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

Study: Q1 2005 Beats Q4 2004

By - April 06, 2005

Once again news that for online media, the first quarter of this year was better than the last quarter of the year preceding it – by 11% – a significant feat given that Q4 is usually the strongest quarter in any media cycle. MediaPost reports.

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AlmondNet: Search History + Ads = New model?

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This AdWeek story reports that Lycos is teaming up with a company called AlmondNet to track users’ search behavior, then serve them high CPM banners as they visit non search sites. Claria has already announced it wants into this game, and I had a very interesting chat with a source today about Yahoo’s attempts to do something similar on its own network. The net net: it’s hard to do well, and there are major privacy issues.

Of course, one of the major goals of any publisher is turning low CPM impressions into high CPM impressions. If only they knew what their readers’ wanted, and could serve them ads which understood that intent in real time. To quote from the AdWeek piece:

AlmondNet has struck deals with undisclosed ISPs and adware companies to collect non-personally identifiable search behavior through cookies. The search data is then used by AlmondNet’s Post-Search broker network, which buys low-priced run-of-site inventory from publishers, to display graphical ads tied to previous search behavior.

For example, a user who searched for “health insurance” on Google might later see a banner ad on a weather site reading, “Looking for health insurance? Click here for low-cost options.”

“Forty percent of online advertising spending goes to search engines, but people spend less than 5 percent of their time on search engines,” said Roy Shkedi, CEO of AlmondNet. “Something doesn’t add up.”

You know what doesn’t add up for me? The “undisclosed ISPs and adware companies.” Behavioral networks are nothing new, but clearly this idea is gaining momentum. If it is going to really work, we have to have transparency, period. I want a dashboard for my data, I want to know how it’s being used, and i want to edit it at my will. Nothing less will work, in the long run, or should, to my mind. Give that to consumers, and this space will not only heat up, it will take off.

Bray In ACM Queue

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Tim Bray, now at Sun, is interviewed in this issue of ACM Queue. A fine read, in particular if you like history and present day issues around RSS, RDF, and XML. Tim was one of the first folks I spoke to about search, and I’m very glad I did.


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This is a very clear stat, from “Circulation Dropping” – a site that monitors publishing.

Revenue for newspaper websites, year 2004, aggregate:

$1.19 billion, with nearly half that amount coming from classifieds.

Revenue for google adwords, year 2004:

$3.143 billion;roughly half that amount on google, the other half on third-party websites (the adsense program).

Likelihood of only newspaper classifieds growing 25% this year, given the lower costs and better reach offered by others?


I believe the 25% growth figure is a nod to the growth of paid search. Paints a pretty bleak picture for newspapers’ online growth, but I think in fact there is hope. Papers are centers of the community, and even with craigslist and Google, they can make hay there if they watch their costs and leverage their position. Will they overtake the platforms? No. But they can beat craigslist by joining em….

Click Fraud Update: Class Action Filed In Arkansas

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It was simply a matter of time: From the Dow Jones newswires comes word of a class action lawsuit filed in Arkansas by Lanes Collectibles and several other advertisers. The suit names 11 engines, including Google, Looksmart, Ask, etc. Is this a big deal? Hard to say, yet. I’ve been looking into this for a while now, and will have more as I can report it.

Webbys Move to NYC

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WebbysI’ve always been a fan of the Webbys, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek celebration of all that is good on the Web. I am also a fan and friend of Tiffany Shlain, the Webby’s creator and creative director. The past few years have been hard on the event, which was scaled back to online only, but this year its back with a vengeance – it will move to New York and be hosted by the Daily Show’s Rob Corddry.

I’ve been a judge of the Webbys for years, and this year is no exception. I’ve also seen the hard times Tiffany and her team had to endure – including the struggle to get the event out from under the somewhat suffocating embrace of the wrong owner. They managed to do just that last year, and now more independent, the event is once again finding its voice. I very much wish it well, and hope that in the move to NYC, it won’t forget its California roots.

Google Personal Video

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Some news I saw today reminded me of another conversation with Eric, one that had to do with Google and personal video. I asked him what problem Google might tackle next. Here’s a tidbit from my upcoming book:

By all means, do tell, I urged him. What might you build next? “We understand that video is the next holy grail,” Schmidt replied. “How many camcorder tapes do you have?”

I answered that I had no idea, but a lot, at least a box full. “If the average reasonably high income person had a hundred each, that’s millions and millions of tapes,” Schmidt said. “That certainly sounds like an unsolved problem.”

So is that it? The future of Google is – indexing your old video collection? Somehow, I figured Schimdt was being a bit disingenuous.

Not exactly. According to Paid Content, today at the National Cable Show Larry Page announced that “the company is about to launch a test of personal video submissions.” More: “We don’t know what we’re going to get,” he added after the session. “It’s kind of the long tail of video content.” Also from Paid Content: Google Guys Go to the National Show.

Update: Cnet reports.

Searchblog Experiments With Y!Q

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Y!QsblogThanks to my uber geek buddy Scot at Birdhouse, Searchblog now supports Y!Q on permalink pages. Check it out here, for example. Please let me know if you like it, as I’ve said before, I really like the idea of testing out new stuff on this site. If readers like it I’ll put in on the home page. For more on the Y!Q Publisher program, head here. And thanks, Jeremy, for including me in the Yahoo test program.