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Gaming The Facebook IPO Game

I like numbers and I like stats.  I suppose that’s what attracts me to SEO and that whole “algorithm thing” so much.  Our regular blog readers will remember my rant on May 18th on the Facebook IPO over-valuation where I compare Facebook’s stock prices vs revenue with Ford, valuing Ford at well over $2 trillion dollar if they got the same kind of multiples as Facebook does.  Unfortunately Ford has to exist in the real world where they’re expected to base their company worth on revenue.  What a novel concept.  But that rants done so on to a fun game …

As I’m sure you can all imagine I’ve been watching Facebook’s share prices regularly (dare I say … hourly).  I definitely feel sorry for investors but there is part of me that feels a bit better about the state of the economy knowing that Facebook’s stock is dropping to perhaps what it should be.  It’s still got a ways to go there though.  That said, watching the stock has revealed some interesting insight that I might even jump on if I had a risk-tolerance high enough to view my capital as Monopoly money.  Because I don’t really understand the stock market and just like playing with numbers however I’m not about to do that, but thought I’d share an interesting bit of data.

Facebook stock is following (generally) a trend, or at least has been for the past week.  Let’s say you like to day trade and you have $10,000 to play with.  If you buy each day at 2PM and sell each day at 3PM it would result in (note: I’m assuming a $0 transaction fee as those vary):

May 31st (start of day – $10,000)
At 2PM you’d buy 370 shares at $27.02 costing $9,997.40
At 3PM you’d sell for $28.20 for $10,434.00

June 1 (start of day – $10,436.70)
At 2PM you’d buy 376 shares at $27.75 costing $10,434.00
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.84 for $10,467.84

June 4 (start of day – $10,863.75)
At 2PM you’d buy 407 shares at $26.67 costing $10,854.69
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.22 for $11,078.54

June 5 (start of day – $11,087.60)
At 2PM you’d buy 419 shares at $26.41 costing $11,065.79
At 3PM you’d sell for $26.17 for $10,965.23

June 6 (start of day – $10,987.04)
At 2PM you’d buy 420 shares at $26.11 costing $10,966.20
At 3PM you’d sell for $26.79 for $11,251.80


At the end of the week your investment of $10,000 would have you sitting at $11,272.64.  Not bad – over 11% return in a week.

I noticed this while having a chat with a friend of mine (my co-host Jim Hedger) when Facebook had dropped further at around 11am one day and I said it’s a good time to buy as it’ll go up by the end of the day.  I decided to actually look at the trends as my thought was based just on an instinct at what I’d seen without paying attention.  Turns out I’d have been wrong that day and I was muddling my data from casual glances but if you actually look at the flow of value, there is one.  Some days you’ll come out behind but overall – you’ll come out over 11% richer.  had you bought at the lowest and sold at the highest points in a day of course you’d have made more but saying that is like saying drinking water will keep you hydrated.

I have to note this is just a fun analysis and not meant to be taken as any kind of advice.  I’m not buying shares nor do I plan to.  I expect the stock price to fall overall in the coming months and either way, I’m not a stock investor.  I say this so you won’t take this as any type of advice or think, “hey, I’m going to do that”.  Doing so would be akin to taking the advice of an SEO on how to win the Tour de France, I’m sure I could come up with statistical tips for you there to but a knowledgeable trainer is always better so if you’re thinking of investing in Facebook, get the advice of a qualified professional.  If you ask me – as a long term investment it’ll only be good for a loss in your books.

Follow Up:

To see if things progress along the same path, I’ve decided to track that $10,000 through the week after this post.  Each day I will be updating this post with the 2PM buy and 3:00 sell metrics.

June 7 (start of day – $11,272.64)
You’d buy 421 shares at $26.72 costing $11,249.12
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.07 for $11,396.47

June 8 (start of day – $11,419.99)
You’d buy 422 shares at $27.05 costing $11,415.10
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.02 for $11,402.44
* interesting note – last Friday it picked up around 3:15 too but I don’t want to change my numbers for Friday’s so we’ll stick with the 2PM to 3PM strategy as the numbers below continue.

