Search Biz: Where’s Eurekster?, Grab Google’s Gazillions?, WiFi “On Steriods,” & Yahoo Readies For Proxy Battle

Google’s recent decision to make its UK keyword bidding policy conform with the US practice of allowing competitors to bid on each other’s brands has drawn ire and threats of legal action. Today brings more such news of potential legal action against Google from a range of travel companies and retailers in the UK. Also angry at Google is BusinessWeek writer Roben Farzad, who penned a sarcastic and even, at times, bitter commentary called Let’s Grab Google’s Gazillions, which laments the fact that Google is so successful and has so much cash in a economy that looks pretty bad for lots [...]

Search Biz: Guerilla Artists Protest Google, Search Tops Online Spending Categories, Google Potentially Moving Mini To The Cloud, Predictions About Google Consumer Marketing

Other than discussion of online advertising revenues, it's an all-Google day for Search Biz: rumors of Google Mini being replaced by a hosted solution, a "public art" protest about Google doing business with the Chinese government, and speculation about the future of consumer marketing at Google. First, the substantive news. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a final report on FY2007 online ad revenues. Online ad revenues grew 26 percent over 2006 and reached $21.2 billion for the full year. Here are the high-level findings: --Search remains the largest re [...]

Google Executives Defend Potential Yahoo Search Deal, Microsoft Releases “Proxy Directors” And Looks Beyond Search And “The Last Click”

Yesterday before Google's annual meeting of shareholders, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page fielded questions from reporters on a range of subjects, including a potential paid search deal with Yahoo and its anti-trust implications. Their argument was that a future paid search deal could be set up in a way to allay such concerns, currently being explored by the US Justice Department. And because of the auction structure of the model, there are no price-fixing implications, Brin said. Schmidt simultaneously reiterated his desire that Google and Yahoo work togeth [...]

Search Biz: Google Ups And Downs, Yahoo’s Jekyll And Hyde Sides, The Revolving (Personnel) Door, & More

Writing the Search Biz column is challenging because of the diverse group of stories that get collected every day. Today there's an unusually large number; however, there are basically three broad themes: Google and the company's legal challenges, Yahoo's Jekyll and Hyde positions on China and human rights, and the revolving personnel door at both companies. Since it's Friday I'll start with the least serious items first: personnel changes at Google and Yahoo. Google has lost another important employee (per ValleyWag) to Facebook. This time it's executive chef Josef Desimone, who reportedly [...]

HP Promoting T-Shirts Promoting YouTube Videos, Yahoo Nixes “The 9,” Craigslist Reaching For $100 Million, Google Grants, & More

Given that we were unwittingly ensnared by Mike Blumenthal's authentic sounding April Fools post earlier this week, we're being a bit more careful and reading items more closely these days. However, one article from Bloomberg that almost reads like an April Fools item discusses a novel program on Google's YouTube in which computer and printer maker Hewlett Packard is encouraging people to make T-shirts to promote their YouTube videos (presumably as a way to get them to use more printer ink). In what is more clearly an attempt at humor, the Fake Steve Jobs blog makes pointed fun of the loss [...]

Search Biz: Diller Keeps IAC Control; Googlers To Facebook; Google Earnings Downgraded & More

IAC stays in Barry Diller's control. US government agencies look to Google's search hardware to find information. Google's hotel-industrial complex that's coming to Mountain View. Those darn declining paid clicks -- will they hurt Google's bottom line? Yahoo breaks out golden handcuffs to retain employees, while Google loses another one to Facebook. And more in today's Search Biz! Remember that fight over who gets to control IAC, parent of Judge Sides With Diller Over Malone from the New York Times covers how big cheese IAC CEO Barry Diller is remaining in control. But IAC, Di [...]

OpenSocial Becomes More Open, Facebook Says No; AOL Flamed By Mag; Court Rules Against Clicking Minors

The big news today comes from a trio of major Internet brands. Google, Yahoo, and News Corp.'s MySpace joined forces to announce that OpenSocial, the social networking platform alternative to Facebook's platform, is going to become a non-profit foundation. As such, it will have a completely separate management and identity from Google and the others sponsoring the initiative. Here's the companies' joint "intent agreement." The stated goal of the new non-profit is to "provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues rel [...]

Search Biz: Probing Wikipedia’s Finances, Facebook Toast?, & Google Denies Evading Chinese Taxes

It's well known that Wikipedia is maintained by a legion of volunteers throughout the world. Structured as a non-profit, the site features no advertising, despite being the #7 most visited destination on the web, and a property that most advertisers would kill to get exposure on. Which begs the question: how does a non-profit with that much traffic get the funding to pay for servers, bandwidth, and all of the other expenses associated with running a world-class web site? Wikipedia Questions Paths to More Money from the Sydney Morning Herald offers a fascinating inside glimpse into Wikipedi [...]

