Second Tier Players Strengthen

MediaPost reports that top members of the team behind Sprinks, which Google recently purchased and essentially folded into AdWords (why?see here), have landed at Kanoodle. Kanoodle also got a round of funding, and opened an office in NYC. They have a keyword search product, and will probably add contextual and…

MediaPost reports that top members of the team behind Sprinks, which Google recently purchased and essentially folded into AdWords (why?see here), have landed at Kanoodle. Kanoodle also got a round of funding, and opened an office in NYC. They have a keyword search product, and will probably add contextual and local advertising products next. It’s a sign of the robust market around paid search, and a good thing that companies besides Overture and Google can continue to thrive.

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Go Toast Bought

One of the most talked about companies in the paid search analytics business is Go Toast, which makes a business of helping companies optimize and analyze their paid search campaigns. I always expected they would be in line for acquisition, perhaps by a large agency like IPG or Omnicom….


One of the most talked about companies in the paid search analytics business is Go Toast, which makes a business of helping companies optimize and analyze their paid search campaigns. I always expected they would be in line for acquisition, perhaps by a large agency like IPG or Omnicom. Instead, Go Toast has been purchased by Atlas DMT, a unit of aQuantive (AQNT), which is a public roll up of several online agencies and services, including longtime survivor Avenue A.

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Holiday Shopping: Froogle Update

SearchDay summarizes Google's recent update to Froogle. The update is not a total redesign, nor a clear statement by Google that it wants to jump in full throttle, like Yahoo has (Google has yet to take off the "beta" moniker). Shopping engines in the main present something of a…


SearchDay summarizes Google’s recent update to Froogle. The update is not a total redesign, nor a clear statement by Google that it wants to jump in full throttle, like Yahoo has (Google has yet to take off the “beta” moniker). Shopping engines in the main present something of a challenge for Google – by their nature they invite commercially-driven presentation of results, and Google is best known for its “pure” or “natural” results. As Ninj pointed out to me last week, at Yahoo Shopping they believe that shoppers *expect* to be marketed to while in shopping mode – the metaphor she used was Yellow Pages. Those who paid more, have more credibility and larger ads, and that means something to shoppers. Such an approach is not exactly dead center to Google’s overall brand values, but neither does it directly contradict them. It is worth noting that the company updated Froogle in time for the holiday season and has been promoting it for several days in a row. To wit: the phrase “Shopping? Try Froogle – Google’s product search service” appears on the main page. Google product managers tell me it’s extremely difficult to get a promo for anything onto that home page, as they count every bit on that page, each additional bit slows down performance. Clearly, a decision has been made that this is important to the company, and by extension, to the company’s users.

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Marchex

Marchex, a Seattle-based SEO/Pay per click firm headed by folks from Go2Net, has filed to go public. Here's a story on it. This is interesting in many ways – the company is not profitable (though it is cash flow positive), and it's not well known, but it's in the…

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Marchex, a Seattle-based SEO/Pay per click firm headed by folks from Go2Net, has filed to go public. Here’s a story on it. This is interesting in many ways – the company is not profitable (though it is cash flow positive), and it’s not well known, but it’s in the search/advertising space, which is feeling overheated. Worth watching.

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Yet more funky little search companies

* Brainboost, an Ask Jeeves like Q&A engine (employs “cutting edge AI!”) * Think Tank 23 (finds “ideas”) * Nervana. ” You define the context of what you need, and Nervana delivers semantically relevant results from a multitude of sources (such as documents, emails, knowledge communities, intranets, and the Internet). “…

* Brainboost, an Ask Jeeves like Q&A engine (employs “cutting edge AI!”)
* Think Tank 23 (finds “ideas”)
* Nervana. ” You define the context of what you need, and Nervana delivers semantically relevant results from a multitude of sources (such as documents, emails, knowledge communities, intranets, and the Internet). ” (via Gary Price’s Resourceshelf)

There must be hundreds of these small search-related companies already, with scores more on the brink of launch.

