Google’s New Social Bar: Who’s Using It?

Google’s Friend Connect got a new gizmo, or should I say gadget? Technically it isn’t a gadget because its main purpose is to organize the Friend Connect gadgets that a site uses. The Friend Connect social bar is designed to simplify the process of using multiple Google Friend Connect gadgets on your site.

social-bar

The 36 pixel high bar runs across the top of a site and contains a site wide activity feed, a comments section, and a list of site members. Installation for the social bar is relatively easy with Google providing a video demonstration. Google also provides an example site that showcases the social bar in action.

The social bar was announced on Google’s new Social Web Blog, which has the motto, “News and updates about Google products that are helping to make the web more social”

Twitter is a Cash Cow in the Making

Cash CowWe have been talking a great deal lately about how Twitter should be monetizing their service. Most of this talk comes after news that Twitter secured $20 million in venture capital, to push its total valuation to $250 million. It wasn’t long ago that Twitter started looking for a product manager to define a revenue stream. This is a smart move for a company that has relied solely on venture capital from day one.

Andy recently wrote a post detailing his thoughts for a Twitter subscription program. This is an idea that even Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams has spoken about in the past.

The Plot to Kill Google? Google’s Secret Weapon?

A recent article in Wired called The Plot to Kill Google details some of the major legal and political battles that Google finds itself in with corporations that have a shared interest in the evolution of the web. The authors describe Microsoft as being a major enemy of Google, and responsible for spearheading an advocacy effort to thwart the now botched Google/Yahoo ad deal.

Apparently, Microsoft was successful at convincing Tom Barnett, assistant attorney general for antitrust, that an ad partnership between Google and Yahoo constitutes a monopoly.

Traditional advocacy efforts entail organizing consumers/voters around a specific issue, and leveraging their voice to push through a specific set of policies. However, Microsoft took a different approach by rallying up corporate entities, to lobby on behalf of Microsoft’s cause.

Google’s Organic Results and Ads Merge…Kind Of.

UPDATE: Scott Edwards points out in the comments below that the phenomenon described below is the result of a bug in a plugin that I currently use. I want to say I am sorry for making this mistake and hope this serves as a lesson to us all that nothing is as it seems in search marketing!

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Okay, I am going to admit for a moment that I don’t know that much about sponsored search. Sure, I know what it is, I know how to put together basic PPC campaigns but when it comes down to it, I am more an SEO kind of guy.

TV.com Vs. Hulu, Who Wins? We do!

TV.comMan, I love the Internet! I mean seriously, things are getting really good! What’s got me all excited, you ask? Well, how about the fact that CBS has announced their plans to go head to head with hulu.com with its own media mega house, TV.com! Yep that’s right, we now have two high class web sites that are going to fight it out to see who can deliver the best in TV shows and movies!

TV.com already has a host of different CBS shows and has recently announced deals with MGM, Sony, PBS, Endemol USA and Showtime. However, the real power behind this mega site is its social network. Reports indicate that TV.com’s userbase is some where between 4.8 million and 16 million. That’s a pretty big margin but what ever the case may be one thing is certain, hulu.com has had a pretty hard time developing a social network anything near that.

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.”