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Look at Google




Microsoft scores a win over Google By Scott Shuey, Chief Reporter Published: July 27, 2007, 23:42

There is no free lunch, even in cyberspace. Had the industry heeded that little piece of ubiquitous advice during the dotcom boom years, the bust might never have happened. After wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising (does "because pets can't drive!" ring any bells?), the industry learned that the best way to make money online - sans actually selling something tangible - is by selling ad space, not buying it.


Regardless of who eventually wins, the war to control and sell ad space means only good things for the industry. 

...It's far too early to tell who will win the war, but Google lost one battle last week. Digg.com, which claims it receives over 17 million visitors a month, ditched Google's AdSense, instead opting for a three-year deal with Microsoft to manage its online advertising.

from the Gulf News in Dubai  Read more


Google gets more than 75% of search spending in Q2: study

Not only do large branded advertisers see better return on investment with Google Inc. (GOOG/NASD), they get higher click-thru rates and a lower cost-per-click as the company continues to tweak its ad search system.

So it’s no wonder Google accounted for more than 75% of total search spending in the second quarter of 2007, compared to 60% in the same period a year earlier. Yahoo Inc. (YHOO/NASD) came in at 18.3%.

However, things appear to have leveled off for all of the three major players this year – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT/NASD).

This data, from an RBC/SearchIgnite study of more than 500 advertisers, also suggests Yahoo’s Panama advertising platform, while successful, only halted Google’s market share gains temporarily, RBC Capital Markets analyst Jordan Rohan said in a research note.

While he acknowledged that the study focuses on large advertisers, he also points out that it doesn’t capture strong growth in international markets, which account for nearly half of Google’s ad search revenues these days. read more


Google agrees to sell print ads for 225 newspapers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. said on Tuesday it is expanding its Print Ads program to allow online advertisers nationwide to place print advertisements in 225 newspapers, serving half of U.S. newspaper readers.

The program, which will let hundreds of thousands of Google AdWords customers place newspaper ads in the same way they buy Web page, radio or TV ad space, follows a 50-publication test started last November among a small group of advertisers.

The 225 newspapers are located in 32 of the 35 biggest U.S. metropolitan markets, with a combined circulation of almost 30 million subscribers. Among the newspapers in the program are The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times and San Jose Mercury News. read more



Google Apps

"The response to Google Apps has been tremendous, with more than 1,000 small businesses signing up for the service every day," said Dave Girouard, head of Google Enterprise. "At the same time, large businesses have been reluctant to move to hosted applications due to issues of security and corporate compliance."  from an article in the FT, read more



Google’s algorithm of life: rejoice and be wary

By Thomas Hazlett Published: May 23 2007 20:23 | Last updated: May 23 2007 20:23

Tomorrow just arrived and it is about time. How many George Orwell novels or Ray Bradbury stories has it taken us? At long last, we may soon be able to click on the electronic screen to find out what is in our heads.

Thank you, Google. You are aiming to organise what so many of us have confused – namely, our lives. Flummoxed by the choices and complications of multi-dimensional reality, you are reducing it all to a simple computational problem. And you remember to do what the rest of us have been forgetting: save the receipts.

read more

Google partnership will help preserve UI collection

By Greg Kline Sunday, June 17, 2007 11:33 AM CDT


University of Illinois Library officials were excited earlier this year when they started a project to digitize nearly 6,000 volumes of the library's holdings and make the material available via the Web.

The UI library has worked on smaller digitization efforts since the mid-1990s. But the project with the Open Content Alliance – a coalition of educational institutions, high-tech firms and others that's making public-domain electronic books freely available through the Internet Archive, its parent organization – should be the largest single effort of the kind undertaken by the UI when it is done, probably by year's end.

That record doesn't figure to stand for long, however.

A new partnership with Google will turn an even larger chunk of the UI's considerable library holdings into digital content.

"We're talking about a minimum of a million volumes," UI Librarian Paula Kaufman said last week.

As many as 10 million volumes held by the UI, the other Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago could go online under the agreement announced this month by Google and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

read more



Corporate wikis offer close contact that could improve advertising

By Matthew Schwartz Story posted: June 4, 2007 - 6:01 am EDT


In the last few years, corporate wikis have become an online means for companies to keep track of what's going on internally. But can they help b-to-b companies improve their marketing communications?


A growing number of b-to-b marketers that have launched them think so.


"Wikis will start to affect advertising in a positive way and help us identify constituents we want to touch," said Rod Smith, VP-Internet emerging technology at IBM Corp. Wikis can "help us position a new product and can provide good intelligence as we segment our advertising."


Distinct from sites like Wikipedia—a free, online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute information after creating an account—corporate wikis, which may include additional features such as contact management, can be completely closed to the public.


Opening up IBM's wikis to customers "would be a great way to engage folks in our ecosystem about a new ad campaign before spending a dollar," Smith said. "The hardest part of communications is to explain a new product, and sometimes we get too technical. But wikis allow nontechnical folks to talk about what their expectations are for a new product. You can feed off that from a marketing and advertising perspective."


Smith said people whuse wikis still comprise a relatively small universe, but that limited audience plays into the strength of niche markets.


"As wikis take off, I need to ask people in our markets: How can I engage you about a new campaign and how does that translate into product features that can touch those markets?" Smith said.


While stressing that IBM's wikis have not yet had a "huge impact" on its ad budget, Smith said that because the next generation of decision-makers will be increasingly comfortable with Web 2.0 tools, marketers are likely to re-evaluate how wikis fit into their corporate strategies.read more



Google snaps up photo locator site

By Shaun Nichols,4 June 2007 07:00 AEST

Google wants Panoramio mapping service pinpoints locations of photos.

Google has agreed to acquire Spanish photo site Panoramio for an undisclosed sum. The site will continue to operate as an independent entity.

Panoramio groups images on maps, pinpointing the geographic location where they were taken. The site boasts more than a million photos and more than 300,000 registered users.

The service has been used in Google Maps and Google Earth to group pictures of tourist attractions and scenic locations.