June 11 (start of day – $11,407.33)
You’d buy 411 shares at $27.70 costing $11,384.70
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.30 for $11,220.30

Interesting to note – it appears that the first day of the week Facebook spikes first thing in the morning and then drops through the day.  If I continue monitoring this one after this week is up I may well adjust the numbers to just a buy at 3PM with a sale at 9:30 the following day.  Not quite as slick at the 2PM to 3Pm standard but we’ll see how that works through this week.  :)

June 12 (start of day – $11,242.93)
You’d buy 415 shares at $27.05 costing $11,225.75
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.21 for $11,292.15

June 13 (start of day – $11,309.33)
You’d buy 411 shares at $27.45 costing $11,281.95
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.16 for $11,162.76

So – if you followed my ill-conceived advice you’d have made $1,272.64 in week one.  In week two you’d have lost $109.88.

For the next 5 business days we’re going to go with the same 2 to 3 buy/sell pattern but I’m going to take the leap and say, “It happened twice so it’s a pattern” and on Monday I’ll be tracking the buy at 3PM instead of two and hold on until Tuesday at 9:30.  I’ll then track the buy again on Tuesday at 2 for a sale at 3.

It’s interesting to note that after 2 weeks we’d have a 11.16% gain in revenue.  Had we simple purchased once at 2PM on May 31st (the first day in this example) and sold at 3PM on June 13th you’d have gained 0.05%.

So stay tuned for more bad advice. :)

Week Three:

Because I started monitoring this on the 31st of May (a Thursday) this is the first day of week three.  This week I’m sticking to the 2PM buy and 3PM sell rate I’ve been using thus far with one minor adjustment, on the first day of the week I’ll be buying at 3PM and won’t sell until 9:30AM the next day.  So on the second day of the week there will actually be two sales.

June 14 (start of day – $11,190.33)
You’d buy 403 shares at $27.73 costing $11,175.19
At 3PM you’d sell for $27.71 for $11,167.13

June 15 (start of day – $11,182.27)
You’d buy 386 shares at $28.90 costing $11,155.40
At 3PM you’d sell for $29.21 for $11,275.06

June 18 (start of day – $11,301.93)
You’d buy 357 shares at $31.65 costing $11,299.05
On the 19th at 9:30am you’d sell for $31.53 for $11,256.21.

June 19 (start of buying – $11,259.09)
You’d buy 353 shares at $31.89 costing $11,257.17
At 3PM you’d sell for $31.76 for $11,211.28

I’m going to stop now as here’s what’s clear … you shouldn’t follow my advice on investing.  My insistence on watching trends and keeping a toe-hold in reality makes me ill equipped to be an investor.

Had you invested $11,272.64 on June 7th at 2PM you’d have purchased 421 shares at $26.72.  If you followed my advice that would have turned into $11,213.20 losing you $59.44.  If you just sold at 3PM today you’d have turned that $11,272.64 into $13,370.96.  So in essence, if you’d followed my advice you’d have lost $2,157.76.

And that’s why it’s a better idea to leave things to the experts. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 7:10 am on June 7, 2012



Google Advisor: Where have you been all my life?

Admittedly, when I read the announcement that Google Advisor (Link removed – no longer available) was here to help me manage my money the first thoughts were about privacy and that last bastion of private information Google hasn’t touched yet: Banking.

Gloved hand that is reaching for banking and credit info

Being wrong never felt so good!

Google Advisor is not (at the moment) a way to suck more private information from you, it’s actually more of a consulting service for comparing bank accounts, credit cards, certificates of deposit, and more.

Google Advisor

As someone who’s setup review sites for various services/offerings I can tell you how handy/popular it is to break down competing services so the consumer can select something that meets their exact needs.

Google Advisor claims that the information it’s showing is based on my data, but a 0% intro rate on transfers for 18months? If that’s really available to me I’m going to have to send Google some chocolates.

Google bought QuickOffice

QuickOffice Logo

Google bought the mobile office suite ‘QuickOffice‘ which allows ‘App-Level’ access to office documents for mobile devices based on Android/iOS/Symbian.

This move seems redundant with Google’s ‘Docs’ suite offering even more connectivity to your documents/spreadsheets/presentations, but that is just a cloud service, not an ‘App’ and you can have more offline control of your work if you have an ‘App’ vs. a cloud service.

