Google Adds “Quick View” of PDFs to SERPs

Sunday, October 11, 2009 4:16
Posted in category Google, News, Search Engines

Google search results sometimes include documents that were not originally formatted to be viewed in a web browser, such as PDFs. In the past, the only way to view these documents was to download them and open them in a separate viewer application. To provide an alternative, we made it possible to quickly and easily view these files as HTML right in a web browser by clicking “View as HTML.” This was an improvement, but unfortunately the “View as HTML” option loses some of the formatting from the original PDF, such as graphics, tables, fonts and other elements.

Today, we’ve added new links to “Quick View” PDFs in your browser with the formatting intact. The new links are based on the same technology that’s available in Google Docs and Gmail, as well as to webmasters through the Google Docs viewer. We’ve been rolling this technology out to the search results page since July, and as of today we’ve added “Quick View” links to more than 50% of the PDFs in our index. The new links appear at the end of the second line of the result, right underneath the title.

For example, here is a search result for the IRS 1099 form:

Google Adds Quick View of PDFs to SERPs

Google Adds "Quick View" of PDFs to SERPs

Clicking “Quick View” will open up the PDF right in your browser with graphics, formatting and tables preserved. This is what it looks like after opening:

Quickly view formatted PDFs in your search results

Quickly view formatted PDFs in your search results

Over time we’ll be rolling out the viewer for more documents and file types. In the meantime, in some cases you’ll see the “View as HTML” link, which allows you to see a basic HTML-only version.

Viewing PDF documents in your browser might not make paying taxes any more fun — but hopefully this feature will make it a little bit faster!


Google Acquires reCAPTCHA

Thursday, September 17, 2009 13:27
Posted in category Google, News
Google acquires reCAPTCHA

Google acquires reCAPTCHA

The image above is a CAPTCHA — you can read it, but computers have a harder time interpreting the letters. We tried to make it hard for computers to recognize because we wanted to give humans the scoop first, but we’re happy to announce to everybody now that Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, a company that provides CAPTCHAs to help protect more than 100,000 websites from spam and fraud.

Since computers have trouble reading squiggly words like these, CAPTCHAs are designed to allow humans in but prevent malicious programs from scalping tickets or obtain millions of email accounts for spamming. But there’s a twist — the words in many of the CAPTCHAs provided by reCAPTCHA come from scanned archival newspapers and old books. Computers find it hard to recognize these words because the ink and paper have degraded over time, but by typing them in as a CAPTCHA, crowds teach computers to read the scanned text.

In this way, reCAPTCHA’s unique technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.

That’s why we’re excited to welcome the reCAPTCHA team to Google, and we’re committed to delivering the same high level of performance that websites using reCAPTCHA have come to expect. Improving the availability and accessibility of all the information on the Internet is really important to us, so we’re looking forward to advancing this technology with the reCAPTCHA team.


Adobe to Acquire Omniture

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 4:23
Posted in category News

Combined Company Will Deliver Comprehensive Solutions for Creation, Delivery and Optimization of Content and Applications

SAN JOSE, Calif. and OREM, Utah — Sept. 15, 2009 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) and Omniture, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMTR) today announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Adobe to acquire Omniture in a transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion on a fully diluted equity-value basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Adobe will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Omniture for $21.50 per share in cash.

Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture furthers its mission to revolutionize the way the world engages with ideas and information. By combining Adobe’s content creation tools and ubiquitous clients with Omniture’s Web analytics, measurement and optimization technologies, Adobe will be well positioned to deliver solutions that can transform the future of engaging experiences and e-commerce across all digital content platforms and devices.

The combination of the two companies will increase the value Adobe delivers to customers. For designers, developers and online marketers, an integrated workflow — with optimization capabilities embedded in the creation tools — will streamline the creation and delivery of relevant content and applications. This optimization will enable advertisers, advertising agencies, publishers and e-tailers to achieve greater ROI from their digital media investments and improve their end users’ experiences.

“Adobe customers are looking to us for solutions to deliver engaging experiences and more effectively monetize their content and applications online,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe. “This is a game changer for both Adobe and our customers. We will enable advertisers, media companies and e-tailers to realize the full value of their digital assets.”

“Omniture’s mission has been to enable our customers to optimize every digital interaction,” said Josh James, CEO of Omniture. “By joining forces with Adobe, we will accelerate our ability to deliver on that vision and together bring new innovation to the market that improves content engagement, advertising effectiveness and the overall user experience, which will drive more advertising dollars online.”