"We have been working with Panoramio for some time, and its photos have been a default layer in Google Earth since the beginning of the year," said John Hanke, director of Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Local.

Read more



Google Offers Book Search to Publishers

Controversial book search engine can be co-branded and embedded on publishers' sites. Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service Sunday, June 03, 2007 10:00 AM PDT

Publishers can tailor the index of their search engine so that only books published by them show up in the query results, Google said Friday. As in the main Book Search site, these result pages give users the option to link to online shops that sell the listed books.

Interestingly, one of the publishers that put Book Search on its Web site is The McGraw-Hill Companies. Along with other major publishers, McGraw-Hill is suing Google for copyright infringement over Google's ongoing project to scan millions of copyright books without permission.

...Simultaneously, McGraw-Hill objects to the other portion of the Book Search operation, in which Google partners with major academic libraries to scan large portions of their collections. Those library scanning operations often involve copyright books, which Google is digitally copying without obtaining permission from publishers and authors.read more



FCC Consults On Google Spectrum Auction Plan

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) A novel approach to radio spectrum management put forward by Google was put out for public consultation by the Federal Communications Commission late on Thursday, a key step to the plan being adopted by the regulator.

The plan calls for what Google refers to as a "real-time airwaves auction model," which would follow the model the company uses for its online advertising auction.

This allows companies to bid on the placement of their ads on Google's search engine based on how much they are willing to pay per user click-through to their Web sites.

Google argues that in many instances, only 5% of the available spectrum is actually being used, and said its plan would enable more efficient use of the resource.

A real-time auction would allow commercial operators to bid for access to spectrum controlled by the actual licensee. It would potentially allow smaller companies that couldn't afford to buy spectrum on their own to participate in the wireless broadband market.

"Unfortunately, the longtime methods of allocating spectrum still have not made wireless broadband commonplace across America," said Rick Whitt, a Washington-based counsel for Google. "We're grateful that the FCC and Chairman Martin are willing to consider a new framework which we think could reduce prices for consumers, make better use of spectrum, and make broadband more available."

In a notice published on its Web site, the FCC asked whether its current rules would permit such a model to exist and whether it should change its rules to allow it if they do not.

Respondents have just seven days to respond to the notice. There is little indication whether the FCC views the proposal favorably at this stage, but the decision to put it out for comment is a necessary step toward it ultimately being adopted.


... playing around with Google Trends, from PC world blogspot

a new Google service designed to spot "hot trends." So far I'm cool on the service.

Google Trends is the company's stepped-up attempt to better spot "trends" replacing its earlier Google Zeitgeist service. Google faces competition by companies such as

Ask, Lycos, and Yahoo, which offer similar services.

As the most popular search destination, Google will loom large in the Internet zeitgeist spotting game. Google says its technology can weed out search engine spam and removes inappropriate material allowing it to spot just the "hot trends" of what people are searching for on Google on a single day.

Google makes big strides with its latest offering. But I wonder how useful the service is. To me it's a fun time waster. But there seems to be a few kinks to be worked on...read more

According to Douglas Schoen, the art of politiical polling is to figure out the trends af what voters want... I wonder how long before the two converge?

Google, Salesforce.com discuss allianceBy Michael Liedtke, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce.com's stock price climbed by more than 4% Monday in response to a report that the online software pioneer is poised to team up with Internet search leader Google in a double-barreled attack on Microsoft.

Although details are still being negotiated, the alliance would most likely involve blending Google mass-market applications like instant messaging, word processing and spreadsheets with Salesforce.com's business programs for managing customer relationships, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, competes in all those fields, making it logical for Mountain View-based Google and San Francisco-based Salesforce.com to draw upon their respective strengths to thwart a common rival.

A partnership makes so much sense that "it's not out of the realm of possibility that Google ends up buying Salesforce.com," said CIBC World Markets analyst Brad Reback.read more

Google service chases what's hot and what's not

The art of trend-spotting is set to take a more scientific turn as Google, the world's top Web search company, on Tuesday is expected to unveil a service to track the fastest-rising search queries.

Google Hot Trends combines elements of Zeitgeist and Trends--two existing Google products that give a glimpse into Web search habits, but only in retrospect based on weeks-old data.

Hot Trends, a list of the current top-100 fastest-rising search trends, will be refreshed several times daily, using data from millions of Google Web searches conducted up to an hour before each update, the company said.

What's hot and what's not will be knowable to the masses in ways pioneering social philosophers could never have imagined.

"There are events going on all the time that most of us aren't aware of happening," Amit Patel, a Hot Trends software engineer and an early Google employee, said in an interview.read more

Man who took Google global

From The Sunday Times May 20, 2007

Omid Kordestani, the firm’s 12th man, talks about the risky move that paid off to the tune of $2 billion

Paul Durman


WHEN Omid Kordestani first met Larry Page and Sergey Brin, he was a successful business-development executive at Netscape Communications, the browser company that opened the world’s eyes to the power of the internet, and they were 25-year-old drop-outs from Stanford University – albeit with a promising search engine called Google.


At the time – early 1999 – Google employed only four or five engineers in a garage in Palo Alto, California, and had no clear idea about how it was going to make any money. Kordestani was introduced to them because he thought Netscape might be able to make some use of search.


It didn’t turn out quite as Kordestani expected. Sitting at a ping-pong table, he was soon embroiled in a six-hour interview, with the inexperienced Brin calling in his engineers to help in the cross-examination. At the end, Kordestani took them all out and bought them dinner at a Chinese restaurant.


“The sparkle in their eyes, this real idealistic view that they could change the world, was clear from day one,” said Kordestani last week.


“That simplicity was really what attracted me, that innovation was so clear. I was convinced that even if they decided to build furniture, it was going to be the most innovative furniture that you’d ever seen.”


So, two months before the birth of his second child, Kordestani took the “very risky and scary move” to become Google’s 12th employee.


