SearchBiz: MSN Staff Shuffles; GOOG Gains; eMarketer On 2009 Ad Spending

AllThingsD and are both reporting on staffing changes at MSN. AllThingsD calls it a case of "musical chairs," and that seems pretty accurate based on a memo sent out by Greg Nelson of the Global Media Group. Nelson himself is now under Satya Nadella, Senior VP of Search, and Erik Jorgensen, Corporate VP of MSN. Yusuf Mehdi and Brian McAndrews are now Senior VPs of Online Audience Business and Advertisers & Publishers, respectively. Those are just a couple of the changes at MSN; it's a holiday week, so there will be no quiz on all the changes in the morning. GOOG gained almos [...]

SearchBiz: Facebook-Twitter Talks Fail; Yahoo Loses On Kelkoo; Google To ‘Take Over TV’ & More

Here's our lead story in 140 characters: Facebook buying Twitter=fail. says $500m stock offer too low. Twitter unsure about selling. Talks over, but FB may try again. The longer version for those not active in microblogging: Facebook recently came up short in a serious bid to buy Twitter. Kara Swisher at says Facebook initiated talks in mid-October and offered $500 million worth of Facebook stock. Twitter questioned the value of that stock, and instead wanted a cash deal. Swisher also says the Twitter folks aren't even sure they want to sell the company at this [...]

Search Biz: Yahoo & AOL, Again?; IAB On Ad Revenues; Debating Google’s Evilness & More

Does anyone want to dance with Yahoo? Well, Bloomberg is reporting that Yahoo is continuing to talk with Time Warner about buying AOL. The report says the two companies have met "in the past few weeks," and are discussing a plan where AOL's advertising business would be given to Yahoo in exchange for Time Warner receiving a stake in the combined company. Spokespersons for both Yahoo and Time Warner declined to comment on the report. Do you see the cup as half-full or half-empty? Despite the troubled economy, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced today that Internet ad revenues [...]

Search Biz: MSFT Spends On Lobbyists To Save On Yahoo; Google Book Deal Gets Tentative OK; WSJ Says ‘Extinction’ Threatens Yellow Pages & More

By almost doubling its spending on lobbying, Microsoft managed to kill the Google-Yahoo ad deal and may also have saved itself millions of dollars on a Yahoo buyout. That's the case made by Declan McCullough today on CNET. McCullough explains that Microsoft spent about $12-$14 million per year on lobbyists between 2005 and 2007, but so far in 2008 that figure has soared to almost $25 million. And if the new Yahoo CEO goes back to the negotiation table with Microsoft, that could save MSFT a lot of money: In return for millions of dollars distributed to Washington insiders, Microsoft could [...]

Search Biz: Google Gets NYC Directions Wrong; Google’s Privacy Headaches; Wal-Mart Doesn’t Want Your Links

From the "How Not To Promote Yourself" file: Google is advertising its Google Maps service on the New York subway system with a few well-placed ads that give directions between points of interest in the city. Only the directions they're giving aren't always right. As AdAge points out, one ad tries to help people find their way from Grand Central Station to Madison Square Garden ... but the directions actually send you to Times Square. D'oh! Not exactly how you inspire confidence in the accuracy of your maps service there, G. But that's hardly the biggest headache Google has at the [...]

Search Biz: Wall St. Flips On GOOG; Google Canning Slackers & More

When Google went public in August, 2004, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made no secret of the company's disdain for how the Wall St. system of analyst ratings and recommendations works. They wrote a letter saying they had no interest in trying to manage analysts expectations and keep Wall St. happy on a quarterly basis. You can imagine how they're feeling this week as Wall St. keeps changing its mind on how Google will fare in the slowing economy. For weeks, many analysts have been bullish on Google's chances to survive the slowdown. This week, they've changed their minds. Silicon A [...]