Expanded Opportunities for Adobe and Omniture
This acquisition will significantly expand Adobe’s addressable market and growth potential, broadening solutions Adobe provides to the rapidly growing Internet advertising, e-commerce and digital media markets.

The combination will also expand Adobe’s offering of mission-critical solutions to the enterprise customer. Adding the capabilities of Omniture will further enhance Adobe’s offerings and ability to appeal to online marketers, including chief marketing officers.

The acquisition of Omniture will further diversify Adobe’s business, adding a scalable SaaS platform that captures over a trillion transactions per quarter, an expansive partner ecosystem, and a recurring revenue model.

For Omniture, joining Adobe will provide global operational scale and the ability to more quickly penetrate new geographies and markets, thereby accelerating its go-to-market strategy and growth potential.

Integration and Closing Details
As part of the expected integration of the two companies, Omniture will become a new business unit within Adobe. Omniture’s CEO, Josh James, will join Adobe as senior vice president of the new business unit, reporting to Adobe’s president and CEO, Shantanu Narayen.

The completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary government approvals and the satisfaction of other customary conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Adobe’s 2009 fiscal year.

The proposed offer represents a premium of 45 percent over Omniture’s average closing price for the last 30 trading days through yesterday’s close.

Adobe believes the acquisition will be accretive to Adobe’s non-GAAP earnings in fiscal year 2010.

The companies will make information, including an FAQ and other details about the acquisition, available at

Conference Call Scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PDT Today
Adobe will comment on the acquisition of Omniture today during its Q3 FY2009 earnings conference call, which is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. PDT today. Investors, analysts and press can participate in a live Webcast via Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro or access the live conference call using the following access information:
Webcast: Go to and click on the Q3 FY09 Earnings Conference Call icon
Live Call: Dial 888-213-3930 and use passcode 3412311
Questions: Contact Adobe Investor Relations at 408-536-4416 or

The call and Webcast will last approximately one hour. An archive of the call will be made available in Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro for approximately 45 days. Listening to the live Webcast works best with Adobe Flash Player version 10 or later. Firewalls designed to protect corporate information can prevent listening to the Webcast.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure
This press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risks to both companies that the acquisition of Omniture will not be consummated, as the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including statements regarding: the anticipated timing of filings and approvals relating to the transaction; the expected timing of the completion of the transaction; the ability to complete the transaction considering the various closing conditions; any management for future operations; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In addition, if and when the transaction is consummated, there will be risks and uncertainties related to Adobe’s ability to successfully integrate the products and employees of Adobe and Omniture, as well as the ability to ensure continued performance or market growth of Omniture’s products. These risks, uncertainties and other factors, and the general risks associated with the respective businesses of Adobe and Omniture described in the reports and other documents filed by each of them with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Adobe and Omniture and are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Neither Adobe nor Omniture assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements or other statements included in this press release.

Additional Information and Where to Find It
This press release is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. The solicitation and the offer to buy shares of Omniture’s common stock will only be made pursuant to a tender offer statement on schedule TO, including an offer to purchase and other related materials that Snowbird Acquisition Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adobe Systems Incorporated, intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, Omniture will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Scheduled 14D-9 with respect to the tender offer. Once filed, Omniture stockholders will be able to obtain the tender statement on schedule TO, the offer to purchase, the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 and related materials with respect to the offer, free of charge at the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission at, from the information agent and dealer manager named in the tender offer materials or from Snowbird Acquisition Corporation. Omniture’s stockholders are advised to read these documents, any amendments to these documents and any other documents relating to the tender offer that are filed with the SEC carefully and in their entirety prior to making any decisions with respect to the offer because they contain important information, including the terms and conditions of the offer.

About Omniture
Omniture, Inc. is a leading provider of online business optimization software, enabling customers to manage and enhance online, offline and multi-channel business initiatives. Omniture’s software, which it hosts and delivers to its customers as an on-demand subscription service and on-premise solution, enables customers to capture, store and analyze information generated by their Web sites and other sources and to gain critical business insights into the performance and efficiency of marketing and sales initiatives and other business processes. In addition, Omniture offers a range of professional services that complement its online services, including implementation, best practices, consulting, customer support and user training through Omniture Education. Omniture’s over 5,000 customers include eBay, AOL, Wal-Mart, Gannett, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus, Oracle, Sony and HP.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Abode revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

Historical Information:
Note to Readers: The press releases, presentations and printed remarks and materials are included on this web site for historical purposes only. The information contained in these documents should be considered accurate only as of the date of the relevant document. This information may change over time. Visitors to this web site should not assume that the information contained in these documents remains accurate at a later time. We do not have any current intention, and expressly disclaim any obligation, to supplement, update or revise any of the information in these documents.