As the world knows, it turned out pretty well – for Google and for Kordestani. The advertising business that Kordestani built is today worth nearly $150 billion (£76 billion), and his own fortune is estimated at $2 billion. Read more


Google focus now includes business software-CEO

Thu May 10, 2007 4:28 PM BST21

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 10 (Reuters) - Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said on Thursday the company's corporate tagline is now "Search, Ads and Apps," reflecting a growing focus beyond search and advertising into business software.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting, Schmidt said his presentation to investors will focus on the three parts of its business.

Google, the overwhelming market leader in Web search, is also the dominant provider of pay-per-click advertising, which contributes virtually all of its revenue. Last year, it entered the business software application market with products it collectively refers to as "Google Apps."

Google Apps is a series of online software applications and Web publishing tools that it provides for free to consumers and in a premium, licensed version to companies, government organizations and universities. It marks a challenge to Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Office software franchise, according to analysts.

From Reuters

Google CEO Schmidt Interviews Sen. John McCain

Google CEO Eric Schmidt interviewed Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Friday during the company's Authors@Google series. The video of the interview is below. If you're a Google fanboy, you'll love the vibe and inside jokes in the video. And, if for whatever reason you dislike Googlers for their obnoxious egos or self-aggrandizing behavior, you'll enjoy poking fun.

(Make sure you watch around minute 23 in the video, when McCain mentions his "bomb, bomb Iran" flub, says he won't do that again, then says "maybe I'll do something different, like Good Vibrations." Pause. Nervous laughter.)

read more

AltaVista almost Google

By Staff writers, TechWeb 7 May 2007 13:56

Digital Equipment Researchers set the standard for Internet search..

Paul Cormier

We could have been Google. We should have been Google," said Paul Cormier, shaking his head in disbelief at how close his Digital Equipment research team came to wealth and Web immortality.

The story of how AltaVista rose and fell is one commonly told in technology circles. The object lesson: The best technology doesn't always win; the technology that connects to the right business engine for its time often does.

As search caught on in the mid-'90s, search engines tried to monetize the newfound traffic to their sites. The real potential for revenue was in ads placed within or alongside search results, where users who might be interested in the ads were sure to see them. It was controversial; many of the Web's original members wanted to maintain its noncommercial status.

"There was a debate about accepting pay for placement," said Louis Monier, founder of the AltaVista search engine research project at Digital. "I was enormously opposed to that."

Eventually, Google found a way to include pay-for-placement ads in its search results and keep them clearly labeled. The reliability of its search plus its AdWords advertising business eventually allowed it to outstrip rivals in the speed, depth of results, and mix of services offered by its site.

But it was AltaVista that established the universality of full-page Web searches with subsecond response times. AltaVista set the standard Google had to match, said Cormier, now executive VP with Linux marketer Red Hat. "We let the technologist and research purists drive it too much," he lamented. "It wouldn't have hurt to have had a little business entrepreneurial influence" on the team back then.

Google gets personal with iGoogle  reuters

Google is stepping up efforts to allow its users to personalise how they search the Web. Reinventing the Google.com home page - with its simple, uncluttered design - the company is introducing features that range from colourful Web page designs to helping users publish their own creative content.

“We want to personalise search,” said Sep Kamvar, lead engineer for the personalisation push. “I am an eclectic person, and so is everyone else.”

To help users create personalised features on what the company calls iGoogle, it has introduced ‘Gadget Maker’. These gadgets include tools for publishing photos, sending virtual greeting cards or creating personal profiles or lists of favourite songs or films; all without computer coding.

“I look at personalised search and I think it is one of the biggest advances we have had,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president in charge of search and user experience.

Last week, Google introduced the ability for users to refer back to their personal Web search history over the past several years. The history feature is optional and only for users who give permission to Google to store their Web surfing activity.

Google is also introducing a geographic aspect to search results based on the location that users select as their home location on Google Maps.

Users who accept this option will see Google search results that are tailored to their location, so a search for ‘pizza’ will return links to nearby pizza place, not just the most heavily visited pizza sites across the Web.


The company is also expanding the number of countries and languages in which it will offer personalised search services. This week, iGoogle personalised Web search will be available in 40 countries and 26 languages, said Jessica Ewing, the product manager for iGoogle.

Google Buys Video Conferencing Software

Peter Sayer and Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service Saturday, April 21, 2007 12:00 PM PDT

Google Inc. has bought video conferencing software from Marratech AB, a Stockholm-based vendor, and hired the engineers involved with the software, a Google spokesman said Friday.

For now, Google plans to use the software internally, as a tool for its employees, the spokesman said, declining to speculate whether Google might later try to market the technology or integrate it into one of its commercial products.

Should Google decide to market or integrate the technology into its products, the move would be seen as another in a string of recent steps taking Google into the sphere of collaborative work tools.

read more

Google 1Q profit rises 69 percent


© 2007 The Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc.'s first-quarter profit rose 69 percent, maintaining the online search leader's penchant for obliterating analyst estimates.

The stellar results released Thursday left little doubt that Google has widened its lead over its closest rival in Internet search and advertising, Yahoo Inc., whose first-quarter earnings eroded.

Google detailed its sparkling performance on the same day that several major U.S. newspaper companies announced another quarter of financial decay, underscoring an advertising shift that is enriching Internet upstarts at the expense of traditional media outlets struggling to adapt to a new order.read more

Is Google changing its business model?

It's easy to define what Google does. It's a search engine company. But maybe that is changing. Maybe it's changing into an advertising sales company - a company operating in both new and traditional media, and a company with such clout that the media buyer must be wondering whether the days when ad sales people come cap in hand with their sales pitch is nearing an end. Perhaps the sales pitch will be from the buyer, asking to book ads.

First, Google is in the process of buying Doubleclick.

Now if you don't work in publishing or in the internet world, you may not know who Doubleclick is, but those who do, will no doubt tell you that this is a major company. read more

Google undisputed search leader: Survey

Posted : Sat, 14 Apr 2007 09:05:00GMT Author : Ryan Jones

A recent survey carried out by Internet metrics firm Hitwise has revealed that Google has increased its search engine market share to 64 percent even as the other three major search engines lost ground. Hitwise said that around 64.1 percent of the search queries in the US were asked on Google, thereby increasing its market share from 63.9 percent in February. Hitwise said that it tracked the surfing habits of over 10 million American Internet users. read more

Google plans new operations centre in Poland

US Internet giant Google is poised to open a new operations centre in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw, a Polish newspaper reported Thursday, quoting a company official.