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The Economist Weighs In

Ho hum. Not as sharp as usual, but a few good points in this Economist piece on the Google IPO. Chief among them is a claim that Google's contextual advertising margins are weak, according to Findwhat's CEO (wishful thinking, perhaps?), and a furtherance of the building meme that Google…

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Ho hum. Not as sharp as usual, but a few good points in this Economist piece on the Google IPO. Chief among them is a claim that Google’s contextual advertising margins are weak, according to Findwhat’s CEO (wishful thinking, perhaps?), and a furtherance of the building meme that Google is, in fact, an online advertising agency driven by a great search engine.

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“Get Where You Want In Two Clicks”

Dipsie, a new search engine coming Summer 2004, was recently written up in Businessweek (two paragraphs, with no mention of who was behind it). I could not find the site using a Google search (or Alta Vista or Teoma, so hold the conspiracy theories), but found it by simply typing…

lockupDipsie, a new search engine coming Summer 2004, was recently written up in Businessweek (two paragraphs, with no mention of who was behind it). I could not find the site using a Google search (or Alta Vista or Teoma, so hold the conspiracy theories), but found it by simply typing in “dipsie.com.” Gee…that seems odd, or they are so new that they’ve not been crawled, or…they have banned spiders from their site.

The site is very light on details, though it does say they are privately funded, in Chicago, and they are hiring. In the Businessweek piece (I’d link to it but their online site is deeply f*cked up) they also claim they will index 10 billion web pages (Google et al do about 3 billion) and will have semantic ranking (language based) that will be better than Google (the motto is “Get Where You Want In Two Clicks”.) If that’s right, expect them to be bought soon. If they *really do* have great tech, tech that can scale and withstand serious slashdotting, they’ll lash themselves to the mast, ignore the siren call of easy money from Google, MSFT, or Yahoo, and launch. Their price will go up with every new user they pull in. As Eric at Google often points out, the competition is one click away. And as great as Google is, fact is, no one ever gets past what Tim Bray calls the “Google Event Horizon” – result # 1001. In fact, few get past result #10 in any search engine, and therein lies an opportunity.

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Again With The IPO

I was in LA Friday, and offline, but even there folks were buzzing about the FT.com report on the Google IPO, which claimed that Google was close to going public, and was seriously considering WR Hambrecht's auction process as its path to the public markets (caveat: The Hambrechts are friends,…

I was in LA Friday, and offline, but even there folks were buzzing about the FT.com report on the Google IPO, which claimed that Google was close to going public, and was seriously considering WR Hambrecht’s auction process as its path to the public markets (caveat: The Hambrechts are friends, so I am inclined to support the auction process). Two quick thoughts: First, the reporting on this is extremely thin, with one unnamed source in the FT piece spawning a media feeding frenzy (105 articles on Google News within 24 hours), none of which had any more information, as far as I could tell, save this WashPost piece that quotes Andy Bechtolsheim, one of Google’s first investors. There’s no question Google is and has been talking to investment banks, it’d be irresponsible for them not to be, and they’ve been doing it for months. You have to wonder if that one source was an investment banker, looking to prod Google into action.
Secondly, it’s kind of fun to note that for whatever reason, the Google IPO news leads Google News itself, at least today, thanks probably to the frenzied linking around the story from the blogosphere.

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The Google IPO, again

The favorite topic of many a wag in the Valley, the Google IPO has once again been revived, this time by Barrons, and Eric Savitz, no less, The Standard's old EE. Eric is conservative in his reporting of the numbers (I've heard estimates of a hell of a lot more…

The favorite topic of many a wag in the Valley, the Google IPO has once again been revived, this time by Barrons, and Eric Savitz, no less, The Standard’s old EE. Eric is conservative in his reporting of the numbers (I’ve heard estimates of a hell of a lot more profit than $100 million this year, and more revenues than $700 million), but in any case it’s a lot. Speculation about the triggering of section 12(g) of the 1934 SEC Act (more than 500 shareholders = public filing requirements similar to an IPO) has been rife for nearly a year, given the number of Google employees – I recall the same issues being raised at Wired and The Standard (not that we had to worry in the end!). So, as Eric concludes, we finally have a time horizon for The IPO That Will Cure Cancer, Save The World, and Tie Your Shoes For You, Spring 2004.

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