Plus you can’t argue with the users, they want ‘Apps’ and will pay for them.

Google bought Meebo

Meebo Logo

I’m not sure if this was related to Yahoo’s ‘Axis’ bar plugin that came and went with zero fanfare, but it’s an interesting purchase for SEO interests.

Meebo is a handy social media tool with some great options for ad placement and on-line marketing. SEOs not already dabbling with the tool should take a look, like yesterday.

If you’ve been managing your Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.., profiles without a management tool, aggregation sites like Meebo are really what you’ve been missing out on.

We know that Google owned properties have more relevance and trust on the web than similar services/products. After all, if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

So if you were using some other social aggregation tool, and were doing it solely for SEO awareness, you can safely assume it’s worth the effort to try out Meebo for a potentially improved result/relevance from your efforts.

We will be doing some testing (as we always do) and will blog about our results to further expand on what the service offers over others. This may even warrant an article or two?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:42 pm on June 5, 2012


Facebook Losing $2,373,373.37 Per Minute

Today’s post will be a short one, a followup on my rant on May 18th in which I discussed a value comparison of Facebook’s IP vs Ford discussing their Market Cap (total company valuation) based on their real-world earnings.  For our regular blog readers or listeners to my weekly show on Webcology on you’ll know that I’m flabbergasted and a bit disgusted by the valuations being flung around for internet companies.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the Internet is an awesome place but to value a company like Facebook at 21.4 times annual revenue is just … not right.  Turns out … investors and I daresay the rest of the world agrees.

So today my good friend Rob Gagnon of Xoomfile asked me via Skype, “So how much per minute is Facebook losing right now?”  That of course got my curiosity up and after a titch of quick math (total loss in Market valuation divided by the number of hours since the IPO went live (333 to the time of this writing) I came up with $2,373,373.37 per hour in lost valuation.  That’s $39,556.22 every second or over $47 billion since May 18th when the IPO began.

While I can sympathize with the losses investors are taking, if we take a step back and look at how we’re valuing companies … this outsider is pretty confident we’ll continue to see additional drops in Facebook and likely other tech companies with valuations this far outside of any reasonable revenue vs valuation multiplier.  Basically, we need toa sk ourselves … what would this company be worth if we didn’t view capital as Monopoly money and instead looked at the numbers as opposed of the hype.

SEO news blog post by @ 8:41 am on June 1, 2012



It’s all coming up Google?

When it’s my turn to tackle the SEO news for our blog I first look specifically at ‘technology’ news headlines for relevance, and then I usually filter it out a bit to nail a topic that our readers can relate to/find useful.

Today’s news feed looks like I just went to Google’s news blog and did a copy/pasta, yet in reality Google WAS the news this morning.

Here’s the list of headlines:

    • Google places is gone and now merged with Google+ Local
    • Google Plus places now features Zagat review information (Kyle mentioned this in yesterday’s blog post)
    • Facebook drops Google chrome as a recommended browser (and then removes the whole page)
    • Google’s new ChromeOS Chromebox is available for purchase
    • Google’s not yet available ’5-core’ Nexus 7 tablet makes a sneaky appearance a few days early on a benchmarking website
    • And a new Google World of Wonders video from Japan:

Google+ Places

First impression?

“Pretty cool, and very personalized information about locations in my area.”

Right off the bat it told me where Dave likes to eat..

Which was funny because he’s recommending a restaurant that’s famous for either utterly ruining every aspect of the dinning experience or totally nailing it.

Google Plus Places
Dave must be lucky. ;)

So like anything on-line:
Zagat reviews aren’t perfect.
Everyone has an opinion.
People have unique interests.

At least this is Google, so we know that it’s trying as hard as it can to learn and suggest things to ‘me’ based on personalization.

So if the first visit doesn’t introduce you to your new favourite restaurant/pub/coffee shop, I wouldn’t write it off, just try it again later.

Stock isn’t the only thing dropping over at Facebook

This image has been popping up in Google/Technology news all morning:
Facebook Unsupported Browsers

Since Chrome and Safari both share the ‘webkit’ engine, there’s almost zero possibility that Facebook is dropping support for Chrome.