Google had already launched a recruitment drive for the new centre, the company's European sales chief Colm Long told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Wroclaw, which has become Poland's high-tech hotspot, will be Google's second largest European outpost after Dublin, where the company has its continental hub.

read more

Google brain drain? The best and the richest could cash options - and quit

By Mark Schwanhausser and Elise Ackerman

Mercury News Article Launched: 04/07/2007 03:13:28 PM PDT


Less than three years after going public, Google is confronting one of the more confounding consequences of its phenomenal success: a potential brain drain if its earliest - and richest - employees quit after earning the right to cash in the last of the stock options that made them millionaires.

Hundreds of the 2,300 Googlers hired before the Internet juggernaut went public in August 2004 are hitting their fourth anniversary. When they do, they'll be free to cash in the final portions of their pre-IPO options, worth an estimated $2.6 billion before taxes.

So far, the exodus has been limited to "handful of people," said Stacy Savides Sullivan, Google's chief culture officer and a 43-year-old pre-IPO millionaire herself. "We anticipated more because we think it would only be natural. We worry every day about this and hope we can stay ahead of it." [http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5618475?nclick_check=1


Google founders, CEO took $1 salaries in 2006

April 05, 2007 (IDG News Service) -- The three top executives at Google Inc. are also the lowest-paid employees at the company, and they prefer it that way, according to a company filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, presidents of technology and products, respectively, and CEO Eric Schmidt, were each paid $1 salaries for their work at the company last year, the same as they've been paid since 2004, and exactly the sum they will each receive this year.

"Eric, Larry and Sergey voluntarily receive only nominal cash compensation. Their primary compensation continues to come from returns on their ownership stakes in Google. As significant stockholders, their personal wealth is tied directly to sustained stock price appreciation and performance, which provides direct alignment with stockholder interests," the filing said.read  more

Should you switch your biz to Google’s e-mail domain hosting service? We did

Last year, Google launched the beta version of an e-mail hosting service where the same back-end infrastructure being used for its public facing Gmail service could also be used to replace a company's e-mail server altogether. So, instead of running our own e-mail server software on our hosted server (which was starting to look like our only option since no one shares that IP address) or using the hosting service's shared e-mail serving infrastructure, all in- and out-bound e-mails would instead go through Gmail while preserving the "@masseventslabs.com" part of their address.read more

Google to sell ads for Dish Network

By Ryan Blitstein Mercury News Article Launched: 04/02/2007 09:07:43 PM PDT

Google continued its expansion into off-line advertising Monday, announcing a television ad sales partnership with satellite-TV company EchoStar, the companies said.

EchoStar Communications, based in Englewood, Colo., operates the Dish Network service, which has more than 13 million customers nationwide, making it the second-largest satellite-TV provider after DirecTV. Google is setting up an online system to allow advertisers to buy time slots and track viewership of ads served to Dish Network customers.

"If this works, then viewers will be the beneficiary of seeing more relevant ads. And it'll help the important medium of TV get its mojo back," said Keval Desai, Google's director of product management for television advertising. read more

LG to Release Google Phone Next Month

LG Electronics said on Wednesday that it has signed a contract with Internet giant Google to build a line of mobile phones with built-in Google services.

The phones will feature a Google icon to allow email access with a single click, LG said. The first Google phone will be available next month in North America, Europe and Asia. More than 10 models should be out by the end of this year.

Google's Next Frontier: Television

Google has hired a team of software engineers to develop products for traditional television.

Jon Brodkin, Network World

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 05:00 PM GMT-08:00


Google is coming to your television set. The Web search giant is hiring a team of software engineers to develop products for television and is building a sales team that will secure advertising for Google's TV offerings. Google's intentions are made clear in a series of job advertisements posted on its career Web site.


"Television remains the single most important source of information and entertainment for billions of people around the world," Google states in an ad for a television technology software engineer position in Mountain View, Calif. "We are hiring software engineers to bring Google technology to this vital medium worldwide."


Another job ad states that "Google is looking for highly intelligent, enthusiastic Technical Leads/Managers (TLMs) to build Google's Television Technology team in London to help us make the world's information universally accessible and useful for TV."read more

from itworld.com

Admittedly, "do no evil" is nothing more than a cute catch phrase dreamed up by one of Google's ad guys, and it means nothing. Google is no more or less evil than any other huge tech company, and they are, like other companies, in business primarily to make money. This should come as no surprise. But the fact that Internet companies like Google are in business to make money is precisely what has driven the Internet's growth. Companies like Google have made a much greater contribution to the Internet as a whole than organizations like Wikipedia and the ill-conceived Wikia Search, and Google will undoubtedly outlast them.

Google is looking beyond the urban market in India.

It is launching multiple initiatives aimed at increasing its reach to the rural users. The company is developing customized content for rural customers, including weather updates, crop patterns and other local data.


Google News launched in Hindi last week. Google Samachar gathers news stories from the various Hindi news sources on the Web and presents a ranked one-page summary with links to news sources.

read more


Google hungry for more Indian hits



NEW DELHI: The world’s largest search engine Google Inc’s decision to invest in two early-stage venture capital funds in India, appears to have wetted its appetite for a more active buy-out strategy in the country. The $10.7 billion giant now says it is open to acquisition of Indian companies that have ‘interesting technologies’ to offer.


