free html hit counter February 2007 - Page 2 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Quintura Launches New UI

By - February 26, 2007

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Remember Quintura (some previous coverage), a visual search engine? TC reports a new UI launched today sporting tag clouds of a sort.

Now, the quick and easy way to grok an engine, not that it’s in any way defensible, is to do a vanity search. But alas, you can’t link to search results on Quintura. Fix that, folks! It does show the tag “king” for “john battelle”. Hmmm.

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Quigo Gets Its Moment in the NYT Sun

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Nice piece on contextual ad provider Quigo in today’s NYT.

What Quigo offers is transparency and control in what can often be an opaque business: advertisers pay Yahoo and Google for contextual ad placement on a wide variety of Web pages, but get little say over where those ads run or even a list of sites where they do appear.

Quigo, by contrast, gives advertisers not only the list of specific sites where their ads have appeared but also the opportunity to buy only on specific Web sites or particular pages on those sites. It also allows media company sites like ESPN.com and FoxNews.com a chance to manage their own relationships with advertisers.

Although Quigo remains a small competitor, with less than 10 percent of the contextual ad business, its growing success has apparently persuaded Google, which is accustomed to calling the shots in all aspects of its business, that it has to change the way it sells the sponsored link ads in the future.

The key here is that in fact, Google *is* changing how it sells, and is pushing site specific and other approaches through its Adsense network. While direct response advertisers may not care about this, brand advertisers do, and it’s those advertisers that Google is now going after…

Also – check out what Google continues to do in video, also in the NYT

Early Reports on Panama: Encouraging

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I’ve made no secret of my view on Yahoo’s Panama project: I’m rooting for it, because for any number of good reasons, the world needs at least one more scaled search monetization option beyond AdWords/Adsense. Last week Gian Fulgoni, the founder of Comscore, pinged me with some interesting (but embargoed) news: Comscore has been tracking clickthrough and conversion in the first couple of weeks of Panama, and the numbers looked encouraging. He checked his numbers with Yahoo, and together they agreed to release the news early this morning.

The release is here…From it:

Using the week ending February 4, 2007 as a baseline for sponsored search click-through rates (i.e. total clicks on sponsored search ads divided by total searches) before the ranking model launched, comScore studied the two subsequent weeks of click-through data to evaluate the impact of the new ranking model. comScore’s data indicate that for each of the two weeks subsequent to the launch (ending February 11, 2007 and February 18, 2007), Yahoo! Sites experienced a noticeable lift in its sponsored search click-through rate. The week ending February 11 saw a 5-percent increase, while the week ending February 18 showed a 9-percent jump.



Also:

Another anticipated result of Yahoo!’s new ranking model is a shift in composition of total click volume from algorithmic to sponsored. The “sponsored click composition” metric (i.e. sponsored clicks as a percentage of total clicks) is critical in understanding Yahoo!’s success in improving both monetization and user experience. qSearch data show positive gains in this area, with sponsored clicks representing 10.6 percent and 11.1 percent of total click volume in the weeks ending February 11 and February 18, respectively. These data represent increases of 0.5 and 1.0 points in the weeks following the new ranking model launch.

Comscore asked me to comment on this, my incredibly insightful response: “While still in its early stages, any good news for Panama is good news for Yahoo! – and this early study shows plenty of good news.”

Yahoo’s stock response can be tracked here. And because I imagine folks will ask, no, I don’t own shares, and I make a point of not trading stocks in companies that I write about.

Google Earth and Search

By - February 25, 2007

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O’Reilly’s Radar has two posts on Google’s integration of search into Google Earth, the first explains it, the second points to a Directions Magazine interview with the CTO of Google Earth (did you know there was a CTO of Google Earth?!).

This is the first inclusion of Google’s web crawl in Google Earth. It has had Local search for a while, but that comes from a seperate index. I think that this is just the beginning of different search types to be included in Google Earth. I don’t see any reason why Google wouldn’t continue to add geocoded content as layers. In the future I think that we can expect blogs, Orkut networks, geo-referenced websites (time to start using microformats!), and books (it has already added a geo-oreinted view to book search – example).

What would the goal be of adding more search types? Well for one this would continue to improve the product; search is powerful. Second, search can lead to ads which may lead to monetization of Google Earth

Tim Armstrong on Future of Google Ads

By - February 23, 2007

Ad Age reports from a BofA chat session.



“Consumers are on 24 hours a day, you should have all your products available to them,” Mr. Armstrong said. He said he couldn’t “think of any companies where there isn’t room left to grow with us.”

"Chill Out, Big Media, We're On It"

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Eric Schmidt in a Reuters story today:

Google Inc., racing to head off a media industry backlash over its video Web site YouTube, will soon offer anti-piracy technologies to help all copyright holders thwart unauthorized video sharing, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“We are definitely committed to (offering copyright protection technologies),” Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said in an interview. “It is one of the company’s highest priorities,” he said.

“We just reviewed that (issue) about an hour ago,” Schmidt told Reuters when asked what Google was doing to make anti-piracy technologies widely available to video owners. “It is going to roll out very soon … It is not far away.”

News: Google Biz Apps – No More Pretension, Google Goes for MSFT's Throat

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Let’s not pretend anymore, shall we? Google is looking to take Office out back and shoot it in the head. From the release:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., February 22, 2007 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)

today introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a new version of

Google’s hosted services for communication and collaboration designed

for businesses of all sizes. Google Apps Premier Edition is available

for $50 per user account per year, and includes phone support,

additional storage, and a new set of administration and business

integration capabilities.

Google Apps TM, launched as a free service in August 2006, is a suite

of applications that includes Gmail TM webmail services, Google

Calendar TM shared calendaring, Google Talk TM instant messaging and

voice-over-IP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable

home page on a specific domain. More than 100,000 small businesses and

hundreds of universities now use the service. Google Apps Premier

Edition now joins Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps

Education Edition, both of which will continue to be offered for free

to organizations.

“Procter & Gamble Global Business Services (GBS) has enrolled as a

charter enterprise customer of Google Apps, a successful consumer

product suite now available to enterprises. P&G will work closely with

Google in shaping enterprise characteristics and requirements for

these popular tools,” said Laurie Heltsley, director Procter & Gamble

Global Business Services.

“So much of business now relies on people being able to communicate

and collaborate effectively,” said Gregory Simpson, CTO for General

Electric Company. “GE is interested in evaluating Google Apps for the

easy access it provides to a suite of web applications, and the way

these applications can help people work together. Given its consumer

experience, Google has a natural advantage in understanding how people

interact together over the web.”

Google also today announced that all editions of Google Apps now

include Google Docs & Spreadsheets TM. In addition, Google Apps now

supports Gmail for mobile on BlackBerry TM handheld devices.

Sounds like an Office killer to me. BTW, ZDnet tells us why they don’t think this will dent Office. I disagree. Google can and will address the issues raised here…

Startupping

By - February 20, 2007

Mark Fletcher, who started Bloglines among other stuff, has created a blog to help folks start up companies. He asked me to help him with his first post. Check it out here.