What If Gmail Was Gone?

Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:13
Posted in category Google

Many of the readers of Marketing Pilgrim likely had a rough 100 or so minutes yesterday when Googles popular Gmail application crashed and went dark via the web. Watching the Twitter stream of panic and rage caught in 140 character snapshots was amusing for a while but when everyone tries to out Tweet the next guy with some witty musing on the event it gets real old real quick.

As I sat and pondered life without Gmail for a while I was wondering if someone in Mountain View wasnt lamenting the removal of the beta tag from the service earlier this year.

In looking for an explanation, its best to turn to the source. The old adage is that Its not that you have a problem but rather how you handle it that is most important., applies here in a way that Google would like to not repeat. Heres some official words from the official Gmail blog.

Gmails web interface had a widespread outage earlier today, lasting about 100 minutes. We know how many people rely on Gmail for personal and professional communications, and we take it very seriously when theres a problem with the service. Thus, right up front, Id like to apologize to all of you ” todays outage was a Big Deal, and were treating it as such. Weve already thoroughly investigated what happened, and were currently compiling a list of things we intend to fix or improve as a result of the investigation.

The blog then goes on to explain the 5 Ws of the situation in laymans terms and, in my opinion, provided an appropriate mea culpa as well as showing that there is work taking place to ensure that this would not happen again to the same degree. What was most interesting was the recognition that the way that the architecture was at the time of the failure caused the shutdown rather than a slowdown and that Gmail is opting for slow service over no service for the future. Good choice.

Whats next: Weve turned our full attention to helping ensure this kind of event doesnt happen again. Some of the actions are straightforward and are already done ” for example, increasing request router capacity well beyond peak demand to provide headroom. Some of the actions are more subtle ” for example, we have concluded that request routers dont have sufficient failure isolation (i.e. if theres a problem in one datacenter, it shouldnt affect servers in another datacenter) and do not degrade gracefully (e.g. if many request routers are overloaded simultaneously, they all should just get slower instead of refusing to accept traffic and shifting their load). Well be hard at work over the next few weeks implementing these and other Gmail reliability improvements ” Gmail remains more than 99.9% available to all users, and were committed to keeping events like todays notable for their rarity.

For something of this magnitude I give Google a decent grade for being transparent enough to say Yup, were not perfect while working to get it right for the future. Today will be a great day for all of the Google haters out there. I on the other hand, have decided to realize that since I am far from perfect myself, that to expect from others is, well, a waste of time. Does that mean I will welcome future outages with open arms? Of course not. Based on what I have seen here though, I suspect that Google wont either.


First Ever Criminal Prosecution for Domain Name Theft Underway

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 5:27
Posted in category Domain Names, News

Over the years hundreds of stories of domain name theft have been reported, most famous among them of course is the theft of Even as recent as last week, reports of stolen domains sent a chilling reminder through the domain industry as valuable domains, and others were stolen from Warren Weitzman. Until recently, there hasn’t been a case of a domain theft where the thief was caught and arrested. However, on July 30th, Daniel Goncalves was arrested at his home in Union, New Jersey and charged in a landmark case, the first criminal arrest for domain name theft in the United States.

In a similar fashion to the theft, the events that led to Goncalves arrest involve a long back story, one that spans well over 2 years, and many players. Although insiders familiar with this case contend that Goncalves has stolen other valuable domains, this case centers on the theft and subsequent sale of the domain name

The Victims:
In 2005, internet entrepreneur and domain name investor Marc Ostrofsky and attorney Albert Angel along with his wife Lesli Angel partnered to purchase the domain name for $160,000 from a Wisconsin company, Port to Print Inc. The domain industry was heating up in 2005, as was the emerging peer to peer music business and the co-owners of the domain name saw a great deal of potential with this investment and future development of the domain.