“We are hoping that there are some great technologies in India and we are open to direct acquisitions if it makes sense,” Google vice-president (Asia Pacific and Latin America operations) Sukhinder Singh Cassidy told ET. read more

Control of advertiser at stake in Media vs Google

By Michele Gershberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Behind a media industry furore over Google Inc.'s popular video-sharing site YouTube lies a deeper struggle over who controls the relationship with advertisers that will take years to resolve. In the meantime, many new models will be tested to determine which is worth more to advertisers -- the television shows and movies or the Web sites that show them. The uncertainty means new battles between well-entrenched media companies and fast-growing Internet properties, said Jeff Lanctot, general manager of online agency Avenue A/Razorfish. "The deals aren't in place and the ad models really aren't established," Lanctot told Reuters. "The strategy major media companies need to take is that distribution trumps destination" to any particular site. read more

Google Targets Microsoft With Launch Of Business Applications

The search engine company adopts a subscription model with its corporate bundle to counter Microsoft Office and Windows Live.

"...But it's not just penny-pinching small businesses that are eyeing Google Apps. Business powerhouses General Electric Co. and Procter & Gamble are among the early adopters. For GE, it's less about the cost and more about "the easy access that Google Apps provides to a suite of Web applications," said GE chief technology officer Gregory Simpson, in a statement."


The fight over the YouTube business model continues.

Viacom tells YouTube to remove content

By Joshua Chaffin and Aline van Duyn in New York

Published: February 2 2007 16:09 | Last updated: February 3 2007 00:10


Google’s strategy for its newly acquired YouTube site was dealt a serious blow on Friday when Viacom, the owner of MTV, demanded that all its clips be removed from the user-generated internet company’s site. Viacom, which owns youth brands such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, made the demand after months of negotiations with YouTube and Google. It said more than 100,000 affected video clips on the YouTube site had generated more than 1.2bn video streams.

To read more The move threatens to wreck Google’s attempts to cement commercial relationships with traditional media groups, which supply most material.


YouTube uploaders in line for share of revenues

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in Davos, Financial Times

Published: Jan 29, 2007


Google is planning to share YouTube's advertising revenues with people who submit films to the video-sharing website.

the link to the story.

Who runs Google.

This is the link to the people running Google.

Google and Microsoft plan data centres

By Richard Waters in San Francisco

Published: January 20 2007 00:12 | Last updated: January 20 2007 00:12


The internet arms race between Google and Microsoft took a new twist on Friday as the companies announced plans to spend more than $1bn between them on new data centres to handle future rapid growth in online traffic. Google said it would spend $600m to build a new site to house a server farm in Lenoir, a small town in North Carolina, while Microsoft unveiled plans for a $550m facility in San Antonio, Texas. Google’s breakneck growth has been underpinned by the rapid expansion of its underlying technology infrastructure, forcing rivals to ratchet up their own spending.


Google’s capital spending more than doubled, to over $800m, in 2005 and continued to soar last year, though full details will not be available until it reports earnings at the end of this month. Google is in the infrastructure business. Having the most efficient server farms is a sustainable real world advantage. In the article it is described that one of the key resources they are looking for is inexpensive electricity, which is one of the reasons they put their server farms in the Northwest. For No Carolina to get the contract, they had to give Google $100 million tax breaks.


Internet firms repond to China critics


By Jonathan Birchall in New York and Richard Waters in San Francisco

Published: January 18 2007 20:00 | Last updated: January 18 2007 20:00


Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodafone have announced an agreement with human rights groups, internet freedom activists and others to establish a set of principles covering how they deal with censorship and other restrictions that could harm human rights in China and elsewhere.


The move comes in the wake of public criticism of big US online companies last year over their activities in China. It echoes other voluntary “multi-stakeholder” initiatives that have emerged in recent years in response to public protest, covering issues such as the use of local security forces by oil and mining companies, and conditions in the clothing and footwear supply chains.


The four companies have agreed to work with non-governmental organisations to “seek solutions to the free expression and privacy challenges faced by technology and communications companies doing business internationally”, according to a statement on Thursday.




Google is muscling its way into advertising mainstream


By Richard Waters in San Francisco

Published: January 18 2007 18:37 | Last updated: January 18 2007 18:37


The advertising industry is on the brink of a technological revolution – and if there is one company more than any other that is leading the charge of new technology, it is Google. Already the king of search advertising, the group has set its sights on a far bigger prize: the entire $424bn (£215bn, €327bn) global advertising market, online or off.


For Google, the push into mainstream advertising markets could represent Act Two of what has already become one of the biggest business stories of recent years. The first act, built almost entirely on a search advertising market that did not even exist at the start of the decade, will see its revenues hit nearly $11bn this year, according to Wall Street estimates.



Google, however, is nothing if not ambitious. The advertising technology it has already built is “100 per cent relevant beyond search”, says Tim Armstrong, its head of advertising sales for North America.


The company’s existing advertising network lets advertisers bid online to have their simple text messages displayed alongside the results of internet searches relevant to their products. This low-cost, automated network has already been extended once, bringing advertising space from websites other than Google to the same group of advertisers. Now, the company plans to automate the sale of all types of online advertising through the network, including display and video. It also wants to use the same platform to sell radio, print and television inventory.


“This is the platform we have been building for the audio and radio business, that we’re testing now with print, and we will continue to look at other markets, like TV,” says Mr Armstrong.


Over the past year, Google has expanded into video (with the $1.65bn purchase of YouTube, to create an outlet for video advertising), audio (with the acquisition, for up to $1.24bn, of dMarc, an automated network for selling radio advertisements) and print (with an agreement to sell adverts on behalf of 66 US newspapers with a combined daily circulation of 15m).


It is now looking to cap these moves with a landmark deal that would show off its widening reach. The internet company has been angling for months for a deal with a big media concern that would bring YouTube into the mainstream, putting copyrighted content on to the video website in return for a cut of the advertising it can produce. According to Jessica Reif Cohen, media analyst at Merrill Lynch, a deal with CBS seems likely soon – one that would also hand Google a slice of that company’s radio advertising airtime to sell through its dMarc network.


As Google looks to break out from its search engine roots, it stands to benefit in particular from three attributes of its advertising technology: an ability to service small advertisers economically; transparency of its advertisement sales; and ability to target adverts to particular preferences. All were honed on its search engine and could give it a leg-up in the broader advertising world.


