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Search Biz: Google Going Down Under?; Times Selling About.com?; 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.”
Gawker.com says the New York Times might be looking to sell About.com to help payback more than $1 billion in debt. The tip actually comes from Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis, who told the This Week in Tech podcast, “They’ve been trying to sell About.com, from what I understand.”
It seems like every Search Biz these days has to include an outlook for online ad spending in the face of the global economic troubles, and this column is no exception. On All Things Digital, Peter Kafka recaps recent projections from several industry watchers.
On a very related note, Silicon Alley Insider reports that ad rates dropped 11% in Q3 this year. Particularly hard hit were music and entertainment, young adult, and social network sites. News and reference sites, on the other hand, saw a 36% increase.
And lastly, ITworld points out that Yahoo, by allowing publishers to block ads based on their level of “deceptiveness,” is essentially admitting that they allow deceptive ads — which are illegal in the U.S. The ads in question are ones that, for example, pop-up a fake Windows warning dialog box. The article includes comments from Yahoo and others, including FTC spokesperson Rick Quaresima, who says the agency would be “more concerned with the cases of deceptive advertising that could cause tangible consumer harm or consumer injury.”