Microsoft Makes $240 Million Investment In Facebook

The conference call is going on now. Here's what the press release says: Facebook and Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft will take a $240 million equity stake in Facebook’s next round of financing at a $15 billion valuation, and the companies will expand their existing advertising partnership. Under the expanded strategic alliance, Microsoft will be the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook, and will begin to sell advertising for Facebook internationally in addition to the United States. The rumor had been that Microsoft would give Facebook the valua [...]


Yahoo! 360 Quietly Slips Away

Yahoo! has decided that their blogging and social networking platform, Yahoo! 360, is a failed experiment, and they're pulling the plug. The news comes via Techcrunch, which noted that Jerry Yang announced it in a blog post on October 16. The Yahoo 360 blog explained the shut down in more detail. As Techcrunch points out, no one really noticed. Yahoo! is calling the closure an "evolution" and promises that existing users will be given a new home. They're not quite sure yet exactly where this new home will be. Presumably it will be Yahoo! Mash, currently in private beta. I admit that while I h [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, October 24, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Congress May Penalize Tech Companies That Cooperate With 'Internet Restricting' GovernmentsGoogle, Yahoo and Microsoft are all doing business in China. There's been bad PR and even congressional hearings for Yahoo about its cooperation with the Chinese government in the country's effort to censor the Internet and crack down on dissent. Turkey and Thailand have blocked YouTube, and so on. Now... Local Search Site Judy's Book To Shut DownTechCrunch first [...]


Congress May Penalize Tech Companies That Cooperate With ‘Internet Restricting’ Governments

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are all doing business in China. There's been bad PR and even congressional hearings for Yahoo about its cooperation with the Chinese government in the country's effort to censor the Internet and crack down on dissent. Turkey and Thailand have blocked YouTube, and so on. Now this article from Forbes describes US Congressional efforts "to penalize U.S. companies up to $2 million if they cooperate with the technological surveillance of political dissidents or share technology and information used for 'Internet-restricting' purposes." The search engines will no dou [...]


Local Search Site Judy’s Book To Shut Down

TechCrunch first reported (confirmed on CEO Andy Sack's blog) that local search site Judy's Book is shutting down and/or looking for a buyer. After struggling to monetize its traffic, the site shifted its business model to emphasize coupons and local deals. The firm had raised over $10 million in two investment rounds. This follows the sale of Judy's Book competitor InsiderPages to IAC's Citysearch and the failure of Backfence.com. Some might be inclined to see this latest closure of a local site as evidence that local's not working. The truth is that it's quite complicated, with little roo [...]


Google’s PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links?

Seems like there is a PageRank update taking place now that seems to be impacting sites that sell links. Can't say that we were not warned about this. Danny Sullivan wrote Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google over two weeks ago, and now it appears many sites are getting hit with a drop in PageRank. Here is a list of some sites, including major publishers, who seem to have taken a hit overnight: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ PR7 to PR5 http://www.forbes.com/ PR7 to PR5 http://www.suntimes.com/ PR7 to PR5 http://www.sfgate.com/ PR7 to PR5 http://www.sta [...]


AOL’s Big Mobile Push

Yesterday at the mobile trade show CTIA in San Francisco, AOL made a slew of mobile product announcements. The arguable centerpiece of that was the new AOL MyMobile application, not yet available. It offers considerable personalization opportunities and a Yahoo Go-like experience. The application seeks to bring together AOL desktop content and functionality in an elegant mobile package, including AOL Mail, AIM, AOL CityGuide/local search, MapQuest, Moviefone, and so on. It features "carousel" navigation like Go (as do other applications). AOL is also tying together its desktop and mobile in [...]


Report: Microsoft & Google Compete To Own Stake In Facebook

Online Faceoff from NY Post reports Google is in a heated battle with Microsoft to own a stake in Facebook. The two companies would like to own a 5 percent and 10 percent stake in Facebook to leverage the huge opportunity of advertising revenue from the site amongst other opportunities that come with owning a stake in a company with such a large user base. Microsoft is reportedly willing to spend more than they think the company is worth to beat out Google in securing an investment in the company. We reported in the past that Microsoft May Buy 5% Stake In Facebook and that Yahoo wanted to [...]


Yahoo To Partner With Mobile Operators In Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong & Malaysia

Yahoo to announce new Asia mobile tie-ups from Reuters reports Yahoo is expected to announce several partnerships with mobile operators in Asia. Yahoo is in talks with operators in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Yahoo's President, Susan Decker, said: We will have a number of announcements in the months ahead, even days and weeks. [...]


Ullah, Google’s Director Of Corporate Development, Quits

Another day, another key Googler departs from Venturebeat reports that Salman Ullah, Google's director of corporate development, has left Google. Ullah has started his own venture firm named Merus Capital according to GigaOM, and has brought with him Sean Dempsey from his team at Google. Salman Ullah is the face behind many of Google's acquisitions. Google has released a statement about Ullah's departure: Salman has advised us that he will be leaving Google next month to start a venture capital firm. We thank him for his significant contributions over the past three years as head of our c [...]


