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Gates to Pay Search Engine Users?

By - December 09, 2005

GatesmoneyFrom this Infoworld article:

Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) Corp. will share a part of its advertising revenues from its search engine with users, the company’s chairman Bill Gates said in a panel discussion on an Indian television channel.

Gates said that search engines like Google (Profile, Products, Articles) Inc. get their revenues from advertising because people use these search engines. “Google’s business model is not based on free software,” Gates said. “Their business model is based on advertisements from which they make a lot of money.”

But they don’t share these advertising revenues with the end users who help them get the revenue, Gates said. “Google keeps all of the money with itself,” he added.

(Through its AdSense program, Google does share advertising revenue with Web site publishers who carry ads that Google sells to advertisers.)

In its bid to share revenues with users, Microsoft may give free software or even cash to users, said Gates, who did not discuss further details.

(Thanks Richard.)

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Paid Content on Jonathan Rosenberg

By - December 07, 2005

…who spoke at an investor conference yesterday.

From it:

– On negotiations wtith AOL: “AOL is obviously one of our largest and long-time partners and I’m not going to provide any other comments or color.”

– On Google Print Ads: It’s a “category in very nascent stages. … We’ve done all sorts of tests her; there’s a danger looking at the tests and saying, ‘oh, it won’t work.’”

– A warning: “Don’t focus on the limited number of things you can see.” In other words, when you see a certain kind of ad, it may be just a test, not a new direction.

– Hiring process has changed: Google is hiring so many people it’s halted the process of having every resume reviewed by CEO Eric Schmidt and his staff; instead it’s been divvied up between engineer and non-engineer resumes for groups withinm senior leadership to review. Rosenberg says Larry Page still reviews them all.

Pay per call: “Interesting model. … Our general experience has been the more we show advertisers specifically the results we’re delivering the more they spend. … I think we will see cost per call increasingly more successful.”

Google Book Search: “Print is kind of another example of one of these big category shifts. I like to think it’s like Kennedy talking about putting men on the moon … “

Google New York

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Just finished a book talk at Google New York, where more than 400 folks work (and more are coming in each day). The office is split between Ad Sales and Engineering, for the most part, as was the audience – about 200 or so were there. Again, I was struck by how open and conversational the group was, and eager to hear an outsider’s perspective. We spent some time on the privacy scenario, and got into a discussion of my proposed solution – that companies like Google give us access, editing, co-ownership, and notification of how our data is used (I have not written this up yet, but that’s the general idea).

We also talked – a lot – about the media industry, as one might expect given this town. Needless to say, the ongoing and seismic shifts in media business models is near and dear to the minds of that crowd.

Afterward I got to sign scores of books, and the Google library got one copy as well. My inscription? “Scan This Book!”

Traveling…

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Posting will be light (should say has been and will continue to be light) as I dig myself out of two days of airports and bad or non existent connectivity. Stay tuned…

Journal: MSFT and AOL near Pact

By - December 06, 2005

From the reg required story:

Time Warner Inc. is closing in on an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to build an online-advertising service designed to compete with Google Inc., say people familiar with the negotiations.

After months of on-again-off-again negotiations, the two companies are now focused on a deal that would combine advertising-related assets – with minimal, if any, money changing hands. An agreement is expected to be struck sometime before year-end, but it is still possible that AOL could choose instead to deepen its relationship with Google at Microsoft’s expense.

Didja Know….Updated

By - December 05, 2005

Ebay…that eBay processes as many searches a month as Google (around 2 billion, they claim)? Yup, it’s true. For more, see this investor presentation, page 18 (pdf download). I met with Greg Isaacs late last week, and that was one of many fascinating things I learned. Greg runs the eBay Developer’s Program. I’ll have more to say about that at a future point…

UPDATE: A good source notes that Google is doing WAY MORE searches than eBay’s reported 2 billion a month. I tend to agree (the last reported number I heard from sources at Google was 250 million a day – and that was two years ago. That’d be – er – around 7.5 billion a month – again, two years ago). But given that Google refuses to disclose real numbers, this all remains in the realm of speculation…

Conclusions from SGCowen Survey

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Ahead of its Internet conference, investment banker SG Cowen (caveat, I’m giving a speech there this week in NYC, they are buying books for the event) released a survey of the US online advertising industry. The bank also surveyed US Internet users and found a few interesting tidbits. As with Piper, the report is not online. Irritating, eh? So here it is as a download, and here is Piper’s to boot. From SG Cowen’s report:

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Rhapsody's Link Love

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This strikes me as a good idea/model. From the Seattle PI:

RealNetworks is moving today to increase the visibility of its Rhapsody music service, hoping to gain more paying subscribers with a greater presence on blogs and other Web sites.

The company is rolling out a Web-services platform that will allow third-party Web sites to link directly to albums and songs on Rhapsody. A blogger writing about a new song, for example, could post a link to a track that, when clicked on, will begin playing in a pop-up window.

Safa: Tipping Point, Ho

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In a report called “The Tipping Point Is Approaching” Piper analyst Safa Rashtchy predicts that online advertising will hit $55 billion by 2010. The report (his “Silk Road” newsletter) is not up yet, but it will be soon.