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Neil and MSN Clarify

By - March 03, 2006

Neil Holloway’s comments on MSN and Google (reported here) got a lot of response around the web, so much so that Neil has taken the time to clarify his thoughts here in comments, and MSN has also clarified on its blog. Often quotes are taken out of context, and I’m certainly willing to take his clarification at face value. In fact, I’ve invited him to do an interview on Searchblog, if he’s game.

Net Neutrality Bill Unveiled

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From a Reuters story:

Sen. Ron Wyden on Thursday proposed legislation aimed at preventing high-speed Internet service providers from charging content companies extra so consumers have faster access to their Web sites or receive special treatment.

The Oregon Democrat said he was pushing the legislation to ensure smaller start-ups trying to do business on the Internet would not be outgunned by bigger companies.

Further thoughts at IPDemocracy: Would Wyden’s legislation prohibit a content provider from paying extra to the broadband provider for improved delivery? Wyden couldn’t easily answer these kinds of questions, but simply said that he opposes a world in which non-transparent deals inject latency into access web sites (where one site with a “sweetheart deal” might take five seconds to appear but another site with no such deal might take five minutes to appear).

Wyden seemed to say as long as the sweetheart deals are transparent, his legislation would not bar such relationships. “The heart and soul of this legislation are the transparency provisions – you get all those deals out there in the open.”

As much as I wish to be black and white on this issue, I sense there is much gray here. Fortunately an old hand from the telco/provisioning world just joined FM, and I’ll be talking to him about it in the coming days to get smarter….

It's a Guessing Game!

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Techcrunch breaks news that Newscorp is buying a company, in fact, one of the companies that was presenting at the very conference where the news broke. But no news on *which* company. Let the guessing begin! (My guess, SimplyHired or Eurekster).

Another Week

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I am still catching up from last week, and have scores of interesting things in my “Blog This” folder. Here’s a sampling:

KK sends me this link to a headcount timeline from the big three (Google, Yahoo, MSFT).

The Kelsey Group’s annual survey of the Yellow Pages industry shows one percent growth in print, 33 percent growth online.

Microsoft’s newest trademark? Relerank, as found by Thomas Hawk.

The Miva Principle.” This is the old Findwhat, declaring in a while paper that Yahoo and Google are bad for publishers. You have to give them your email to get a PDF, I’ve done that, will report if its worth reading. From the release: “Today, Google and Yahoo! are clearly thriving, and it is our belief that their success comes at the expense of the very publishers that partner with them on online advertising initiatives,” said Craig Pisaris-Henderson, MIVA’s chairman and chief executive officer.

The new Advolution engine/ad solution launches, citing my book as inspiration. Cool!

RawSugar – “an annotated collection of tagged webpages, to service a community of shared interests” – launched last month too.

The Washington Post and Yahoo launch integration. But – a well placed reader asks – why does the release not mention Yahoo, focusing only on!

Video engine and platform Veoh is now in beta.

AOL loses Jim Riesenbach to Autobytel.

Wonder How the PRC Will Respond To This

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Computerworld: Google moving search records out of China.

From it: The Mountain View, Calif., company has decided to store search records from the site outside of China in order to prevent that government from being able to access the data without Google’s consent, said Peter Norvig, Google’s director of research, speaking Monday at a panel discussion at Santa Clara University.

“We didn’t want to be in the position of having to hand over these kinds of records to the government,” he said.

I wonder if this matters at all. The records/data were created in China, and it seems to me that China could request them regardless. Of course, it would create an international conflict of law, which it seems Google is attempting to create. That, I think, will not go over well with the PRC. This one could get interesting.

Google Analyst Day Roundup

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Well now that was an interesting meeting. The stock rose yesterday and is up nearly 2% this morning. Coverage abounds. Here’s the highlights:

Reader John K breaks it down on his blog. Best quote: “Schmidt pees on Microsoft’s parade: Google is primarily focused on Microsoft as a competitor because of the software giant’s history as a company, but Google hasn’t seen an impact from Microsoft’s search products yet.”

Cnet has a story which breaks the event down minute by minute. I wonder how long that will be done. In any case, it’s interesting tidbits: Google Local is now “number three in classifieds.” More can be done with personalization. Click fraud is not material to the company (again). International growth is strong. Google plans to be in every single major ad marketplace, period. A chart was shown with five core goals this year, the only one I found interesting was “building new products and services for publishers of information.” Google has tripled its Chinese index (Kai Fu Lee was at the meeting).

Kedrosky feels like he got a light lunch. “The day went fine, but there was really very little new here.”

Linden posted the presentation PDF (Paul has them too), and “liked slide 19, 20, and 31, all of which makes it clear that Google isn’t losing its wide-eyed optimism.”

Analyst Ben Schachter of UBS said in an email note: “Google came out of the corner swinging, and didn’t let up all day. The company clearly worked hard to dispel the post-4Q negative sentiment, as well as lingering concern over comments made earlier in the week by CFO, George Reyes. We think it succeeded on both fronts.”

Analyst Robert Peck at Bear: “It was clear to us that Google’s management made a concerted effort this year to provide more information to the Street on its core operations. One interesting tidbit we took to understand was the company’s $100B revenue goal.”

Thomas Weisel Partners’ Christa Sober struck a bit more cautious note: “Should it be referring to the $100bn as revenue, we would note that the company would need to grow its gross revenues 27% annually over the next 10 years to hit the target.”

But what is the most interesting quote I read? This one from Schmidt: “We want to be able to store everybody’s information all the time.”

Google = Napoleon?

By - March 01, 2006

From a recent Times piece on Publicis, a major ad agency:

“I think Google has overextended, like Napoleon opening up a Russian front,” [said Rishad Tobaccowala, a top executive in the media-buying division of Publicis] last week in an interview in London. “I think they are a very amazing company that will take over nothing.”

Tobaccowala is heading up a new think tank at Publicis “to spot new media and marketing technologies on behalf of clients.”