Business issues - a general catchall for all seo business related discussions

Google Adwords API Live to the Public

After much talk about the new Adwords API the the Beta is Finally available to the public! - What, another Beta i hear you cry? Surely not...

Just got the email:

Additional Coverage

Here's a list of the better coverage out there:

Google BLog Official Announcement Goodman on the Effects of the API Inside Google Andy Beal - Good detailed write up Danny Sullivan Official Adwords API Blog Official Adwords API Forum - What, no wmw one already? heh.. Webmasterworld thread SEW thread SEOBook Pamela Parker for Clickz

Thanks Jake for letting me butcher his original post :-)

Yahoo a better Stock than Google

Thread Title: Yahoo raised Google stands still Thread Url: Thread Description:

Forbes are reporting that Merrill Lynch have upgraded Yahoo! to buy from neutral whilst also lowering Google to neutral.

They go on to say:

we are more comfortable with Yahoo!'s experienced management, focus on free cash flow and diversified (and economic) business model. As such, we believe Yahoo! should trade at a premium to Google. Further, we think Yahoo's growth prospects are superior.

Where would you put your money at the moment?

Yahoo has a Flutter - Betting Service opens in March

Thread Title: Betfair to build a Yahoo Betting Exchange Thread Url: Thread Description:

The BBC are reporting on news that Bet Fair, a bet exchange service that competes with convential bookmakers for punters money, is to enter a cobrand deal with Yahoo UK & Ireland. Betfair technology with Yahoo brand.

UK online betting exchange Betfair has signed a deal with Yahoo UK and Ireland, extending its betting platform to a mass market audience.

This is an interesting area as betting exchanges are not currently (though changes are occuring) licenced nor taxed in the same way that bookmakers are. An example being this stat reported from The Register

online exchanges paid just £7.3m in tax last year despite taking bets worth more than £2.67bn. This compares to £376m paid by bookmakers on bets worth £30bn.

USAToday - Jeez, Take a Pill, all you Blogomaniacs

Thread Title: Chill, blogophiles; you're not the first to do what you're doing Thread Url: Thread Description:

Wonderful piece from Kevin Maney in USAToday downing the nauseating hype and constant dribbling about everything and anything about blogs.

But in the tech industry, hype is like a basic food group. Something is always going to change the world overnight: 3G wireless networks, interactive TV, artificial intelligence. If it won't change the whole world, you work down to the smallest applicable unit: "Our software will revolutionize dietary supplement knowledge management aboard ships at sea." Or some such thing.

Blogging is similarly the latest revolution — e.g., it's not. Which, in a way, makes it cooler.

Today, software tools make it cheap and simple to post personal journals on the Web, so more people do. "I wouldn't underestimate how much of this is driven by the tools," says Jonathan Weber, the former editor of the defunct Industry Standard, now starting a blog-infused Web site about the Rocky Mountain region.

Blogs and the reasons they exist have historical antecedents.

Take Luther in the early 1500s. About 60 years before, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Before that, only the church and governments could afford to reproduce and manage information, keeping a lock on ideas and power. The printing press gave Luther a way to distribute his thesis — an early version of blogging. Next thing, we had Protestants.

It's no secret that all this teen mania everytime some dumbarse throws up a few lines on a website annoys me, i read the blogs (currently upward of 250) to keep in touch with what's going on in my fields of interest but bloody hell, if i read one more sodding "so and so has a blog!" i swear im gonna puke...

Mobile Marketing to increase by $50M in Next 2yrs

Thread Title: Good news for US mobile marketers Thread Url: Thread Description:

Adverblog have the scoop on a new report from Frost:

revenue in the US mobile marketing market was worth $11.5 million and it will reach $69.3 million by 2007. The report, "An Insight into the United States Mobile Marketing & Short Code SMS Markets" reveals that to further enhance customer response, mobile marketing companies must work toward achieving greater synchronization in a comparatively extended value chain that includes advertisers, platform providers, connection aggregators, and mobile operators.

