free html hit counter January 2007 - Page 7 of 7 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Reader Inching Toward Digg?

By - January 03, 2007

Picture 5-13Google Reader just added a Reader Trends feature that highlights blog posts users have read, starred, and shared in the past 30 days.

A post by Paris Lemon Blog, via Digg: What’s completely clear now is that the user statistical data is there and ready to go…the question is how long until Google utilizes it to showcase the ‘most starred’ or ‘most shared’ of Google Reader?Picture 4-10

The Google Reader Blog announcement describes Reader Trends as an efficiency tool to allow users to identify subscriptions wanting removal or a catch-up read.

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Static on the GooTube

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YouTube’s failure to create a copyright detection software to help avoid legal entanglements may put spell trouble for the GoogTube. Since the announcement of Google’s purchase of YouTube on October 9, the answer to every question of copyright violations and lawsuits has been this software. It was the also arguably the pretext that allowed Google to imagine partnerships with major media companies and music labels. Probably more to come on this…

Financial Times:

YouTube said on Friday the technology would not be formally launched this year and YouTube’s offices were closed until the new year. While providing no further details about when the system would be made formally available, it said tests of the system had been under way with some media companies since October and the system remained “on track”.

If the delay lasts for more than a week or two into the new year, suggesting more than just a slight technical hitch, “this is certainly going to be a serious issue”, Mr McGuire (a digital media analyst at Gartner) added.

The delay to the software could also spell wider problems for Google, which has been trying to negotiate partnerships that will give it access to content from a number of big media and entertainment companies. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

'To Out-Google Google'

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Picture 1-37Speaking of dominating a list of the best search engines, in case you missed it, the New York Times recently did a piece on a trio on entrepreneurs setting their sights on just that: besting the giant. (“In Silicon Valley, the Race Is on to Trump Google”) ReadWriteWeb has a summary and follow-up that breaks the competition into categories of competition to Google: Better Technology, Better UI, and Vertical Search. Well worth a read, but the conclusion Alex Iskold draws is that no one’s quite ready to battle Goliath yet.

Top 100+ Search Engines

By - January 02, 2007

A list of the Top 100+ Search Engines of 2007, graciously compiled by SEO Charles Knight, with some editorial tinkering. Thanks Charles.

A9 answerbag AOL askville AURA! Baidu bessed blinkx boing ChaCha ClipBlast! Clusty collarity CometQ d e c i p h o digg digg labs swarm eurekster exalead Feedster FINDITALL GIGABLAST Google Google /*Code Search*/ Google Mobile ICEROCKET inQuira ixquick Jambo Jyve KartOO keyCompete Kosmix krugle KwMap like Live QnA LiveDeal lurpo MavenSearch mnemomap MS. DEWEY mystrands nayio oodle Opera Mini Pagebull pluggd PreFound Quintura kids Quintura retrevo riya ROLLYO searchmash SearchTheWeb2 SEO Discussion Search Singing FISH Skweezer snap Sphere Sphider SpyFu SQUIDOO Srchr SurfWax Technorati trulia Vivisimo W a l h e l l o Webaroo WEBBRAIN What to RENT? whonu? WIKIO Windows Live wink WiseNut wondir Yahoo! ANSWERS Yahoo! MINDSET Yahoo! Mobile Yahoo! SEARCH Yahoo! Search Builder Yedda yoono yoople ZABASEARCH ZEBO Zippy ZOO.COM ZUULA

It's Not Your Competition, It's the Environment

By - January 01, 2007

A post on Skrenta heralds Google as the winner in the third age of computing. Worth a read, some major points include:

* Yahoo is effectively letting $1.5 billion in revenue sit on the table so long as they chose not to allow AdWords to handle their search monetization.

* “Google is the start page for the Internet. The net isn’t a directed graph. It’s not a tree. It’s a single point labeled G connected to 10 billion destination pages.”

* Alluding to Battelle’s database of intentions: “Google’s CPMs are $90-120, vs. $4-5 for an average browse page view elsewhere. This value premium on search vs. content is because of the massive concentration of choice potential which exists on the decision point, Google.”

* Next step, dominating the verticals: “It’s actually not inconceivable that they could eventually own all of the destination page views too. Crazy as it sounds, it’s conceivable that they could actually end up owning the entire net, or most of what counts. Complaints are already being heard about Google using their starting point power to muscle into verticals.” Here Skrenta is referencing the new Google Tips on their homepage, on which Firefox brain Blake Ross, generally a friend of Google, just posted a scathing note of criticism.

