Google Gives ‘Sicko’ Two Thumbs Down

Readers of Google’s Health Advertising Blog awoke this morning to a post that has stirred up both confusion and controversy. Lauren Turner, Account Planner for Google Health, has boldly gone where no Google blog has gone before by putting on some movie critic shoes and attacking Michael Moore’s “Sicko.”

Several Google Blogoscoped readers were shocked by Turner’s blog post – to the point that some of them became suspicious that the post was a phony created by a hacker. It didn’t help that the email address in the post – googlehealthadvertisingblog google.com – doesn’t seem to exist. (I tried sending them an email myself and received an error.) Additionally, there is no way for readers to leave comments on the site itself.

Is the Australian PM watching his Online Reputation?

With a nation-wide Federal election coming up this year, we thought we’d track Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s online reputation and find out what’s being said about him online.

We tracked online references of both Howard and the opposition leader, Kevin Rudd, over a three week period, and the results are not looking so good for the PM.

Though most of online references come from news sites, and are mostly neutral, the more freely expressive bloggers sometimes had quite nasty things to say about John Howard, and there were not many on his side at all.

Rudd, on the other hand, though he had his fair share of nasty comments, actually had more backers than critics. This is a particularly positive response for Australia, where a common attitude, particularly from the younger generations, towards politicians is fairly negative (there were, in fact, quite a few bloggers with that opinion).

Google and Wikipedia Breaking Up & Other News Shorts, June 29

Lorelle on WordPress Is Reading My Mind

Okay, maybe not really, but this week not once but twice I’ve been thinking about a topic and then within minutes come across something Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress has said or written about the topic.

Case One: (Hobby) Blog Monetization
Now, let me say that I totally think business blogs, quality blogs about making money online, and business models based around blogs are valid and can be monetized effectively.

But as a someone somewhat active in a hobby blogging field, I am getting so tired of seeing AdSense blocks placed before or in the middle of articles (oh, come on, are you going to trick your readers into clicking? Or just annoy them like you have me?) and animated sidebar skyscrapers. I just wonder whether annoying their readers is really worth the few cents a day they make off them.

Project Redstripe Unveiled – Socially Conscious Social Networking

After four months of work and cryptic blog posting, The Economist Group’s small development team have announced their latest project a socially motivated social networking site.

Now known as “Lughenjo” the group have been working on a project who’s aim is to harness the knowledge and skills of The Economist’s readers to help NGOs, Charities & other organizations.

Lughenjo users will be able to answer questions that are posed by accredited international development organizations. Think Yahoo! Answers for good.

It’s an interesting idea, there definitely seems a desire amongst much of society for more ethical businesses. Aid & debt relief certainly has a part to play in international development but by using business skills & acumen, many in the developed world have in spades, we can make a small amount of individual effort which can collectively accumulate into a huge positive influence on the developing world.

Given Identical Search Results Searchers Still Prefer Google & Yahoo

Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology conducted a study in which they gave participants identical search results, but wrapped in the brands of Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search and generic in-house search engine. Not surprisingly, participants favored the results that appeared to be from Google and Yahoo.

Then the identical search results were shown to 32 study participants who were asked to evaluate the engines’ performance in returning relevant results.

Despite the results being identical in content and presentation, participants indicated Yahoo! and Google outperformed MSN Live Search and the in-house search engine.

Since there was no difference in the search results, all of the search engines should have received the same score, said Assistant Professor Jim Jansen, who led the study.

Internet Domain Names Selling for Millions

Moniker.com held an auction in New York for more than 218 domain names, selling them for a combined $10.8 million!

Many clocked six-figure price tags, far exceeding the industry average of $2,000 to $3,500, according to Matt Bentley, chief strategy officer for Sedo.com, a domain brokerage firm. Two broke the $1 million mark: Creditcheck.com fetched $3 million and Seniors.com nabbed $1.8 million.

Forbes explains how type-in traffic, Google’s algorithm and a shrinking pool of available names are causing prices to sky-rocket.

If you’re in the search marketing space and might be interested in a domain name that will put your business at the top of Google AND give you a great brand, stay tuned. I have news of a domain name that will be coming to the market very soon.