Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Google Going Yahoo?

They say that everything old becomes new again. This adage is proving true in the search engine world as well with Google adopting a personalization plan that makes it look a lot like Yahoo and other search portals. Designed to allow Google users access to its various search tools, the portal displays Gmail, Google News, and Google Maps (labeled Driving Directions). It also calls US Movie Listings (by zip code), stock tickers, weather information, Wired News headlines, a quote of the day (from The Quotes Page), word of the day (from Dictionary.Com), and headlines from the NYTimes, Slashdot and the BBC. There are currently no selections following subscribed Google Groups or Google News Alerts. Read more…

Search Engine Marketing is a sensible vocation. Driven by many of the same basic tenets that inform the traditional marketing sector, the goal is to be sure one’s clients’ products are among the first people think of when looking for that certain something those clients create. In the olden days it was all about placement, positioning and repetition. Elaborate campaigns involving radio, television and print would be conceived and executed with the goal of establishing a foothold for new products in the households of the nation or solidifying the stability of a pre-existing brand. Those olden days may be, like so ’80’s, in relation to the crazed new world that search brings however, humans being humans, the ideas of an older generation often remain the ones that play best on the Internet today. Read more…

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fifth largest in North America . There are more people in this city than there are in the entire province of British Columbia. It is also my home town so I was more than pleased to be asked to speak at the Toronto Search Engine Strategies Conference again this year. Read more…

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Adobe to purchase Macromedia

Adobe Systems Inc. has announced an agreement to purchase Macromedia for approximately $3.4Billion in stocks.

Adobe and Macromedia both make software for the creation of web documents. Adobe’s most famous product is the document security software Acrobat. It also makes the popular website editing software GoLive, and image editors Photoshop and Illustrator. Read more…

Something very interesting is happening in a court room in Montreal Quebec but we are not allowed to tell you about it. A publication ban which may be lifted as early as this afternoon prevents us from reporting on testimony that is rumoured to be so explosive it might bring down Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin’s minority Liberal Government. This ban covers all Canadian media, including this blog. We not even allowed to report or link to the URL of a website, known as the Captain’s Quarters, located in Minneapolis that is running the full story. Read more…

Yahoo has been on an upgrading spree recently with a major acquisition, two major upgrades and a beta-release of a new blogging tool. It’s no secret the execs and techs at Yahoo have been working overtime to re-brand and upgrade Yahoo’s various services. Yahoo has made several major announcements over the past four weeks, a measure of how active they have been recently. Here is a quick rundown of the four major announcements made in the past seven days. Read more…

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

Gmail Going Live April 1st

According to dozens of Google-watchers, Google’s ad-driven email system, Gmail is slated to move from beta to live-status on Friday April 1st, one year after it was introduced to a limited number of testers. On its first day, many thought Gmail was an April Fool’s joke.

To establish the initial beta-test group, Google issued a number of initial invitations to a very small group of users that day. It also sent each of those users six invitations to send to friends who where also issued six invitations with their beta account. Gmail grew its potential test group by a factor of six every time it gave away a new beta-account. For the past two weeks, Google has been randomly inviting users of its search engine to sign up for Gmail accounts with a discreet link that appears for about 1 in 100 users. Read more…

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

The mainstream media, circa 2014

With the New York Search Engine Strategies Conference in its final day, the search news this week has been quietly dominated by Yahoo and Ask Jeeves. One of the themes at this year’s SES conference is Blogging, Public Relations and the Media. In light of interest in Blogs, the media and search, we are pleased to bring you this spot of infotainment.

A somewhat disquieting eight minute short film made by a psychology student at the Georgia Institute of Technology is being passed around SEM related forums today. EPIC2014 offers a short history of how advances in search technology effected mainstream news reporting. As the film is set in the future year 2014, much of the “history” is speculative though the pre-2005 history is accurate.

Has the Great Google Lost its Cool? Have they Become Evil?

This week, the world of search was somewhat shocked to learn that Google has included a feature on its newest toolbar, (Toolbar 3 Beta) that adds links to websites viewed when using the toolbar. Known as Auto-links, the tool will direct users to Google maps when a street address is noted and to when the ISBN number of a book is mentioned. It will also provide links to information on vehicle-history when their vehicle ID number is found on a site or forum (US only) and parcel delivery history when a tracking code is mentioned on a site. Read more…

The venerable About.Com is on the auction block. Founded in 1996 as the Mining Company, About is one of the oldest well-known Internet properties.

In October 2000, About was purchased by Primemedia for $690Million worth of stocks. Today, the final bids are being accepted from five companies are thought to be in the $300 – $500Million range.

The five companies expected to offer final bids are; Google, Yahoo, The New York Times, AOL/TimeWarner, and Ask Jeeves. The auction, which is managed by Goldman Sachs, has been quietly active for just over a month.

About has seen difficult times over the past few years. While carries has more information on more subjects than most websites, most web-users never included in the “must-visit-everyday” category of news and information sites.

Interest expressed in About from major search engines is not surprising but then again, neither is the bid from the NYTimes. has a massive directory network of expert sites. It also has a huge archive of topic-based articles. Long-time search readers will remember Search Engine Guide editor Jennifer Laycock’s daily columns in About.Com.

The future of depends on which of the five firms place the winning bid. Perhaps we are about to see the massive reporting resources of the New York Times appearing at About. On the other hand, perhaps About is smaller than the sum of its parts and one of the four search firms bidding will walk away with a larger advertising network. Whatever happens, has suddenly become very interesting.