In fact I would say this is more about making Opera stand out vs. dropping support for Chrome. Especially since the FB developer page used to recommend Chrome!

Given that FB pulled this link down completely, I’m going to venture a guess that this was even possibly a mistake.

Chromebox for Sale

The Chromebox is a cute little SFF (small form factor) PC from Samsung with the ChromeOS preloaded and ready to go.
Google Chromebox
You can pick one up today for $329.. However if you don’t want some extra hardware, or wait for something to ship, you can download and install ChromeOS on an old laptop, or inside a virtual PC, to give it a try and see what’s good/bad about it before investing.

Thanks for going open source Google, we love you, again. ;)

Google Nexus 7 Tablet?

June is on my calendar for a ton of reasons, one of which is that it’s ’6 months’ from the date that Google said they were planning to launch a tablet ‘in six months’. :)

Asus is apparently the manufacturer, so the tablet will be sturdy.
NVidia’s ’5 core’ Tegra 3 Processor will be doing the thinking, so it will be fast and power smart.
NVidia also supplied the ULP GeForce graphics processor, so 3d graphics/games are supported.

Beyond those stats we’re really guessing based on this leaked info:
The unit that popped up on the benchmarks was running Android 4.1 JRN51B, at 1280×768 resolution, had 1GB of RAM installed, and 16GB of local storage.

So for now this is just a huge teaser and we’ll have to wait for a more official announcement.

Last day for Beanstalk Minecraft Map Submissions!



If you didn’t already know, we’ve been running a Minecraft Map Contest for the last two months and this is the final day for entries!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:56 pm on May 31, 2012


Facebook going to the Opera?

Fat Lady singing Opera logo

With all that IPO cash in hand Facebook could really have a night on the town, perhaps even watch the fat lady sing?

Given the bad press over their profit reports and legal actions from investors, I’d be tempted to do anything that’s a change of topic from ‘stock prices’.

Why buy Opera?

That’s actually not too hard to answer as a nerd or as an investor.

Shut Up and Take My Money
Opera is real technology and has actual value. Something FB needs to be snatching up.

The main reason: Opera has always provided some of the best mobile browser software. My first experience with Opera Mobile (5.1?) was back in 2006 on an HTC Apache (X6700).

I remember installing Opera on my Windows Mobile phone and back then the 1x connection speeds were barely better than dial-up and data prices were just unthinkably bad. Opera Mobile not only pre-compressed the data for me, it would compress data my phone couldn’t render, like simple Flash video/animations and even let me painfully navigate Flash based menus.

That’s right, I was able to interact with Flash based content on a mobile phone before the iPhone was a twinkle in Apple’s.. erm.. eye. That’s how long Opera’s been providing must-have solutions to the mobile market.

Opera is more than just a very popular/powerful mobile browser with unique features… Opera is one of the most complete browsers available on the PC today.

SEO TIP:The turbo feature acts as a proxy to avoid identity issues on most sites.

Unless you are on a secure site or a site that you’ve configured specifically to pass your identity, Opera’s Turbo mode will send requests to Opera’s proxy server instead of the website you are on. The responses come back to Opera, get heavily compressed, and then it’s sent back to you. This means that Opera’s proxy IP is making the requests, not your computer’s IP. Handy dandy!

The IRC client is great and requires almost zero setup/knowledge to jump into discussions with really nerdy (and often brilliant) people.

I used to be a die hard user of mIRC, I even used it to author some scripts to create the first DOS network (SuperKill) myself and my nerdy friends from around the world had ever heard of. Today I happily use Opera’s IRC client because it’s zero hassle and it’s built into a product I already use.

Opera's HTML5 Date Picker
Opera’s HTML5 Date Picker

Opera also has some of the most complete HTML5 implementations of any desktop browser.

It makes sense that if you have to to know how to render/handle HTML5 tags for mobile use, it’s not hard to extend that support to your desktop users.

An input element with a type value of ‘date’ should illicit a date selection box, but of all the major browsers on the market, Opera is the only one that recognizes and supports these elements by default.

Opera’s other features are just as thorough and well developed as it’s core functions. Opera’s application page allows you to turn your Opera browser into a media player/streaming host, file sharing hub, webcam server, private photo shares, web proxy, messenger, etc..

