free html hit counter Interesting Times... - John Battelle's Search Blog

Interesting Times…

By - September 08, 2005

Rumors on Google, EBay. I don’t buy the first one, I can see the second. I mean, what on earth would the Google culture DO with Reuters? Really, I’ve dealt with both companies extensively, I can’t imagine a worse relationship. On the other hand, they might just buy em and run them like an absentee landlord. Odder things have happened…at Google anyway.

Now eBay buying Skype? You kidding me? Of course that makes sense. Who is the largest paid search advertiser in the world? eBay. (Or at least in the top three). Why? They are a *mature business* which has reached the stage of *paying well for acquiring customers.* Skype has tens of millions of potential customers, AND a way for folks who are buying and selling to talk to each other for free. But the first point is more important than the second, trust me. Think AOL and ICQ. No brainer.

SEW says it’s Google’s 7th birthday, but I’ve heard the date is in fact “sometime in the late summer/early fall,” so expect an official celebration as soon as Google can get their doodle designer to get it into gear….(my book does peg the date, but you’ll have to buy it to find out…)

SEW also notes that Google’s index seems to be swelling. Did someone predict this (read second to last paragraph)?! One reader here at Searchblog has also noticed this…see the comments on the left…

WSJ (free link) does blog search engines….

Google Maps + Katrina info via Slashdot

Recovery2.0 meet to happen thanks to Jarvis and others, look for meeting at Web 2.0….all welcome who want to contribute, no pass needed – just work with Jeff and let us know.

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7 thoughts on “Interesting Times…

  1. JD says:

    ebay buying skype for $2-5b is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Think AOL and ICQ? OK, I’m thinking…terrible move!! Even if ebay needed to acquire customers (it doesn’t, it needs bids) how would skype help here? And if it wants VOIP, clearly skype is _not_ the way to go. SIP would cost ebay nothing. As cool as skype is or was, it’s time has past. SIP is free, open and less centralized. 50 million downloads is not that impressive in this day and age.

  2. Jon Gales says:

    I don’t think eBay actually advertises in CPC very much–it’s mostly their affiliates. Every time I have seen an eBay text ad, it is someone using their affiliate program.


    The eBay ad here goes through the URL

    Same with really. And as to the oddness of that example query, I just put up something random to show that affiliates are really digging deep. (For another example, try searching for used underwear.)

  3. If eBay is going into the services field, then this is a very wise move, then again, they could just use the Skype API for their purposes. But yeah, I doubt it.

  4. Manu Sharma says:

    John, this does make perfect sense but not for the reason you cite. This has nothing to do with the auction business. Ebay won’t pay that price if it was just that.

    This is about Google. Google’s growing size and the upcoming payment gateway makes Ebay nervous. Second, Ebay wants a share of the VoIP market. Ebay’s growth in the auction business is reaching a plateau, it needs new markets to grow. Internet telephony is the perfect candidate and Skype the ideal vehicle. More on this on my blog.

  5. Manu Sharma says:

    “SEW says it’s Google’s 7th birthday, but I’ve heard the date is in fact “sometime in the late summer/early fall,” […] my book does peg the date, but you’ll have to buy it to find out”

    27th September?

  6. Robert Spencer says:

    I just don’t see $2.6B making sense for 54M customers… surely a brand-new VoIP brand could be built by investing $10M into the tech and then giving everyone that used it $10 of free calls out to the PSTN each month for the first year! It would be $1B cheaper *plus* build a business that encouraged more use of the PSTN interface (hence, more likely to actually make your investment back at some point).

  7. tclimb says:

    Surprised you bought the press release. eBay needs a new strategy and cannot afford to be left behind by another high growth market. Put simply, it buys them time, nothing else.