Industry rumours, scandal and intrigue - it's all here.

Major Changes in Adwords, Adsense and Sandbox

Thread Title: Dear AdWords [referer spoofing req'd] Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum81/4529.htm Thread Description:

I'm getting reports that something major maybe happening with Adwords - the thread above by BakedJake suggests large and irratic jumps in usually calm, predictable stats for larger advertisers.

It may be that a major shift in the Adwords algorithm is taking place, and then it could have something to do with shifts in datacenters that also appear to be happening right now.

And let's not discount the introduction of the Adwords API as if there wasn't already enough to be paranoid about heh...

So, any Adwords guys want to add fuel to the fire or douse it?

Yahoo to Enter the Blog Hosting Fray

Thread Title: blogs.yahoo.co.jp Thread Url: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ Thread Description:

Yahoo! look as if they're finally entering into the blog hosting fray as they launch blogs.yahoo.co.jp - shouldnt be long before we see a major roll out eh?

Here's the Cnet report courtesy of Aaron:

Yahoo Japan launches blog beta

Yahoo Japan, owned mostly by Softbank and partly by Yahoo, on Tuesday launched a test, or "beta," version of Yahoo Japan Blogs, a free service that lets users post blogs and up to 2GB of images, comment on other blogs, and associate their blogs with animated representations of users known as avatars.

"This is a basic community service," said a Yahoo Japan spokesperson who asked not to be named. "Last year there was a blog boom in Japan. Lots of portals have blogs now. So we came in late. But when we start, it will have an impact on a lot of Internet users here."

The launch could have implications for Yahoo users in the United States, too.

NICE...

SMA-UK get's a Kickin' in the Forums

Thread Title: SMA-UK Thread Url: http://www.webworkshop.net/seoforum/viewtopic.php?t=4785 Thread Description:

Search Marketing Association UK is being given a right pasting by one of my favorite forum troublemakers PhillC over at webworkshop:

Well it seems to have died a death. Their website doesn't look like it's been updated since the launch last October. It still has the original press release on the front page, and nothing much else except a PDF info file, which isn't dated but looks like it's from back in October.

There is no discussion forum for people who might be interested but want to know more before shelling out £250 a year for an individual membership, or £1000 a year for a corporate membership.

But it's no surprise. SEMPO didn't do anything, so it was highly unlikely that SMA-UK would do anything

All fair points i think. Not exactly fucking inspiring is it? You'd think that a whole bunch of the UK's finest SEO's would be able to update the sodding homepage...

Google Priming for Content Buys

Thread Title: Google: Manager, Strategic Partner Development - Multimedia Thread Url: http://www.craigslist.org/pen/bus/57858489.html Thread Description:

See the job listing posted on craigslist above for what would appear to be a fancy term for "content negotiator".

Google is looking for a Strategic Partner Development individual who can bring their excellent partner/business development experience to assist us in obtaining and negotiating significant and complex relationships in the new area of multimedia search.

This high-visibility role requires someone who will be responsible for identifying, structuring and negotiating licensing relationships with some of Google’s largest and most strategic partners to acquire and monetize a wide range of video and audio content.

These individuals will need to establish and drive very senior level relationships with a range of content companies. In addition, these individuals will be responsible for negotiating and closing contracts. Ideal candidates must be extremely partner-focused, proactive, have a strong media background, be technically savvy, work effectively within a team environment and be comfortable presenting to Google and partner C-level management.

With recent video search (well, kinda..) moves and Yahoo, a much more media oriented company growing at a much faster rate it would come as little surprise to learn that Google would be tying a lot of these incessant beta's up and positioning themselves likewise...

thanks svw

Yahoo & Google Duke it out over Flickr

Thread Title: Why It's Pouring VC Cash Thread Url: http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,1020117,00.html Thread Description:

Check out this little interesting snippet in the Business2.0 story threadlinked above about Google and Yahoo wanting both to buy the immensely popular Flickr photo sharing site based on folksonomy tagging

The forecast for entrepreneurs during the next few months? It'll be raining -- cash. Consider Flickr, a popular photo-sharing-meets-social-networking site based in Vancouver, British Columbia. When it went live a year ago, it attracted plenty of notice and even pulled in a few angel investors, such as Excite co-founder Joe Kraus. But that's nothing compared with the torrent of offers it's entertaining now. Google and Yahoo want to buy it outright, while venture capital firms are flooding it with all kinds of creative proposals. "We get four or five calls a week from VCs," says Stewart Butterfield, who co-founded Flickr with his wife, Caterina Fake. "We even had a health-care fund call recently. I guess they wanted in on the excitement."

