free html hit counter August 2007 - Page 5 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog
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Henry Does Some Ad Math

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Nice post showing trends in online ad spend vs. offline.

Put differently, U.S. advertising revenue at all 19 companies increased 8% year over year in Q2, to $13.8 billion ($55 billion annualized). The online portion of this pie grew from $3 billion to $4.2 billion (23% share to 30% share). The offline portion, meanwhile, shrank from $9.9 billion to $9.6 billion (77% share to 70% share). The online companies, in other words, picked up 7 percentage points of market share in a single year.

Google and Adobe

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Allan Leinwand over at GigaOm (Allan is a partner at Panorama Capital) suggests Google should buy Adobe, to secure a position in video with Flash, among other reasons. This is one of the reasons we have Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe, at Web 2 again this year. It’s a very interesting time to be Adobe.

Yahoo Beats Google!

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In a study on customer satisfaction, anyway. (CNET)

Yahoo Upgrades Local Again

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Of its many properties, I’ve found Yahoo’s Local the most useful. Today the site got another upgrade. From the release:

Sunnyvale, CA – August 15, 2007 – Yahoo! Local (http://local.yahoo.com) unveiled a new look today, announcing a more robust relevancy algorithm and several new product features to focus in on what people want to know about most – what’s best and closest to them. The new version also offers users the ability to comment on reviews; one of several features designed to create more vocal and active user communities. Additional features being launched draw from the deep Yahoo! Local database of events, local businesses, and user ratings and reviews.

New features launched today on Yahoo! Local include:

· Weekender – Offers a weekly selection of events, movies (including show times and reviews), dining picks, Flickr photos, and more to help people plan their weekends.

· Comment on User Reviews – Gives the option of adding comments to user reviews, adding a new level of user-engagement and authenticity to reviews.

· Improved Relevancy Algorithm – Makes search results even more accurate by effectively taking user reviews and other UGC-related items into consideration.

· More “Local Buzz” – Shows the top-moving search terms in your hometown with a new search cloud and exposes the most recent reviews of businesses in your area to see what people are buzzing about.

· Best Local Events – Taps into the Upcoming social events database to include a more prominent display of the best events in your hometown. New venue pages also integrate upcoming events and more detailed venue information.

· Most Popular – Highlights the best of a city in the key categories of Restaurants, Health & Beauty, and Home & Garden.

· My Local Improvements – A new “save for later” feature allows people to save businesses or events to their My Local profile. The added ability to upload a user photo or avatar is designed to create a more personal and vibrant user community.

gBox

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I missed this (MarketingVox) while traveling to the Doc’s:

A string of announcements, unintended quotes and other moves have led to the early unveiling of a new music purchasing service.

A correction has been made to this story. The gBox is a product purveyed by Navio with ads served by Google; it is not itself a Google product.

First came the news that Universal Music Group would begin selling DRM-free music through a variety of outlets. Rhapsody, Best Buy and Amazon were all named partners in offering tracks from UMG, which would be in MP3 format and priced at $.99 a piece.

The non-inclusion of Apple’s iTunes as a place for the songs was a direct slap in the face of the company, which UMG has been sparring with recently.

Some time ago the label announced it would not renew its long-term contract with Apple, opting to go day-to-day. Universal has been among the loudest calling for a new – preferably variable – pricing model on iTunes, which Apple has steadfastly refused to address.

With all this comes news of the trump card, the gBox by Navio. The gBox serves DRM-free music, courtesy of Universal, as well as ads from Google.

While gBox is not a music storefront in and of itself, it’s awfully close. Users who search for the name of a Universal artist or band will be shown an ad, bought by Universal, that takes them to where they can buy the song. Google then gets a percentage of all referrals.

I will be getting smarter on this soon, and report back as soon as I can (embargoes, etc. will delay the reporting). In short, this is Google proving its PPA model, and doing os in a way that might make Eric’s board meetings at Apple a bit uncomfortable for a while.

Yet Another People Search Engine: Peek You

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PeekyouPeekYou relaunches today. I’ve played a bit with it, the release claims it’s better than everyone else, I don’t see it. The bar ain’t too high right now. Who out there is going to start to scrape all the social networks and get this right? OR is someone already and I’m missing it? PeekYou says it can do it:

A PeekYou profile helps other people find your websites, social-networking pages, photos, or anything else about you online. You can also create a profile for friends or relatives to ensure that they may also be easily found online.

But it didn’t find my LinkedIn, MySpace, or Facebook page. It’s not like I’m hard to find….

Leverage

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Google’s long known that scale means leverage in its search results, and it’s also getting very good at doing the same in its financial results. Check this note from Bill Morrison at JMP Securities:

Google Inc. (GOOG – $508.60): Google increases monetization without sacrificing search quality or user experience; reiterate Market Outperform rating and $625 price target. On August 8, 2007, Google announced a significant change in its formula for determining when ads can be promoted to the top (north) position – above the organic search results – from the slots to the right (east) position of the organic search results. Our analysis, detailed in the note below, suggests that the new monetization algorithm could drive Google’s gross revenue 2-4% higher. Google only promotes ads from the east to the north position when ads meet both a minimum quality score (CTR estimate) AND a minimum effective CPM (eCPM) threshold, which is calculated as follows: CTR * CPC * 1000. Previously, when checking whether an ad’s eCPM exceeded the threshold for north promotion, Google used the advertiser’s actual CPC paid, which is typically $0.01 above the next highest bid in the auction, in the CPM calculation. The actual CPC paid is often well below the max CPC bid by an advertiser. Under the new system, Google will change its eCPM calculation by using a CPC that is equal to, or less than, the advertiser’s max bid CPC. This change will result in increases to advertisers’ actual CPC paid when a CPC that is equal to or less than the advertiser’s max bid CPC generates an eCPM that exceeds the threshold eCPM required for north promotion. In addition to the CPC increase, there will be a CTR increase associated with this ranking change that should have an even greater monetization impact. Our research suggests that ads in the north position can generate 2x the CTR of ads in the east position.

In short, fiddling the dials just a bit can mean much better financial results.

A Little SEO Test

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Remember my post with the xrays of my hand, signing the praises of my surgeon (Dr. Keith Raskin)? Well today I realized I didn’t even put his name in the post, and went to go fix it. Then I wondered if he came up first in Google, often doctors are old school and hard to find in search. But in fact, he was there alright. The first result was this. I wondered, as I put his name into Searchblog, how long it’d take for the post to show up? And at what rank will it land?

So the clock is ticking, it’s 9 am EST on the 15th of August…..

Just for fun, here’s the link to a Google search for “Dr Keith Raskin

Holy shit, in less than 5 minutes, the post is there when you search for dr keith raskin battelle.

Those Google spiders are all over my site.