Microsoft’s Yahoo Rebound; Now Looking to Marry Facebook?

According to sources close to the company, for example, Microsoft’s bankers had been putting out subtle signals to Facebook to see if it would be open to a full buyout.

Wow! What do you say about a rumor of that magnitude?

"On the rebound" comes to mind.

Remember when you were 13 years old–some of us need to think hard–and you had a crush on someone? It felt like a love that would never, ever go away. Then two days later, you had a new obsession.

Yeah, Microsoft’s that 13 year old looking for love.

I know, I know. I just flew back from Redmond, so you’d think I’d cut Microsoft some slack–and I will before I end this post–but, if true, how can you not compare the company to a teenager with puppy-love angst?

Google Adds Features to Custom Search Engines

Google has announced enhanced features for custom search engines: the integration of sitemaps and AdSense for Search.

The new features will improve search results in a Google custom search engine for your site if you utilize sitemaps:

Custom Search is built on top of the Google index. This means that all pages that are available on Google.com are also available to your search engine. We’re now maintaining a CSE-specific index in addition to the Google.com index for enhancing the performance of search on your site. If you submit a Sitemap, it’s likely that we will crawl those pages and include them in the additional index we build.

Google Officially Removes Link Building from “SEO?”

The guys at the eCommerce & Entrepreneurship Blog would like to point out that Google is trying to redefine search engine optimization (SEO) so that we all focus on the "on page" enhancements, not the "off page" link enhancements–you know the stuff that makes up the bulk of Google’s algorithm.

Here’s how the Google Analytics team recently defined SEO:

OK, there are one of three things going on here:

  1. Google’s trying to throw you off the scent deliberately, because they don’t want you to "adjust" your links.
  2. It’s just an oversight. The point was to explain the difference between SEO and "website optimization," not provide a detailed definition.
  3. Google needs to hire me immediately, so I can train them on SEO. ;-)

Does Bill Gates Think the Internet is 10 Years Old?

In a May 6th article published by the Associated Press, Bill Gates was quoted as saying “The Internet has been operating now for 10 years,”… “The second 10 years will be very different.”

Being a bit of an Internet history buff, I cringed to read such a powerful figure in the world of computing being quoted as effectively saying that the Internet has been operating since 1998.

Since I started my first Internet job in 1996, I was pretty sure Bill was wrong.

The word Internet was first coined in 1974, the first respectable network which could be called “the Internet” was created in 1983, and the opening of the Internet to the commercial world occurred in 1988. Of course, all these dates push the history of the Internet well beyond Bill’s 10 year time line.

Apple and Google Are Up to Something!

BusinessWeek would like you to believe that there’s growing tension between Apple and Google–especially Eric Schmidt’s role on Apple’s board.

Google is also increasingly becoming a would-be Apple competitor, making Schmidt’s membership on Apple’s board awkward, if not ultimately untenable. Concerns over a potential conflict of interest have surfaced in the tech blogosphere in the past, but the potential for rivalry takes on added urgency as Apple prepares to launch the next version of its iPhone while Google partners ready cell phones that run Google’s operating system.

Sorry, I’m just not buying the idea that these two huge companies didn’t already know–prior to Schmidt’s appointment–that they’d soon start competing in similar industries. We all knew Apple and Google had aspirations for the mobile market. And so did they.

Microsoft Not Pursuing Other Deals? Yeah, Right!

According to the WSJ Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said the company is not pursuing any other deals, after failing in its bid for Yahoo.

He said the company put "a lot of effort" in the talks with Yahoo and has decided they should pursue "our independent paths." "Now at this point Microsoft is focused on its independent strategy," Mr. Gates told reporters.

While you should keep in mind that the WSJ had to piece together a few tasty sound bites, in order to back up its angle–there’s no explicit "we’re not going to buy anyone, period" statement–you should also consider that Gates could be just plain lying.

After all, it was only a few months ago that we heard these words from CEO Steve Ballmer…

A Game of He Said, Yang Said

The New York Times reported today that in an interview, Yahoo’s CEO and co-founder, Jerry Yang, claimed that Microsoft pulled its bid for his company after Yahoo counter offered the software giants previous bid.

This is in direct contrast to claims by Steve Ballmer and Microsoft’s advisers, that stated that the bid was pulled due to Yahoo’s unwillingness to counter, and Mr. Yang and his board’s decision to settle on a price of $37 a share their ultimate refusal to budge.

“They chose to walk away after we put a price on the table, and they didn’t want to negotiate,” Mr. Yang said. “From my perspective, we were open all along to selling to Microsoft. We just feel Yahoo, either stand-alone or with Microsoft, is worth more than what they put on the table.”