Doesn't say where he got that info of course but speculation on at least Google buying Flickr is nothing new and it makes perfect sense for either company. Lets face it though, if Google get it we'll just end up with another half finished beta...

nice catch om!

The Google Browser and OS Debate continues...

Thread Title: Open Source Programme Manager. Hmmmmmm Thread Url: http://www.craigslist.org/pen/eng/57212883.html Thread Description:

Craigslist has and ad from Google in it looking for an Open Source Program Manager

Google is looking for a candidate who can manage technical programs in our open source software programs office

Could this, in conjunction with recent Firefox developers being hired be add some more fuel to the fire that G will be launching a Google OS?

Mark Jen #2 - Google's Idiot Blogger Returns

Thread Title: Ooops! Thread Url: http://99zeros.blogspot.com/2005/01/oops.html Thread Description:

Idiot blogger Mark Jen is back.. sounds like he's altered a whole bunch of his posts but i've not looked yet...

hi everyone, sorry my site has been down for the past day or so. i goofed and put some stuff up on my blog that's not supposed to be there. nothing serious and they didn't ask me to take anything down (even the stuff where i'm critical about the company). i'm learning that google is understandably careful about disclosing sensitive information, even vague financial-related things. the quickest way for me to fix the situation at the time was to take it all down. now i'm back up. just so you know, google was pretty cool about all this. thanks for and sorry for the frenzy of speculation.

You know, there's a nasty, cynical little voice inside my head that keeps crying "Setup! it's a setup!" - this voice argues that PR is a funny old game and messin' with the blogosphere is *easy* - it's no real bad press for Google - but it's a hell of a lot of attention for them on a day when GOOG stock is downgraded...

Paranoid? yeah, maybe...

The FULL Mark Jen Google Blog - The Blog Google tried to Gag

Thread Title: NinetyNineZeroes Thread Url: http://www.bloglines.com/blog/WRJ?subid=6578013 Thread Description:

This morning we reported on the Google employee blog that it appears Google have tried to silence.

Now, courtesty of DaveN you can read the entire blog...

Deary deary me, whatever is the world coming to eh? Oh well, it may be the tabloid blog wheeze of the day but back to biz now...

Google Gag Rogue Blogger - But Yahoo! Tells the Story

Thread Title: Googler Blogs About Work Thread Url: http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2005-01-25-n43.html Thread Description:

This is most certainly not fact, though there's more than enough smoke to suggest a fire...

Late yesterday evening (for me), blogoscoped reported on a new blog by some Google employee - one Mark Jen. He'd written a whole bunch of posts about his new employment at GOOG and they were, shall we say, less than discreet:

"Look at all these other fringe "benefits": on-site doctor, on-site dentist, on-site car washes... the list goes on and on with one similarity: every "benefit" is on-site so you never leave work. (...)

Google definitely has a program that is on par with other companies in the industry; but since when does a company like Google settle for being on par? Microsoft's health care benefits shame Google's relatively meager offering. (...)

Lastly, Google demands employees that are 90th percentile material, so what's with the 50th percentile compensation? The packages would've been decent when the company was pre-IPO, but let's be honest here... a stock option with a strike price of $188 just doesn't have the same value as the ones of yesteryear."

Upon waking, i find that Mark has deleted all of his posts.

We know GOOG read the search blogs so did they put the kybosh on Mark's unfortunate indiscretions?

Added: Getting lots of IM's with links to Y! caches - add them as comments if you find others...

uh oh, what happened to my bank account? global sales conference - google style

CNet - What's their $@!#'ing Problem Anyway?

Thread Title: CNET: All Glory No Guts Thread Url: http://www.marketingshift.com/2005/01/cnet-all-glory-no-guts.cfm Thread Description:

There's a small amount of buzz about CNet "launching" trackback support today. Well, firstly: Wakey wakey boys and girls, TW was talking about this back in November heh..

Secondly, Jason Dowdell raises a good point when he highlights the fact that CNet do not link out! I remember a well known webmaster forum owner bitching about one of their reporters, Stephanie Olsen, always pinching stuff from his website and never linking back or crediting but it actually goes much, much further than that.