Its not much, but the comments about bottlenecks in the progression of mobile marketing caught my eye in particular - why is it that the very people and companies that should be creating wonderful new tech and exciting biz opps are also the ones stifling progress? - i know there are easy answers to that question but buggering hell, it's just such a damn shame..

When does PPC Become Mainstream?

Is it when you hear an advert during the breakfast show on a commercial London radio station for a PPC management company?

I don't know if this is worthy of TW news per se, but I do have some thoughts on it so decided to "blog it" rather than submit a thread.

I listen to the radio pretty much all day long. My station of choice isn't music based but a news and talk show based format. Whilst this is common in North America it is rare in the UK. There was a try at starting up the talk radio genre in Blighty by Talk Radio a few years ago, but even they changed their format and became sports focussed, now calling themselves Talk Sport.

Anyway, I listen to LBC and during the breakfast show, with the wannabe shock jock Nick Ferrari over the last few days I have heard an advert for Top Position a PPC management company that his this to say about itself.

Quote: Top Position specialise in helping businesses of all sizes to increase the effectiveness of their Google AdWords campaigns by improving click-through rates while reducing costs. This is achieved using an approach based around developed, highly targeted campaigns which provide Google users with the results they need more easily, while clients reduce overspend and improve conversion rates.

Now my thoughts aren't whether Top Position are a great or not PPC company but has SEM hit the mainstream. I have never heard an advert on the radio nor seen an advert on the TV before promoting SEM.

I would be VERY curious to hear from someone at Top Position about the effectiveness of their radio advertising campaign and why they, rather than their competitors had the big balls it took to make the decision to utilise this route to the business execs stuck in the London traffic jams.

BT go head to head with WorldPay and Paypal

Thread Title: BT sets up ePayments division Thread Url: Thread Description:

BT is creating an online payments business, in a bid to better position the firm’s payment tools to compete with rivals such as WorldPay and Paypal.

Called “BT ePayments”, the new division will house the BT click&buy payment solution and BT Buynet card payment processing services, creating a single business unit within BT.

The story didnt make it clear if this would be a UK only thing or not, but the tone of the press release material seems to suggest that it's global.

Any of the UK guys know a bit more?

Why Speculation on Google & VoIP is Wrong

Thread Title: Why Google Is Not Doing VoIP Thread Url: Thread Description:

Om Malik, somewhat of a VoIP expert and frequent commentator on the technology explains why speculation over Google going into VoIP is out of whack:

The first reason, why Google is not doing VoIP: how the hell do you monetize something like this. Since Google’s business model revolves around embedding text-ads in pretty much everything, it doesn’t make sense for them to even indulge in VoIP.

I suspect that people are reading too much into Google’s job listing, which in my opinion has a very simple explanation. Google is growing, and it is adding data center capacity pretty much all across the planet. (Because it wants to be the Internet OS!) Europe, Asia and US and it needs to link these together with a dedicated backbone, like most smart companies do. In order to do that, they have to build a global virtual network.

Om goes on to theorize that Google does not want to buy dark fibre at all, they just want a chief negotiator with experience in the area to put these deals in place.

Affiliates vs Merchants - Who Holds the Power?

Morning all

I am starting to see more and more of this. A company signs up lots of affiliates, then the top two to ten affiliates become the program generating 90% of the companies online revenue. The company get sloppy and the only business they get comes from the affiliates. These affiliates all know each ather and in many cases are mates. They share information about the supplier, late payments etc. Then the supplier tries to play "bully boy" and tell the affiliates what they can and can't do.

I have seen this via friends when a company with close to £20 million annual turnover, started getting arsey, the 3 top affiliates moved suppliers and within 90 days the company went bankrupt.

Anyone care to expand on that?


Yahoo! Extends $4.98 Domain Deal - Again...