Ostrofsky is a well known investor in the domain space. His name was etched in domain name history with his 1999 sale of for $7.5 million and the multi-million dollar domain holding company, IREIT.COM, that he helped form with investment backing from Howard Schulz and Ross Perot. Albert Angel is an attorney and former Justice Department prosecutor with a background in internet payment processing. Angel and Ostrofsky have known each other for over 25 years and have done business together in other ventures.

The Angels had already invested in a small portfolio of domain names including and (2 more domains reportedly stolen by Goncalves). As a nurse who dealt with teen drug abuse issues, Lesli Angel became interested in buying and building sites on domains in the late 90’s. Domains such as gave her a means to reach out to some of the same audience that she was already helping as a nurse.  As the domain space heated up, Angel continued buying domains and built up a portfolio of around 800 domain names.

The Accused:
Daniel Goncalves, the 25 year old law firm computer technician arrested on Thursday, reportedly hacked in to the Angel’s AOL email account, used that information to retrieve the login details for the from the domain account. Goncalves performed an internal “domain push” transfer,which in effect transfered the domain name to another Godaddy account that he owned. Goncalves reportedly also falsified transaction records in an attempt to cover his trail and provide evidence that made it appear that he purchased the domain name for $1,500 from the Angels. The domain was listed in the name of Daniel Louvado during this time period (a bogus name consisting of Goncalves first name and his fiances last name).

In late 2006, Goncalves put the domain name up for sale on and on September 24, 2006 the auction for the domain closed in the amount of $111,000.  The Angels pointed out to DNN that from their investigations Goncalves already owned his own home with a new inground pool being installed (in New Jersey?), drove a Lotus and Mercedes and was frequently bragging about his travels.

The Baller:
Caught in the middle of this and claiming to be a “good faith” purchaser is Mark Madsen, NBA basketball player with the LA Clippers. Madsen is reportedly also a domain name investor and was the buyer of the domain name on Whois history shows that Madsen took ownership of the domain name on February 28, 2007. Current whois records for the domain show that the domain name is protected with whois privacy protection, but according to insiders familiar with the case the current owner is still Madsen.  Madsen has been investing in domain names for years and has been linked to the user name thecollins2 in some domain name forums and the company Woodside Technology Group.

The Gatekeepers? is the world’s largest domain name registrar. With over 30 million domains being managed, it’s safe to assume the registrar has been faced with a few cases of domain name theft.  The domain name was registered with and all evidence from whois history records points to the domain name being moved internally to a new account within Godaddy.  The domain name now uses Godaddy’s whois privacy services to hide the ownership. According to the Angels, Godaddy stone-walled any efforts to investigate the theft and in a final passing of the buck, the Angels say that Godaddy told them that they should have been better defended against hackers and must bear the risk. It’s clear that the domain name was pushed between 2 accounts.  The Angels contend that subpoenaed records reveal that the registrar knew that Goncalves was implicated in two other domain thefts at least one month prior to the theft.

In many cases, intricate registrar contracts, safe-harbor laws and statutory exemptions protect domain name registrars from being held liable in domain theft cases. Cases like Kremen v. Cohen ( stolen) and  Solid Host v. Namecheap however have carved new paths in applying the law to cases involving registrars and domain name theft. The civil and criminal cases will use these decisions and likely even lay new ground for future decisions.

The Professionals:
Joshua Pelissero, a self-described legend in tracking domain thieves, was enlisted by the Angels to help unwind the events that happened after the domain theft and to find additional evidence of Goncalves online activities. Domain investor Richard Lau and expert witness from the case,  Ellen Rony was also tapped to help uncover more information about the case. The Angels and more specifically Lesli Angel have been tracking Daniel Goncalves and building up evidence for over 2 years. With the help of Pelissero, Lau, and Rony the pieces of the puzzle began to fall together and the evidence began to become more clear. Angel told us “this business is not for the faint of heart. You have to know what you’re doing and be educated.” With these pros backing up their efforts, the Angels made a great deal of progress.

The Case:
In the Spring of 2007, the Angels took their case to prosecutors in both New Jersey and Florida. The investigation proceeded in Florida since the Angels are Florida residence, meanwhile the New Jersey police, where the accused resides, put their case on hold.  Three months after taking the case, Florida prosecutors dropped it for “lack of evidence”.  The only recourse left for the Angels was to pursuit Goncalves through a civil action. They used the Freedom of Information Act to gather up the evidence from the Florida prosecutors investigations and continued in their vigilance, building up an even stronger civil case.

