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

Trouble Brewing over Search Engines, Aggregators and Copyrights

Thread Title: Why I Have Asked Bloglines To Remove My Site From Its 'Service' Thread Url: Thread Description:

Scoble points out a row brewing over RSS aggregator Bloglines and Russ Beattie widens the debate into search engines aswell.

Lawyer gets Shirty over Bloglines

Martin Schwimmer, a lawyer who runs Trademark Blog said on Friday:

It was brought to my attention that a website named Bloglines was reproducing the Trademark Blog, surrounding it with its own frame, stripping the page of my contact info. It identifies itself as a news aggregator. It is not authorized to reproduce my content nor to change the appearance of my pages, which it does.

I create content in part to promote my law firm, which I cannot do effectively if my contact info is removed. I do not participate in targeted advertising programs because the majority of advertisers that target the keyword 'trademark' are competitors. I cannot prevent such advertising when my page is reproduced and 'framed' by a third party.

Martins site was (it does not say this now) licensed under the Creative Commons which essentially means that you can quote from it or copy the posts for non commercial use provided attribution is given.

This to me seems like a fair point. Not one I'd feel necessary to follow or support but a fair point nonetheless. Russ Beattie disagrees:

So yeah, I think this guy Martin Schwimmer is a anal-retentive pinhead

SEO Counter Offensives - Walmart on the Rampage

Thread Title: Wal-Mart Search Engine Optimization Counter Offensive - Information arms race Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member stuntdubl has an interesting take on this clickz article about how Wal-Mart are going after their own bad publicity using Search to counter critics. From the clickz piece:

Wal-Mart is answering critics of its labor policies with an extensive print ad campaign that points people to newly launched Web site The effort is accompanied by a paid search campaign on Yahoo!'s Overture.

"For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren't true," said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott in a statement. "Our associates are tired of it and we've decided it's time to draw our own line in the sand."

Stuntdubl said:

It's kind of scary when the corporate folks get a hold of an internet marketing consultant and actually listen to them. Someone must have showed the CEO the horrible publicity that Wal-mart bashing websites are providing them with. So apparantely they are goin' after some of the negative serps with a search engine optimization counter offensive. This makes me want to coin a new phrase - Information arms race. Sounds cool, huh?

Well, yeah it is dude :)

We recently had that knob Ken Lay ex of Enron buying up adwords to whine his story to the world also.

Looks like Search, paid or not, is becoming a PR battleground...

eBay Hikes Fees 60% - Users go Beserk

Thread Title: eBay fee changes spark revolt Thread Url: Thread Description:

Apparently eBay store sellers are going nuts over some increases in fees due to kick in on the Feb 18th

Among other things, the cost of a monthly subscription for a basic eBay Store will go up 60 percent to $15.95. The cost of 10-day listings will double to 40 cents, and final value fees that are assessed when a sale closes also will rise.

Sellers complained that the fee increases will take a bigger chunk of their sales take. Some said it may force them to raise their own prices amid a weak economy, and others asked for feedback on other companies, such as, that may be alternatives to eBay.

How can Newspapers Survive Online?

There are about 35 Newspapers in the US that currently charge for their content - among them the Wall Street Journal. This strikes me, and from what i read around the web, many many others as a fundamentally wrong approach. The WSJ is a no go zone for me, i wont link to it becuase not everyone here will have a paid subscription and i can find good stuff elsewhere. Follow the title link above for the full post.

Is there a "search engine industry"?

Thread Title: Is there a "search engine industry" Thread Url: Thread Description:

Via Peter's SearchEngineBlog: Does Seth Godin think because he's found a new SEO blog that Search is now a legitimate industry? Maybe he should be reading

Google - Executive Relief over Playboy

Thread Title: Google: No penalty for stock options, Playboy chat Thread Url: Thread Description:

Phew... Larry and Sergey must have had sweaty palms over this one eh?

Google has settled with federal and state regulators over allegations the company violated securities laws in the handling of its stock options.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also confirmed Thursday that it will not proceed with any enforcement action against Google over a high-profile interview with company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in Playboy magazine before they filed for their initial public offering. Companies are prohibited from promoting their companies before going public.

oh boy...

