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Search Biz: Yahoo Soap Opera Update; Google’s Mobile Plans; Ask.com’s Creepy Commercials & More
The Yahoo-Microsoft-AOL soap opera continues. (You expected otherwise?) At AllThingsD, Kara Swisher was pretty adamant Monday that Yahoo and Microsoft are not in secret talks right now about a new search partnership, and she called the weekend report from The Times (UK) “inaccurate.” Part of that UK story had Ross Levinson and Jon Miller taking over the new company, but Levinson told AllThingsD the story was “total fiction.”
Then, of course, a big soap-operatic (is that a word?) twist today, as Barry Schwartz recapped a Wall Street Journal report saying Jon Miller is trying to raise money to buy Yahoo. Join us tomorrow (or maybe Thursday, but probably no later than Friday) for another installment of As The Search Engines Turn.
Let’s talk Google for a moment (or several), shall we? On Fast Company, Robert Scoble talks about “Google’s Plan for Mobile Domination.” He makes a pretty convincing case that Google has that mobile religion: search by SMS; GOOG-411 for voice-powered search while you’re on the go; GrandCentral for a more mobile phone management experience; Google’s various iPhone apps, including the already-baked-into-the-OS Google Maps and its GPS capabilities. Oh, and he also mentions one of Google’s latest mobile business efforts — the G1 phone.
Meanwhile, shares of GOOG dropped about 9% yesterday after one analyst wondered, What if Google has two straight years of declining revenue? Quelle horreur!, the market said, and the stock went down by more than $26. As I type this, it’s back up a couple dollars today. Whew.
Search Engine Watch reports that Google has bought 20 million digitized historical newspaper pages from PaperofRecord.com. No purchase price is mentioned in the news release. Bob Huggins, the founder of PaperofRecord.com, actually hinted about this in a July 2008 blog comment on PublicDomainBlog.com.
Inquisitr says that Mike Horowitz, a Google Sr. Product Manager and head of Picasa, has left the company. No word on his future plans.
Silicon Alley Insider asks the question that’s been on a lot of our minds lately: What’s the deal with those “creepy” Ask.com commercials?!? The answer is anyone’s guess, but SAI points out that Ask’s long-running campaign of bizarre TV sports (which have also aired in the UK), hasn’t done diddly for Ask’s market share, which is down almost a third year-over-year.
And finally, put your checkbooks away. BusinessWeek reports that Digg is not for sale. CEO Jay Adelson says Digg is off the market and plans to try to make some money. Perhaps all of Digg’s suitors will listen up and stop trying to buy the company, and we won’t have any more “(fill-in-company-name) In Talks to Buy Digg” rumors to share anymore. That’s a story I’d vote up.