Search Biz: Schmidt Turns Down Obama; Google Stock Tumbling & More

Google CEO Eric Schmidt may have endorsed Barack Obama for president, but that doesn't mean he wants to work in the Obama administration. According to Reuters, Schmidt told CNBC that he would not take on the role of "technology czar" if Obama were to ask him. "I love working at Google and I'm very happy to stay at Google, so the answer is no," Schmidt said. He is, however, serving on Obama's 17-person economic advisory board. As I type this, Google stock is currently trading at its lowest price in three years, according to a Bloomberg report today. Today's drop is said to be in response to [...]

Search Biz: Google Going Down Under?; Times Selling; Latest Ad Outlook; Yahoo Offering ‘Deceptive’ Ads

Australian media are reporting that Google recently sent a five-person crew to Australia to investigate the idea of building a data center there. According to Australian IT, some Google services cost more in Australia due to the need to route data to and from the U.S. and other countries. Says Google Australia spokesman Rob Shilkin: "While we're investing in our Australian operations, we haven't made any decisions about whether we'll locate a data centre here." says the New York Times might be looking to sell to help payback more than $1 billion in debt. The tip actuall [...]

SearchBiz: Corn Farmers Oppose GoogleHoo; Online Ad Spending In Trouble?; McCain Campaign Upset With YouTube Takedowns

Roll Call this week lays out the current state of the Google-Yahoo advertising deal, and says Microsoft is exercising "its considerable political clout" in Washington, DC, against Google. The article portrays Microsoft as aggressively using its in-house and outside lobbyists to rally public and private support against the deal. And, get this, one of the groups supporting Microsoft? The American Corn Growers Association. A spokesperson told Roll Call that the group's concerns "have to do with the impact on small communities and fair competition," and then hung up the phone. Is online ad spen [...]

SearchBiz: Online Ads & The Economy; Yandex Postpones IPO; Google Apps In DC & Vulnerabilities; MySpace Offers Self-Serve Ads

Many in the search industry expect online advertising to take a smaller hit (if any) from the struggling economy than other types of advertising. But that view isn't shared by all. According to AdAge today, some analysts think online advertising is as vulnerable as other sectors: "Failed banks ... job losses and lower consumer confidence now characterize the macro economy," wrote Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst with Collins Stewart. "We believe this will hurt the internet sector more than currently believed." Google's advertising chief Tim Armstrong says his company is watching the economic [...]

SearchBiz: Mehdi Moves Up At Microsoft; Should MSFT learn from Ask?; Top 25 People On The Web; Google & The NSA

With Microsoft's current advertising campaign still leaving many people shaking their heads in wonder, TechCrunch has an idea: follow the lead of Jason Kincaid confesses that Ask's ad -- the one that shows a young woman "exercising" (ahem) on a stripper pole in her house -- actually made him curious enough to click through and visit He goes on to mention that the sexy ad didn't change his opinion of as a search engine: The ad may tell me nothing about the site’s technology or give me any reason to use it over Google, but it worked - I obediently ventured ove [...]

Search Biz: MSFT’s Ballmer Interviewed, Vint Cerf Predicts The Internet’s Future, Google’s New Anti-Carrier Patent & “Everyone Hates comScore”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tried to present his company's underdog position in search -- and in mobile -- as opportunities "to grow" in remarks at Silicon's Valley's Churchill Club. But he added, "I don't like not being number one" in his interview with VC Ann Winblad. Ballmer in the conversation addressed a wide range of issues, from problems with Windows, to online advertising and search to the future of mobile. He predicted massive growth in the smartphone market but contended that RIM (the US market leader) and Apple's iPhone (the innovator and market maker) would ultimately become nich [...]

SearchBiz: Whetstone Becomes New Google PR Chief; Google And The “M-Word,” & Flickr Founder Criticizes Yahoo

Remember Google losing its head of PR, Elliott Schrage, to Facebook back in May? Google has quietly found a replacement, that of Rachel Whetstone. She formerly headed corporate communications for Google in Europe. Google confirmed to us she was named to the post several weeks ago, though no announcement was made. But her replacement got some coverage -- BBC editor Peter Barron is reportedly going to join Google as head of communications for the UK, Ireland, and Benelux regions, according to this Guardian UK report. The "M-word" has popped up recently several times around Google's search mark [...]

