This story may as well have been published two years ago, it’s a complete retread of every story you’ve ever read about Google (Vanity Googling! Date Googling! Google is really big and cool and new and important! Google has a chef who worked for the Dead! Google’s not the answer to everything, but it sure seems like it is!). At least this time they are talking to some interesting folks, including Larry Lessig and Brewster Kahle. I know I’m way too inside baseball to have a clear view of this, but…this story has run in the Times before. I guess now we know, it will run again, and again, and again.
Jerry visits his hometown (Taipei) and sits for an interview with the Taipei Times. Interesting to hear Jerry, who is not often in the press, talk about competition with Google, Yahoo’s strategy, etc. Excerpts (sounds a bit like it’s been translated from English to Chinese to English, though I have no idea…):
As Microsoft also uses our technology, it means that nearly 50 percent of all searches in the world use Yahoo technology. This coverage gives us the advantage of learning more about consumer behavior and what they want to find, which is a foundation for us to improve ourselves on…
I think I will be a Yahoo lifer, since I still have a lot of passion for it. The Internet is becoming the most important medium, because it is unrestricted from time and space. The Internet revolution has, and will continue, to bring profound influence on people’s life and culture, making it more potential than the time I established Yahoo. Therefore, I will keep contributing to this field to explore the potential of this technology, as well as my own brainchild, until I’m too old to move.
Good cocktail party tidbit from the Register: Dutch fellow posed as a Kleiner partner and scammed folks into “investing” in pre-IPO Google shares. He took in half a million before he got caught…
Among the victims were several financially successful and sophisticated members of the international technology and business community, the FBI says. These include a New York investment banker, the chairman of a global telecom company, a brokerage firm executive and counsel for a telecommunications company.
I’d like to see that list…
Had a nice chat earlier in the week with Yahoo’s Tim Cadogan, who in the face of the paid inclusion dust up has been given, or perhaps even has willingly taken, the role of Explain It, Then Explain It Again Yahoo. Tim knows from controversy and market overreaction, he was at Overture before paid search was cool, and there are some similarities to how the market is reacting to Yahoo’s CAP program. Namely, he believes, the whole content acquisition program, misunderstood now, will eventually be seen as a rational approach to the market, and, ultimately will lead to a much more robust search experience.
Now, I stand by what I wrote earlier, that CAP forces the issue of trust and transparency to the fore, and most small business owners (arguably those most affected by this program) are not yet ready to trust a big company like Yahoo. They feel coerced to pay up, mainly by fear of missing something if they don’t. Tim said he understood these sentiments, and said that only time will prove that CAP has no influence over ranking. He also points out that CAP is entirely optional, and that Yahoo’s goal is to crawl the entire web as throughly as possible, regardless of paid inclusion.
I pointed out to him that if Yahoo could simply state that its organic crawl and resultant index was as comprehensive and fresh as Google’s, then perhaps folks would see that CAP is simply an added value service for URL submission, reports, and the like. Tim responded that indeed, Yahoo stands by its index and results as the equal of Google, and again time will tell.
In any case, whatever your view on the paid inclusion issue, it’s clear Google will make hay on this for sometime to come. Over time, what matters is results, and this is where Tim thinks CAP will bear fruit. He makes the point, echoed by Gary Price and others, that the press pretty much overlooked what he thinks is a huge differentiator for Yahoo: CAP’s ongoing program to index the deeper, structured web, in particular CAP’s work to surface databases at the University of Michigan and Library of Congress. I agree, this is a big deal, and in the long run will matter a lot as the web gets more and more structured (to good end, in my mind).
I noted that perhaps the LoC and other deep web efforts were discounted by much of the press as so much PR to cover the paid inclusion portion of the CAP program, and Tim said he hoped the press wasn’t *that* cynical. The press, cynical?!
PS – if you want to hear Tim talk about Yahoo in the pre CAP days, a webcast of a talk he gave a year ago (thanks for the correction, Brad) is available here.
PPS – Look who has the #1 result on Yahoo search for “Yahoo CAP“. Given the minor fracas that post started about bias in algorithms…that’s pretty funny.
PPS – I forgot to ask Tim, and wish I had, about the fact that when you sign up for SiteMatch (that’s the name of the paid inclusion portion of CAP), you agree to pay .15 to .30 cents a click for anyone who clicks on the URLs you submit. That’s basically embedding Overture into the main listings, and it could get quite expensive (or lucrative, depending on your business), and it strikes me as…unusual. In other words, it adds the very distinct ka-ching of commerce into organic results (yes, I know, paid inclusion already has that ka-ching, but it’s not so transactional – it’s not *on the click*…). A post over at this new search marketing site, The Pre-Commerce Blog, got me thinking about that…
Talking with Bill Joy, Shelby Bonnie, and James Hipkin (runs an ad agency here in town). Back with reports over the weekend.
Gary points us to this speech by the CEO of Northern Light, David Seuss. (Gary also links to Suess’ ppt slides). Interesting, Suess says the future of search is intelligent, human edited databases that are subject specific. The Google approach will stop scaling, if it hasnt’ already, he predicts. (Recall that Northern Light was an early innovator in search which Suess bought out of bankruptcy last year).
The bottom line: Bloomba 1.0 is an incredibly innovative product that turns the way we think about email entirely on its head. Searching, not power-foldering, is probably the wave of the future for serious email communicators. But it’s not yet ready for prime time
Another roundup on the search landscape over at the Herring (registration required). Most interesting find: iPhrase, which provides intelligent “self service” search for corporate clients interested in creating better experiences for their customers online. Schwab apparently is using it to good end. And Gary points out ha tif you want to demo the tech, head over to Lycos’s stock screener application…
The NYT has caught onto web video ads. (For my initial report on this, read my column in 2.0 from last year). The news: The ads seem to be working….The caption from the Times piece says it all, in terms of how Big Media views this: “Such ads have annoyed far fewer viewers than expected.” What do you know!
An online survey of 1,700 Internet users who saw the full-motion commercials, which ran from late January until late February, showed that viewers found them less annoying than some marketers had expected. Indeed, just 28 percent found them annoying – compared with 38 percent of TV viewers, on average, who found commercials annoying in three separate studies. The survey on Web commercials was paid for by the advertisers.