First, Google’s network reaches to what has become known in the internet industry as the “long tail” of advertisers: the large number of small spenders that together make up a substantial market. Before trying out Google’s search advertising, many of these were limited to the local Yellow Pages, says Sheryl Sandberg, the executive in charge of Google’s advertising sales to smaller businesses.


Its technology, she adds, has made it possible to link these small advertisers, which have never had an economic way to reach mainstream audiences, with media companies, which have never had an economic way of selling to them. The same things that lowered transaction costs and drew small businesses to search advertising – such as the self-service nature of the system, where advertisers bid for space in an online auction – are being applied to radio advertising and will eventually work elsewhere, says Ms Sandberg.


Some executives in traditional media buying companies concede this point but argue that Google will never have much to offer big brand-name advertisers. “What Google will influence most is local advertising,” says John Montgomery, chief executive of MindShare Interaction, a media buying arm of the WPP group. “It will bring video to local advertisers and retailers.”


But Google’s management maintains that a strategy targeted at small advertisers may also work with big ones, which have thousands of different products or versions of products, often with relatively small sales and little or no direct advertising budget.


A company such as Procter & Gamble, for example, might have 30 different types of Tide detergent, says Mr Armstrong. “The ability to target all of those products and services to the right user, at the right time and right price, with the right outcome and the right information, that’s the scale we’ve talked to them about,” he says.


Scott Berg, worldwide media director for Hewlett-Packard, with an estimated $800m a year to spend on everything from television and radio airtime to search engines, says he is now studying the techniques developed for the “long tail” advertisers, whether by Google or others, to see how they can be applied to HP’s own advertising.


A second promise of Google’s technology is the transparency and liquidity it could bring to some of the biggest media-buying markets. At present, advertisers negotiate directly with media owners and have little idea what other advertisers are paying. The television market, in particular, is highly opaque. “There’s very little transparency – you really don’t know where you sit in relation to supply and demand,” complains Mr Berg, who last year boosted HP’s spending on online advertising from 10 per cent to 24 per cent of its overall media buying budget.


Google’s search advertising business was founded on the idea that letting advertisers bid against each other in an open market would be better both for buyers and sellers, since it would match supply and demand more efficiently. That is a method that Google is looking to bring to other markets, either by acquiring large blocks of advertising space and airtime directly and reselling them, or by acting as a broker on behalf of media owners.


CBS, for example, could hand Google 10 per cent of its radio advertising time in return for $200m a year, says Ms Cohen at Merrill – the sort of deal that would bring both credibility and greater liquidity to its attempt to build a radio advertising market.


When it comes to applying this idea to television, others are further ahead than Google. Along with several other big advertisers, HP is now working with Ebay to test an automated market to buy television advertising time. Yet Google’s ambition to do something similar validates the idea, says Mr Berg.


Rivals in the media buying business contend, however, that Google will find it hard to replicate its dominance of the search business, where it runs the most liquid auction market, to other advertising fields. “They want to take their auction algorithm to the display market, but if Google says they want to have it all, it isn’t going to happen,” says one big competitor. While describing the company’s search advertising business as “unbelievably dominant”, this person says that other markets are already well served by rivals.


For media companies, meanwhile, greater transparency and liquidity could turn out to be a double-edged sword, making them wary about surrendering too much control. Still, a liquid market would give them an easy way to price excess inventory that they cannot sell profitably themselves. Mr Armstrong calls this “yield management”, of the type used by airlines to deal with unsold seats.


The third, and perhaps most important, characteristic of Google’s advertising technology is the ability it brings to direct adverts to the people most likely to be interested in them. Linked to that is the ability to measure the response to adverts, then use that information to perfect the message.


These, by definition, are things that work better in an interactive medium such as the internet, where users can be defined individually and direct response measured. “My sense is, Google will have more luck in the electronic world,” says Rishad Tobacco­wala, chief innovation officer at Publicis, the French communications group. “Their real future is behavioural targeting on the web. For anything off the web, they don’t have an edge: it’s just money.”


Certainly, if television and other media move to the internet over the long term, Google’s techniques would come into play. Even before that it may be gaining an informational edge. Automating parts of the advertising process, for example, could give it access to more timely data than that available to rivals. At the moment, says Mr Armstrong, radio advertisers often wait six or eight weeks to receive an invoice that tells them whether an advert was actually aired. Through dMarc, Google aims to provide that information within a day. Armed with better information, advertisers can make better judgments about which parts of their campaigns are working and adjust their spending accordingly.


“Each process in advertising across the board has places like that where technology can increase the speed and the accuracy of the entire process,” says Mr Armstrong.


If these three broad technology trends point to the long-term potential for Google in many different advertising markets, however, it faces considerable challenges in the short term. Consider YouTube, the great hope for internet video: as long as it remains a place to watch user-generated content, it may fail to attract many advertisers:“If you try to go to a user-generated environment with a corporate message, there can be some backlash,” warns HP’s Mr Berg.


This is a broader problem for new forms of online advertising. “What hasn’t caught up yet is context, and the creative product,” says Mr Montgomery. There is no guarantee that Google will be the one to discover the secret to making it work, as it did before with search advertising.


Google also has to learn how to win the trust of media companies, advertisers and others – no easy thing for a newish company, particularly one known for the arrogance of its engineering-led culture. Among media companies, Google is “probably more feared than Microsoft was in its heyday”, says Mr Tobaccowala.


Nor does it start from a position of strength in its relations with big advertisers – unlike, say, Yahoo, which has spent years developing skills in “branded” advertising.


Google, however, has been applying the two things it seems to have in abundance: cash and brain power. Apart from the high-profile acquisitions such as YouTube and dMarc, it has spent the past year buying up some of the best brains in the media buying and media planning business, say industry executives. These include Michael Steib, formerly head of strategy ventures at NBC Universal, who was recruited this month for what Mr Armstrong describes as a central role in planning Google’s move into television. Even rivals credit it with making massive investments in technology to support its ambitions.


