feel it is unethical to advertise paid links on their own site, why are they OK with pushing the ads onto mine?

SEO news blog post by @ 7:04 pm on

Categories:Uncategorized

 

Google, Matt Cutts & Sp@m

For those of you who are hoping from the title that I’m about to launch into a rant of some new found sp@m Google’s been caught for or something Matt has said on how to detect it I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. In fact today we’ll be covering three topics. The topics are … well …

Google
Google today announced that they will be putting tens of millions of dollars towards the creation of a renewable energy source (read: green-friendly) that is cheaper to manufacture than coal. This development would be a huge move forward for the environment and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as coal power is responsible for 40% of those emissions.

When I first received the press release I had a mixed response. Of course I’m happy to see any actions that stand to have a positive impact on our planet and I’m more happy when it’s an efficient corporation that’s leading the way as opposed to governmental body that may or may not run efficiently and has little in the way of accountability. On the other side, I have to roll my eyes a bit whenever I see a large company jump on the green bandwagon for some good press. But there were two things that make this different.

First, I have to hand it to Google – they’ve got a great track record of environmental initiatives. It’s not like this is the first such move they’ve taken. They’ve greened their plex, they’ve invested in green initiatives in the past, and I have to say – I actually believe that they have an interest in the subject past a little lip service.

Secondly, it’s not all about good will. While I do believe that the environment is of some interest to Google – I’m not convinced they’d drop tens of millions on it “just for fun” nor do I think the shareholders who be too happy if they did. Then I got down to this part:

“If we meet this goal,” said Page, “and large-scale renewable deployments are cheaper than coal, the world will have the option to meet a substantial portion of electricity needs from renewable sources and significantly reduce carbon emissions. We expect this would be a good business for us as well.”

Let’s call a spade a spade, this is good business. Be the first to launch a cheaper alternative to coal that is socially preferred. Yeah, there just might be a market for that. :)

I also have a hunch that getting on the publics‘ good side when you’re making purchases that the government (those pesky people) keep taking you to court for competition issues (or rather, the lack of competition issues) might be a secondary motivation.

Matt Cutts
Matt made a great video yesterday of snippits (the components of the SERPs). Since getting sitelinks next to our listing for a couple phrases I’ve become more and more curious as to how they’re generated. I had my theories but recently I’ve started seeing instances of sites getting them that fall outside the criteria I believed were responsible (including our own). Bill Slawski did a good post a while ago on them here if you want to read a great introduction and summary of what the patents have to say. And so I watched carefully and I have to say, Matt gives some great advice but I got more information on how to get the links from Bill and some research than I did from Matt. :)

But the video is great, he has some conversion tips and even some SEO advice he passed on to Starbucks. :)

Here’s the video:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS1Mw1Adrk0]
And Sp@m
And now back to Bill’s site. Bill Slawski has a great post on a recently granted Google patent on how they detect sp@m. A great read. It illustrates much of what we’ve seen over the past couple years and some obvious areas where they still need to improve. It’s a longer read but well worth it. You’ll find it at http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=922.

SEO news blog post by @ 7:30 pm on November 27, 2007

Categories:Uncategorized

 

Google, Matt Cutts & Sp@m

For those of you who are hoping from the title that I’m about to launch into a rant of some new found sp@m Google’s been caught for or something Matt has said on how to detect it I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. In fact today we’ll be covering three topics. The topics are … well …

Google
Google today announced that they will be putting tens of millions of dollars towards the creation of a renewable energy source (read: green-friendly) that is cheaper to manufacture than coal. This development would be a huge move forward for the environment and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as coal power is responsible for 40% of those emissions.

When I first received the press release I had a mixed response. Of course I’m happy to see any actions that stand to have a positive impact on our planet and I’m more happy when it’s an efficient corporation that’s leading the way as opposed to governmental body that may or may not run efficiently and has little in the way of accountability. On the other side, I have to roll my eyes a bit whenever I see a large company jump on the green bandwagon for some good press. But there were two things that make this different.

First, I have to hand it to Google – they’ve got a great track record of environmental initiatives. It’s not like this is the first such move they’ve taken. They’ve greened their plex, they’ve invested in green initiatives in the past, and I have to say – I actually believe that they have an interest in the subject past a little lip service.

Secondly, it’s not all about good will. While I do believe that the environment is of some interest to Google – I’m not convinced they’d drop tens of millions on it “just for fun” nor do I think the shareholders who be too happy if they did. Then I got down to this part:

“If we meet this goal,” said Page, “and large-scale renewable deployments are cheaper than coal, the world will have the option to meet a substantial portion of electricity needs from renewable sources and significantly reduce carbon emissions. We expect this would be a good business for us as well.”

Let’s call a spade a spade, this is good business. Be the first to launch a cheaper alternative to coal that is socially preferred. Yeah, there just might be a market for that. :)

I also have a hunch that getting on the publics‘ good side when you’re making purchases that the government (those pesky people) keep taking you to court for competition issues (or rather, the lack of competition issues) might be a secondary motivation.

Matt Cutts
Matt made a great video yesterday of snippits (the components of the SERPs). Since getting sitelinks next to our listing for a couple phrases I’ve become more and more curious as to how they’re generated. I had my theories but recently I’ve started seeing instances of sites getting them that fall outside the criteria I believed were responsible (including our own). Bill Slawski did a good post a while ago on them here if you want to read a great introduction and summary of what the patents have to say. And so I watched carefully and I have to say, Matt gives some great advice but I got more information on how to get the links from Bill and some research than I did from Matt. :)

But the video is great, he has some conversion tips and even some SEO advice he passed on to Starbucks. :)

Here’s the video:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS1Mw1Adrk0]
And Sp@m
And now back to Bill’s site. Bill Slawski has a great post on a recently granted Google patent on how they detect sp@m. A great read. It illustrates much of what we’ve seen over the past couple years and some obvious areas where they still need to improve. It’s a longer read but well worth it. You’ll find it at http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=922.

SEO news blog post by @ 7:30 pm on

Categories:Uncategorized

 

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