Yelp Makes Changes Users Won’t Notice

Yelp has been under some fire recently because of its review system and charges of strong-arm sales tactics. These are not the kind of headlines that any company wants to make. As a result, a post in the Yelp blog by CEO Jeremy Stoppleman outlines some changes that have been made by yelp to address some of the controversy.

What was most interesting in the post perhaps was, though, the last paragraph

Most consumers probably won’t notice the product changes announced here, but we hope this new ability to “look under the hood” will help everyone understand the lengths we’ve taken to ensure Yelp is the most trusted resource on the internet for connecting people with great local businesses.

Can Kevin Rose Get Digg Out of the Hole Dug By Departing CEO?

Does anyone really care about Digg anymore?

It seems like I’ve asked that question before and now it appears that Digg’s original founder is asking himself that same question. I’m guessing he didn’t like the answer, because CEO Jay Adelson is out the door and Kevin Rose will once again assume the reigns of the social bookmarking site.

If you go by Adelson’s internal email…

Got some news. After five years, forty million users, and an amazing ride, I’ve decided to step down as CEO of Dig…The entrepreneurial calling is strong…

…you get the picture that he’s just ready to move on to something new. Whether you buy that or not will depend on whether you believe Digg is still a fresh and exciting company or mature and boring. Personally, I think it has the potential to be both at this point, so I’m not inclined to believe Adelson’s motives.

Google Buzz Privacy Reset Tomorrow

Google Buzz lived up to its name in its first week. After not fully testing the product, Google launched Buzz and forced all Gmail users into it without a way to opt out. Then we realized they were automatically sharing the list of people we chatted with and emailed most frequently. Finally, Google backed off many of these “features,” and made it possible to disable Buzz (and not just hide it). But there are still some privacy concerns, especially for people who joined Buzz before the privacy changes.

Mashable reports that Google will be issuing a “privacy reset” for Buzz tomorrow. The reset will automatically show all Buzz users the settings page the next time they click on the Buzz option in Gmail, to ensure they’ve set their privacy levels how they really want them:

Google Offers Fixed Response to Certain Searches

Google is starting to make some changes in search results that are designed to “cut to the chase” when a situation could be time sensitive. In a way, it is Google admitting that sometimes you need to dig quite a bit to find what you are looking for on the search engine. In some cases though it’s likely that a person may not have the time, or the desire, to look for the “right” answer so Google is helping them get information that in this case could save a life.

What Google has decided to do is to offer is a special search result when a search is focused on the term “suicide”. Here is the result I get when checking this out.

Google Adds Localization to New UI Tests

Back in November, Google started testing a new user interface with the search option automatically displayed in the right column (first tested a year ago, added to the SERP in May, but off by default). Users are spotting that layout test again, with some new features including localization.

As Barry Schwartz reports, Sara Holoubek noticed the auto-detected localization feature:

Vanessa Fox (formerly of Google) also saw the new SERP tests. She notes several new features from the previous tests of this layout, including more customization based on the query (as well as location).

One of these changes is a box at the bottom of the left column (it sits on top of the search options, actually, and they scroll behind it). The box contains related queries—or “Not Entirely Unlike” queries.

Advertisers Interested in iPad for Now

Well, have you been able to gather yourself after the iPad finally launched this weekend? There was significant buzz around this event that appears to started out with 300,000 units sold (200,000 of those were pre-orders). Lines formed at all the Apple stores in the US but I found it rather funny that in an interview segment conducted by the Wall Street Journal featured a rather tired sounding mom getting 2 iPads for her kids and another guy who was there waiting in line because he Mom told him to get her one!

Well, advertisers are hoping that the rest of these 298,998 users of the iPad are ready to accept some advertising. We have looked at this before at MP but now that the iPad is on the street we’ll take another peek. Clickz tells us a little more.

Google Acquires a Video Company You’ve Never Heard Of!

While you were either a) drooling over your new iPad, or b) wishing those that had a new iPad would shut-up already, Google went out and bought a company you’ve never heard of.

What’s pretty cool about Episodic’s announcement of their acquisition is that they admit you’ve probably never heard of them. I’ve seen many acquisition announcements that had me scratching my head and saying out loud, “who are these guys?” Episodic answers that exact question for us:

What is Episodic?
Episodic is a comprehensive platform for broadcasting live and on-demand video to the web or any web-enabled device. The platform lets publishers and marketers host, stream, measure and monetize video content. Content creators, marketers and enterprise customers use Episodic to deliver video to the Web and mobile devices.