Has Google Started Using AdWords / AdSense Data in Ranking Organic Results?

I would have sworn up and down that Google organic listings operated without any integration of Google AdWords or AdSense data. Every engineer I’ve see talk about the subject has said as much and even the AdWords help documents stated this was the case. That was until now.

Jeremy Mayes noticed that Google has deleted the documentation. It used to be located here. You can still see the page in Archive.org.

Quote from Archive.org Page:

Will participation in AdWords or AdSense affect my listing in Google’s free search results?

Google’s advertising programs are independent of our search results. Search results display on the left side of our results page; ads appear on the right and in the colored box at the top.

MySpace Platform to Rival Facebook’s?

TechCrunch is sharing more developer platform rumors this week. Last month, Michael Arrington predicted a set of new APIs from Google which will lead to a “Google Platform,” analogous to Facebook’s (only more open, of course). Now he says that MySpace is planning its own developer platform.

The MySpace Platform would work very much like Facebook’s. As TechCrunch puts it, the platform:

will essentially be a set of APIs and a new markup language that will allow third party developers to create applications that run within MySpace. Developers will be able to include Flash applets, iFrame elements and Javascript snippets in their applications, and access most of the core MySpace resources (profile information, friend list, activity history, etc.). Applications will need to be hosted on MySpace servers.

Facebook Rumor: A New MySpace

Facebook is working on a platform for bands that will be launched later this year. This was reported on paidContent.org. They said that the rumor was started yesterday morning.

According to the rumors, Facebook will offer more to bands than MySpace does. They will let bands and labels to create pages, and let them embed custom widgets to market their events and music.

Widgets are hot right now with popular widgets selling for thousands just weeks after they are launched. The most popular widget on Facebook is iLike. Sources say the widget will be like that plus there will also be an iTunes widget for listening to clips from songs. Later you’ll be able to buy music too. Instead of being busy and being flashy, the Facebook pages will be more no-nonsense. Facebook is contacting music labels to gather support for the service.

Place Your Bets: Google Reaches $2000 or TechCrunch Sells for $100M?

While you were working, an interesting exchange happened over the blogosphere. It seems TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington and Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget are having a war of words.

You might ask what this has to do with internet marketing, but I think you’ll find the exchange of interest.

First up, Blodget put up his thoughts on Google’s share price hitting $2000, giving it a market cap of $750+ billion.

Then Michael Arrington decided to voice his disdain for Blodget and his reckless valuation.

Not long after, Blodget blogged that he believed TechCrunch could sell for more than $100 million, possibly to CNET.

Lastly, Arrington (with tongue in cheek) took back his criticism of Blodget.

Will Google Turn to HTC for GPhone Production?

htc-gphone Forbes is keeping the Google GPhone speculation going with the suggestion that Google could turn to little-known cell phone manufacturer, HTC.

As we’ve already speculated ourselves, it makes sense for Google to focus on the phone software and let someone else take care of the actual phone hardware. Remember Google, doesn’t want to be a manufacturer.

Forbes suggests that HTC is being discussed as a partner “behind closed doors.” They also suspect that Google may have a wide range of phone providers at launch.

…even if a Google-HTC partnership materializes, HTC would likely be one of several Google hardware partners. Industry sources say China’s e28, a fast-growing Linux smart phone specialist, could also grab a piece of the action. Taiwanese electronics conglomerate Hon Hai and Korea’s Samsung are also mentioned.

Rumor Mill: IPO for AOL’s Advertising Platform A

Last week, AOL announced that it was restructuring its online advertising holdings to create a new ad division, Platform A. Ten days later, TechCrunch has rumors that Platform A will be destined for an IPO of its own:

One knowledgeable source tells TechCrunch that the decision has been made internally at Time Warner to try to spin off Platform A through an IPO sometime early next year. (AOL declines to comment). A lot needs to happen before that plan is put into action, but the writing is on the wall. . . . An AOL spokesperson confirms to me: “The introduction of Platform A marks a significant change in how we operate—putting AOL’s overall network in front of our advertising sales strategy.”

Rumor Mill: Microsoft Buying a Stake in Facebook

Is Microsoft shopping for a social network? The Wall Street Journal reports today that Microsoft may be purchasing as much as a 5% stake in Facebook, a share valued at $300-$500 million. The WSJ speculates that a deal like this could push the value of Facebook into the $10 billion range—exactly the price tag investor Tim Thiel named in July. Further rumors state that Google may also be looking to purchase a stake in the social network.

An investment in Facebook could give Microsoft or Google greater opportunities to tie their services in with Facebook at a time when they’ve both recognized that social networking is changing how consumers tap into their core activities, such as Web search and email.