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AOL To Use Search Ads to Promote Its…Search

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Fun piece by Saul in the Times about how AOL is using search advertising to lure folks to its portal, where one of the key elements is, well, search. Of course, the key differentiator is going to be programming, of both varieties, and we’ll see if they get that right…

Who loses? TV. From the piece:

AOL had initially considered spending as much as $50 million on television ads to promote the portal. But that changed after the company noticed that the biggest source of traffic to its free music site was free and paid listings on other search engines.

AOL Keeps Announcin'…

By - June 09, 2005

This time, it’s an upgrade to its video search. From MediaPost:

AMERICA ONLINE’S AUDIO/VIDEO SEARCH UNIT Singingfish Inc. today is expected to announce a series of new content-feed partnerships with AtomFilms, CBSNews.com, and Dow Jones’MarketWatch, among others.

Half a, Er, Billion (Not Trillion)

By - June 08, 2005

That’s a lot of posting, folks.

Ask Jeeves®, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ) today announced that Bloglines™ (www.bloglines.com), the world’s most popular free online service for searching, subscribing, publishing and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content, has set a new standard among newsreaders: 500 million blog and news feed articles are now stored in the service’s comprehensive, searchable database.

Update: Got ahead of myself. Saw trillion where I shoulda seen billion. That’ll be next year’s post…

This Sounds Like April Fools, But It's June…

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From SVW:

Google plans to use trucks equipped with lasers and digital photographic equipment to create a realistic 3D online version of San Francisco, and eventually other major US cities.

The move would trump Amazon’s A9 service, which offers two-dimensional photos of buildings on US city streets.

I dunno. My first question is….why?

Get Vertical

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Vertical LeapVertical Leap sounds like a neat conference and it has a great lineup, I had to decline an offer to attend (sked conflict) but I wish I could go. Here’s the skinny:

Search is going Vertical — vertical search engines are available for local businesses, product & shopping search, travel search, weblog & news search, and search for classified & jobs listings, with more domain-specific search engines debuting every month.

So is Vertical Search just some new hype for Yahoo and Google? Or is there real opportunity for new startups to emerge as domain-killer search engines?

Dave McClure of Simply Hired and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech are program chairs, it’s run by SDForum.

PS – Great column by Gary on domain search and online databases here. Gary knows what many of us don’t – there’s great online access to databases that you might never have thought were available, if you only use…your library. And you don’t even need to leave your keyboard to do it.

Yellow Pages Vendors Cut Deal with AOL

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YellowpagesBizWeek reports that SBC and BellSouth have cut a deal for listings on AOL.

The battle over local Internet advertising pits some of America’s most powerful companies against each other over a highly lucrative business. Profit margins at Yellow Pages publishers are often higher than 50%, excluding interest, taxes and noncash charges.

There’s one hitch: The print Yellow Pages business is growing slowly — only about 1% to 2% a year, according to researchers at Kelsey. But the combined business of Internet Yellow Pages and local Web search is expected to grow 50% a year, from about $670 million last year to $5.1 billion in 2009.

(Thanks, Craig)

Miller on Breaking Down the Walls

By - June 07, 2005

Hads01X“No return to walled gardens,” AOL CEO Jonathan Miller said in Bizweek today. Huzzah! I say. The company yesterday announced free email, and more is coming.

So, here’s my open letter to Time Warner, especially given my last post on the value of Google. It’s very short:

Dear Time Warner:

You opened up AOL. Good move. Now, set it free.

Love,

Searchblog.

Google #1 Media Stock….

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Goognear300At least, that’s what Wall St. is saying, according to the Hollywood Reporter (summary only). It’s now more valuable than Time Warner.

Wall Street has determined that Google Inc. is the most valuable media company on the planet. Shares of the company that went public in August at $75 rose $10.68 on Monday to close at $290.94, giving the new-media youngster a market capitalization of $80.8 billion, according to Yahoo! Finance. Meanwhile, shares of Time Warner, which until Monday was considered the world’s biggest media company, dropped 23 cents to $17.02, giving the company a $79.8 billion market cap.

Today the stock is up to more than 297 and it’s only mid morning in NYC. Sigh, how does that make the TW folks feel, I wonder, given that the scars from the AOL deal seem never to fully heal?

Wait, I know! It’s time for a TW/Google merger!

Now, there’s a few things to think about with this run up. First, Google’s DNA is not as a media company, so this might seem an odd comparison for some folks within the ‘plex. But Wall St. compares apples (media revenues) to apples (media revenue), and by that standard, the comparison sticks.

Second, from the looks of early trading, it seems Google will break 300 today. I have this theory about the company – it’s our Web 2.0 rorschach – we see in it what we wish and dream for. We’re far to smart to wish for another NASDAQ run up like we had in 1999-2000 (remember how the index kept piling on 10% increases every single week?) – but we can at least have it all in one company.

And lastly, I would not wish these expectations on anyone. Honestly, it feels like the market is getting way ahead of the company. Can or will the triumvirate manage to them? Despite protestations otherwise, how can they not?