Established media players want greater differentiation in Google search results

Media companies with vast budgets who produce “professional content” should get some preferential treatment from Google, according to a weekend report in Advertising Age.

I’ve avoided using sensationalist headlines because I think there’s value in looking at the underlying principles here.

It would be very easy for me, as a blogger, to have a knee-jerk reaction against those calling for Google to favour certain brands, particularly as one content executive described bloggers as “parasites off the true produces of content”. [Read more…]

Google Threatened by Twitter?


TwitterThere’s some buzz on how Google might feel threatened by Twitter, because of the microblogging service’s search functionality. John Battelle makes the argument, putting Twitter in the same sentence as YouTube and points out that the latter has more search queries than Yahoo.

What’s the most important and quickly growing form of search on the web today? Real time, conversational search. And who’s the YouTube of real time search? Yep. Twitter. It’s an asset Google cannot afford to not own, and also, one they most likely do not have the ability (or brand permission) to build on their own. (Remember, Google tried to build its own YouTube – Google Video – and it failed to get traction. A service like Twitter is community driven, and Google has never been really great at that part of the media business).

True. However, I’m wondering how well the reasoning fares here. Google did buy Jaiku, just to let it go after doing more or less nothing to it, other than crippling the development and effectually destroying the, in some ways superior, service’s chances to compete with Twitter. So why didn’t they give Jaiku a serious shot then? [Read more…]

Lijit Launches Its Ad Network

Lijit has launched its ad network, which CEO Todd Vernon talked about in an interview previously. He outlines the beta in a blog post:

In this release, publishers will be able to opt-in to the search-based ad network and begin receiving a share of the revenue for ad units displayed in your search results. As a thank you for your patience while we’ve been developing and testing these features, your account will be pre-loaded with a credit for estimated revenues based on your search history during this period (a minimum of $5).

We’re not done yet! In the near future those publishers who have opted in to Lijit’s Ad Network will be able to sell their search based ads directly to advertisers with whom they may already have relationships, targeting just their own publication and making even more money for themselves. This is going to be big!

Maybe this is what’s needed to get more websites and blogs (in particular) to switch their standard search box to a Lijit powered one?

It’s Official: Twitter Acquires Summize

The rumors were true, Twitter has acquired Summize, and not only that, they also launched a new search page for you to play with.

Summize is a popular service for searching Twitter and keeping up with emerging trends in real-time. Like Twitter, Summize offers an API so other products and services can filter the constant queue of updates in a variety of ways. The Summize service and API will be merged with our own and integrated under the Twitter brand.

[Read more…]

Flash to be Searchable, Blog Platform Next?

Adobe is making Flash searchable, in partnership with juggernauts like Google. ReadWrite/Web writes about it, and is writing up Adobe’s online activity overall, like AIR and I think they are spot on, Adobe is really focusing on online these days, and they are doing it well. Think about all the AIR apps, for instance.

However, with Flash being searchable, one thing that strikes me is the possibility of a blogging platform, much like WordPress and Movable Type, but in Flash. [Read more…] to Search Your Forum is a new search engine, geared at forums and online communities. They’ve been around since January, and as the site shows, it is still very much beta. Not only the actual service, but the site as well – the how to use page is lacking, for example.

Nevertheless, it looks like an interesting service that might fill a void. This from a press release recently sent out:

“Online forums are an established medium people have been using to communicate since the early days of the internet, even predating the web. The number of users of these forums has been consistently growing year over year, and recent estimates of U.S. users alone exceeds 50 million,” said Kevin Shea, General Manager for “As more users become active, more forums have been created and this trend is continuing. Our goal is to help these internet users to participate in discussions, ask questions, get answers and offer advice by providing a resource that organizes this category of online content and uncovers the discussions that interest them. We expect to be an invaluable resource for forum users and owners.”

Check out, and tell me what you think of this service. Are they filling a need, or is Google enough?

Your Resume is Now Spread Across the Web

While researching information with a client regarding integration of WordPress and a popular educational, proprietary software package, we were stunned at the number of bad reviews, horror stories, and frustration with using that program – let’s call it ABC.

Finding such negative information about ABC was not our goal. We were looking for technical articles and had to wade through post titles like Overcoming ABC Frustrations, If You Want Technical Support Don’t Ask ABC, Why Teachers Hate ABC, When ABC is More Trouble Than Your Students, The Battle to Convince the School Board to Not Use ABC, Why We Hate ABC, and so on.

Frustrated with using the program herself, my client was stunned by the number of public complaints and negative rants. Stepping back to reconsider, she finally said, “Let’s change our parameters. Let’s research if WordPress integrates with a similar program, one without the bad reputation.” Once she returned to her office, she would put my project to develop a proposal to stop using this very costly program for her university and transition the school to a better program.

All because of an unrelated simple keyword search, ABC would lose over a hundred thousand dollars a year from this university now convinced that this isn’t the way to go.

While this huge economic decision was influenced by search engine results, results which may not truly reflect the quality and integrity of the program, online reputations are made and broken by what people uncover through their searches. Are you paying attention to your online reputation for your blog, business, and life?
[Read more…]

What Do You Want? One-Shot Traffic Versus Easy Conversion

A reader recently asked me how he could repeat the traffic magnet power of a post he wrote a year ago featuring the logo of a local football team. He told me that he gets continuous traffic to that post daily, and he wants to repeat it, bringing even more daily traffic into his blog.

Traffic magnets can be fleeting or consistent over time. We aren’t talking about exclusive pictures of celebrities or the Digg-effect blog post that brings in thousands of visitors in one or two days, then traffic drifts off to nothing. Traffic magnets continue to be draws to your blog over the long haul – one, two, even four or five years after publishing.

While many believe that any traffic is good traffic, traffic magnets come in two very distinctive audience groups: one-shot deals or easy conversions.
[Read more…]

Yahoo Nabs Safari Plugin Inquisitor

Inquisitor is a cool plugin for Safari, and now Yahoo owns it. The developer, David Watanabe, won’t be joining Yahoo, but will continue the development.

I look forward to assisting Yahoo! in refining and extending the Inquisitor user experience beyond where it is today. I truly believe that Inquisitor and its users can only benefit, both from Yahoo’s resources and attention, and from the product integration possibilities that would have been impossible to pursue on my own.

The idea behind this is, of course, to tap in to the search market coming from Safari, which uses Google per default.

Hat tip: Liquidicity