free html hit counter August 2006 | Page 7 of 7 | John Battelle's Search Blog

AOL Free At Last

By - August 02, 2006

Aol-4

Not unexpectedly, AOL has moved to a free model for web services. From the release:

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) today announced that AOL’s software and e-mail as well as various other products will be made available for free to broadband users in a move to enhance the growth of its online advertising business.

…Among the AOL products that will be available for free to anyone with an Internet connection are: AOL’s integrated software; communications features, including AOL e-mail, instant messaging, a local phone number with unlimited incoming calls, and social networking applications; and safety and security features, such as parental controls.



and interestingly:

In the weeks ahead, AOL will announce a number of free new products in such areas as safety and security, storage, personalized e-mail domains, video and search, as well as an update of its AOL software. Combined with AOL’s video search, video assets, compelling content, blogging and other existing free applications, these new products will allow AOL to compete across the board for new Internet users, both domestically and abroad.



So AOL, which also reported 40% growth in its advertising business (and TW reported a profit, which has to help) – is joining the Google and Yahoo model. AOL plans to continue to charge for its dial up service, but won’t market it aggressively. In other words, hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing costs will instead fall to the bottom line. That can’t hurt.

  • Content Marquee

round up

By - August 01, 2006

Slurp

Yahoo! inaugurated a new search crawler, Yahoo! Slurp last week, professed to be swifter and more efficient. “As a result, site owners will notice as much as a 25% reduction in the number of requests and bandwidth consumed by the crawler…Owners should see a much lower crawl load without a loss in content coverage.”

Disclosing invalid clicks

AdWords is now sharing data on invalid clicks with advertisers, as a new report feature in their account. (thanks wisegeek)

Search 2.0 v. traditional

Read/Write Web writes a comparative survey of the landscape, part one and part two: How is traditional search evolving to Search 2.0? Perhaps a better way to look at this: how is traditional search evolving to become more personalized and specialized?

Most valuable brands

According to Business Week, the 2006 list: #2 Microsoft. “Google now has the biggest one-year gain in the five year history of the list, up 46%,” ResourceShelf, “but Microsoft’s overall brand value still has a considerable lead. About 5x that of Google.” — #24 Google, #47 eBay, #55 Yahoo, and #65 Amazon.

HoleintheheadThe Funnies

Responding to Battelle’s post citing an estimate that 12% of all eBay traffic comes from Google, a reader sent in a little game he invented.

What is an eBad and how do I play? eBad is a term I derived from “Bad eBay Ad”. To play, search Google and get points when you find a funny eBay ad! What do you get with the points? Well… personal satisfaction! … like if you search for ‘stolen cars’, you get an eBay ad that says “Looking for Stolen Cars? Find exactly what you want today…

Is Google Paying Syndication Fees For Google News?

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That appears to be the case, as Philipp has learned. The deal appears to be a pay per click deal (these are not unusual between high traffic sites and major news services like AP and Reuters), but it does mark a departure for the service, and heralds an actual business model is coming. It short it augurs the day when Google (finally) starts making money of its highly trafficked News site by selling ads against it. From Philipp’s site, Google’s response:

Google has always believed that content providers and publishers should be fairly compensated for their work so they can continue producing high quality information. We are always working on new ways to help users find the information they are looking for, and our business agreement with the Associated Press is one example of that.



I’d love to be a fly on the wall when “fairly compensated for their work” is debated…