* Zero switching costs for users means that a search engine with even a modest advantage will attract a snowball effect of preference, to paraphrase Skrenta. That’s an advantage underlined when brand recognition is taken into account.

Predictions 2007

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Yes, I’m at it again, but this year I promise to be a bit more pared down, a bit more to the point. I had nearly 20 predictions last year, I’m hoping that by the time I lift my fingers from the keyboard I’ll have a few less. So Happy New Year, and to business:

1. Thanks to Google’s dominance in search and media and a complacent DOJ, Microsoft will buy a better position in online media. Acknowledging that it can’t build it, Microsoft will shop its way into a dominant position. AOL, Yahoo, or IAC will be leading candidates for acquisition. Microsoft will name a strong second in command to Steve Ballmer who will run their entire media division after this acquisition. If that person is not Steve Berkowitz, he will leave.

1. (a) If Microsoft does not buy AOL, Yahoo will, and failing that, AOL will go public, but the IPO will receive a lukewarm review.

2. A major media outlet will predict that the “Web 2.0” bubble has burst or deflated seriously. The prediction will be wrong. I’ve been seeing more and more respected voices out there claiming we’re in a bubble of some sort or another when it comes to “Web 2.0.” I predicted that the meme will have played out in 2006, and I think I was right, but the underlying foundational strength of what created that meme is far too strong to be a bubble or played out.

3. Google will integrate YouTube into its main services. YouTube will be promoted via the “video” tab on Google’s home page. YouTube will keeps its name and domain, but the business/sales end will be interchangeable.

4. Related to this, Google Video Ads will dissappoint until Q4 2007. Why? Because advertisers in video have all sorts of structural reasons to not want to work the way Google wants them to work. Until the Fall of 07, when these differences will be worked out, and Google will have a slam dunk quarter in a form of advertising outside of text ads for the first time in its history.

5. Yahoo will not regain its luster, but will take the steps necessary to do so by the end of the year. I am not seeing anything out of Yahoo that says “radical change.” There is a lot riding on Panama, but even an excellent new platform needs at least a year to get its footing. Hence, I would not predict a banner year for Yahoo, but a rebuilding year, sort of like the 49ers had this year.

6. eBay will have a major change in executive leadership. This feels overdue.

7. Amazon will continue to push beyond ecommerce into web services, the market will punish it for doing so, and by the end of the year Bezos will be forced to defend his investments as his stock takes a hit for those services’ failing to find traction. It’s not that I don’t believe in Jeff’s vision, it’s the track record with things like Alexa and the very real sense I have that the market for what Jeff’s selling is not yet fully baked.

8. There will be a brief, somewhat irrational spurt of acquisitions related to “content”, in particular independent media sites with good demographics and a decent audience profile. I say irrational because by the end of the year, it will be clear why those sites were independent in the first place.

9. Speaking of the content business, it will face a major test as two forces converge to undermine the pageview model: Ajax, on the one hand, and ad blockers on the other. Both will be addressed with alarm and alacrity by industry efforts. By the end of the year, new metrics will emerge to help publishers and marketers understand audience engagement.

10. “Blog 2.0” will become a reality. By this I mean that Version 1.0 blogsites, of which I think Searchblog is a good example, will begin to look dated and fade in comparison to sites that employ better approaches to content management, navigation, intelligent widgets and web services, etc.

11. One major Internet player will really screw up the privacy/trust issue, in a way bigger than even AOL did last year.

12. The Google founders will find themselves the subject of at least one major “takedown” piece in the mainstream media. The piece will claim they have lost touch with the company they founded, that it has outgrown them, and that they have become enamored of the life of the super wealthy – hobnobbing with stars, flying to exotic locations to kite surf, testing fighter jets and the like. This piece is inevitable, in my view.

13. Allow me, for the third year now, to repeat my mobile prediction in the hope it will come true: Mobile will finally be plugged into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user and a major mobile innovation – the kind that makes us all say – Jeez that was obvious – will occur. At the core of this innovation will be the concept of search. The outlines of such an innovation: it’ll be a way for mobile users to gather the unstructured data they leverage every day while talking on the phone and make it useful to their personal web (including email and RSS, in particular). And it will be a business that looks and feels like a Web 2.0 business – leveraging iterative web development practices, open APIs, and innovation in assembly – that makes the leap.

14. Lastly, I will begin work on my second book. Yes, I have an idea…but it’s not entirely fleshed out yet… and, I will stop making predictions about FM. It was fine to do last year, but this year, I feel like the business is in a new place, one that feels wrong to predict. It could go in so many great directions this year, I don’t want to jinx any of them.

Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to a great 2007!