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Thursday, December 20th, 2007

China Can't Spell Google

An interesting article posted last week at Bloomberg, noted that China can’t spell Google, and that this may be playing a role in Google playing second fiddle to Chinese search giant Baidu.

“Internet addresses in China are based on the Hanyu Pinyin system that translates Chinese characters into roman letters. Sounds such as “gle” don’t exist.”

“G-O-O-G-L-E is not a normal Chinese spelling and people don’t pronounce it right,” Kai-fu Lee, Google’s president for Greater China, said in a Nov. 30 interview in Beijing. “Most people call us `go go.’”

As a result Google acquired the ‘G.cn’ domain to help users who misspell Google’s name.

China holds the internet’s second largest market with 162 million users, and Google only sees approximately 30% of this market, compared to Baidu with 61%. Credit Suisse Group estimated that in 2006 only 1 percent of Google’s revenue was generated in China.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2007

AskEraser Goes Live at Ask

The issues surrounding online privacy have been a hot topic on the web lately, and Ask.com has taken the concern a step further with the introduction of AskEraser.

Ask announced the launch on Tuesday in their official Blog. This new feature added to the Ask site provides control for the searcher over how their search activity data is handled. At any time users have the ability to turn on the service which will result in their search data being removed off the Ask servers within a number of hours. Information removed from their servers will include search terms, clicks, IP addresses, and any user or session IDs.

Using AskEraser could not be any simpler. When visiting Ask.com you will see an “AskEraser” link at the top right corner. Clicking this link will bring up a window explaining the service and provide you with a button to turn it on. Once on, the link at the top right will expand to offer you an on / off toggle.

AskEraser is all part of the move to expand the end user’s privacy. While it may be a smart move for Google to follow suit, I suspect this feature is one they may not move towards.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Microsoft Purchases Multimap

In an effort to compete with Google Maps and Google Earth, and to capture the traffic of one of the UK’s most visited websites, Microsoft has purchased online mapping service Multimap for an undisclosed sum.

According to a press release issued by Multimap on Dec 12, “Multimap will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft as part of the Visual Earth and Search teams in the Online Services Group.”

“The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft’s position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services,” said Sharon Baylay, general manager of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the U.K. and globally. We are thrilled to welcome Multimap onboard.”

Multimap is among of the UK’s top 100 tech companies, and is one of the leading online mapping services. Their services include street-level maps, road maps, door-to-door travel directions, aerial photos, and links to location information and services.

According to a press release issued Tuesday morning, metasearch has signed a deal to extend its multi-year agreement with Yahoo, allowing them to continue displaying Yahoo text based advertising (Yahoo Search Marketing) and their organic web search results.

“Yahoo!’s unique partnership with InfoSpace provides an important opportunity for us to help connect advertisers with online audiences that use metasearch for their searching needs,” said Dean Stackel, Senior Vice President Business Development for Corporate Partnerships. “This partnership is a key component of our broader strategy to enable advertisers to efficiently reach highly targeted – and therefore highly valuable – categories of Internet users.”

Infospace includes a number of branded sites including Dogpile, WebCrawler, and WebFetch. The exact terms of the agreement were not noted in the press release.

Last week I wrote how Google had removed literally thousands of malware sites from its search results. (see Google Results Malware Free?)

Shortly after that post, Google had put out a request to its users to help them fill in the gaps and completely rid the results of dangerous websites. Google posted the request last week in its Online Security Blog Read more…

Google and the state of Florida are collaborating to implement new search features for Floridians, and really anyone looking for government services online, according to a press release issued Monday on Florida Governor, Charlie Crist’s website.

This public-private partnership is an innovative way to improve the accessibility of state information for all Floridians,” said Governor Crist. “I am grateful for this chance to join with Google to further develop Florida’s leadership in delivering open government services to the people of Florida. By empowering Floridians with the tools they need for easier access to state agency Web sites, we are allowing them to truly take ownership of state government”

This new partnership will allow Google to work with the state to gain access and index data otherwise not visible to the search giant. Much of the content searched for by users can not be reached by search engines due to the method used to store information within the database.

Ad-Butterfly, an online ad services, allows more control over ad placement, providing marketers with the ability to choose which blogs to post there ads to, and allowing bloggers to choose which ads get posted to their site, according to a BusinessWeek article published Wednesday morning.

The world of online advertising continues to grow at phenomenal rates, but certainly, in the big scheme of things, it is still in its infant stages. The control given to AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers has grown over the years, but Ad-Butterfly offers almost total control.

Ad-Butterfly works similar to the first tier PPC platforms of Google and Yahoo, using algorithms to automatically pair up ads and websites, but it offers a more advanced means of controlling which ads are displayed, for those who want total control.

Bloggers are given total control on which ads they will display on their site and also offers the ability for comments to be placed along side of the ads. Registered bloggers will also soon have the ability to request ads from other site.

The service is available in Japan and so far only 2,000 bloggers have signed up, but this form of paid ad placement is certain to grow over the very near future. Perhaps Google will even by them out it its quest for total control over online advertising. If you are fluent in Japanese feel free to visit the Ad-Butterfly website.

Last week I took part in a teleconference with Anne Holland (Content Director) and Tim McAtee (Senior Analyst) at MarketingSherpa. The call, “Top 5 Tests to Raise Landing Page Conversions” offered insight on how to get the most from your website and drive visitors towards completing your desired goal. Both a PDF and full MP3 of the call have been made available on the MarketingSherpa website.

The teleconference brought to light a number of great tips for increasing the conversion rate of your landing pages, whether from PPC or organic search. Here are 6 tips I found to be of interest. Read more…

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Friday, November 30th, 2007

Google GDrive

If you have been looking for online storage to either back up your computer, or simply need some supplemental space for your large collection of photos or digital music, Google’s new GDrive service may be of use to you.

Google GDrive... for Real?!?

The talk of Google GDrive has been around for a while now, but could it actually be on its way finally? Tuesday morning the Wall Street Journal published an article on the future Google service. Read more…

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Friday, November 30th, 2007

Google Results Malware Free?

Google has taken steps to remove malware websites from its search results, according to a ComputerWorld article released Wednesday.

Alex Eckelberry, CEO of Sunbelt Software Distribution Inc released the news Monday that Google had removed more than 40,000 malware sites from its search results. While Google refused to either confirm or deny this, spot checks by Sunbelt researcher Adam Thomas did not turn up any malware sites.

Malware Frustration Syndrome - picture of woman screaming through computer screen Read more…