While the outline of a new approach to advertising is starting to take shape, it will take time to become a reality, says Mr Armstrong. “I think there’s a pretty clear path here – 10 or 15 years of work that needs to happen.”



Google buys into China website

By Andrew Yeh

Published: January 6 2007 02:00 | Last updated: January 6 2007 02:00


Following up on its $1.65bn acquisition of top US video-sharing website YouTube, Googleyesterday announced its investment in Xunlei Networking Technologies, a Chinese multimedia site.


Xunlei says it has 120m users who download about 50m files daily from its site, which features a range of video, music, mobile phone ringtone, games and other content; by comparison, YouTube has 70m unique users a month who download 100m videosa day.


Google and Xunlei yesterday did not disclose financial details of the new partnership, which will cover provision of Google's heralded search technology.


China-based venture capital firm Ceyuan Ventures and Fidelity Asia Ventures, an arm of US funds group Fidelity, will also buy stakes in Xunlei. IDG Venture Capital, part of International Data Group, and Morningside Ventures, a private investment vehicle for the family of former Enron director Ronnie Chan, are to increase their stakes in Xunlei.Andrew Yeh, Beijing

Google puts in the largest solar installation in the US

The Google Blog

Interview with Eric Schmidt, Google CEO in the FT

Published: October 12 2006 22:47 | Last updated: October 13 2006 01:25


FINANCIAL TIMES: Clearly, the dominant business news event this week is your own acquisition of YouTube. Why is user-generated video worth $1.65bn to Google?


ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, on the money side, it’s easy because we have what we think is the world’s best advertising system and we can take that advertising and use that over time to build quite a business off all of the things the users are doing on YouTube. The real reason, however, was not the money, and not even the advertising, it was because we believe that video is going to be, and is sort of already, one of the most important new media types on the internet.


More and more people are going to be doing videos of one kind or another to communicate ideas, sell their product, record their memories, and ultimately a lot of the existing broadcast world that we’re so used to will become available on the internet.


FT: Since doing that deal, you’ve been quite assiduous in going and visiting some of your other big media partners and talked to them about the significance. Has it made them again ask this question that we’ve heard a lot about Google ‘friend or foe?’ and worry about Google moving into content creation.


SCHMIDT: We, of course, want to be their friend. We don’t want it to be Google foe. We see ourselves as a technology provider and a distribution network. We’re not in the content business. And the partnerships that we’ve constructed over the last few years, and especially the ones over the summer, really show the application of our advertising network to the content and media capabilities of our partners. So we want those media partners to put their media content, literally their content, into this emergent new and much larger system as a result of the YouTube acquisition.


FT: You’ve met with some of them already. You’ve met with News Corp executives, you’re in New York, meeting maybe with people maybe from Time Warner. Are they comfortable with that explanation?


SCHMIDT: All of the media companies are dealing with dramatic changes in their business. All of them are looking for a partner. All of them are looking for a way to make money. One of the great news, from our perspective, is people are using this content on the internet. The bad news is it doesn’t make as much money for the businesses. And ultimately the businesses need to make money in order to produce the new content. So what we’re trying to do with all of these partners is to say, ‘if you work with us we can combine our advertising platform and your content with a much larger audience.’ So far people like that message, they are now trying to figure out what to do about it – should they, should they not, under what terms, and those sort of things.


FT: Another new generation internet property which has generated a lot of interest recently is Facebook. Are you thinking about acquiring Facebook? Do you think Yahoo might acquire them?


SCHMIDT: I shouldn’t speculate on mergers and acquisitions either our own possibilities, or competitors’. It’s clear to me that social networks are going to grow and grow quickly. We did a very, very significant deal with MySpace, which we’re very proud of. We think it’s the defining economic deal in that space.


FT: Your acquisition speaks to the tremendous technological change which we’re still really at the beginning of. Are there going to be victims? And which companies might be those victims.


SCHMIDT: You know, every technology dislocation has winners and losers. And the winners are the companies that can adopt these technologies more quickly and the losers are the ones that are stuck, unable to make the transition, unable to take advantage of new technologies. It is clear that the internet and the web and what is generally known as a marketing term of web 2.0 are the defining new technologies. I think that race is underfoot. It’s too early to say who the losers will be. Clearly the winners will include companies like Google and all the other companies that have made their bets on web 2.0.


FT: More broadly, Silicon Valley has been roiled by corporate governance controversies recently. There have been the pre-texting issues at Hewlett-Packard, the backdated stock options issues which have claimed some very senior, long-standing leaders in the technology industry. What kind of an impact is that having on innovation, on people running public companies like yourselves now?


SCHMIDT: It makes people be more careful and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, some of the standards in the past may not have been as tight. Some of this may be revisionist looking back. Certainly the pre-texting was not appropriate because it was a violation of privacy. I think all of that is a sideshow relative to the innovation in the Valley, which is fundamentally created by small teams of people who see the world in a different way. And I don’t see these crisises, these scandals and so forth, as fundamentally changing that.


The story of the Valley is still the same. It’s about small teams doing amazing things with limited resources, often with venture capitalists, creating great companies.


FT: You talk about the innovative tradition of the Valley. More generally there has been a lot of questioning in America right now, about this country’s ability to maintain its competitive advantage in a globalised world with lots of cheap programming talent in other developing countries. Is the Valley still competitive?


SCHMIDT: The Valley is certainly competitive. It would be a lot more competitive if our government would start doing rational things like letting the smartest people in the world come into the United States on H1 visas rather than preventing them from doing so. So a small number of changes from the government, including increasing the funding in basic research and development around computer science and science in general and also trying to make sure the United States remains an attractive place for the best and the brightest. The compound value of that, the innovations and the companies that these, essentially, immigrants create, is a part of the American story.


FT: You made a big impact in Europe recently addressing the Tory party conference. Why did you choose to do that and what kind of a message do you think an innovative American company, like Google, has for Europe? For Britain?