The civil suit against Daniel Goncalves and Mark Madsen was filed in November 2007 to retrieve the domain name. After further discovery, the filing was amended in June of 2009 to include new defendents, Goncalves brother and wife (on RICO conspiracy grounds) and (for negligence and contributory trademark infringement under Anti-Cyber Piracy statute). The civil suit is still ongoing but but as of Thursday Goncalves is also now facing criminal charges.

Months after the Florida prosecutors dropped the original investigation, Detective Sergeant John Gorman of the New Jersey State Police Cyber-Crimes Unit reviewed and reignited the case, asking the couple if they would like to pursuit it further.  The Angels traveled to New Jersey and presented the mountains of evidence and findings that they had been accumulating over the last 2 years.  In May of 2009 the NJ District Attorney approved the indictment and on July 30th Goncalves was arrested at his home and his computers seized.

According to the theft victims, this marks the first time in the US that a domain name theft has resulted in an arrest.  Detective Sergeant, John Gorman of the New Jersey Cyber-Crimes Unit is responsible for reviving this case. Without his push to move this case forward it’s likely another domain theft would have just been left to be handled through a civil case. Albert Angel told DNN “these hackers basically thumb their nose at the legal system.”  With the criminal prosecution moving forward, these cyber-criminals, who often taunt their victims with a brazen “what are you going to do about it” attitude, now may actually face the long-arm of the law.

So why are these thieves escaping justice and why aren’t we hearing more about these cases?
Simply put, Complications

Cases of domain name theft have not typically involved a criminal prosecution because of the complexities, financial restraints and sheer time and energy involved. If a domain name is stolen, the victim of the crime in most cases would need experience with the technical and legal intricies associated with the domain name system.  To move the case forward, they would also need a law enforcement professional who understands the case or is willing to take the time to learn. For example, the Angels told us that in their case they called their local law enforcement in Florida who sent a uniformed officer in a squad car to their home. The first thing you can imagine the officer asked was, “What’s a domain?”.

Additionally financial restraints play a major role. Often times the rightful owners of these domains simply can’t justify the thousands of dollars in legal fees necessary to handle a case like this. Domains that don’t have the sort of value that a domain like has in the aftermarket may still contain a value that only the original owner can appreciate. Good luck convincing a law enforcement professional that your domain name is valuable under those circumstances. It’s likely that many small business owners faced with this situation would simply give up. Lesli Angel told DNN “we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we can go after the criminals . . .what if you weren’t in our position though?”  Pelissero stated that most of the domains he has helped recover were owned by people who didn’t have the means, desire or knowledge to track down the thieves and get their domain name back.  “I had a domain stolen from me before, so I know what it’s like to have that happen. It’s horrible and I was only out $10,000″ said Pelissero. “This could happen to anyone and there really is no recourse especially for someone without financial means,” stated Angel.

Complicating the matter further is that domain names are globally traded assets and jurisdiction muddies the waters further. In this particular case, the domain name was stolen from a registrar headquartered in Arizona, the domain was owned by a Florida resident and the accused is a resident of New Jersey. Add to it that the domain registry is located in Virginia.   Frankly, the owners were lucky that this all took place on US soil. Imagine how much more complicated a case like this could become if involved international parties.

Attorney Paul Keating told DNN that most cases of domain theft recovery that he has dealt with have been complicated at best.  The real problem stems from the fact that domain names aren’t considered property. “The laws do not specifically identify domains as property. That has been the subject of various court decisions. Not all courts have issued consistent decisions. For example, bankruptcy courts have no difficulty treating domains as property. The IRS treats domains as a form of intellectual property and allows amortization along the lines of a trademark though over a shorter period,” Keating said.  Further complications come in to play when we look at the rulings in different states. “California is believed to treat them as property after the case but that was a federal decision interpreting California law. The Eastern District of Virginia (where the Verisign registry is headquartered) clearly holds domains to be the subject of a license and thus not property. I have been involved in various state-level cases seeking recovery of stolen names or trying to specifically enforce a domain purchase agreement in California and the courts have always honored the claim.”

Albert Angel summed it up well “If your car is stolen and you demand its return from a subsequent purchaser for value, you recover your car in 50 states, on well-settled common law principles. Try to recover a stolen domain name, and you have a decent chance perhaps in one state (CA) but you have bought yourself an expensive, and legally uncertain lawsuit in most other states. Short of such laws being created on a Federal basis or by each State, any business owner could lose their domain name and website and never legally be able to retrieve it.  Federal laws are needed to protect every company and individual domain name owner.”