If Opera had been made in Sweden vs. Norway we’d have to dub it the ‘swiss army knife’ of browsers, but for now we’ll have to look at it as the ‘concert of awesome’ for those times when you want one program to do everything.

Why NOT buy Opera?

Price. Plain and simple.

Google is a major partner in Opera, and is the default search engine for the Opera browser. If there’s a bidding war to purchase Opera, Google’s not going to let FB buy it cheap, nor will the other competitors in this arena of mobile/social web dominance.

Right now top financial teams from banks like Norway’s DNB have speculatively estimated Opera at a value of between $1 billion – $1.35 billion.

This is a value based on Opera share prices, and the stock was on a 17.2% rise this morning and hasn’t stopped climbing, with Google finance putting it up at 30.23% currently!

In fact, if you want my personal opinion, at this stage of the game, with FB’s intentions very clear, I’d say the whole deal will hinge on price alone since it’s a sound decision to buy, but only if the value holds.

I’d say you could take that to the bank, but I’m neither rich nor financially skilled, I’m just a nerd that’s been around for a long time. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:54 am on May 29, 2012


FB stock drops as SpaceX soars to success!

There were so many interesting technology/internet developments between Friday and now today that I can’t really pick which one to focus on?

Sliding FB stock prices, Google finally taking over what was the mobility division of Motorola, SpaceX reaching the ISS, Wiki-leaks’ social media platform, and the Google Knowledge Graph.. and more!

If we looked at them from an SEO standpoint I would still have to struggle a bit to pick the most interesting/focused story, but it’s a great way to dive in so lets take a look at the weekends headlines from an SEO aspect.

Facepalm – FB IPO = Uh Oh

Dave’s nailed this one really well on Friday in this post:
Facebook IPO vs Ford (real world) Valuation Comparison

The image of money flushing down the toilet was very ‘apt’ since that’s exactly where I see the stock price going:

The current ‘low’ appears to be $31/share at the moment, with the price currently dancing around $32.50/share as I write this.

Google Mobility

Google already makes some cool hardware for their servers and other projects, but most people I know wouldn’t think of them as a manufacturer.

And yet here we are today, watching history unfold, as the mobile division of one of the worlds best handset manufacturers changes hands with a company that is at the head of the Android software alliance.

Google does a lot of things for free, even at a loss, because they see value in things that others would squander and ignore. Now that they have a hardware division to support this bad habit things are going to get very interesting.

We already know from looking through project glass’s details that Google will be needing a very skilled manufacturer with assets in micro mobility and wireless. HTC has always been very willing to participate with Google’s projects, but they are a vastly successful hardware manufacturer with no visible brand loyalty.

I personally had Android running on a HTC Windows Mobile so why can’t I run Windows Mobile on a Google subsidized Android HTC phone? I probably could, which is why it’d be very silly for Google to subsidize HTC hardware.

If Google can produce the hardware and find ways to keep 90%+ of the owners using Google services, it’s a much safer bet, and it appears to be exactly what they are doing. Heck if they make the hardware they might not even care what OS you use if they are allowed to sniff the data and still learn about users from the data they are using.

The only part of the puzzle that’s missing is deployment of Google owned, Motorola equipped, cell-towers so that Google can offer hardware, software, and services on their terms, in a model that makes sense to them, which would likely mean no caps on network use for Google products?

Yeah I could be dreaming but if I was a competitive cellular provider I’d be strongly considering opening my arms to Google before it’s an arms race against Google. ;)

Google Knowledge Graph

While the bearing on SEO for this news item is rather debatable and curious. The feature itself is incredibly handy and something Google has the unique opportunity to provide.

By taking key points of knowledge and building some hard links to relate that knowledge to other data points Google has developed a Wikipedia of it’s own design.

Knowing the struggles that Wikipedia has faced in terms of moderation and updating content, it will be anyone’s guess how Google is going to maintain it’s knowledge graph without someone manipulating the results, but kudos to Google for trying?

Right now the coverage on this is going to be all the same because the content in Google KG is still being built up, but you can expect further discussion as the service grows.

FoWL – Wiki-Leaks’ Social Media Service

Since this service claims to be private and encrypted, it would be very foul of me to really spend much of your time discussing it.