SCHMIDT: It’s interesting that in Britain, of all the European countries, the United Kingdom is one of the best examples of innovation. If you look at the creation of the Cambridge technology centres, all around the research centres that were formed there, the transformation that’s gone on in British society over the last 10-15 years, encouraging innovation, encouraging new capital formation, it’s really an icon for the rest of Europe. And I think that’s wonderful.


My message was a message of optimism. My message was that technology, we’re just at the beginning, and I was not particularly trying to make a partisan comment. Google is certainly not political. And the messages that I gave, and I happened to be invited to I guess the conservatives’ party, but I would have given the same speech to any of the other parties and, in fact in any of the other European countries.


The important message is a message of innovation - that if you unleash the human capital that is present in Europe you will get tremendous economic returns for those countries. And that’s the story of America. It’s a story that’s well replicable in Europe.


FT: Thank you very much.


SCHMIDT: Thanks.


FT: And now the prediction.


SCHMIDT: You know there’s a whole new phenomenon. Young people online all the time, communicating in new ways and building new social environments. New enviroments, new friends, new ways in which they interact. All of us will be affected by this in ways I could not possibly predict. Political. Social. Community. New businesses. It’s amazing to watch this next generation spend their time online and change the world.


Google buys Jot Spot

the link

By: By Richard Waters inSan Francisco, Financial Times

Published: Nov 01, 2006


Google's steady encroachment into the corporate software market continued yesterday as it announced the acquisition of JotSpot, a three-year-old private company that runs wikis, or communal web pages.


The acquisition also opens a new front in the competition between Google and Microsoft, further rounding out the internet company's package of 'productivity' and collaboration tools that are coming to resemble an online version of the Office desktop software.


Founded by Joe Kraus - whose earlier creation, the internet portal Excite, experienced one of the most dramatic rises and falls of the dotcom era - Jot Spot is one of several 'Web 2.0' companies that have aimed their services mainly at corporate rather than individual users.


Wikis are web pages that can be written or edited by a group, making them a potentially useful tool for workers in different locations who are trying to collaborate.


As such, they reduce the need for large numbers of group emails and attachments, which have become the bane of many office workers' lives."


Welcome to Google.org – the philanthropic arm of Google


Google.org includes the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google's own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. While we continue to define the goals, priorities and approach for Google.org, we will focus on several areas including global poverty, energy and the environment. The Google Foundation has made some initial commitments, which include:



  • Acumen Fund: a non-profit venture fund that invests in market-based solutions to global poverty. The Fund supports entrepreneurial approaches to developing affordable goods and services for the 4 billion people in the world who live on less than $4 a day.
  • TechnoServe: helps budding entrepreneurs turn good business ideas into thriving enterprises. With funding from the Google Foundation, they are launching a Business Plan Competition and an Entrepreneurship Development Program in Ghana.
  • Water Research: The Google Foundation plans to support research in western Kenya to identify ways to prevent child deaths caused by poor water quality and to better understand what works in rural water supply. The research is being conducted by Alix Zwane and Edward Miguel of UC Berkeley and Michael Kremer of Harvard University.
  • PlanetRead: an organization seeking to improve literacy in India using same-language subtitling. By adding subtitles to Bollywood films and videos of popular folk songs, PlanetRead gives people who have low literacy skills regular reading practice. As it expands, this approach has the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people.


In addition, one of our early Google projects was to create the Google Grants program, which gives free advertising to selected non-profits. To date, Google Grants has donated $33M in advertising to more than 850 non-profit organizations in 10 countries. Current Google Grants participants include the Grameen Foundation USA, Doctors Without Borders, Room to Read, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. For information about the Google Grants program, please visit: www.google.com/grants.


3mobile to put Google searches on its handsets

By Philip Stafford andAndrew Parker in London

Published: November 16 2006 02:00 | Last updated: November 16 2006 02:00


The 3mobile group yesterday announced a deal with Google, the internet group, to put its search function with its handset, in a move that 3mobile says is a key step to making the internet fully mobile.


The Google deal is expected to be among several partnerships with technology companies unveiled today by Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the 3mobile phone network.


The Hong Kong-based group regards the partnerships as the most significant development for its third-generation mobile networks since their launch three years ago.


The deal will allow 3mobile customers to benefit from direct access to Google search and will be rolled out to individual markets in due course.


"It's another key step for 3 in delivering a fully mobile internet," said ChristianSalbaing, managing director of European Telecommunications at 3 Group. "The mobile internet has now developed to such a degree that we can now leave the 'walled garden' behind and let our customers access and enjoy the very best of what the converged internet and media worlds can offer."


The deal is the latest in a series of deals 3mobile has signed with major US internet players throughout the year. In June, it signed a deal with Yahoo to offer the internet search engine'spopular services such as Messenger and Mail.


In March, it announced plans to deliver Microsoft's MSN Messenger service and installed software clients on 3G handsets. And in February it unveiled a deal with Skype to put the internet phone service on mobiles.


It has been running trials in Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, the UK and Italy and has offered a full service to 3G subscribers in Sweden, giving users unlimited Skype calls.

Google Book Search sells books

Sunday, October 8, 2006 From Boing Boing

Publishers attending the Frankfurt Book Fair this week have gone on record thanking Google for its controversial Google Book Search program, which makes searachable indices of millions of books available online. They say that making their books visible to Internet users searching for answers converts these searchers into customers. They also say that Amazon's likewise controversial Look Inside program has been good for sales (duh -- Amazon isn't interested in programs that reduce sales of books).



"Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers," said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press...

"When we looked at the first six months of stats, we saw that 30 percent of Google Book Search clicks went directly to our site, while roughly 40 percent went to Amazon," said William Shepherd, Osprey's managing director.

"Our sales through the Web are steadily increasing in proportion to our total sales, and we're confident that Google Book Search will accelerate this growth."

Walter de Gruyter/Mouton-De Gruyter, a German publisher, said its encyclopaedia of fairy tales has been viewed 471 times since appearing in the program, with 44 percent of them clicking on the "buy this book" Google link.

One of its many scientific titles, "Principles of Visual Anthropology", has seen about one-quarter of the 1,206 views click on "buy this book".


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