free html hit counter January 2005 - Page 6 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog

As One Might Expect

By - January 10, 2005

No company is immune to this story. From Cnet:

Employee complaints aren’t exactly piling up about Google’s generous stock grant policies, which have helped create an estimated 1,000 new millionaires, on paper at least. But the SEC filings have struck something of a nerve inside the company by offering an unusually candid look into the wealth of co-workers. That’s creating unaccustomed tensions inside a workplace that has long projected an image of collegial egalitarianism to the outside world, some people said….

…The culture has reflected that kind of college-kid humility, with its hallmark lava lamps, colored balls and on-campus free food. Many Google employees outwardly project the role of starry-eyed believers, carrying the ideal of a grand mission in the mold of early Apple Computer days.

A soaring share price won’t necessarily destroy such ideals, but it also won’t necessarily help sustain them.

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Usenet Timeline

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Smart move by Google: Publish a 20 Year Usenet Timeline to promote the new Groups. Fun stuff. Slashdot chews on it here.

UPDATE: As my astute readers have noted, this is not new, though it is to me, and apparently to the initial posters at /.

Morningstar to Big Banks: Pound Sand

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Mstarlogo2The Google IPO has given at least one company the courage to stand up to the Big Banks. Morningstar has selected WR Hambrecht over Morgan Stanley to be their lead underwriter. From Bizweek:

Morningstar is a marquee deal for Hambrecht, one that could potentially bring the auction process into the mainstream. Of course, Hambrecht may not want to start celebrating just yet. Wall Street will still have the last word

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Google Recruits

By - January 07, 2005

Work At GoogleHuh. This is an interesting post from Google. The timing is interesting, the text is interesting, and, well, the rather honest tone is interesting. Basically, Google is saying – we’re having trouble hiring folks. We want more applications.

Now, some will read it this way: We hope those of you that may have passed us over – perhaps when we were a bit arrogant and full of ourselves – will take a look again. Or – we hope those of you that we passed over – perhaps when we weren’t so well organized, and all had our hair on fire, and basically were only hiring our friends – well we hope you’ll take a look at us again too. At least, that’s how it will read to the scores of folks I have spoken to in the past 18 months who had an interview there, but didn’t end up at the company.

But there’s an elephant in this post which is not discussed. The IPO is over, the first thousand or so have gotten rich. Why come and work at Google when the stock’s at 200? That’d be like taking a package at Yahoo in early 2000, right? I wonder if this reality has slowed the torrent of resumes that has flooded Google from the get go. Or, more likely, I wonder if it’s slowed the flood of resumes that they want to get.

In the course of my conversations with folks at Google, hiring has been the one constant obsession – both in how its done, and what might be done about it. Everyone talks about how hard it is to hire the right people, and how the company’s main constraint is talent. And those I’ve spoken with have admitted that hiring was not always done fairly – especially in the middle years of the company’s life. It’s oddly refreshing to see Google reaching out like this. While it still feels pinched, this is quite possibly the most revealing post I’ve yet to see on Google’s often uninspiring blog.

Google to Restrict Duplicate Ad URLs

By - January 06, 2005

It’s been in the works for a long while, but the news is now out – Google is taking moves to restrict how affiliates use AdWords. SEW has commentary here.

With the change, Google will allow only one ad to lead to a particular web page per query, whether that ad be from an affiliate of the web site or the web site owner.

“We’ve seen and heard from users that there are many cases where we are showing the same creative with the same visible URL linking to the same page,” said Salar Kamangar, director of product management at Google, explaining users don’t like this. “Just like with search where we have duplicate removal, we want to make sure we aren’t showing duplicated ads.”

ClickZ coverage here.

Videora – a BitTorrent RSS Reader

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VideoraSlightly off topic, but not so much as you might think: via PVR Blog, I see that Videora, a BitTorrent RSS reader, has launched. Om noted it here.

So why do we care? Well, I’ve long theorized that video over IP will come from the bottom up, as opposed to the top down, much as it has with blogs, and with music before that. This feels right along those lines. I very much hope that we see folks starting to make really cool video and ripping it, some rights reserved, to the web, CC style. The business models will come, let’s see the good stuff now!

Of course, we’ll need a way to find all that stuff, and categorize it, and make sense of it. Search, ho!

Fathom on Keyword Pricing: Up…

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MediaPost covers keyword pricing trends courtesy Fathom Online.

Search engine advertisers on average paid 24 percent more for keywords in the fourth quarter than they did at the end of September 2004, according to estimates being released today by Fathom Online. The price hike, one of the steepest since Fathom began publishing its so-called Keyword Price Index (KPI) earlier this year, may have been influenced by increased demand during the fourth quarter holiday marketing season, or it may have simply been organic price inflation as more advertisers enter the marketplace and increase their bids for top placements on search engines.

Happy Day: Desktop Search for Mac

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Blinkx announced today that it is launching a version of its popular desktop search tool for the Mac (it will be ready Monday). I can’t wait to try it. Release in extended entry.

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The Interface Evolves

By - January 05, 2005

Googleimage05Philip at Google Blogoscoped notices that Google is testing incorporating image thumbnails into its web searches. This represents an evolution of Google’s sacred SERP interface – the company has already begun to incorporate News, Froogle, and other “smart” search results at the top of some queries, a la Yahoo.

I have not been able to duplicate this, it could just be an ephemeral test, not to be incorporated. A9 has a nifty approach to images, where you can turn images off or on as part of a multi-framed interface.