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…

Many of you will have received notice from AltaVistas InfoSpider program stating that Yahoo will no longer be accepting paid-inclusion results from Inktomi. This statement is half-correct in that as of today, April 16, 2004, Yahoo is switching to its own database which has been developed from the Inktomi database. Yahoo recently unveiled a new paid-inclusion program that has a pay-per-click component along with an annual $49(US) review fee. This new pricing policy came into effect at midnight, April 15/16, 2004. Read more…

MSN has released new information on its forthcoming search technology.

MSN Blogbot & Newsbot

MSN product manager, Karen Redezki told Matt Hicks of eWeek that MSN will be launching a blog and news service to the public before its new algorithmic search engine is released. Read more…