Google And Nielsen Partner For TV Ads Demographic Measurement

Google has teamed up with Nielsen to offer demographic data to advertisers in its TV Ads program. Google is currently working with distributors EchoStar and San Francisco Bay Area cable provider Astound. Nielsen demographic data are being combined with "aggregated set-top box data" in the new program to offer the information about audiences. Nielsen extrapolates its data from a sample of something under 20,000 US residences. I asked Google in email about the reliability of Nielsen's demographic data and about geotargeting capabilities in the program and received the following response from K [...]


The IT Group: Friend Or Foe Of In-House Search Marketers?

The battle lines are drawn. On one side stands our plucky heroine: the redheaded stepchild of the corporation, the search marketer. Armed only with her knowledge and expertise, she stands, all alone. On the other side stand the massed hordes of the IT department. Armed with their "best development practices," their coding standards documentation, and their knowledge and expertise, speaking in their arcane language of such strange topics as struts, asp, and refactoring. In the middle stands the prize—the corporate website. And conventional wisdom says that only one side can have co [...]


Gmail Now Supporting IMAP Protocol

It appears that Gmail is now supporting the IMAP protocol as of today. Download Squad was one of the first to report the new functionality found under the Gmail settings section. There is now a ton of coverage on the new Gmail feature. On the Gmail What's New page, we have confirmation that IMAP is an official new feature (Google has also now blogged about it). Here is a screen capture of the IMAP feature in Gmail: IMAP, in my opinion, totally is superior to the POP protocol. It enables you to use multiple devices to check your email, and changes made on one device show up immediately [...]


Lessons From Baseball: How To Discover & Track Your “Quality Starts”

For millions of sports fans, October means one thing—the Major League Baseball playoffs! And as any ardent fan of our national pastime will tell you, it’s "do or die" time. Without a doubt, the post season is all about wins and losses— with little regard for how the game is played. Similarly, many B2B marketers measure their search marketing campaigns in much the same way. They invest in PPC and/or SEO and judge their campaign’s success solely based on its number of conversions and average cost-per-acquisition. In essence, they’re only interested in the final outcome. [...]


Next Week: Join Us For SMX Stockholm!

The first Search Marketing Expo - SMX Stockholm is next week. Don't miss this opportunity to attend SMX Stockholm, an event tailored to the needs of SEMs in one of the most sophisticated search marketing regions in the world. Register today and join us October 31 and November 1 at the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel. Search Engine Land Executive Editor Chris Sherman has programmed a two-day event featuring sessions on paid search advertising, search engine optimization, advanced tactics, and industry issues. See the full agenda here for sessions including: - SEO In A Universal Search World - Search [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, October 23, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Google Seattle Celebrates a Birthday and Opens A New OfficeSteve Yegge, an engineer at the Google Kirkland office, recently posted to the Google blog about the Kirkland office's third birthday. He also announced the opening of an engineering office in Fremont. Both locations are in the Seattle area -- Fremont is just north of downtown and Kirkland is across... Google AdSense To Launch Code Free Ad ChangesThe Inside AdSense blog announced that they wil [...]


Google Seattle Celebrates A Birthday And Opens A New Office

Steve Yegge, an engineer at the Google Kirkland office, recently posted to the Google blog about the Kirkland office's third birthday. He also announced the opening of an engineering office in Fremont. Both locations are in the Seattle area -- Fremont is just north of downtown and Kirkland is across the floating bridge on the east side (near another company you may have heard of called Microsoft). Yahoo also recently announced the opening of a new engineering office in the Seattle area. Theirs will be in Bellevue, which is also on the east side, near that little-known Redmond company. Both Ya [...]


Google AdSense To Launch Code Free Ad Changes

The Inside AdSense blog announced that they will be releasing a new ad management solution to enable code-free ad changes. Currently, if you want to change your AdSense layout to a different color, format, channel, or whatever, after you make that change in the AdSense console, you need to copy and paste new AdSense code into your site. In the future, all you will need to do is make the change in the AdSense console and the changes will be automatically applied to your live ads. This can be a huge time saver for many AdSense publishers. It is currently not live, but Google promises to rol [...]


Mapping The Southern California Fires

Looking for information about wildfires in Southern California and across the California in general? This page will guide you to what you're looking for. NOTE: Since this article was originally written, there have been many other fires on a seasonal basis. The original story is below. For the latest fires that may have brought you to this page, see this fire maps section of Search Engine Land, where any updates are listed. I'm back home (my original home) in Southern California for vacation, and to welcome me back, the Southland is on fire. Ah, just like old times. As I was keeping up wi [...]


Report: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Experience ‘Search Engine Fatigue’

A recent report issued by Autobytel, based on findings from a poll of 1,001 US adults conducted by Kelton Research, examined "The State of Search" and how automobile shoppers interact with search engines in particular. Below I excerpt some of the general search findings from the report. The big takeaway is in the headline above: 7 out of 10 Americans experience what the report describes as "search engine fatigue." Here are the top-level findings, which the report asserts are based on a representative sample of US adults: --72.3 percent of Americans experience "search engine fatigue" (either [...]


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