free html hit counter July 2006 - Page 7 of 7 - John Battelle's Search Blog

eBay Bans Google Checkout

By - July 06, 2006

EBay just changed its policy to exclude Google Checkout from its accepted payment options, keeping PayPal in clearer pastures. eBay Strategies, lists the ins and outs: “In reality it’s a credit card gateway (and the same one eBay spends millions with as the top google AdWords user) and credit cards are specifically allowed along with gateways (verisign/cybersource/, etc.)”

Definitely a hamper on that big IF of Checkout’s success that Om talks about, on the potential it could play in Google market development towards a pay-for-performance or cost-per-action system.

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Dear Warner: Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot – Free Bugs (Again!)!

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John Kricfalusi, creator of the wonderful Ren & Stimpy series and an all around worthwhile fellow to know (and new FM author) just pinged me with the news that YouTube is disallowing his linking of old Bugs cartoons on his site. Why? Because Warner Brothers, who now owns the copyrights, has no idea how powerful a marketing tool John’s blog can be, that’s why. All they want to do is prevent folks who might buy DVDs, merchandise, and view ads next to webisodes of Ren & Stimpy and Bugs from, well, buying DVDs, merchandise, and looking at webisodes of Ren & Stimpy and Bugs. Hey Warner, aren’t you paying any attention to what is happening out here in the real world? You don’t want to upset the creator of Ren & Stimpy, and force YouTube, which is providing a great service, to do the dirty work! Instead, figure out a way to work with the man! He’ll help you sell far more stuff. As he pointed out to me:

“Classic cartoons are my biggest influence. These cartoons are rarely seen on TV anymore and they could be selling them all on home video. Normally, they would have to pay a lot of money to get so much notice that I give them for free…. Mostly I put up clips, not the whole cartoon. Aren’t there “fair use” laws?

Well, yes there are, but they are in full retreat (and that’s another story). But back to this one. John is a leader in the animation world, and his site is where tens of thousands of his rabid fans and influencers in the world of animation hang out. He’s one of the biggest promoters of classic cartoons in the world…Nearly every post gets scores of comments. It’s hardly the equivalent of some teenager ripping off music. John’s posts promote and publicize Warner Brothers cartoons, if anything. In fact, John tells me he’s filmed commentaries for Looney Tunes DVDs – they come to him to help promote the same stuff they are asking him to take down. One hand, meet the other….

If I were Warner, I’d be advertising merchandise and DVDs right alongside those YouTube videos on John’s site. Hell, John is getting something like 100K visits a month, and his traffic is growing rapidly.

Previously: Set Bugs Free!!!


By - July 04, 2006

It’s nice sometimes, three years later, to see your ideas, well, covered. Neat.

It's Hard to Sue China….

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…for copyright infringement. But it’s easier to sue Yahoo China, or Baidu, and anyone else who might be there and straddling the rather uncomfortable breach between Western copyright law and Chinese…well….exuberance. You go, music industry. Go go go. Sheesh.

Now, This Reads Wrong to Me

By - July 03, 2006


There are always lawsuits against big targets, and initially the suit filed by KinderStart against Google, in which the parenting site/vertical search engine complained that it’s ranking has been intentionally lowered, felt like a nuisance and nothing more. But sometimes interesting things come out of these complaints.

I was reading last Friday’s Cnet coverage, for instance, and a Google lawyer was explaining Google’s ranking. OK, well, I know enough about that to notice when things are being spun, and the spin was clearly on. Because it suited the defense, the lawyer decided to argue that Google’s index was subjective – ie, that Google made editorial decisions about each site’s quality.

Now, that strikes me as a bit askew from public perception, and from what Google encourages us to think, in general, about how it ranks. Here’s how Cnet covered it:

David Kramer, a Wilson Sonsini attorney also representing Google, said the search giant’s PageRank system is subjective, using a combination of reviews into whether a Web site is adhering to its guidelines and is worth a user’s time to view.

“Google is constantly evaluating Web sites for standards and quality, which is entirely subjective,” Kramer said.

The judge probed Kramer on the topic of whether Google engages in misleading behavior, and whether it uses objective criteria to evaluate sites–rather than solely relying on subjective reasoning.