The thing is, many of CNet's stories are really rather useless - better suited to print than the web - Really, reading your average Cnet story can be quite a painful experience, a typical read will involve (for me):

Seeing cited article titles that are not linked Seeing brands, companies and people mentioned that are not linked Seeing other news sources cited and not linked Having to do advanced searches on various engines to find the unlinked material

What is it with these muppets? Don't they get it, or are they just greedy bastards who don't need to care about the user experience due to their size and influence?

1bu.com - Stealing Content on an Industrial Scale

Just go look for yourself....

http://slashdot.org.1bu.com http://threadwatch.org.1bu.com http://searchenginewatch.com.1bu.com http://webmasterworld.com.1bu.com

And there are an awful lot more sites affected. Thanks XC for the query link.

Chinese Proxy?

Ok, so they might actually be a chinese proxy service - question is, how do I, and all the other sites feel about that? For my part im not sure just yet, gotta give it a bit of time to digest...

Rich Skrenta - Demoted at Dmoz

Thread Title: rubberstamped.org Thread Url: http://resource-zone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31571&page=1&pp=15 Thread Description:

Rich Skrenta, one of the founders of the ODP lost his root priveleges a day or two ago over at DMOZ - demoted to a common META, ack, the shame of it heh...

I shouldn't think he's in the least bit worried about it, Topix.net is doing just great thankyou very much! - I don't know if Rich's loss of priveleges have anything to do with everyone's favorite troublemaker IHU in the threadlink above at the "oh such a pleasant place" resource-zone but maybe it did. I know it'd give a few of the more rampant IHU'er wet dreams for weeks to think that they may have played apart in someone elses misfortune, but then i find it hard to beleive that:

a) Anyone cares what they say b) Anyone at dmoz cares if Rich adds sites he likes - that's the point isn't it? c) Any of you care at all

It does make for a fun little scandal though, plenty of whining, lots of skullduggery and no small amount of frothing at the mouth lunacy thrown in for good measure.

And for those with a lust for Skrenta info, Peter has an interview with the uber geek himself...

ThinkSecret does it again - Apple 5G iPod Rumours

Thread Title: Briefly: iPod mini, 5G iPod, PowerBooks Thread Url: http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0501briefly2.html Thread Description:

Seems Steven whatshisface can't get enough of court these days - good for him, nobody like a bully Mr (big) Jobs...

The next iPod mini, code-named Q22B and referred to as Osiris inside Apple, will sport a higher capacity hard drive, very likely 5GB. Sources speculate that Apple will tap Seagate for the part, abandoning current iPod mini drive supplier Hitatchi for the time being. Hitatchi's one-inch hard drive currently tops out at 4GB, although 8GB and 10GB versions are due for release later this year and may very well find their way into a future iPod mini.

Go TS!

Weird Errors at Google - Is Google Really Under Attack?

OK

it is not just me I checked this out with several other people with a range of OS's from Linux to windows and it appear Google think they are under attack.

Here is the error

Quote: Google Error

We're sorry...

... but we can't process your request right now. A computer virus or spyware application is sending us automated requests, and it appears that your computer or network has been infected.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your computer is free of viruses and other spurious software.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

The query that produced this is

inurl:add_site.php?

now do it without the ?

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=inurl%3Aadd_site.php&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Since when has Google had a problem with '?'?

Without spending my life looking for variants G works when using .asp? etc

So is this really Google under the cosh?

Microsoft gets Heavy with Bloggers - Does an Apple

Thread Title: Exclusive: Microsoft Windows Mobile 2005 Revealed - Magneto Thread Url: http://www.neowin.net/comments.php?id=26791&category=main Thread Description:

M$ have gone and got all legal about some screenshots of the new windows mobile 2005, dubbed Magneto, that were syndicated widely amongst tech bloggers - the shots first appeared here and were quickly picked up by enGadget and other sites.

You can check out Calacanis' (of enGadget) post about it here

Looks like Microsoft is not happy with Engadget’s recent post about Windows Mobile which was generated out of a tip a reader sent in. I’ve submitted this letter to Chilling Effects, and I’m trying to figure out exactly what Microsoft has a problem with in this post.

I spoke to the attorney who sent the letter and she said she didn’t need to discuss this with me, nor did she have to prove she worked for Microsoft,

and you can read the email that was sent out here, though it's duller than unbuttered toast.