As it can’t be officially crawled by Google it’s probably going to have a very low effect on SEO and rankings in general. The only real bearing I could see it having is using it as a traffic tool for sites that are in-line with the Wiki-leaks mantra of public information. So if you can pretend that your services are so good the FBI doesn’t want you talking about them..??

SpaceX reaches ISS

This isn’t search engine related at all. I suppose you could point to the success of Google vs. government run indexes, and then point to the success of SpaceX vs. NASA with a bunch of startling similarities, but that’s some serious reaching.

At the same time, posting this on the same day the first private effort has docked with the International Space Station? I am obligated as a nerd to at least tuck this into the tail of the post. It’s pretty cool!

9 Days Left!



We still have 9 days left in our Beanstalk Minecraft Map Competition! Check it out and even if you’re not entering, please let others know it’s coming to a close and we need all submissions by the 31st!

Good Luck! :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:01 pm on May 22, 2012


Facebook IPO vs Ford (real world) Valuation Comparison

Facebook IPO

About 10 minutes ago (as I start writing this blog post at least) investors were able to buy into Facebook.  At opening the price was estimated at $38/share which gives Facebook an overall value of $107 billion.  Wait … let me say that again.  That’s one hundred and seven BILLION dollars (insert into your brains if you will an image of Dr. Evil laughing).

So, what’s obvious is that money in the real world has no connection to money in the tech realm.  Here’s just a few statistics about Facebook:

Q1 revenue – $1.058 billion
Q1 net earnings – $205 million
Members – 835,525,280

So let’s think about this for just a second.  This means that each member is worth $128.06 if things go Facebook’s way and the value at the end of the day reaches $107 billion.  Now if we look at what they earned from their members in Q1 (and I’m talking about profit here, not revenue) they earned $0.25 off each one in the quarter.  Essentially this means that at the current rate they’ll make roughly $1 off each user per year so simple math tells us that the company is being valued at 128 years of profit.  That’s right … 128 years.

Now let’s take a different approach in valuation and look at it from revenue instead of profit.  You shouldn’t … but lets.  If Facebook’s Q1 earnings hold through the rest of the year that would give them an annual revenue of $4.232 billion but let’s be nice, let’s say that over Q3 and 4 their revenue spikes for the holidays and they earn a cool $5 billion; they’re still being valued at 21.4 years of revenue.  Not profit … revenue.

The Real World

So let’s put this in real world terms.  Let’s look at the valuation of a brick-and-mortar company, a little company called Ford.  Here’s their statistics:

Q1 revenue – $30.5 billion
Q1 net earnings – $1.4 billion
Members – NA

So, with the math noted above on Facebook’s evaluation Ford is worth 2.6108 trillion dollars (note: this is higher than the total US deficit for 2011).

So what is Ford worth?  $38.34 billion.  You heard me … the value of a company that shows over a billion dollars in real-world profit each quarter and generates $30.5 billion in revenue in a single quarter is valued at 1.257 times quarterly revenue or 27.39 times quarterly net earnings.

Let’s Do Some Math

As an SEO I love math so I won’t make you do it.  Let’s look at what Facebook should be valued at if the tech world was ruled by the same general laws of reality that the real world is.

If we base Facebook’s valuation on their Q1 revenue and subscribed to the notion that a company should be valued by some reasonable measure of what they earn (it’s crazy I know) and used Ford as the benchmark they would be valued at $1.33 billion dollars (that’s about $0.48 per share).  If we go the route of valuing them based on net earnings and use Ford again, they would be valued at $5.615 billion, a healthier $2.05 per share.

But Investors Are Apparently Detached …

from reality.  During just the time of my writing this blog post (about 30 minutes) share prices have gone from $38.00 (a low after opening at $45) back up to $41.16 valuing the company at $112.73 billion dollars.

Can anyone else see the pin coming that’s going to pop this bubble?


Update: 3 Hours Later …

Poor Facebook, back down at $38.01.  personally I think it’s not dropping below $38 simply because there’s noone who’ll sell for less right now.  Don’t worry, if you want to grab a deal on FB stocks just wait … they will go down once people get beaten down.