These complications and hurdles however seemed to be no match for the vigilant Albert and Lesli Angel. In fact when talking to the victims, one realizes that the hacker who stole the domain from this group couldn’t have picked a worse target. I’m sure if Goncalves knew he was going to be facing the challenge of a team consisting of Ostrofsky, a well-known and connected player in the domain space, Albert Angel, an experienced attorney and Lesli Angel, a vigilant former nurse who told us she “just can’t stand to see anyone suffering”, he may have reconsidered some of his actions.

When asked what drove their continued vigilance in pursuing this case for over 2 years Lesli Angel told DNN “Besides wanting our domain back, we want to carve a path for others. Let’s face it the legal system has not caught up with the growth of the internet. We hope the outcome of this case paves the way and makes it easier for victims of this type of crime. These guys are thieves! Why are they not being arrested? Why are they continuing to get away with this?”

Goncalves is now out of jail after posting $60,000 bond.  He will be facing at least 2 court cases soon and this time it’s not just a civil suit.  The NJ prosecutors intend to push forward with the criminal case and press for a felony conviction.  DNN will be following the case closely and provide updates as we receive them.

So, what do you think about this case?

  • Should a domain name registrar be held responsible for domains stolen from accounts?
  • Do we need new laws that protect domains and classify them as a form of property with certain protections?
  • Do we need reform in the current domain name registry contracts and ICANN policy which would also classify domains as property rather than a contract?
  • Who will be the overseer and enforcer of these new rules?
  • Lastly, What would you do if your most valuable domain name was stolen?

What If Scenarios For Microhoo

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 5:17
Posted in category Bing, News, Search Engines, Yahoo

There are a million opinions about the announcement this week of the Microsoft and Yahoo! joining at the hip (in a businesslike way). Fortunately, it is a big Internet and there is always room for one more. I have been looking at this entire proceeding now for several months and just at the start of this week had become so tired of the chatter around who did or didn’t do what that I whined about it.

Yup, I whined. I got fed up with all the speculation, rumors and outright fables being spread around that I threw up my hands and asked, “Who cares?”

Well, now that the union has been announced with signings using oversize pens the time for real “What ifs?” can start in full, so I will offer up a few of mine right now.

What if these two corporate monoliths sign all the necessary paperwork and do all the glad-handing in front of the cameras, and then the two companies just can’t get along? Sharing search engines (Bing will be the search engine for both entities although Yahoo will retain its current look and feel…supposedly) and sharing a sales effort sounds great on paper, but in practice? While I hold out hope that these two can do something to pull this off as smoothly as possible, I have also been around enough to know that the train has left the station, and the potential wreck that lies ahead could be of spectacular proportions.

What if Yahoo! has truly turned itself into AOL v2? Larry Dignan over at ZDNet goes over this possibility in great detail and with great insight. Remember when AOL had it’s own search function then it handed over the reigns to Google? Does anyone really recognize AOL as an online leader anywhere and for any reason at this point in history? As for Google, well, they have done OK, despite losing their shirts on their investment in AOL, which was just bought back by Time Warner this week at bargain basement prices. In fact, an AOL SEC filing spells out some interesting details.

In 2008, search advertising revenues comprised approximately one-third of our total advertising revenues and was the only category of our advertising revenues that grew year-over-year. Changes that Google has made and may unilaterally make in the future to its search service or advertising network, including changes in pricing, algorithms or advertising relationships, could adversely affect our advertising revenues.

Yahoo! can still sell the search but they can’t control the search. Eerily similar to the AOL / Google relationship isn’t it?

What if Steve Ballmer and Carol Bartz were put into a cage and allowed to go after each other MMA (mixed martial arts) style? So, that’s a little over the top, but after the initial Ballmer psychotic outburst and chair-throwing tactic, my money is on Bartz. I think she would clean his clock.

What if one of the most important SEO tool features just went away? For you SEOs, it’s time to start looking for a replacement for the ‘link colon operator’ ( that has been a mainstay of examining Web site back links since both Google AND Microsoft scrapped their offerings years ago. Oh, and all those other need search tools? Well, all bets are off for now. For me, it was actually the only time I used Yahoo! for anything other than e-mail and the occasional news piece. If they take that away then there will be some SEOs that are SOL.

