Japan Backing Device-Specific Search Tech To Compete With Google

Japan to fight Google search dominance from the Financial Times covers Japan's continuing efforts to subsidize new generation search technologies tied to gadgets and hardware, in part to be competitive against US-based search companies like Google. From the report: The Japanese project is comprised of 10 partnerships, each tasked with a specific next-generation search function. For example, the government has matched NTT Data with Toyota InfoTechnology Center and Toyota Mapmaster to create an interactive, personalised car navigation system. Other partnerships involve NEC, Hitachi and Sony Com [...]


Ad Share Shifting To Internet

Henry Blodget's Silicon Alley Insider has some interesting data and analysis (Q2 2006 vs. 2007) that shows how Internet media are gaining at the expense of traditional media: TV, newspapers and radio in particular. Among traditional media, only outdoor grew in Q2. Everyone knows this intuitively and anecdotally but Blogdet breaks out some numbers. In the aggregate he says traditional media shrank by 3 percent YoY vs. online, which grew 42 percent. The total advertising pie grew 8 percent vs. last year. [...]


FAST Misses Q2 Revenues, Changes Accounting Practices

FAST Search & Transfer said that Q2 earnings were off based largely on a change in accounting practices. The company had formerly booked MOUs (memoranda of understanding) as revenue and that practice has been eliminated. We were informed but have been unable to substantiate that the company's accounting practices are now under investigation. Second quarter revenues and related presentations are available here. [...]


Accoona Files For $80.5 Million IPO

Via PaidContent.org, Accoona Files for IPO from the Associated Press reports that Accoona has filed to go public, with an estimated IPO price of $80.5 million. Accoona hopes to list their stock as "ACNA" on the NASDAQ. The AP reports Accoona's three business lines as online-lead generation, an online search engine in the U.S., Europe and China and an e-commerce consumer electronics retail business, with nearly all of its revenue coming from lead generation. In the first quarter of 2007, Accoona realized losses of $14.8 million with revenues of $37.5 million. The full SEC filings can be fou [...]


LookSmart CEO David Hills Resigns

A recent SEC filing reports that LookSmart CEO David Hill announced his resignation on July 26th, to be effective as of yesterday. LookSmart swiftly appointed Edward F. West, the current chair of its board of directors, to take over for the time being. LookSmart loses its head from the Australian IT has some more details on the loss, explaining that Hills became the CEO in October 2004. He decided to leave LookSmart to start his own online media advisory services firm. Edward West, the interim CEO, said: We are deeply appreciative of Dave's industry experience and contribution to LookSmar [...]


Searcharazzi: False Starts; iCrossing’s $62M

It was about to be one spicy Friday, as Searcharazzi received a call on Thursday from a recruiter looking to replace a top editor in the search space. The conversation went something like this: Recruiter: "Our client is looking to replace the top spot at [name of publication]." Searcharazzi: "I thought that role was filled a month or so ago by [name of person]?" Recruiter: "Didn’t last 2 weeks." Searcharazzi: "Are you sure?" Recruiter: "Yes, I got this job req a few weeks back." As it turns out, our friend the recruiter had been wrong, very wrong, and frantically called back to clar [...]


Compete: Microsoft Gaining Searches; Live Search Club Giveaway Working?

Compete is out with its latest search marketshare report for June 2007, showing that MSN/Windows Live Search has posted a dramatic rise since last month. This appears to be do to the Live Search Club promotion that's going on. Below, a look at the trend, a history of how giveaways for search have and haven't worked, as well as some revisiting to past issues with Compete's figures. First the figures. Below is the share of searches in the United States estimated to happen at each service, based on the ISP data, traffic panel data and toolbar tracking information that Compete gathers: You can [...]


Tolles Replaces Skrenta As CEO Of Topix

Chris Tolles announced that he would be taking over the roll of CEO at Topix. Rich Skrenta, the former CEO of Topix, will be a member of the board and an advisor. Why the change? Chris explains that Rich wasn't having "as much fun" as he did in the past. Chris explained that Topix needs to focus on "tweaking" and marketing aspects, all of which are not at the top of Rich's fun list. So instead, Rich and Chris decided to make this management change. Topix reached the top 20 most visited news and info sites in March 2007 according to Hitwise. [...]


eBay Restarts AdWords Campaigns With New Outlook

EBay to resume ads on Google, but rely on rivals from Reuters reports that eBay has resumed advertising through AdWords on Google but on a more limited basis than in the past. eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy said: I will tell you it will be in a much more limited way than it was before....What we found is that we were not as dependent on AdWords as some people thought. This backs Bill Tancer of Hitwise's data, where he shows that although eBay lost Google traffic, overall traffic levels stayed strong. eBay Pulls Google AdWords Ads To Protest Google Checkout Moves from us covers the backgroun [...]


