Will New iPhone Drama Gives Apple’s Reputation A Test?

If you look at the history of Apple you will see a roller coaster ride of starts and stops, triumphs and tragedies and virtually everything in between. As it is in life, you are really only as good as your last at bat and in the past few years Apple has just been hitting a ton of home runs. Good products have a tendency to help people forget the troubles of the past.

The question today though is just how far has Apple entered the pantheon of companies that come off as bulletproof with regard to reputation. Everyone expects Steve Jobs to be opinionated and to toss grenades over many fences (just ask Adobe). While it can come off as a bit arrogant and aggressive it doesn’t hurt sales any. In fact, it may just add to the company’s and his own personal iconic stature as well as the bottom line. It depends on your point of view.

Is Google’s “Best Guess” Good Enough for Social Search?

When it comes to social media, it appears Google is playing a guessing game.

Exhibit A:

Google has announced it will start spidering your Google Buzz content and bring anything relevant into your Social Search results–you know, that little box that you see at the bottom of your search results page?

Anyway, from the hundreds of words on the page, just one stood out to me:

Google makes a best guess about whose public content you may want to see in your search results — the content you see comes from your “social circle.”

Did you see it? Take another look:

Google makes a best guess about whose public content you may want to see in your search results — the content you see comes from your “social circle.”

Flash and Rich Media Represent 40% Of Online Ads

While Adobe’s Flash has been vilified by Apple’s Steve Jobs it is still an important part of the advertising world at least for now. comScore has produced a report that shows that 40% of the total online display ads are using Flash and rich media. The chart below shows the breakout amongst other formats.

A shift in this balance of power is going to happen because of the popularity of the iPhone and iPad. It has to unless the Apple / Adobe divide is closed. That doesn’t seem likely does it?

I think that when we look at this same situation in a year there will be a category for HTML5 and other ways to produce rich media that are not related to Flash. The popularity and influence of Apple’s suite of products isn’t something that can be ignored nor is it going away. In fact, for the foreseeable future it is likely to increase.

Google Includes Some Merchant Ratings in Adwords

Google is adding to its Adwords experience for advertisers and consumers alike by integrating merchant ratings with their ads. It sounds like a good move for sure but as with all things ‘rolled out’ by Google you should probably dive into the fine print to see who actually qualifies and more.

Merchant ratings are nothing new and are one of the hallmarks of sites like Amazon. Google is putting it’s own twist on this since their reviews are part of ads and not just a service to customers. The ‘service’ to advertisers and consumers alike is improved click through rates because of the confidence given by a strong merchant review.

Here’s what you can expect these reviews to look like.

China’s Baidu Could Increase US Staff by 400%!!!

While Google and the Chinese government duke it out, Baidu is quite happy to sit back and benefit from the increased traffic.

In fact, business must be good for the indigenous search engine because it plans to go on a hiring spree. OK, maybe “spree” is an exaggeration–the company plans to hire another 30 people.

The company on Tuesday said it would attend a job fair in the US on July 10 and that it had 30 positions to fill. “These could be Chinese, people from Taiwan or Hong Kong, or citizens of any other country,” a Baidu spokesman said.

Also an exaggeration? This post’s title. Well, not so much an exaggeration, but perhaps trickeration. You see, Baidu has 8,000 employees, of which, only 10 hold foreign passports. If the search engine were to fill all 30 open positions with US citizens, then–assuming all existing 10 are US–they’d increase their quota by 400%. :-)

Google Gets Tricky With China Situation

If you were Google and you were faced with the possibility of losing your license to operate in the largest market on the planet AND you had to stay true to your commitment to not censor your results, what would you do? OK, that’s not a fair question since you aren’t Google but the NY Times tells us what they have done to preserve their ability to provide search services to their nemesis buddy China.

In an effort to appease Beijing as it seeks to renew its license to operate in mainland China, Google plans to stop automatically redirecting Chinese users to its Hong Kong site.

Why I Don’t Care About “Google Me”

So the big rumor of the weekend is that Google may soon launch a Facebook competitor called “Google Me.”

It all kicked off after Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted:

Now everyone is jumping in and speculating just how Google might do battle with Facebook.

As for me? Let me ask you this: What product has Google launched that has seriously competed in the social networking space? Any of these?

This is all the coverage I personally plan to give the story until two things happen:

  1. Google actually launches this new service
  2. It’s able to gain even a fraction of the market share of Facebook – and Brazil doesn’t count!

Until then, Google will remain a great search engine and a lousy social network.