What if this thing really worked as designed? Imagine a day in the somewhat distant future where Google actually has a competent competitor and the market is driven by the competitive forces. Could that lead to, dare I say, real innovation? Wouldn’t that be cool?

So, to sum it up, I am actually rooting for this thing to work. Why? I want to see someone push Google a bit. Honestly, I depend on Google for far too much but they are the best at what they do and it happens in one place. Convenience and performance are key for anyone. Hopefully, the new union between Microsoft and Yahoo! turns into a winner, and not the kind of unholy union of our worst fears.


Google Losing Money With YouTube?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 1:41
Posted in category Google, News, Search Engines

Analysts keep bringing it up. Reporters do, too. How much money is Google losing on YouTube? And can they afford it? The lingering question that affects Internet marketers the most is what happens if Google decides they can’t afford it. If you are using YouTube for marketing, should you be worried? First off, no one knows how much YouTube costs Google, nor how much revenue it brings in.

Given the cost of servers, storage, and bandwidth for streaming so much video over the Web, it’s certainly true that it costs them a bundle–far more than they ever expected.

It’s likely that YouTube has become as popular with video watchers as Google expected, but they miscalculated its appeal to the advertisers whose money offsets the costs. Advertisers have not yet flocked to be shown side-by-side with amateur content, while services that show Hollywood videos, such as Hulu, have flourished in comparison.

Google continues to tweak its offering, but admits that the right formula has not appeared yet. The question is whether Google can afford to lose this much money, with it ever increasing as long as that formula remains elusive.

It probably can afford it for the foreseeable future. The question is whether it will decide to, which might depend more on attitude than data.

YouTube was expected to be a huge advertising success. I mean, how could it miss? Videos are the most popular form of media and YouTube’s model created the content for free, so how could advertisers resist all those eyeballs? But somehow, they have, making YouTube an immense disappointment for Google.

On the other hand, listing off the other free content plays, such as Gmail, Google Docs, and the forthcoming Google Wave, which one of those is profitable? I’d bet that none of them are. And, they were never expected to be, at least not by now.

If Google can pay the freight, and if Google can change its attitude about YouTube, so that it’s a long-term play, just like those other user-brings-the-content initiatives, Google can emerge as a leader in video and will eventually figure out the advertising plays for all of them (or figure another way to make money). If Google succumbs to a disappointment in YouTube not shown in Gmail, for example, it might miss out on a big market down the road.

So, if you use YouTube for your marketing, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned about what you hear. Yes, I’d be posting my videos on Vimeo and other sites, too, just as a backup, but I wouldn’t be worried that YouTube will disappear any time soon. If anyone has the deep pockets to suffer through YouTube’s expensive adolescence, its Google.


Twitter To Start To Educate Users On Ways To Make Money

Saturday, July 25, 2009 1:58
Posted in category News, Yahoo

PASADENA, California (Reuters) – Twitter plans a marketing campaign starting in the next few days to educate users, individual and corporate, about ways to make money off the popular microblogging site.

Co-founder Biz Stone also told Reuters the company is not interested in acquisition talks with Google or any other company.

Documents that were posted on TechCrunch revealed that Twitter had been in discussions with Google, the largest Internet search engine in the United States and a behemoth in online advertising, about some form of search tie-up.

“We have ongoing discussions with a lot of companies. One of the ways we look at Twitter, and the landscape in general, is not as a zero-sum game but how we can reduce a lot of friction between a lot of companies,” Stone said in an interview at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference.

“In other words, we see ourselves as complementary to big social networks, to search engines, to big commercial sites,” he said.

The documents included a company forecast Twitter would take in $4 million by the fourth quarter of 2009, and grow to 5,200 employees and 1 billion users by the end of 2013.

Stone called the documents notes from meetings, out of date and not necessarily accurate.

“The key takeaway there is that we’re thinking big and we’re in it for the long haul,” Stone said.

While the site has skyrocketed in usage and prominence, Stone said it had yet to make any significant revenue.

Stone said Twitter is in it for “the long haul,” which is why it is developing ways to generate revenue, creating a company culture and doing other things internally that “you just don’t do if you’re interested in being acquired.”

Twitter — which lets users from celebrities to businesses to politicians and protesters post “tweets” of up to 140 characters — was co-founded by Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, and is backed by VCs Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

As early as Thursday or Friday, Stone said, the company is rolling out the first phase — an educational push — of an effort to generate revenue through various add-on tools and services for the business and professional users of Twitter.