eBay Pulls Google AdWords Ads To Protest Google Checkout Moves

This week, eBay Live is happening in Boston, but the event is likely to be overshadowed by a fascinating and fast-developing controversy between the auction giant and Google. Rumors from ComparisonEngines.com and other sources last night and earlier today reported that eBay had pulled its ads off Google to protest a planned party (now cancelled) to promote Google Checkout, called "Let Freedom Ring," that was to coincide with eBay Live. Google planned the party to expose eBay sellers to its PayPal competitor. Google said it was doing so because eBay was rigidly refusing to discuss [...]


Good News, Bad News: LookSmart CFO Resigns, Company Ups Guidance

According to this SEC filing/press release (thanks Gary Price), LookSmart CFO and COO John Simonelli announced his intention to resign. LookSmart has been struggling for several years to regain respect and traction following the loss of the company's deal with Microsoft/MSN, which sent it into something of a tailspin. Since that time the company has been slowly climbing back and trying to improve the quality of its paid search network and restore profitability. Along those lines, CEO David Hills made an accompanying statement that the company will see an improved Q2 and raised guidance: Loo [...]


IAB: Search Continues To Lead Online Ad Spending

The IAB released its full-year 2006 Internet Advertising Revenue Report (here, PDF file) today. U.S. Internet ad spending was worth a total of $16.9 billion, with search accounting for 40 percent or around $6.8 billion, "up 31 percent from the $5.1 billion reported in 2005." The category distribution of online ad spending was basically the same in 2006 as it was in 2005: According to the report: Search Continues to Lead, Followed by Display, Classifieds and Referrals—Search revenue accounted for 40 percent of 2006 full year revenues, slightly lower than the 41 percent for the full year 200 [...]


Minding The Gap Between The UK & US Search Markets

A new white paper from UK-based search marketing firm Latitude Group says that search engines are missing out on $11 billion of potential revenues "if paid search penetration in the US was at UK levels." Why? "The US has a much higher proportion of in-house search marketers, who tend to be less innovative and do not operate search as effectively as search agencies, slowing the flow of funds from other media," according to the white paper, authored by Latitude Group’s chief executive officer Dylan Thwaites. Other key findings include: Search engine commissions have had a fire starter eff [...]


Shopping Search Engine Management Changes

Since I've been absent a while (sorry Danny, Chris, and Barry), thought I should first catch everyone up on management changes at the shopping comparison engines. Here's the rundown: Shopzilla: President John Phelps and Chief Product Officer Farhad Mohit have left the company. COO Bill Glass has taken over as president. Here's the press release. Shopping.com: CMO Mike Aufricht, VP Internet Marketing & Business Intelligence Rob Goldman, CTO and Co-Founder Amir Ashkenazi, and Vice President, Global Operations and U.S. Merchant Operations Deana Bergquist have left the company. Here's a look [...]


Safa Rashtchy Leaving Piper Jaffray

Piper Jaffray financial analyst Safa Rashtchy has been covering the search space seriously for years. He was one of the first analysts I recall looking hard at the industry before it became clear to the world how much money it was generated. He's now leaving Piper Jaffray and has sent news of his departure, as of June 30, to clients and others in the email. Some key points from that: As you may have already heard, yesterday we announced that I am retiring from the sell side, after ten excellent years that I will always remember and cherish. The decision was not easy for me and, in fact, I [...]


Powerset Licenses Xerox PARC Natural Language Tech

Both VentureBeat and the New York Times are out today with an update on Powerset, which has won the rights to natural language search technology from Xerox PARC that it hopes will make it into the new Google, when Powerset finally launches. VentureBeat also gives us news of at least one person from Yahoo now working there -- Tim Converse -- who left Yahoo in December. I know others from Yahoo are also at Powerset, as well. Last time we had news about Powerset, I did a big long rant -- Hello Natural Language Search, My Old Over-Hyped Search Friend -- about the hype and history often associat [...]


Germany Leaves Quaero To France, To Start Theseus Search Project

Threadwatch points to a PC Advisor report that the euro search engine project Quaero between France and Germany is now being split up. France will continue developing Quaero to help counter American-based search giants like Google and Yahoo. Germany is to start their own search technology project called Theseus. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology spokesperson said, "We will still see cooperation but in another form, such as workgroups. But the consortium between the German and French governments is over." Past coverage of Quaero: Exalead CEO Warns Of "Google Monster" [...]


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