Is Google Beginning to Stagnate?

Thread Title: Yahoo & MSN Closing the Google Gap Thread Url: Thread Description:

Talking about a survey conducted by keynote, Chris Sherman points out the major details and mulls over the implications in the the threadlinked searchday article above. Here's what caught my attention:

The primary finding of the study was that Google continues to lead in most of the key areas measured, but has not made any significant improvements or progress in the minds of users since the previous study.

There's some other stuff in there to though most of it bored the arse off me.

Is Google beginning to stagnate in the minds of it's users despite recent ongoing press coverage over innovations and projects?

To answer that question myself, yes. I can't quite put my finger on why, though I suspect the M$ effect of big business and the enevitable mistrust that comes with it (at least at some deep dark recess of my subconcious..) but news coming out of Yahoo! and even MSN seems to have just a little more Sparkle these days...

Search Engine Strategies returns to New York

Thread Title: Search Engine Strategies NYC - February 28-March 3, 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

The SES NY schedule has been posted at the threadlink above, thanks to Joseph for the heads up.

You can get an overview of the sessions here and plan your sessions here.

So, who's going, and what are your expectations for the NYC SES conferance?

Is Opera finally seeing the Light?

Thread Title: Universities get free ticket to Opera Thread Url: Thread Description:

Opera who recently launched a new version of their browser with voice capabilities have always, imo, had a great browser technology. There are just so many nice things one can say about Opera, i gave up using it when the UI changed in 7.0 (i think) because i just couldnt get my head around the new layout and way it worked, but, it's still a top grade bit of kit.

However, they have also had, probably the stupidest basic biz plan for a browser know to geek. To want to charge me $50 to get rid of the ads is, again IMO, bloody outrageous. I wouldnt pay for it on general principle, but then when Firefox started getting just a bit dangerous i switched and have never looked back.

The University Play

So, now we have Opera giving their browser away free to universities (they used to charge $1 a license) in a bid to keep up with the awesome growth of Firefox seen in recent months following their now infamous open source ad in NYT.

Is it too little too late?

Maybe not. MIT, Harvard and Oxford have, according to the press release, opened their arms to the norwegian underdog. With tech savvy soap dodgers using Opera they may yet having something significant to say in the ongoing browser wars.

Hello, anybody home....?

Now all Opera have to do is to look at the success (and im sure it'll be a smash) of this little move and work out a way to drop the stupid ads and give their lovely tool away for free. - There has to be another, if not several dozen ways to make Opera profitable without resorting to embedded ads surely...

Yahoo! Finance RSS

Thread Title: Yahoo! Finance RSS Feeds Return Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jeremy Z points out the return (he tried to do this 2yrs ago) of Yahoo! Finance RSS

You can do some interesting stuff, check this one out:,goog,msn,askj

You know what's even better than that? It creates the link as you type! How cool is that? Worthless, but cool....

Hoovers Mobile -

Thread Title: Thread Url: Thread Description:

Thanks Gary for pointing out the update to Hoovers mobile offerings.

Looks like a pile of shit in a desktop browser but if you need company data on the go, it's gotta be a winner...

Here's how Microsoft can Beat Google

How does MS leapfrog Google and dominate search and Phase 2?

Bill Gates had the vision to see every PC would need an operating system and elected to get a piece of every pc sold w/ DOS/windows. Let the Hardware guys decide what else to put on the pc and how to market it. Find out how Microsoft could beat Google by following the title link for the full post.

New Explorer Patch Blocks Adsense

Thread Title: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-032 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member cornwall points out the the new M$ Explorer patch that fixes the astonishing vulnerability reported recently will block Adsense!

Jenifer Slegg of Jensense had this to say on the new patch, which sets the security level to HIGH:

But setting the security level to high for internet zone does more than protect the surfer from this browser exploit... it also blocks all Google AdSense ads from displaying within the browser. So anyone who follows their instructions will no longer be able to view and click on AdSense. The entire ad space usually occupied by AdSense will disappear.