Stone said the company will work to educate companies, including mom and pop shops, on how they can use Twitter for their business.

The company expects that the second phase with the add-on services, which could include account certification, will come later this year, likely in the fall. Another possible way to generate revenue would be through the data that Twitter collects about its users, Stone said.

In general, the company will work to position the product as a communication network and less of a social network.

“We started out by creating this very simple status updating system. And that’s not what Twitter is. It evolved into something else,” Stone said.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Gary Hill)


The perfect technique of Directory Submission

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 2:53

One of the strategies in search engine optimization is directory submission.  This is a process of submitting a internet site to an net directory.  In that technique, SE rankings can be multiplied and is a great procedure of making connects.  However, it should be observed that directory entries be exercised accordingly.  This means that internet sites should be submitted to directories that are associated to the websites.  Precaution must be absorbed in giving in to directories because there have been several do-nothing submissions that have been detected lately.  Few of the directory submissions performed are totally out of tune.  When this takes place the submissions exercised would actually bulge un-needed because they cannot be applied in the uneven directory that they have been passed on to.  Many SEO service providers bid directory submissions.

In directory entries, there are several things that someone should be known with in order to make a victorious directory submission.  One of the most standard elements that would take exception one’s decision in directory submissions includes the choice of putting in to free or paid directories.  Experts says, for long term plans, it is fine to do entries in compensated directories because they remain more far than the free directories.  The most point that costless directories stay online is about a year, such that it would be totally impractical to repeat the same entry after a twelvemonth is over.  Many compensated directories stay longer than one year.  Furthermore, it is critical for the directory to have resisted the test of time.  In other words, these directories should have based themselves already in the World Wide Web.  Some other crucial decision that one will have to attain concerning directory submissions is opting between niche and universal directories.    For possible reasons, submitting to some niche and general directory is effective.  In putting in to niche directories, it is better to search for them applying the SEs.  It is deserving noticing that those that appears in the first pages of the result are the most likely ones to apply.   Since a niche directory is one which bears single topic and only bears websites which obtain about alike contents or nature of that topic, it would be cushier to constitute connects to referred websites.  On the other hand, a universal directory takes websites with distinct forms of contents.  Thus, it would be easier to perform directory submissions to universal directories because these directories immediately accept all submissions irrespective of the subject or issue.

Truly, directory submissions can be very good techniques for search engine optimization if and only if, one would be capable to recognize the exact and effective methods of making the submission including the option of directories to put in to.


Importance of Link Building

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 2:49

You have come across number of links more than a dozen times whenever you surf net. Many people out there do not understand the basic functions behind such links but there are people for them these links are very important, as they understand the essentiality of link building. Now what is link and how does the process work? Before going deep into the process you should understand that link is nothing but a way that points to your website from other websites on the internet. An activity that involves placing links on other websites to increase the popularity of your site. It is also important for the webmaster to see that they contact a relevant site.

Link building is a very simple process that involves searching the relevant site that matches the theme of the client’s site and then contacting the website for a possible link exchange. The link building services comprises of two types of links and they are one way link and reciprocal link building. One way link building is a process involves obtaining a link from other webmaster without providing any link in exchange. It is more beneficial than the other method of link as one do not have to give a link in exchange and thus creating a good impression to popular search engine like Google. Another way of link building is through reciprocal link building process that involves “give and take” relationship between the websites. A webmaster has to offer a link in return of a link from other webmaster and is less effective than compared to the one way link building process in creating impression but on the other hand it enjoys the benefit of obtaining unlimited links in a month. Comparatively high volume of one-way links brings more popularity to a site.

Link building services is so important to SEO that one can say that even 60% contribution to search engine rankings is of link building services that too followed with proper guidelines. Unethical way of link building can bring harm like being banned to your websites. Link building is considered the driving force for any website along with other factors. Therefore, care should be taken that the quality of a back links should be good. The largest search engine Google gives a lot of importance to the quality of back links that further relates the quality of the content on the site where the link is placed.

How important is link building over page rank? Well, many pages that are found on Google have zero Page Rank but top the list on certain keywords. So you can now realize that High Page Rank does not guarantee high search engine rankings. It does not mean that page ranks are good for nothing but they are also important but their importances are felt with the relevancy of a link that is more important. Therefore, it can be concluded that a quality link building is simply the most important activity that you can carry out to get higher search engine rankings thus increasing the popularity of websites and generates revenue for you.