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Why I’ve Never Been More Embarrassed for Yahoo

I generally like Yahoo and its products–in particular Flickr and Delicious. And, when Yahoo first revamped its Yahoo Search Marketing product, I was blown away by how cool it was.

How things have changed in just a couple of years. I’m afraid to say that I am actually embarrassed for Yahoo.

Why? Because, someone over at Yahoo made the bone-headed decision to start unilaterally messing with the keywords and bids of sponsored search customers. If that wasn’t bad enough, Yahoo just quietly updated its Terms & Conditions–making advertisers fully responsible for those decisions.

Take a look at the new T&C (emphasis added):

Marketing News Roundup, January 5

It’s official: the first roundup of marketing news of the 2009—and it’s heavy on the Google.

Facebook Sets Record Traffic on Christmas Eve

FacebookJust a few weeks ago we reported that Facebook was growing by 600,000 users a day. If that wasn’t enough, CNET reports that Facebook set record traffic numbers on Christmas Eve.

During the month of November, Facebook was averaging 1.42% of all U.S. Internet traffic. On December 24, they hit a Facebook-best 2.18% market share that day. That’s a 54 percent increase over November average and a 53 percent increase year over year. Needless to say, things are going well for them.

According to CNET, that pattern was mirrored in the U.K., where visits to the social networking site had a market share of 4.65 percent, accounting for one in every 22 Internet visits.

Facebook Sues Power.com

It wasn’t long ago that we reported on Power.com‘s expansion into the North American market. The social networking aggregator that allows users the ability to navigate and participate in multiple social networks at once, now finds itself in hot water with social networking giant Facebook.

Court documents filed December 30th reveal that Facebook is suing Power.com for a host of reasons including copyright infringement, violations of terms of service, and the scraping of what they consider “proprietary data,” which I assume is user information. It appears the mere inclusion of Facebook into the Power.com site is not at issue, but rather the fact that Power.com did not use Facebook’s public API. As of now Power.com has removed every mention of Facebook from its site.

Marissa Mayer on The Future Of Google, and Herself?

Marissa MayerIn a recent interview with TechRadar. Google’s Vice President of Search Products & User Experience, Marissa Mayer hints at the future of search. Mayer continues what seems to be a repetitive message in the search industry, “We think it’s really important to move beyond just keywords and allow people to ask questions…” This statement comes after we have seen other Googlers say very similar things.

Beyond just keywords” means increased deployment of universal search, personalization, and social integration.

Universal Search

In a blog post Mayer wrote back in September, she highlights the significant growth of universal search; “We’ve barely scratched the surface with universal search.” Now, she elaborates more with, “We’re also looking at how to weave new media into it and how we can bring books, videos and news right into the search experience.”

What You Can Learn from Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Health Transparency

Without an official statement from your company, your stakeholders will often fill the void with rumor and speculation.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve recited the above statement at conferences, on client calls, and in blog posts. For many businesses, it’s the one truth that finally gets them to embrace a radically transparent culture. The latest to realize this truth is Apple.

For many months speculation and rumor have circulated about the state of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health. That speculation hit a crescendo when it was announced he would not keynote the upcoming Macworld conference. The chart opposite demonstrates just how much that has effected Apple’s stock price.