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Thursday, April 29th, 2004

Google Issues IPO

Well, they finally did it. For months rumours have been spreading around the Internet, investment and SEO communities about Google’s pending Initial Public Stock Offering (IPO). As of today, April 29, 2004, Google is a public company. Here is the short press release issued by Google earlier today:

Google Inc. Files Registration Statement with the SEC for an Initial Public Offering

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – April 29, 2004 – Google Inc. announced today that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock. A portion of the shares will be issued and sold by Google, and a portion will be sold by certain stockholders of Google.

Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston will act as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering.

A copy of the prospectus relating to these securities may be obtained, when available, from: Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated , Prospectus Department, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 (tel: 1-800-364-5990) or Credit Suisse First Boston LLC, Prospectus Department, One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 (tel: 212-325-1075).

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any State in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such State.

This is becoming awfully familiar; once again AskJeeves has shown itself to be in a very reliable and powerful financial position! Thanks to the latest IPO rumors at Google, AskJeeves stock actually doubled since the first of March. The reason? Approximately 70% of AskJeeves profits come from Google via sponsored (adwords) listings showing up in various AskJeeves properties. With Google showing so much potential in the coming IPO, investors are betting that AskJeeves will reap the rewards of higher sponsorship payout’s.

Although not without risks, this position is a beautiful one where AskJeeves can selectively compete with Google (via their own algorithmic spider) while reaping the rewards of its competitor’s growth.

This week’s big news continues to be dominated by Google’s pending Initial Public Offering (IPO). Wall St. is buzzing with the billions of dollars that are about to be flowing from one side of the trading floor to the other side of the continent. While Google itself has remained mystically silent about its intentions, the mainstream media and the business press have been gawking at Google’s perceived plans for the past two weeks. Read more…

Next time you go shopping online and you see a price that seems too good to be true… it just might be. This seems like an obvious caveat, however, there is a certain amount of trust and respect attributed to major portals like Yahoo! Shopping so a cheap price might just seem like an incredibly good buy. In this case, however, the discount was a bit more than even the average imagination could have predicted. A mistake in the XML shopping feed at Yahoo! Japan prompted 100 million sales of an Apple eMac computer at a 98% discount! That’s right, the eMac was sold for the equivalent of $25 per computer, a discount of $1100 USD. When Catena, the Tokyo based computer firm discovered the mistake, chaos ensued as they contacted 20,000+ buyers to negate the sales. According to Catena they did not have to honor the sales because they did not confirm them by email.

So next time you find yourself with a 98% discount don’t get too excited until you receive confirmation of the sale ;-)

I just read an article by Declan McCullagh from CNet News about Google’s anti-porn filter. McCallagh is, in my mind, one of the smartest Internet journalists out there. Here’s an interesting one we never thought of. Did you know that Google has an anti-porn filter? Go to the Preferences link on the Google home page and look for the SafeSearch section. Check the settings there. If you’re machine is set on “Use Strict Filtering”, you would not see the URL in the title above.

Why not? Because it has the letters s-e-x in it. McCullagh writes a full article on it which can be viewed by following the link above.

Only days after my March 3rd interview with Jim Lanzone, VP of Product Management, AskJeeves announced its plan to purchase Interactive Search Holdings (ISH). As a result of this purchase AskJeeves acquired a diverse set of sites such as: Excite.com, MyWay.com, MySearch.com, MyWebSearch.com and iWon.com. Now you may have heard of these sites before but it is difficult to say just how popular a site is just from basic brand awareness. According to an AskJeeves press release, however, ISH was the 9th most visited web property in December 2003. Read more…

If you have decided to start a PPC Campaign with AdWords and Overture, and don’t know where to start on selecting keywords, here are some ideas. Read more…

Just a heads up…

the Wall St. Journal is reporting that Google will be issuing an IPO in a few days. We have heard this rumour several times before so… This may be happening, this may not be happening. In December the WSJ also reported an IPO was coming very soon. It was delayed by a sudden downturn in the market then and uncertainty around Yahoo and MSN. Perhaps conditions are right today. The biggest evidence that Google might issue is the April 30 deadline for filing corporate information with the US Government. As Google has more than 1,000 employees, they must file corporate and financial information for the first time in company history.

Stay tuned to this one folks, it will change the search engine environment in ways we can’t predict.

Just a quickie here folks:

Along with several other SEO’s who have called us over the past two days, we have noticed a huge number of changes in Google’s listings, back-links and assigned pagerank values over the past 72-hours. These changes appear to be increasing. We believe that what we see today will be radically different next week. Just to let you know.

jh

As the competition for search engine placement becomes increasingly competitive more and more small website owners are turning towards Pay Per Click advertising to draw the much needed traffic.

But as this new means of advertising also becomes more popular, keyword click-through rates are rising. This medium, once inexpensive, can be a very costly means of generating traffic. Read more…