Thread Title: Yahoo Extends $4.98 Domain Offer, Go Daddy Cuts Price Thread Url: Thread Description:

Netcraft reports that Yahoo! have extended their $4.98 loss leader deal on domain names for the third time and speculates that the offer is generating business - the offer now runs through to Feb 8th. Maybe they should just say "untill further notice" - maybe they're just hungry for the headlines on this deal eh?

Hosting and Search

Thread Title: Google wants UK sites to be hosted in the UK not DE Thread Url: Thread Description:

An interesting slant of (using a Seth Godin term) initiating a purple cow from a David against a Goliath.

1&1 Internet are one of the larger European hosting companies. Their prices are extremely competitive, overall the service is superb and they advertise extremely agressively. Because of this they have seen tremendous growth, especially for quite a late entrant to the hosting business.

The small David in this battle is POBox Hosting. A UK company that is playing on fears businesses didn't have before they saw POBox's press release. Essentially it implies that if you host your web site with 1&1 you won't be visible on

What it omits to say is that (I believe) the majority of 1&1 customers use the uk tld for their sites so should still be accesable from

A damn fine way to use some half truths to add some FUD in business. I say hats off to POBox for coming up with the ploy :)

A Look at Google Ahead of Earnings

Thread Title: Options Update: A Look at Google Ahead of Earnings Thread Url: Thread Description:

Schaeffer Research have an interesting and (to me at least) enlightening read about the mighty GOOG comparing them to others such as Ebay etc.

As one of last year's hottest initial public offerings (IPO), Internet search engine behemoth Google (GOOG: sentiment, chart, options) is still managing to attract a considerable amount of attention. However, despite the stock's soaring technical performance since its IPO at $85 per share (GOOG is now trading in the $190 area), investors remain skeptical of the equity. Options speculators have targeted the stock's January 190 put in today's session, sending more than 6,167 of these bearishly oriented options across the tape so far today.

Shoving SEO into the Mktg Dept's Face

Thread Title: The 70/30 Rule of Search Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gord Hotchkiss at MediaPost, threadlinked above has an interesting little article out. It's not interesting to SEO's with what it actually says, in fact, he's just pointing out the patently obvious - it's interesting nonetheless though...

Go read it, it's only a tiddler..

So what was the point of that?

So, if you read it you'll see that it's a well written bit of waffle for the media types that read mediapost. What interested me is that im starting to see more and more of this lately - the whole promotion of "organic" over paid...

Am i talking shite or is that as significant as i think..?

Bloggers - A Growing Market for Search Optimization Firms

Over the past couple of months i've noticed a steadily increasing interest in Search amongst bloggers. This isn't so surprising when you think about as the recent Pew Study showed a 58% increase in blog readership in 2004 and that 7% of American adults that use the net had created a blog. This post looks at the growing blog scene and what potential avenues exist for SEO's within it. Follow the title link above for the full post.

Arranging a UK SEO Meet

So let's organise a UK/EU meet here?

How about somewhere near Stansted airport as that is easiest to get to from the rest of Europe.

I'll take on the mantle of organising it if you want. Thoughts and would Nick, would you come over from Denmark (but only if you bring the bacon with ya!)

Should Yahoo! buy Six Apart?

Thread Title: Yahoo to acquire Six Apart? Thread Url: Thread Description:

There's been some very compelling arguments posted as to why Yahoo! should (or will) buy Six Apart, the company behind hosted blogging solution TypePad and blog software MovableType - and now LiveJournal which was recently aquired by Six Apart taking it's user base to an estimated 6.5M users. thanks rss blog

This is why it's so remarkable that Yahoo! has no blogging platform. Yahoo! owns Overture, the main competitor to Google's keyword ad business. Ad inventory is in short supply, Web content is the greatest source of untapped inventory, and blogs are the fastest growing area of Web content. Google owns Blogger, Microsoft quietly announced recently that its blogging platform, MSN Spaces, just passed the 1.5 million user mark, and Yahoo! has... nothing.