Search Biz: New York Privacy Law May Set National Precedent; AOL Worth Half Of Yahoo?, & Surprise, Google Still #1

A privacy law taking shape in the New York legislature will make it a crime for internet companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent. And because of the generally boundary-free nature of the internet, it would effectively set a national precedent for companies collecting data about internet use. The New York Times says that if the law is passed, computer users could request that companies like Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft, which routinely keep track of searches and surfing conducted on their own properties, not follow them around. "A la [...]

Search Biz: Online Marketing Will Continue To Grow Despite Slowdown, Yahoo Woos Shareholders, & Alibaba Wants To “Close Sesame”

Markets are riding rollercoasters, central banks are bailing out major financial institutions, inflation is rearing its ugly head, and consumers are apparently pulling back into their shells, but none of this gloom-and-doom is even remotely threatening the growth in online marketing and advertising spend, according to eMarketer. The market research firm is predicting that, despite current economic jitters, US online advertising will continue to grow through 2008. Online ad spending will rise by 23%, as this chart shows: According to eMarketer, search will account for the largest portion [...]

Search Biz: Alibaba Gains, Google Loses, & Eric Schmidt Says Don’t Call Me Daddy Anymore

China's, in which Yahoo is a significant minority shareholder, enjoyed a massive 340 percent gain in net profit tied to China's fast-growing economy. As Google argued earlier, it appears that those doing business in Asia and China in particular are somewhat insulated from the United States' economic woes. Back in the US, Yahoo has launched a grant program/contest for female entrepreneurs called "Seeds for Success," through Yahoo Small Business. As part of the program, Yahoo is giving away three grant packages, each worth approximately $25,000. Search engine Hakia has begun to [...]

Search Biz: Google Pays More For DoubleClick, Benefits More From Online Ad Shift, AOL’s Platform A Coming Together, & More

Last week, as you know, the EU gave approval to Google's acquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. However, the deal closed at $3.24 billion, a mere $140 million more. But Google doesn't have to count its pennies during this recession, the company says, because its international growth, specifically in China-Asia, will help insulate the search engine against the US economic downturn to some degree. That same relationship with China, which is insulating Google against recession, may come under fire given the Chinese government's censorship and blocking of YouTube as part of its overall c [...]

Search Biz: Google’s Project Management Tools, Iowa Seeks Microsoft, & More

Click Forensics gets $10 million in funding. An early Googler donates money to San Jose State. The fight to control IAC carries on. Disney doesn't want AOL. Yahoo and Microsoft do research labs in Israel. A glimpse into the internal tools Google uses to manage products, and Iowa passes tax breaks in hopes of getting Microsoft to follow Google to the Hawkeye State. All in today's Search Biz! Click Forensics -- they of the quarterly reports that the major search engines always disagree with on click fraud -- has got different cash coming their way. Click Forensics Raises $10 Million B Ro [...]

Search Biz: DoubleClick To See Layoffs? Walmart Drops The “Google PC,” & More

Today in Search Biz: Those Linux-based "Google PCs" didn't sell like hotcakes, says Walmart. Yahoo gets a small paid search distribution deal with LiveDeal. The fight for IAC continues, DoubleClick may see layoffs after Google takes over, and Yahoo's old CEO might be partnering with a Steven Spielberg-backed network for those who have had paranormal or extraterrestrial experiences. TheTruthIsOutThereBook, anyone? Remember the excitement about those Linux PCs that Walmart was selling, with direct connections to Google services that made some people call them a Google PC? Aside fro [...]

Search Biz: Google Stock Hits New Low; News Corp Says No On Yahoo

Today in Search Biz: News Corp isn't throwing Yahoo a life preserver to fend off Microsoft. Ask loses a (small) paid search partner and gets competition for those women it now says it's not really that focused on (sort of). Google's stock hits a new low, but will it plunge below $400? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says maybe Facebook was "ahead of itself" in calling its ads so revolutionary -- but you might have missed that in the hoo-ha over the interviewer's style at SXSW. And no, Digg's not selling itself to Google or Microsoft. Let's lead off with Microhoo news. News Corp [...]

New Search Engine Land Column: Search Biz

There's a lot of business news in search that we think is important for both searchers and search marketers to know about. But we don't want all the search business news to drown out other things we post on Search Engine Land or get lost in headlines as part of our SearchCap newsletter. That's why we're debuting the Search Biz column today. It'll be listed on our columns page shortly, and you can subscribe to it as a newsletter or feed that way. It'll come out roughly daily -- whenever we think there's enough business news of importance to warrant doing a post. Hope you enjoy it! You'll fi [...]

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