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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…

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Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

MSN Enters Paid Search Market

MSN has added a second pillar to its new search division and a new threat to rivals Google and Yahoo with today’s introduction of its own paid-advertising program, MSN Paid Search Solution. Read more…

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Thursday, March 10th, 2005

Google News Feature

Google has introduced a new feature to Google News that allows users to customize the layout and content of the news page.

A link appears in the top right corner of the news page prompting viewers to “Edit this customized page”. The link leads to a drop down that gives users the opportunity to shuffle the placement of story topics and generate on-page items based on keywords entered. After saving a user’s customized preferences, the News site is re-arranged in the configuration that works best for the user’s self-set interests.

This is a cool addition to Google news making it much easier to track and follow news articles on specific topics and faster to find the ones you’re most interested in.

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Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Beware the Ides of March

Google on the March – And the beats go on…

Google is generating a lot of bad-vibes these days, having crossed the perceptual line between good and evil on a number of fronts. In less time than it took for their options to mature, Google’s new attitude has started turning formerly loyal users into critics and once slavish investment analysts into detractors. Google, which until very recently was the darlink of the search world is quickly losing its cool among the key groups it needs to support it. Read more…

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Friday, February 25th, 2005

JavaScript to Kill Google Autolink

The fine folks over at Search Guild have posted a snippet of javascript code that breaks the Autolink feature in Google’s new toolbar, preventing it from making on-page alterations. The links that would have appeared on the page are still available if the user chooses the drop-down on the toolbar however links will not appear on your page.

Full instructions included, some html assembly required.

To thwart Autolink with a smile on your face, please click here:
Google Autolink Killer

Several forums are tackling the Autolinks feature in Google’s new Toolbar v3(Beta). It’s getting ugly friends.

Accusations of spyware, adware and malware are springing up beside the obvious comparisons with Microsoft’s previous abuses of their powerful position.

Over at Jill Whalen’s HighRankings Forums, the discussion turns towards class action lawsuits.

Meanwhile, over at CNet, reporter Stephanie Olsen speculated on Google’s hiring of former MS product manager (and the original author of the failed MS Smart Tag auto-link software) and the fact that Microsoft continues to hold the patent on auto-linking.

Even in the quiet retirement community of Palm Springs the local daily, The Desert Sun raises questions about Google Maps (a main feature of Google autolink) and a person’s right to privacy. After writing such an angry article, one wonders what will happen if the author Cindy Uken starts to dig a little deeper.

Google is flirting with the event horizon of a massive PR nightmare.

Google shares jumped over $10 yesterday to close at 192.99, increasing in value nearly 3% over the day. Prices were expected to drop slightly as the six-month lock down on 177-million held by Google employees and early investors expired at midnight last night.

Trading was almost four times the average volume with 38,563,336 shares in play. Heaviest volumes were seen in the early hours with small spikes happening throughout the day. At the time of this writing, shares are trading on off-hour markets in large blocks at 193.32.

The 177-million that became available on Monday nearly doubled the amount that have become available in the six months since Google’s August IPO. Hungry investors were prepared to snatch up shares as quickly as they became available, hence the 3% increase in asking price.

For many NASDAQ watchers, Monday was seen as a sort of a Groundhog Day offering a favorable forecast on the search-sector. Investor confidence in Google remains quite high and that confidence helped the tech-board weather an otherwise lackluster day.

At the time of this writing, Google is up again, trading at 195.93.

Search engine watch has printed December 2004 stats from comScore Media Metrix detailing the market share of the major search engines going into the new year.

Google continues to dominate, generating 48% of all search results either directly or by providing results to smaller search firms such as the Excite Network. Yahoo follows a distant second with 32%. The pre-proprietary MSN came in third with 16% with Ask following fourth at 2%. Read more…

Just when we’re getting used to the idea that money is about to flow like it did at the end of the 90’s, dark clouds and volatility is visible on the horizon. Optimism springing from Google’s fourth quarter financial report should be tempered with memories of the industry wide alcohol poisoning suffered in the days after the last time we partied like 1999. Read more…

Google shares hit a record $210 in evening trading after the search giant released a quarterly report that beat most analysts’ expectations. Google considers itself the world’s largest generator of online advertising revenue, a claim founded on its triple digit growth from Q3 to Q4. Read more…