But here's the truth: the user-dependent, sticky, time-consuming application that these companies are driving towards isn't one of these, it's all of them together: an integrated suite of Web-based personal tools. It will encompass Web email, instant messaging, an address book, a page of RSS-driven content like My Yahoo!, a set of online bookmarks like, perhaps online management of music or other content, and... a blog for photo sharing and one-to-many communication.

I was about to do another quote but i think that's enough for fair use :-) do check it out it's a cracker of a read and makes a lot of sense.

I dont know whether Yahoo would necessarily buy a company like Six but i cant see any good reason why they shouldn't be involved in blogging given all their other user-sticky activities and i can certainly think of (with a little help from the post linked above) a whole bunch of reasons why they should...

TV and Newspapers Stiffed by Online Video Ads in 2005

Thread Title: Growth of online ads hits high speed Thread Url: Thread Description:

Demand for online video ads by Ford Motor, Colgate-Palmolive and others will contribute to a breakout year for online advertising in 2005 — and spell trouble for newspapers and TV, financial analysts say.

A surge in text ads on search sites Google and Yahoo — combined with more high-speed Internet users — also will help push online ad spending over $10 billion for the first time, analysts say.

This is all well and good, but where's the interactivity?

Newspaper circulation woes will continue in 2005, says a Merrill Lynch report. And cuts at major advertisers Sears and Kmart "could take their toll."

Surprise surprise...

Yahoo win Verizon customer's Default Home Page

Thread Title: Yahoo Portal on Verizon customers PCs Thread Url:,+Verizon+ink+Web+tie-in/2100-1030_3-5539065.html Thread Description: Yahoo and Verizon Communications on Monday announced a multi-year agreement to package the Web portal into the nation's largest phone company's broadband Internet services

The deal represents a competitive win for Yahoo because it essentially bumps Microsoft's MSN as the default Web portal for new Verizon customers. Yahoo will package its Web portal and online services into Verizon's DSL and its upcoming fiber-to-the-home offering called Fios.

The tie-in with Verizon mirrors Yahoo's current agreement with SBC Communications, which was recently renewed by the two companies. Like the SBC deal, Yahoo will receive a cut of revenue for every new Verizon DSL or Fios subscriber, as well as any current subscriber using the MSN service who switches to Yahoo

Craigslist - Devouring Classified Ad Revenue One City at a Time

Thread Title: Craigslist Circles the Globe With Online Classifieds, One City at a Time Thread Url: Thread Description:

Craigslist, of which eBay bought a 25% stake in last year is in the middle of some major expansion - it's already estimated to be costing the Bay Area newspapers $65M a year in lost revenue and looks to be making a bid for world domination. Go Craig! heh..

Craigslist was started 10 years ago by Craig Newmark, an Internet pioneer in San Francisco, as a way of keeping friends up to date on events in the Bay Area. It spread through the United States before going international in 2003, with sites in London and Toronto. The expansion accelerated in late 2004 with a flurry of sites, including ones for Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Sydney. About a dozen other international start-ups are planned in the next few months.


Though the international Craigslist sites are available only in English for now, the formula seems to be catching on, if more modestly than in the United States. The London site attracts more than 150,000 unique visitors each month, Mr. Buckmaster said. The Paris site, begun in November, already draws 50,000 unique visitors monthly. Other recently added sites, including Amsterdam, Dublin, São Paulo, Brazil, and Bangalore, India, have drawn slightly less traffic.

This would be closely tied in the the discussion on how newspapers can survive online...

Google wants Dark Fibre Specialists

Thread Title: Gimme the bandwidth..... Thread Url: Thread Description:

Google are advertising for a new employee. A dark fibre telecoms guy or gal.

Could they be launching a mega infrastructure project or possibly looking to enter the telecoms business?