Search Biz: Google And The “M-Word,” GooHoo Paid Search Deal Confronts Anti-Trust Scrutiny, Viacom Wants YouTube Employee Records, & Digg Wants To Sell Itself

Rob Norman is CEO of Group M Interaction Worldwide. Perhaps then it's appropriate that he uses the "M-word" -- monopoly -- in an AdAge piece about Google. Norman has been a critic of the Google-Yahoo paid search deal and has said several times that he thinks it will result in higher keyword prices. In terms of the anti-trust implications of the Google-Yahoo deal, hearings will begin tomorrow in the US Senate subcommittee on antitrust, lead by Senator Herb Kohl. Simultaneously, numerous US states' attorney generals are launching their own versions of that anti-trust inquiry at a more local l [...]

Search Biz: Icahn-Microsoft Cuddle Up, Yahoo Discussing AOL Deal, Google Coming Down To Earth?

There's that moment in almost any thriller, action, or horror film when you're supposed to think everything is resolved, but the bad guy, monster, or adversarial force makes a final appearance, startling the hero and the audience. I'm not implying anything about any of the involved parties in particular, but it appears we're in that moment of the MicroHoo drama. This morning, after talking with Yahoo insurgent shareholder Carl Icahn, Microsoft issued a statement that, while it was "premature" to discuss specifics, the company would certainly be open to discussions with a new Yahoo board abou [...]

Search Biz: Yahoo Morale OK, Musical Chairs At Google, Microsoft, Marc Andreessen Joins Facebook Board, & Tech Giants Fight “Patent Trolls”

Lots of action for SearchBiz today; let's start with Yahoo. Fortune reprints a purported Yahoo employee email that is very upbeat and flies in the face of the gloom and doom analysis going on in the blogs. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports on another executive loss at the company, while Carl "proxy fight" Icahn uses his blog to officially say nothing about Yahoo and the upcoming fight for control of the Yahoo board. Yahoo for its part is lobbying shareholders to retain its current slate of directors, who Icahn wants to replace. Yahoo says that Icahn has no plan to run the company. Indeed, his pl [...]

Search Biz: Yahoo Reorgs Again, Google Not Slowing Down At 10, Microsoft Buying Powerset?

There are two views of the just-announced Yahoo reorganization. An upbeat assessment sees it as an instrumental step toward realizing Yahoo's broad platform ambitions; a more skeptical perspective sees it as yet another run at streamlining the organization in the wake of the upheavals of the failed Microsoft acquisition bid and the departures of key executives. The truth is probably out there and somewhere in between. According to the press materials, the company is reorganizing largely into three new groups: The company is creating three new teams that will report to President Sue Decker. [...]

Search Biz: Fear On Madison Avenue, Google Now A “Froe,” Microsoft’s Avenue A Says GooHoo “Good News For Advertisers,” & Yahoo Planning To Double Headcount In India

In a bit of irony, Microsoft-owned Avenue A/Razorfish's search VP Matt Greitzer said that the recently announced Google-Yahoo paid search pact "is going to be good news for advertisers." Greitzer subsequently qualified (or might have been asked to qualify) his early enthusiasm for the deal by suggesting that it could result in higher prices for advertisers. While a number of search marketers have celebrated the Google-Yahoo deal, traditional ad agencies are expressing increasing concern and discomfort about Google's growing power in the broader advertising marketplace. For example, ad giant [...]

Search Biz: Yahoo-Microsoft Talks Over! Google CEO Downplays iPhone Conflict, Says Google Has No “Evilmeter,” & The Argument Against MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer

Today's Search Biz is a nearly all Google column. Barry wrote about departures at Yahoo and Ask, which were originally part of today's roundup. So today's column is mostly culled from a series of interviews in which Google CEO Eric Schmidt opines about a range of topics, from Android-iPhone competition to whether Google has become a monopoly. Schmidt played down conflicts of interest arising from his seat on the Apple board, as the company seeks to launch the hypothetically competitive mobile Android platform. Regarding his recusal from iPhone related discussions, Schmidt is quoted as saying [...]

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide