free html hit counter March 2005 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Says: Top This

By - March 31, 2005


Google announced tonight that it will up its Gmail limit to 2 GB, and that it plans to increase the limit to…the sky. Really. This is not an April Fools’ joke. I spoke to Google PR, and they told me that they shortly intend to lift the limit entirely on Gmail – well, not entirely, but they hope to allow as much as possible – which in the end, I was told, makes it pretty much limitless. Google Grid, ho! (I did ask them about the abuse of this feature – and they told me they’d get back to me….). BTW, the Gmail site has a cute (I hate that word, but it fits) doodle on the whole idea. Image at left.

Not to beat a tired horse, but why do this? Mail = pageviews. Pageviews = profits. Rinse. Repeat.

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WordPress: Not Good

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Joho covers the WordPress news: apparently the company has been hiding linkfarms in its pages, so as to make some AdSense lucre. Joho’s take is quite considered.

China Search Ho!

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IDG has invested in Chinese search – this time it’s with Lenovo, in Zhongsu, which has “strength in desktop search.” I believe they believe that history will repeat – recall last year desktop search companies were purchased by Ask and Microsoft. Google and Yahoo both have interests there….

For some reason the links are borking my posting system, but here is the article:

(Thanks, Arthur…)

Jump Shark, Jump!

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Shark JumpThe press jumps on the shark jumping story.

An article by Ben Hammersly in the Guardian says Google has been overtaken by Yahoo.

Yahoo is the new Google. Google is the new Yahoo. Up is down, and black is white. This spring has been very strange. Google, it seems, has jumped the shark. It has been overtaken, left standing, and not by some new startup of ultra smart MIT alumni or by the gazillions in the Microsoft development budget, but by the deeply unhip and previously discounted Yahoo.

Echoes of Om’s post.

I do not think Google has jumped the shark. As loyal readers know, I have been impressed with Yahoo lately, but I think this is an example of taking the meme one step too far. On the other hand, this kind of coverage has got to get under the skin of those at the Googleplex.

(thanks, Cory)

News: American Blinds Case: Motion to Dismiss Is Denied

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AmblindsBack in September of 2004 Google argued for a motion to dismiss the case American Blinds had brought against it on illegal use of trademark terms in the AdWords network. Most of the requests in that motion were denied yesterday, I have learned. The court upheld American Blind’s rights to continue its case on claims of trademark infringtement, unfair competition, contributory trademark infringement and contributory dilution. The court did, however, grant Google’s motion to throw out American Blinds’ claims of “tortious interference with prospective business advantage.” I have a copy of the ruling, should anyone care to see it – jbat at battellemedia dot com.

This is related to the Geico case, which is still ongoing, though Google did win a portion of it.

This means the case will continue, and if its findings are materially different from those of Geico, resolution may ultimately occur in the Supreme Court, which is currently busy with Grokster, of course. (More on that in July, when the ruling hits.)

The Man Behind Quits Job to Focus on Site

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Great news!

After seeing my little project go from a small hobby to a large one and

then consume all my waking hours, I’ve decided to quit my job and work

on full time.

I’ve given a lot of thought to how to make this happen, and ultimately

decided that the best way forward is to take on some outside investment.

I’ve taken this step because it lets me continue to grow

while keeping it independent.

I am excited to finally be able to devote all of my energy to working on

and improving this site, and I’ll also be able to acquire some much-needed


Congrats, Josh!

Rackable Gets Closer to IPO

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RackgoogleRackable is an interesting company – it builds the servers which power many of the web’s most notable brands, including Google. The company made its name building servers to Google’s specs, and it filed to go public back in February. But when you read their recently amended S-1, the name Google barely comes up – and when it does, it’s not as a customer per se, but rather as a transaction: Google paid Rackable in shares back in 2002, and Rackable sold those shares in 2004.

According to the S-1, Yahoo and Microsoft are Rackable’s major customers these days:

A relatively small number of our customers have historically accounted for a significant portion of our revenue, and we expect this trend to continue. Because our revenue has largely been generated in connection with these customers’ decisions to deploy large-scale server and storage farms, their capacity requirements can become fulfilled, whether temporarily or otherwise, and as a result they could purchase significantly fewer or no products from us in subsequent periods. Inktomi and Electronic Arts together accounted for 41% of our revenue in the year ended September 30, 2002, and 34% for the three months ended December 31, 2002. Yahoo! and Inktomi, which has since been acquired by Yahoo!, collectively accounted for 46% of our revenue in 2003. In 2004, Microsoft (for which Hewlett-Packard acted as a contractual reseller for the majority of our sales) and Yahoo! accounted for 36% and 23% of our revenue, respectively.

Other customers include Sony, TellMe, and major enterprises like Deutsche Bank.

I’ve asked Rackable CEO Tom Barton to come to Web 2.0 and give us an overview of the real platform web – the bare metal computing that enables all those cool Web 2.0 business models. He’s agreed, and hopefully by then he’ll be out of the quiet period…..should be interesting!

BlogLines Update: The Universal InBox

By - March 30, 2005

Bloglines-1Bloglines announced an update today – the first since the Ask Jeeves acquisition (and the IAC acquisition, come to think of it.)

Starting today, people can track the shipping progress of package deliveries from some of the world’s largest parcel shipping companies—FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Servicewithin their Bloglines MyFeeds page. Package tracking in Bloglines encompasses international shipments, in English. Bloglines readers can look forward to collecting more kinds of unique-to-me information on Bloglines in the near future, such as neighborhood weather updates and stock portfolio tracking.

This is interesting. It’s sort of Bloglines meets search (Google et al can track packages etc.) meets …. Topix….meets…well, pretty much anything. I can’t quite grok this, honestly, which is why I am looking forward to talking with Mark, Bloglines CEO (now VP/GM at Ask). Anything else I should ask him?