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Thursday, August 12th, 2004

For the past nine months the financial and Internet world has been watching Google in anticipation of what could be the largest Initial Public Offering of stock in history. If you are reading this column and have not been living on Mars for the past year, you know that Google is about to go public, and soon. The stock options are being offered to investors using an unorthodox method known as a Dutch Auction. The site taking registrations and bids is scheduled to close tomorrow at 5:00PM, Eastern Daylight Time. Read more…

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Thursday, August 12th, 2004

Cuban's Ice Rocket

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is taking on a new challenge, Google. Last week, Cuban introduced ICE ROCKET, a new search tool that mixes algorithmic and meta search to produce very relevant results. Long-term Internet users will remember Cuban’s last challenge, Broadcast.Com, now the largest streaming broadcaster on the web. There are many features to IceRocket including thumbnail views of the page referenced in search engine results.

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

Major Players Updates

Google IPO – Gentle-investors, Start Your Engine

The Google IPO auction has entered its first phase with the call for investors to register their names in order to get an identification number allowing them to participate in the modified Dutch Auction. Under the terms of the auction, potential investors will enter the price they are willing to pay for each share and the number of shares they would be interested in buying. Google has stated their expectation is that bids will come in between $108 and $135 per share, placing the overall value of the company around $36 – 40 Billion. Many investment advisors are questioning the actual value and growth potential of Google however, with the sustained and continued growth of paid-advertising, investors appear to be bullish. If you are interested in registering, visit http://ipo.google.com Read more…

Google is still down in many areas, one hour after we first noticed.  Oddly enough, some folks in our region (Pacific North West) can see Google while most can not.  We have also received reports from the Eastern Seaboard (USA) stating that some in Virginia can see Google while most others can’t.

The BBC website states that the cause of this outage is a varient on the My Doom virus.  We’ll continue monitoring and will post information as it comes in.

As of 10:15AM, Pacific Time, Google appears to be down.  We have tried visiting several of the International Google domains such as .CA, .CO.UK, and .DE but, when we try to run a search we get a page reading “Server Error”.  This has gone on for the past 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

MSN Search is ALMOST in the House

Bill Gates has announced that MSN is about to revamp its search feature and introduce a new, proprietary back-end database to run it. Speaking in Sydney Australia, Gates informed journalists, “The format of the site will change and so will the quality of what you get.” We expect the look of the site to change before the technology does but when the back-end is introduced, it may act like no other search tool currently does. Having conducted linguistics and taxonomy research for the better part of a decade, the Microsoft team expects to be able to not only find documents based on specific keywords and phrases, but to also find documents based on the context of the keyword phrase or full sentences entered into their new search tool. While Gates did not set a firm date, the new tool is expected to be released before the end of 2004.

Apple Computers CEO Steve Jobs has scooped rival Bill Gates for the umpteenth time in their parallel careers. Yesterday, Jobs unleashed TIGER, the new Apple O/S. Tiger’s main feature, aside from providing an operating environment is SEARCH. Helping users find documents, email, and websites on their hard drives, intranets and the greater Internet, Tiger seems to have taken the important pages from the MS engineers’ notebooks. For anyone who has seen the movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley“, this seems to be a bit of ironic justice. Sometimes I wish I was a MAC user.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Yahoo Challenges Google

Yahoo’s Overture has picked up the Local Search gauntlet dropped by Google’s Adwords program in April. As Scott Van Achte writes this week, “Overture’s Local Match allows advertisers to promote their business regardless of weather or not they even have a website.” In this move, Yahoo is not only targeting Google’s Adwords program, they are also taking on the Yellow Pages. “It’s an important part of the search business,” said Overture spokesperson Gaude Paez. “Our own research, as well as the research of others, shows that many people who search for products buy them offline.” (quote from Jason Lopez NewsFactor Network article)

Localized search is one of the key features the major search engines are trying to perfect in order to present stronger competition to each other and other traditional listings services such as the aforementioned Yellow Pages.

In the organic listings, Yahoo is basing its localized results on the street address mentioned on a website while Google bases its localized results on the IP number of the computer conducting the search.

Google ADWORDS

In a recent Google mail out sent to AdWords advertisers, Google announced that over the next few days they will be introducing changes to their AdWords program in an attempt to increase the relevance of targeted ads and increase conversions.

Google’s improvements will give them the ability to more precisely identify the most relevant ads for a particular query, which in turn may result in more qualified traffic for some advertisers and less un-qualified for others. Read more…

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Monday, June 28th, 2004

SEO-Spam Class Action

The folks at Traffic-Power find themselves in a pickle this week. Due to the use of unapproved SEO techniques such as 1×1 pixel gif links, doorway pages and cloaking, many of the clients have found themselves banned by Google.

A class action lawsuit has formed lead by the San Francisco firm, Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo, LLP.

Also, We received a notice by Email which read: Read more…

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