Other social media properties have been tanking throughout the day.  Some speculate that’s due to investors pulling their money out to buy Facebook shares.  Zynga (game maker, you’re probably familiar with many of their products … I for one am addicted to Words With Friends) dropped 16.2% as of the time of this writing.  But let’s take a look at their financials:

Q1 revenue – $321 million
Q1 net earnings – $47 million
Members – NA

Their company value is currently $1.425 billion.  If we assume Q1 revenue will continue (which is unlikely – Zynga is likely to increase in revenue in Q3 and Q4) their annual revenue would be $1.284 billion.  So what I’m seeing is investors valuing Facebook at over 21 times yearly revenue and bailing on Zynga to the point where the stock was frozen earlier today based on a multiplier of a virtually 1 to 1 annual revenue vs company valuation.  I think I’ll just go scratch my head and wonder at the state of the economy for a while.  While I’m doing that you can wonder at why companies like Zynga and LinkedIn are tanking.  Groupon is too (down 6.57% as of this writing) but that just makes sense to me as I viewed it as over-valued and then there’s that issue of unusually heavy trading just hours before a favorable earnings announcement (just a titch suspicious – you can read more on that on the Wall street Journal at  Not so favorable (in my opinion) as to warrant their market value of over $7 billion ($559.3 million in Q1).

Note: I may find it overvalued however I do think their pricing is far more realistic than … say … Facebook.  But then, they actually provide a real-world deliverable so they can’t be worth as much right?


SEO news blog post by @ 9:48 am on May 18, 2012



First Self Driving Car is Licensed

It’s official, if you see a car drive by with nobody inside, the license plate has a red infinity logo, and you’re in Vegas, that really happened, you’re not just in bat country.


Google can now legally send it’s self driving cars out solo, with nobody inside.

I had to say that to myself to fully appreciate how impressive this moment is in history.

Sure this puts a twist on Driving Miss Daisy 2 – Drive Harder, but overall I’m very excited about the countless ways this will improve our lives, save gasoline, time, money, and most of all, lives.

Driving Miss Daisy 2
Hopefully Mr.Freeman won’t mind?


Why Buy Facebook Stock?

Lets say you had money that isn’t already invested in proven winners like Google, HTC, Intel, etc.., and you wanted to invest in something a bit different, and for some reason wanted to gamble on something as fickle as social media (remember MySpace?).

Personally, even with that list of caveats, I wouldn’t be looking at buying FB stocks, and Reddit’s co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, agrees.

In an interview that is circulating the web like mad, Mr.Ohanian explains why he wouldn’t invest anything in Facebook, citing their support of CISPA as a primary reason. While I agree that the CISPA support is horrible, my list of concerns is a bit longer.

For my needs I’d want to pick a business with a clear path forward, not one with heavy investments from Microsoft, yet promote’s the competition’s browser :

Use Chrome on FB
This is taken from the Power Editor tool in FB

I also wouldn’t invest in a company that’s decided it’s crucial to place privacy so far behind promotion.

These ‘login to view this story’ roadblocks are a bane of FB and recent studies back up my own findings: people will not login to FB to read something. It’s much easier to highlight the title and right-click it for a Google search and that’s what users are doing.

When you stop listening to your users, and usher them to the competition, you really can’t be shocked when people don’t struggle to get their wallets out for a chance to buy some stock.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:59 am on May 8, 2012


Google Drive is going nowhere but is still moving

I swear there’s Google staffers who are so devoted to the projects they are working on that they don’t know what the rest of the company is developing.
One hand does not know what the other is doing.
If I was working on self driving car technology I think that the last thing I’d do is call my on-line storage solution ‘Google Drive’, but that’s exactly what they are doing and it’s coming out next week.

For old-school nerds, this might seem boring. GMailFS came out years ago an it allowed GMail users to add a ‘GMail’ drive as a file system in your PC. Anything you drag over to the GMail drive would be uploaded to your GMail account as hidden email messages with attachments. Browsing the GMail drive on any internet connected PC would show you all your files and you could copy/delete/upload from any location. It was actually pretty handy.

Sadly GMail’s technical staff saw the potential nightmare that would arise if something changed with these ‘special hidden messages’ and quickly moved to block the GMailFS tool from working before it became too popular.

