free html hit counter Melanie's RoundUp - John Battelle's Search Blog

Melanie's RoundUp

By - May 15, 2006

AdWords on Google Base

The Google Base Blog announced that users can now use AdWords ads to drive traffic to their Base listings, automatically geo-targeted with the keywords targeting based on the ad copy (screenshots, via SEW).

Adwords+Base

SELowdown opines, “So let me get this straight: Give us content to index through Base. Pay us to advertise this Base content in Google searches. Well I guess that’s not THAT different from Google’s current model…”

Conversely happy with the new union, VoidStar recommends eBay join Words-Base to rectify its own keyword targeting. Coincidentally, Forbes today reports about Google “increasingly infringing on eBay’s territory and limiting the online auctioneer’s growth potential, at least in the near term, according to Cowen & Co. analyst Jim Friedland.”

The article continues:

While the new Google Base service, a free database of product listings, has not become a significant driver of sales for e-commerce companies as of yet, 50% of the conference attendees said they have started to list products on the database. Advertisers that use Google keywords benefit from a 70% click-through rate, versus Yahoo!’s 18% and Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ) MSN’s 8%, according to Friedland…Friedland also found that more and more small- and medium-sized businesses’ market resources are being directed away from eBay to Google AdWords and Google Base.

Google, Nokia Team-up for Mobile Search

A formal announcement is expected Tuesday of Google search powering the new Nokia, reports the WSJ (via CIO Tech Informer). The forthcoming 770 Internet Tablet allows simultaneous voice or IM alongside web surfing. It will be Google’s first foray into mobile telephone deals, which Google has made clear is the new territory its staking out. Connecting through the interenet rather than cellular signals, the Tablet provides Google Talk wherever there is wifi–making service spottier but cheaper, SeattlePI notes.

The WSJ: Because it’s based on short-range Wi-Fi technology, the device is not a cell phone…It’s a bit larger than the average PDA, and it features a high-resolution screen designed specifically for browsing the Internet.

Vista Cleared by DOJ

Despite Google’s accusation that Visa’s default to MSN Search (in absense of pre-set preferences) is unfair, the DOJ determined Friday MS has done no harm. CNet: As part of its status report on Microsoft’s antitrust compliance, the Justice Department said that it had reviewed the search box and concluded that Microsoft’s implementation “respects users’ and (computer makers’) default choices and is easily changed.”

Web 2.0 Commencement

Tim O’Reilly, giving the commencement speech for the UC Berkeley School of Information this past Saturday (John gave it last year), talked about defining Web 2.0 The full transcript is on O’Reilly’s site, Geeking with Greg excerpts:

The internet as platform. What does that mean? …It’s as simple as this: the secret of success in the networked era is to create or leverage network effects… When we first began thinking about Web 2.0, we asked ourselves what distinguished the companies that survived the dotcom bust from those that failed. And we came up with the surprising observation that in one way or another, each of them was good at harnessing user contributions, applying some of the same insights to consumer applications that leading edge software developers have applied to open source software projects like Linux.

A true Web 2.0 application is one that gets better the more people use it. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a link on the web. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a search. It gets smarter every time someone clicks on an ad. And it immediately acts on that information to improve the experience for everyone else.

It’s for this reason that I argue that the real heart of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence. …The world of Web 2.0 *can* be one in which we share our knowledge and insights, filter the news for each other, find out obscure facts, and make each other smarter and more responsive. We can instrument the world so it becomes somethng like a giant, responsive organism.

GigaOm also recently posted some new thoughts on Web 2.0 as meme, mainstream misunderstanding, and an enterprise.

Does Google Desktop “improve search”?

Jeremy Zawodny doesn’t buy the message from Marrissa:

We’re told that Google Desktop 4 improves search, but that’s not backed up by any evidence at all. Instead, we’re presented with a non-sequitur about gadgets you can use to increase your day to day information overload.

A Googley Economist Article

The running gag in a new Economist article was whether Google has become the new Microsoft. Though an excellent article, most of it overviews Google’s growth and culture with which Seachblog readers are already familiar, so just a few the highlights here. Google recently sent its first lobbyists to Washington, DC. Its decision to build an “evil scale” to help it devise its China strategy was more unusual, but its hiring of Al Gore, a former American vice-president, to aid the process, was just the kind of thing that old-fashioned empire-building firms do all the time.

The closing graph:

Google thus finds itself at a defining moment. There are plenty of people within the company who want it to play the power game. “The folks who are closest to Larry and Sergey are very, very worried about Microsoft, as well they should be,” says John Battelle, the author of a blog and a book on Google. Yet the company’s founders themselves may not be prepared to drop their idealism and their faith in their own mathematical genius.

Quote of the article: “Google seems to use betas as dogs sprinkle trees—so that rivals know where it is.”

DOJ Moves to Close EFF Complaint

EFF writes: Early Saturday morning, in the darkest hours of the night, the Department of Justice made good its threat to file a motion to dismiss our class-action lawsuit against AT&T, contending that AT&T’s collaboration with the NSA’s massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications (which violates the law and the privacy of its customers)–despite being front page news throughout the United States and the subject of government press conferences and Congressional hearings–is a state secret. The motion was accompanied by declarations by Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, Director, National Security Agency and John D. Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence. We will vigorously oppose this motion. Donate to EFF and help stop the illegal spying!

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