Search Biz: MSFT Layoff Rumors, Google Chrome Complicates Mozilla Relationship & More

There are several gloom-and-doom reports in circulation today about Google, Microsoft, Web 2.0, and the entire Internet sector, for that matter — not exactly how you’d like to start out a holiday week, but so be it. Let’s get started, shall we?

First up, we’ll hit the rumor mill. The Mini-Microsoft blog is getting and posting a lot of comments purportedly left by Microsoft employees who are being warned/told that job cuts are coming on January 15, 2009. Some of the comments are just things heard on the grapevine, while others are from people specifically told in meetings that they have “four weeks left.” The blog appears to be written by a MSFT employee, and most of the comments are pretty obviously from company employees. If the rumors turn out to be true, Microsoft would be following in the footsteps of Yahoo, who just did a big round of layoffs earlier this month, and Google’s cutbacks of its contractor workforce.

Meanwhile, more gloom-and-doom over the search ad business and its ability to survive the current economic downturn. On the Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog Friday there was talk from one stock analyst that search ads aren’t necessarily better positioned then other types of advertising; this analysts expects “CPC pricing and the density/volume of clicks to decline,” and that this could impact Google particularly hard.

But we all know that Google has been going out of its way in recent months to monetize anything and everything they can. Silicon Alley Insider explains who’s behind this: new CFO Patrick Pichette. SAI calls him Google’s “secret revenue weapon,” and says he’s “taking on a lot of the low-hanging fruit” to help boost the company’s revenues.

The Wall Street Journal is getting really good at writing headline-bait these days, and the latest is a Jeremy Liew piece titled Will the Recession Kill Web 2.0? Liew believes big companies like Google and Yahoo are already fully-monetized (or close to it), and that three types of startups wil benefit as ad buyers look for quality and certainty: “companies with large audiences, companies that sell direct-response advertising, and companies that offer valuable niche content.”

If you’re in the mood for a good thought-piece, head over to ZDNet for a discussion of how Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo could be the Internet version of Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

Tangled webs, anyone? Computerworld reports that Mozilla CEO John Lilly admits his company’s relationship with Google is “more complicated” ever since Google Chrome was launched a few months ago. Despite the complications, Lilly says he’s confident Mozilla can continue to build on its success — namely, a 24% increase in market share in 2008.

Finally… in light of our Friday piece on YouTube’s success with music videos, interesting to see that Warner Brothers is pulling videos by its artists off of YouTube after contract talks broke down. That should only help Universal Music’s videos, which we said on Friday are already bringing in “tens of millions of dollars.”

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Biz


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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