This is actually very similar to the problem publishers have with Norton's Internet Security, which comes free on many new computers, with the "ad blocking" feature turned on my default. Most users have no idea they even have this option turned on.

If this fix becomes widespread - and depending on how long it takes Microsoft to issue a patch for this exploit - this could impact publisher earnings. And coming right on the heels of the upcoming Adwords affiliate changes, some publishers may be set up for a double hit to their earnings.

Damned if you do, damned if you dont. Interesting times for publishers ahead...

Grehan Slams SEMPO - "Cash Grabbing - Couldn't Care Less & Pompous"

Thread Title: Sma-na Thread Url: Thread Description:

Mike Grehan has slammed DUMPO and Babera Coll in particular, DUMPO's chief idiot in the threadlink above after Threadwatch first reported on a telephone conversation between newly formed SMA-NA director Ian McAnerin and Bulshy Babs.

"The vision of SEMPO is to be involved in the industry, not in the members necessarily."

Not only does that vindicate the many comments I've made about SEMPO not giving a damn about its members, it just goes to show how out of touch these people are with the industry. Or hasn't Barbara Coll yet noticed that the members ARE the industry.

And as if the members hadn't been belittled enough by this hugely arrogant organisation, mainly made from micro-firms like Barbara Coll's own, I should add, she then goes on to say:

"I don't think the regional SMA groups are going to focus on the industry, they seem to be about making sure the members are getting benefits."

No, Ms Coll, the SMA movement is about making sure they have THEIR say in the industry. It's about the way the industry develops and probably even ways they can protect themselves from cash grabbing, self appointed couldn't-care-less organisations like SEMPO.

It infuriates me to hear someone, who's own company employs less then three full time people (as far as I'm aware), talking down her nose about how she represents "the industry" and about "the members" as if we lived in a leper colony.

The threadwatch post over the weekend caused quite a stir, it seems that many blogs suddenly discovered Ians new blog all at the same time and reported on the story after threadwatch, fancy that eh? hehe...

Barbera, you're an idiot of the highest calibre and your reputation is in tatters, give it up with good grace for heavens sake and save us all the agony of watching DUMPO die a slow and painful death.

GooglePlex happy-Go-Lucky Atmosphere Changed by IPO

Thread Title: Google Riches Outed on the Web Thread Url: Thread Description:

Everyone feels equal when nobody knows how much the other makes. The SEC required Google to file documents on hundreds of employees stating exactly how much they made. This has caused, needless to say, tension.

The whole culture's really strange when there are two people in the same cubicle and one's worth $1 million and the other is worth nothing and they both know it," said one person close to the company. "It's created this asymmetry where some people feel more entitled than others."

Google, brimming with idealism and its seemingly altruistic goal of turning the world into a giant digital library, is now wrestling with the discomforting mixture of instant employee wealth and a little too much information of its own.

SMA-NA - Threat to SEMPO $$$'s - Coll gets Knickers in Twist

Thread Title: Search Marketing Association of North America - SMA-NA Thread Url: Thread Description:

For those SEM's looking for a bit more info on the forthcoming SMA-NA (Search Marketing Association North America) you can find some interesting stuff at interim director Ian McAnerin's blog threadlinked above.

He also has some good stuff to say about DUMPO - the failed Search Engine Marketing Professional Association in his post that reveals much about the possible motivations behind the beleagured org and it's president.

A long time ago SEMPO got themselves into a bit of a flap because they had incorporated themselves as a Non-Profit, but then proceeded to break almost every rule known that non-profits are supposed to follow. It was a real mess.

I also discovered that although SEMPO is, in my opinion, fundementally broken, there are a lot of very good people who joined it because it's clear the industry needs a trade association.

The problem is that SEMPO is designed to cash in on big bucks sponsors and SEO firms. Key members have even stated that small SEO firms are "not their target audience".

To me, that was unforgivable. Small SEO firms and single SEO's working in IT departments form the vast majority of this industry. How can you claim to be an industry association if the industry is not your target audience? I have it on good authority that Google and Overture agree with me on this one.

