John Battelle Chats to Ask’s Jim Lanzone

I can describe Ask’s Jim Lanzone with just two phrases:

1. He’s a “bloody nice chap”.
2. He’s passionate about Ask (real passionate).

That passion clearly comes across in a recent interview with John Battelle. It’s also nice to see Jim being honest about where Ask needs to catch-up.

We’re the underdog here, kind of like Firefox. Google does a good job of presenting themselves as the underdog, and MSN is helping them with the way they act publicly. But to me they are both giants. So back to your original statement, yes, we feel passionately that there is more to search [than] the Google paradigm. Nothing against them, but we are doing some things better, and those who experience it are coming back more often. That is why we’ve grown market share, and hopefully we can accelerate the curve.

Malcolm Gladwell at Pubcon

Lee Odden does a fine job keeping up with the wisdom offered forth by Malcolm Gladwell at the Boston Webmasterworld Pubcon.

If you’ve not read “The Tipping Point”, you should. It’s not a long book and Gladwell has some very interesting theories on how a small effort can lead to a big effect.

One interesting snippet. Asked whether he would rather have search engines in the world, or blogs, Gladwell’s response?

If you’re curious about information a search engine can help you find that. A blog can provide a new lens from which to understand things. Gives examples of a chemist blog, that reading about the world through the eyes of a chemist has influenced how he sees things. To pick search engines or blogs, he would lose the search engine.

We Told You Click Fraud Wasn’t That Bad

I’ve never believed click fraud was running in the +30% range and now Elinor Mills has details of a new report that suggests it’s actually less than 14%.

The Click Fraud Index shows that the overall, industry-wide average click fraud rate is 13.7 percent. The click fraud rate at top-tier search engines such as Google and Yahoo is even less, at 12.1 percent, the data show. The rate rises to 21.3 percent at so-called Tier 2 search providers and 29.8 percent at Tier 3 search companies, according to the Index.

With this report being carried out by Click Fraud Network, a company that offers click fraud monitoring services, the numbers may still be inflated. After all, they’re tracking the data of advertisers that believe they are victims of click fraud. If we included an equal sample of regular advertisers, the rate would likely be lower.

Google OneBox for Enterprise

Google’s upgrading their enterprise search solution to include advanced search capabilities, according to Reuters.

The new feature, known by the mouthful “Google OneBox for Enterprise,” is built into boxes Google sells to businesses. They help create custom search systems for employees inside organizations or for consumers on the company’s own Web site.

Over at the Google Enterprise Blog, they reveal more details. And at the Official Google blog, Dave Girouard explains how the new feature will help corporate employees.

…employees already know how to get movie listings, weather forecasts, and flight information through simple Google queries. So it won’t surprise them (in fact it may delight them) to learn that they can get real-time contact info, sales forecasts, and customer information the very same way. We launched an initial set of OneBox modules with Oracle, Cognos, SAS and Salesforce.com; some of these partners talk about that here.

Yahoo Releases In-Line Quarterly Results

TheStreet.com reports Yahoo has released Q1 financials that pretty much match Wall Street expectations.

Gross revenue rose 34% from a year ago to $1.57 billion, with marketing services revenue rising 35% to $1.38 billion and fees revenue adding 25% to $186 million.

Get the Facts on Interactive Marketing

Rubel points to Media 2.0 who have a summary of interesting marketing facts from a Ad Age’s 2006 Interactive Fact Pack (pdf). Enjoy!

Monitor Blogs or Die

I don’t think I’ve ever used “or Die” in a blog post before, but CNET has a warning from JupiterResearch for all marketers…

…JupiterResearch tells marketing professionals to keep their eye on blogs, where opinions that can harm brands can be easily and quickly circulated…so few of us actually make our opinions known online, those who do–typically, young men–are exerting a disproportionate influence across the blogosphere.

JupiterResearch advises businesses to use “buzz monitoring tools” to see how widely the thoughts of disgruntled customers have spread.

Either monitor your online reputation yourself or use the services of a reputation monitoring consultant. Either way, don’t ignore bloggers.