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Google buying Postini

Dynamoo: Google to Acquire Postini:

Big business, this spam thing. Google has just announced a $625m plan to buy Postini. The deal is an outright cash purchase to be completed by end Q3 2007.

Google is making strides in improving their suite of applications (GMail/Google Docs & Spreadsheets) and the Postini acquisition puts them in an even better position relative to Microsoft.


July 9, 2007 Posted by | Google, News | Leave a comment

Why the Yahoo home page was inaccessible for several hours last friday


Web analytics firm Netcraft ( announced last week that search engine giant Yahoo’s ( Web sites experienced brief performance problems early Friday.

The problems ranged in varying degrees, depending on the location of the user. Since Yahoo is one of the world’s busiest Web sites, the outages were noted by Internet Storm Center and news outlets.

The home page was inaccessible for several hours from Netcraft’s London, England monitoring station, responding more slowly than usual from several locations in the US.

July 9, 2007 Posted by | News, Yahoo | Leave a comment

Google Patent Applications on Online Advertising Effectiveness

Bill Slawski notes new Google patent applications related to algorithims built to determine how effective an online advertisement, using methods much more complicated than a simple click-through rate. Hurray to Bill for finding this one.

A trio of patent applications from Google look at estimating the likelihood that an advertisement is a good one, in a method that goes beyond counting click-through-rates (CTR).They provide an extremely detailed list of factors that might go into a quality score, as well as details of different statistical models that might be generated from gathering information about those different factors.

July 6, 2007 Posted by | Google | Leave a comment

Google best watch what it sows

Today, it is Google in court trying to persuade the government to punish Microsoft.  It is only a matter of time before Google is sitting in Microsoft’s position, defending its actions in the marketplace for something like online advertising from the also-rans (Yahoo in 5 years?).  I certainly feel no sympathy for Google.  Stop complaining and sniping with pansy lawyers and go out there and whoop Microsoft’s ass by out-competing them every way you can.

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Google, Microsoft | Leave a comment

Linked Custom Search Engines (from new Google APIs)

Eric Enge explains what you can do with Google’s new custom search engine APIs: Dynamically Built Google Custom Search Engines

Google continues to roll out new features in its Custom Search Engines (CSEs). One of the most interesting ones is the implementation of “Linked CSEs”. What this feature does is allows applications to be built that can dynamically build a CSE. To whet your appetite for this feature, let me provide you with an example of a dynamic CSE you can build this way. You can read Google’s blog posts about this update here and here.

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Google | Leave a comment

What will Jerry Yang and Sue Decker do?

It sounds like Yahoo will redouble its bet on technology, whereas Terry Semel hinged the company’s future on content. Can they play catch-up?

Recent news:

Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang steps in to revive his creation
Finance Week

Can Yahoo turn it around?
London Free Press

Yahoo sees advertising shake-up
BBC News

Jerry Yang’s track record

Can Jerry Yang Save Yahoo?
Andrew Hines

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Yahoo | Leave a comment

Diggers believed’s advertising was promoting Google

I laughed out loud the first time I saw an’s algorithim poster in a bus shelter here in New York.  I knew it would make no sense to just about everyone…although I admit, since I’ve written about it a few times now, I did check it out once since.

Talk about an ad campaign backfiring double-bad.

Barry Schwartz @ Search Engine Roundtable:

Yesterday, I wrote how Is’s “The Algorithm” Campaign Really Working? I then submitting it to Digg, and it later became “popular”. My goal was to see if Digg users were also confused by the campaign, as confused as my brother-in-law and as confused as some of the search marketers at Cre8asite Forums.

Percentage of Digg Users Thought “The Algorithm” campaign was from:

June 14, 2007 Posted by |, Digg, Google | Leave a comment

Google and eBay’s love-hate relationship

Julie Kent @ Cleveland Leader:

Google and eBay’s bitter rivalry has finally reached a boiling point. When Google decided to throw a party in the middle of an eBay conference, they sure ruffled some feathers over at eBay.

This week, eBay held a three-day eBay Live marketing event in Boston. Hoping to spoil the party and lure away a few customers, tech experts, and partners, Google decided to throw a party of their own. But of course, in true Google fashion, they decided to one-up eBay with an attractive set of features.

eBay didn’t take the threat lightly, and immediately withdrew all its US advertising from Google’s website. Somewhat shocked by the response, Google backed down and called off the shindig.

While eBay didn’t come right out and say that Google’s actions were the reason they pulled advertising, the message was pretty clear. An eBay spokesman did, however, acknowledge their displeasure: “We don’t view that kind of activity as an appropriate activity for one partner to do to another.”

June 14, 2007 Posted by | ebay, Google | Leave a comment

Journalist joins lawsuit against Yahoo

Melissa Wang at AsiaMedia:

Shi Tao, a jailed Chinese reporter and poet, has joined a U.S. lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc. for providing user information to the Chinese government. The suit, filed by the World Organization for Human Rights USA in April, claims that Yahoo! provided identifying information of Internet users to Chinese authorities which led to the arrest of several Chinese dissidents, including Shi.
Shi, a former writer for the financial publication Contemporary Business News and a recipient of this year’s Golden Pen of Freedom Award, was sentenced to ten years in prison by a Chinese court in 2004 for giving state secrets to foreigners via his Yahoo! email account. He joins dissident Wang Xiaoning, imprisoned in 2003 for subversion, and Wang’s wife in seeking compensation from the California-based Internet company for helping in the Chinese government to convict them.
Shi’s conviction stemmed from an e-mail that he sent to a pro-democracy group in the United States regarding media restrictions in China. Yahoo! gave Shi’s anonymous Internet user ID and the location from where he sent his e-mails to the Chinese government upon request. Yahoo! maintains that it had to comply with local laws and hand over the information.

“Companies doing business in China must comply with Chinese law or its local employees could be faced with civil and criminal penalties,” Yahoo! said in a statement.

Like it or not, the quality of the actual case against Yahoo will depend on the Terms of Use Yahoo employed in China at the time of the disgusting decision to turn the information over to the Chinese gang-lord government leaders.

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Yahoo | Leave a comment gets 20% more satisfaction overnight

They killed the algorithm, but according to Emre Sokullu, has improved their user experience for 20% of their users.

Thankfully, this conclusion is not the result of a user poll. Rather, now returns more search results higher up on the page for the eyes to see. See their wonderful heatmap analysis of the search results.

As the query approaches the head of the tail, Google and Ask return the same amount of results. But most of the time, while Ask returns 6, Google has 5. Consequently, the user satisfaction is approximately 20% higher.


As a side note unrelated to Emre’s analysis, one problem I have with polls targeted to existing users of a particular website is that the questions are being asked of the already converted userbase. Many people are inclined to see any change as a step-forward for the betterment of the site, regardless of what it is. Devotees to a particular website like to think that they are on the cutting edge of information or entertainment and for that reason, they will evangelize just like many religious individuals feel the need to spread the message of their religion. Just an observation…

June 12, 2007 Posted by | | Leave a comment