Everyone using GMailFS knew it was a hack, against the EULA for GMail, and so the move to block it wasn’t a big stink, more of a ‘bummer’ moment like when they realize they forgot to increase the price of your favourite soda in the school’s vending machine and then fix it.

Also, while Gmail offers almost 8GB of storage, using it for files could cause mail interruptions if you were to max it out trying to copy some files between machines. Plus all your mail eats up your storage, and in my case, that means only 3486MB of storage not 5GB.

While prices aren’t available, we know all Google storage limits are expandable for paid accounts. It would only make sense, given the processing needs of email, that Google Drive will allow you to add more space to your drive for less money than you’d pay for the same storage in GMail.

Speculation is that Google Drive will have desktop integration on Windows, Android, and Mac meaning it should be as easy to use as a USB drive yet you only need to pack around your username and password.

Other operating systems will obviously have web access to the drive, that’s a “no brainer“, so even obscure versions of Linux and potentially even appliances like WebTVs will have limited access to your shared files.

Why not sign up a few friends using a DropBox referral ID and get 15GB of free space? Well if you want to use your friend’s info like that, you either hate your friends or they are really understanding. Plus DropBox doesn’t have the best track record of privacy and security; in fact it seems like the hackers lay off DropBox just long enough for it to become a ripe target and then they hack it again.

Even without the historical issues surrounding the competition, this is going to be just like G+ vs. Facebook, Skype vs. Google Voice:

  • If you use GMail you already trust Google with your most private assets, using them for files is no extra risk.
  • Google is a hardware and software solutions provider. Anything they deliver will be more advanced than the competition.
  • Google has a much larger exposure base than the competition yet a much better track record on security and data integrity.

Personally, to me this is a no-brainer, and the only questions I have are how awesome the integration will be with other services?

  • If I upload a music folder with a playlist so I can put my music onto my car-pc, can I open the playlist and stream my tunes from Google Music on my work PC?
  • If someone emails me a file and I wanted to share it with my co-workers, will GMail let me save the file to a shared folder in Google Drive?
  • If I put a huge RAW image from my DSLR camera on my Google Drive, can I open it in Picasa and share a thumbnail on G+ without making 5 copies of the same picture?
  • If something crazy happens while I’m in a Google self-driving car, can I save the last 5 minutes of exterior video to my Google Drive and then later share the pertinent time-segment of that clip on YouTube without having to upload/download?


SEO news blog post by @ 12:13 pm on April 17, 2012


The New Facebook Timeline & Branding

facebook blueprint

There was a really good post from Michael Gray called Facebook Brand Page Timeline Checklist in which he detailed some very important steps for companies to take in making the transition over the new Facebook Timeline feature. Starting March 30th, Facebook will be rolling out the new Timeline format across all Facebook brand and personal profile pages. If you have logged into your account recently and noticed that things look very wrong, follow these important steps to get your new Timeline looking professional.

With the implementation of the new Timeline feature, Facebook release a new set of brand guidelines. The most important ‘take-aways’ from the guidelines detail the use of the cover image for your profile.

  • It is important that you do not use an image that you do not have exclusive copyright or permission to use.
  • Do not make the images an advertisement. While this is good in theory, I am sure it is just a matter of time before we get company’s pushing the acceptable limits of this. Of course this does bring up the question of how will Facebook be policing this?
  • The guidelines ask you to avoid tactics in your image that attempt to incentivize liking or sharing.
  • Do not place contact information such as telephone and address in this image. All this information is available in the “About” section of the profile and appears under your profile picture regardless.
  • The image you use should adhere to the size specifications of 851 pixels X 315 pixels.

Take time to choose a quality image that not only adheres to the guidelines, but does as effective job of showcasing your business, brand or company. This is your first impression so make sure you take time to develop a proper branding strategy. If you are not at ease with image/photo editors such as GIMP or Photoshop, then it may be worth your while to bring someone in to help with the redesign of your Facebook page.

Remember that if you do not access to photos or images to use for your new timeline, there are several sites that offer stock, or royalty-free images free for public usage. There are some stipulations that state you can only use certain images for brand pages and not personal pages, so ensure that you check the user agreement to make sure that you are not in violation of the site’s terms of use.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:26 am on April 4, 2012



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