So What?

So nothing really. I like to take a shot at M$ like everyone else but this is fair enough i reckon. The wider, more interesting issue for me is that this whole game of syndicating illegal data (and it is strictly illegal) is getting hotter. Im wondering a) How it's going to play out and b) if someone will send us some juicey stuff to get into trouble over? :-)

heh...

Rumour - Barbara Coll = Out :: Dana Todd = IN - SEMPO

Rumour comes in that Barbara Coll is (as expected) to be ousted as president of SEMPO and Dana Todd is to replace her.

Furthermore, and bear in mind that this is just a rumour: Babs is dumping nominees she doesn't know and appointing "friends" to positions of power prior to her departure.

It doesn't stop there though.... From the same sources, very close to the org and quite credible: Babs will lose the presidency but retain her position as Chairman leaving her still firmly behind the wheel of the rogue org...

Barbara Coll Spins SEMPO "Success" in Back Patting Scandal

Thread Title: 2004 was Full of Great Delights for Search Engine Marketing Guru Barbara C. Coll Thread Url: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/1/emw199983.htm Thread Description:

Babs Coll is at it again, this time with an outstanding self congratulatory press release that spins the beleagured SEMPO search marketing org as a success whilst the industry itself is filled with nothing but scorn and resentment.

Incestuous Relationships and Marketing Spin for Personal Prestige

The release, produced by (strangely enough) SEMPO member SEO-PR spins the org nicely:

This year was particularly delightful for "The WebMama," gaining her and her company recognition from publications such as "BtoB" and "Silicon Valley Business Journal leading the new and influential Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) through its first year and a half as its Chairman of the Board and President; and landing some exciting speaking engagements and clients that demonstrate increasing influence by, and respect for, both Ms.Coll, WebMama.com and the SEM industry.

Questions have been raised time and time again in the popular SEM forums over issues with SEMPO and yet still, after a year and a half the organization continually ignores questions from the community it purports to serve One of the better online forums for search marketers is Danny Sullivans Search Engine Watch. Those looking for more information on why the industry itself loathes this farcical scam would do well to read the following discussions:

Will Sempo Survive? Why doesnt Sempo Talk in Forums? How Was SEMPO's UK Committee Formed? Sempo and Non-Profit Legal Issues SEMPO & The SEM Reputation Problem The SEMPO Website and its Page Rank Distribution Sempo Dual Advertising Continues Mike Grehan Stirs Up SEMPO Controversy Danny Sullivan leaves SEMPO SEMPO: Even less substance yet more arrogance Sempo Gone to the Dogs?

And in this particular thread that really does deserve to drink upstream of the herd, Mike Grehan, who I think it's fair to say is widely respected in the industry has this to say about this clicz article where Coll is again, particularly arrogant and offensive:

Google to provide AdWords API to Advertisers

Thread Title: Scoop! Google to provide AdWords API to Advertisers Thread Url: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2005/01/scoop_google_to.php Thread Description:

Now here's some news you will soon be able to use...

Google is about to announce technology that will allow its advertisers unprecedented levels of control over when, where, and who can view their advertising on Google search pages and those of Google partner web sites.

For the first time, the search giant will provide its advertisers with an application programming interface (API), which will enable them link their computer systems with Google and control parts of the mammoth Google ad delivery system. The API will allow advertisers to self-administer the delivery, the timing and the price they will pay for their text ads.

see the latest blog entry...

Googles Secret Meeting - New Adwords/Adsense Stuff Coming...

Thread Title: coop! Google is about to unveil a completely revamped Adwords/Adsense program Thread Url: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2005/01/scoop_google_is_1.php Thread Description:

Google are reported to have about 1800 employees at a secret meeting right now to brief them on new adwords and adsense features to be unveiled imimently. Apparently in a bid to outmarket upstarts like Kanoodle...

As this is being writtten, about 1800 Google marketing people from its offices around the world are at an internal sales conference at a secret location in San Francisco, being briefed on a completely revamped Google Adwords/Adsense program and other new features.

So, what are they bringing in?

Glengara Glen Ross - NoFollow & Coop Ad Network

somebody's starting trouble on DP...

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?p=86921

and it's IMMEDIATELY picked up on over at SEOBook...How Bout That?

http://www.seobook.com/archives/000633.shtml