free html hit counter October 2006 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Compete – Can Bill Gross and Co. Answer My Last Question?

By - October 31, 2006

Compete launches Nov. 1. Just yesterday I asked if anyone can help us with an Alexa we can trust, this seems to be addressed at that market, and more. I do not have time to grok it, I am afraid (it *is* Halloween night after all) but check it out, and let us all know what you think here. And here’s a t’rati link for coverage of the launch.

From the about page:

Today, search engines help us find sites, but they fall short of showing how safe, popular and valuable a site is. Through click-sharing, Compete extends search algorithms by tapping the collective online experiences of millions of people. By sharing our clicks, we create useful new information about the websites we visit that can help us answer questions like:

Is this website safe from spyware and other threats like phishing?

How many people visit this site and how does it compare to other sites?

Are there promotion codes for this site that can save me money? helps you personally benefit from click-sharing. Whether it’s protecting you from a dangerous site, profiling each website you visit, or showing you promo codes that will save you money at check out, Compete wants to help create a more trusted, transparent, and valuable Internet.

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Congrats Joe: Google Acquires JotSpot

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I have asked Joe if he’d do an interview with us, we’ll see. And meanwhile, this is the second company to debut at Web 2.0 that has been purchased by Google (the first was Writely). Hey, where’s our commission!?

Trans Gender Shiny Fetish!

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Yes, that’s a sh*tload of spam you’re seeing in my comments lately. Hard to keep up, apparently, Searchblog is at the leading edge of spam attacks – in other words, as spammers try new IP addresses and other tricks to beat Akismet, they have to strike somewhere first, and for whatever reason, a high percentage of new attacks seem to be starting off at our lovely site. Well, I’m fighting back by banning words using my publishing software. Sorry folks, but you will have to keep, er, certain words out of comments from now on…

Between the Sheets

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Blog Maverick reports ‘some intimate details of the Google YouTube deal‘, based on an anonymous source. Assertions, from the supposedly well-informed note, include:

* About $500 million of the 1.65 billion purchase price was earmarked to fight and settle copyright suits, as a large but not uncommon liabilities patch.

* As part of the Google courtship, YouTube massaged settlement negotiations with the largest potential DMCA stake-holders–far enough along to make it unlikely that their settlement claims would bite significantly into the margin of gain for Google.

* However, to appease the large media companies disinterest in sharing profits with the creative talent, the value was instead transfered as an equity investment in YouTube–sheltered from royalty burdens.

* Finally, to protect the value behind YouTube–its copious viewing audience addicted to pirated material—Google asked the media gatekeepers to ‘look the other way’ for a few months, as copyright violations continue to run rampant.

* And finally, according to this anonymous note, Google also asked the media powerhouses to belt competing video sites with lawsuits first–like “YouTube clones Blot and Grouper.”

“There are some interesting chapters yet to unfold. One is how much of this will become public. Google is required by the SEC to disclose material financial developments at their company. Working in Google’s advantage is their enormous market capitalization and revenues will give them considerable leeway to claim that a 50 million transaction is not significant to their business. If the other video sites have the wherewithal to put up a legal fight any decent attorney will demand access to Youtube acquisition documents. Expect a claim of collusion between Google and the media companies as a defense strategy.”

Mark Cuban adds, as a note on this source, “I can’t say this has been fact checked. It hasn’t. I can’t say its 100 pct accurate, I don’t know. But it rings true, and as I said, I trust the source.”

You Want Some Love, Yahoo (or AOL, or Google, or…)? Please, Please Give Us An Alexa We Can Trust

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The ongoing charley horse on the booming online advertising marketplace, in particular with regard to community driven and blog sites, is the lack of any reliable third party traffic estimates. Alexa is a joke, but everyone uses it. Comscore can’t measure these sites well, as Fred points out.

I’ve been at both Google and Yahoo in the past ten days, and privately, folks there both told me that they had the data and the wherewithal to blow Alexa out of the water. They have relationships with tens of millions of customers, and access to billions of clickstreams. Why not create, if only for the PR rub off, a solid estimator of web traffic? Lord knows we need it.

Yahoo and AOL (Or Anyone Else, for That Matter)

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Yahoo Search-1I do not see this happening. There, I said it. Now it’ll go and happen, of course. Yahoo swallowing AOL might make for great headlines, and worthy speculation by folks in the know, but the plain truth is that buying mass won’t fix Yahoo’s woes. It has plenty of mass. Getting more doesn’t address the main issue dogging the company: its lack of a monetization engine as efficient as Google’s. At the end of the day, that’s the biggest issue. Panama, which is rolling out to advertisers now, is the company’s most important project in years. If Yahoo is going to compete against Google – in everything from deals like YouTube to partnerships like MySpace – it has to get search monetization up to snuff. The rest will follow.

Just In Case…

By - October 29, 2006


This might be filed in the Tin Foil Hat category, or it might be something we look back on and wonder how we ever missed it. I don’t have any idea which. That alone sort of scares me.

The story says that Google is working with the Govt. in the war on terror. It depends a lot on ex CIA agent Robert Steele, who may or may not be a trustworthy source.

I’ve seen this story all over the place this weekend, and it strikes me as possibly accurate on at least one level: If the CIA/Dept. of Homeland Security was NOT trying to secretly work with Google, it’s even lamer than we might imagine. After all, the company has just about the best infrastructure in the world to help them do their job. Is it legal? Moral? Right? Another question entirely….

More here and here.