“What if, say, Google says it uses facts one through 10 to evaluate a site, but actually uses number 11 to decide its rank. Isn’t that misleading?” the judge asked.

Kramer, however, said Google readers understand that the site’s ranking system is subjective and based on Google’s opinion about whether a site is worth viewing.

Google’s opinion? Really? Huh. That’s a new one. More on this as I grok it.

NYT on Google Infrastructure

By - July 02, 2006

Another Times piece on the Google phenomenon, with some interesting facts. Paul rounds them up.

The focus of the piece is on how Google has made infrastructure a core competence, to the point of designing and building servers and related software. This is not news to readers of Searchblog, but there are interesting contours to the story, including a response from Yahoo:

“At some point you have to ask yourself what is your core business,” said Kevin Timmons, Yahoo’s vice president for operations. “Are you going to design your own router, or are you going to build the world’s most popular Web site? It is very difficult to do both.”

Google, in fact, has decided it will do both.

And from Microsoft:

“Google doesn’t have anything magic here,” Bill Gates, the Microsoft chairman, said in an interview. “We spend a little bit more per machine. But to do the same tasks, we have less machines.”

Google clearly believes that its infrastructure will prove a lasting competitive advantage, and the piece hints that Google may even get into microchip design. Hmmm, is Intel paranoid now?

SearchBlog Terms of Service, Privacy Policy

By - July 01, 2006

Following Asha’s lead, I’m finally posting this. I’ve backdated this post so it does not interfere with the flow of items on the site, and will post a link to this on the home page and every archive page.

Thanks to Melanie for helping me get this done.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy


Searchblog is owned, operated and edited by John Battelle. By accessing, using, and/or submitting material to Searchblog, you agree to abide by these terms of service, including any modifications that may occur to the terms in the future. All modifications will be posted in this document.

All content published on Searchblog becomes the shared property of Searchblog and the respective author.

Searchblog content is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. As such, anyone can reproduce Searchblog content provided that the reproduction is for personal use and is non-commercial in nature, and the reproduction acknowledges Searchblog as the original source of the material either by including a link back to the original Searchblog post, or by including the following notice:

Content originally appeared on Searchblog (, and is made available through a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license (

For more information about the Creative Commons license, read the Creative Commons FAQ. If you’re in doubt about fair use, please contact the Searchblog editor at

If a reader’s submission is featured in a derivative work produced by Searchblog, Searchblog will, in good faith, attribute the submission to the reader (as the reader’s name appears on Searchblog) and attempt to contact the reader to let him or her know, but is not obligated to do so.

While Searchblog publishes what we hope is accurate and fair commentary, all Searchblog content is made available on an as-is basis, with no warrantees expressed or implied. As such, readers use any advice found on Searchblog at their own risk.

All content published on Searchblog is subject to editing or deletion. Opinions expressed on Searchblog are not necessarily those of the editor.

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In general, when publishing reader-submitted material, Searchblog will identify the reader by first name only and, if the reader desires, a link to the reader’s blog or website. If the reader is already in the public sphere (that is, the reader is well-known or has a blog or website that reveals the reader’s identity), Searchblog may publish the reader’s full name. If, in the submission, the reader requests first name-only identification, anonymity, or the use of a pseudonym, Searchblog will respect the request.

Finally, these terms are subject to revision, any revision will be noted on this page.

LeFetz On YouTube

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I love this guy’s passion. If you aren’t reading Bob LeFetz, you should be…Here’s his take on YouTube. Comparing YouTube to Napster, he says:

And what happened with YouTube? The EXACT SAME THING that happened with Napster. Suddenly, digital exposition, FOR FREE, blew up underlying copyrighted material/shows. The classic case being “Lazy Sunday” from SNL. After MILLIONS of viewings on YouTube, ratings for SNL WENT UP! Sure, it was all based on copyright infringement, but if said law-breaking had not taken place, SNL wouldn’t have made all that extra MONEY! Because exposure begets revenue. The more people who know about something, the more people who are interested in buying it.

So what did NBC do?

They told YouTube to take the material down.

But now NBC has woken up. Rather than build from scratch their own site, a la Pressplay, a place with fewer eyeballs that no one cares about, they’ve thrown in with the company with all the action, where all the people are, YouTube. They’ve made a deal with YouTube, they realize it’s to their ADVANTAGE!