Following a meeting in London with SMA-UK and SMA-EU committee members and setting up the framework for the new org Ian phoned Barbera Coll to resign from his seat on the DUMPO committee. The passage that follows, from Ian's post above is most telling i think...

Although the majority of the conversation was confidential, it was made very clear that SEMPO considers the SMA-NA to be a direct threat and a competitor for membership and sponsor dollars. Interesting that the SMA-UK and EU were not considered the same way. To me, that really confirmed the regional blinkers SEMPO wears. The concern about the money rather than the industry was also very interesting. Although it was mentioned that the industry would be better off with only one group (I agree BTW ;) ) this was mentioned in direct relation to funding.

M$ Playing Chess with Apple - Apple to lose again....

Thread Title: Microsoft's Consumer Electronics Endgame Thread Url: Thread Description:

Some enlightening analysis of Microsofts consumer electronics and DRM strategic moves in the context of a rerun of the PC market battle Apple and M$ fought so long ago.

From Russell Beattie, threadlinked above.

Well, I've been watching Microsoft's moves over the past few weeks and I can pretty much say that it's game over for a lot of Microsoft competitors, though they may not realize it yet. To me the decisive move was their MSN Video announcement which included deals with MTV as well as TiVo to make sure that TiVo To Go recordings play on Microsoft Mobile devices. That's when I saw the big picture: Microsoft's DRM strategy and Windows Media WMA codec are going to allow them to have a massive advantage in the consumer electronics market, which includes everything from MP3 players, to mobile phones to your set-top box, to a host of other converged devices.


What's important is that Microsoft *owns* the alternative to Apple and is already branching out to areas like movies and home-recorded content. It's amazing to see history repeating itself, no? Apple lost the PC desktop because it refused to license its Graphical User Interface and now they're going to lose the Consumer Electronics market because they've failed to license their FairPlay DRM technology.


Everyone was laughing at Bill Gates' gaffs this week at the CES. The bluescreen of death, etc. But did you *see* what they were showing off? They have set top boxes, mobile phones, PDAs, portable video players, game consoles and more all running Microsoft software, and most importantly, all supporting the same Windows Media codec and DRM. The final piece of the puzzle was the TiVo To Go announcement. Now it's not just content you buy, it's your personal content as well.

There's a fair bit more to read and it's a great post, check it out and tell us what you think.

Why is it that Apple are so great on one hand, the GUI, the COOL, and so utterly blind on the other? What is it about Apple that seems to doom them to ultimate failure despite fantastic kit like the iPod?

New iPod Rivals Still Not Enough - Piper Jaffray

Thread Title: Piper Jaffray: New iPod rivals still aren't enough Thread Url: Thread Description:

Looks like the Creative Zen Micro is the nearest serious rival to the iPod so far - this quote from the MacMinute post threadlinked above:

In a research note to clients Friday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the iPod still has no equal, despite a number of new entries coming from CES this week. "After the introduction of a handful of new portable audio devices yesterday at CES, we believe that the iPod is still in position to dominate this market," Munster said. "Of the other players looking to chip away at Apple's market share, Creative is gaining the most traction with its Creative Zen Micro. We believe that Creative may have had the most crowded booth at CES.

~ Piper Jaffray

MarketingSherpa Accepting Nominations for SEM Buyers Guide

Thread Title: MarketingSherpa Puts Call Out For SEM Firms To Be Reviewed Thread Url: Thread Description:

Danny at SEW posts that MarketingSherpa are now accepting nominations for their SEM Buyers Guide and that you have till the end of the month to, in true SEM style, nominate yourself! heh...

Is that thing worth it?

Payback for Apple - Punter Sues over iTunes/iPod Monopoly

Thread Title: ITunes user sues Apple over iPod Thread Url: Thread Description:

The BBC are reporting in the threadlink above that an iTunes user is suing Apple over unfair competition relating to iTunes and iPod - Seems Apple are getting a taste of their own medicine in light of recent "we clearly dont get it" lawsuits filed by the company:

A user of Apple's iTunes music service is suing the firm saying it is unfair he can only use an iPod to play songs.

He says Apple is breaking anti-competition laws in refusing to let other music players work with the site.