In any market where the leader has a monopolistic marketshare it is a great idea to encourage innovation elsewhere and promote further competition. In the past Blekko was a great SEO data source but I couldn’t use it as a default search service because the auto-firing of their slashtags were in many cases too restrictive. They did a recent update which still fires slashtag results, but now rather than requiring results to be part of that slashtag they allow the slashtags to compliment their search results.
You Must Disclose, or Else…
Matt Cutts has long stated that machine-readable disclosure of paid links is required to be within Google’s guidelines.
The idea behind such Cassandra calls is that the web should be graded based on merit, rather than who has the largest ad budget. The Google founders harped on this in their early research:
we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.
Google is not the only search engine in town, and they have been less forthcoming with their own behavior than what they demand of others.
“I am just like a robot – following only what I have been told.” – Katutu, Google toolbar testimonial
As long as end users get their Angry Birds they really don’t care how it comes to them. But they should!
Right now, an aggregated link to this entry places higher in a search of the title than my own site, which is a Page Rank 5 site (i.e. it has a lot of “strong” links in and a lot of content). That is a snapshot of what is pushing the Media to spewing ever louder and more meaningless sounds and furies.
search engine offshoots have failed the nation, profoundly, deeply and irrevocably. – Charles Hugh Smith
A Copy, of a Copy, of a Copy
There are many approaches to online navigation & discovery. On the surface many of them look exceptionally different, but when you look a bit deeper many of them are playing the same game with the same game plan. The main differences are brand perception & marketing angle, but they all copy off of each other.
New Ideas, or The Same Ideas?
There is an illusion that social media is significantly different because messages from friends are mixed in with the other stuff. However, when you look at the aggregate trends, ultimately social media pushes the same stuff that the mainstream media pushes (which is the same stuff that post-Panda Google pushes).
Why People Buy Premium Domain Names
The idea of an exact match domain (EMD) is that you are buying a piece of land right next to the highway. You sink in a lot of money upfront, but hope that it backs out over time by lowering your traffic acquisition costs. For many years this model was both logical and profitable.
At the peak of the domain name bubble recently, the domain name Poker.org sold for a million Dollars.
This Shouldn’t Hurt Too Bad
One of the more perverse things about online markets is that since things are not done in person a lot of people are willing to work in the gray area. That allows people like Vitaly Borker to torture his customers as a marketing strategy.
When Stanley Milgram did his famous study on if people were willing to torture others (so long as they thought it was part of a scientific experiment), he found out that the more distance they put between the torturer and torturee the more brutally they would behave. People would dial the voltage up to x if they were holding the hand of the person getting shocked, a bit more if the person was on the other side of a glass wall, and a bit more if they were behind a brick wall.
Google recently unveiled Google Advisor, which ties together the concept of Google Comparison Ads with a better looking interface.
“With Google Advisor, you enter information about what you’re looking for in a mortgage, credit card, CD, or checking and savings account.”
And unlike Google comparison ads, Google is caching these pages
When you add in BeatThatQuote, AdWords, Google affiliate network, Google ads that filter content clicks through to search ads, and AdSense there are at least 6 different ways for Google to sniff data on & monetize the consumer financial product market. And that is if you don’t count branded display ads on YouTube as another option.
The New York Times has an interesting article about Cisco’s roll in the Great Firewall of China + more:
Cisco, the maker of Internet routing gear, customized its technology to help China track members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week by members of the movement.
The lawsuit, which relies on internal sales materials, also said that Cisco had tried to market its equipment to the Chinese government by using inflammatory language that stemmed from the Maoist Cultural Revolution.
And that from a company which promotes itself using the label “the human network.”
Facebook is a Sleazy Organization
Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.
And why would Facebook run such a campaign?
Hit By Panda
In a recent comment someone shared the fate of Patrick Jordan, owner of justanotheripadblog.com.
Since the Panda update happened, some scraper websites (monetized by Google AdSense) have started outranking Patrick for his own content.
Panda = No AdWords Soup for You
Distraught with the decline in traffic, Patrick turned to AdWords to try to bridge the gap and drive some revenues.
Unfortunately, Google wouldn’t let him do that either: