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Google Gains Foothold in China

CNC logoChina’s second largest fixed-line (“telephone”) operator, China Networks Communications Corp., has signed an agreement with Google for broadband users’ Internet search services. Google will provide a search bar on CNC’s broadband start page, CNCMAX.cn. CNC serves 16 million broadband customers through its subsidiary, China Netcom Broadband Corp.

The announcement come after Baidu’s 2006 gains, reported in February, and Google’s deal with China Mobile in January. Last September, China’s largest fixed-line operator, China Telecom, inked a deal with Microsoft. CT serves 25 million customers.

News coverage
didn’t indicate whether Google.com or Google.cn would be used for search results.

Google Confirms Click Fraud Rate is 0.02%

Back in December, I caused quite a storm, when I published data from Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder that suggested Google’s click fraud rate was less than 2% (and actually less than 0.2%).

Speaking with Ghosemajumder last week, it appears that story helped form Google’s strategy for coming clean on the actual numbers for click fraud.

Google has now confirmed that user-identified click-fraud (the clicks not already filtered by Google) is actually less than 0.02% of all Google clicks. In addition, the average rate of invalid clicks (Google’s term for clicks that are filtered automatically and not charged to advertisers) is less than 10% of all clicks.

Not publicized by Google – but I certainly stressed to them they should make a deal of – is that their click fraud numbers are vetted and audited by an outside company. These numbers are not just plucked out of the air by Ghosemajumder.

CBS Poaching Interactive Marketing CMO

The AP reports that CBS has hired Patrick Keane, a Google ad sales executive, as the Chief Marketing Officer of CBS Interactive. Keane was in charge of Google’s ad sales strategy. He’s now in charge of marketing CBS content on ‘emerging media platforms.’

From the AP article: “Keane . . . will be responsible for both monetizing CBS’ digital content and heading its online research, sales training and search engine optimization.

I googled Keane and oddly enough, the #1 result was a post from July 2004 on Search Engine Lowdown, by none other than our own Andy Beal. Its title? “Google’s Patrick Keane Afraid of Search Engine Optimizers.” Back in ’04, Keane spoke at AD:TECH. From the post:

Modern Marketers Need SEM

Paul Christ as KnowThis.com Marketing Blog lists search engine marketing as the #2 concept that modern marketers need to know. It’s a pretty strong endorsement. From the post:

But I will say that if you are not thoroughly familiar with each of these topics then you owe it to yourself to learn. Soon! Pick up books, go to websites, attend seminars, enroll in courses. Whatever it takes learn these concepts as soon as you can. . . .

2. Search Engine Marketing Get with the program! If you are a marketer and still don’t know why this segment of Internet marketing is important then you have a problem. Search engines are the most important influence on marketing since television became a competitor to radio. You need to know how this is impacting your business.

Yahoo Releases Support for NOYDIR Tag

Yahoo has come through with it’s promise to release a no Yahoo directory meta tag much like the no ODP meta tag.

Many webmasters complained that the title and description given to organic search listings when a site was listed in the Yahoo directory affected click through ratios and rankings. Now they can opt out of Yahoo using the directory information.

The format for the meta tag is:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

or

<META NAME="Slurp" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

Yahoo noted that to make these changes effective there would be an index update. Full information is available on the Yahoo blog.

Yahoo Slams Google’s Usability

I guess Yahoo felt they needed to be in the news this week – no matter what the reason. It’s the only explanation I can think of for Yahoo’s Jeff Bonforte, senior director of real time communications, attacking Google’s usability efforts.

“[Google] definitely is lacking in usability,” Bonforte said in a meeting with reporters at Yahoo’s corporate headquarters.

“They don’t have this intimate connection in usability with consumers that Yahoo has had for 10 years. When it comes to consumer applications, no-one is more successful than Yahoo hands down. And it happens over and over and over again. In every application, we are number one or two.”

Judge Confirms Search Engines Can Reject Ads

You’d think this would be obvious, but it took a recent law suit and a judge’s ruling to confirm Google, Yahoo and Microsoft don’t have an obligation to run every submitted ad.

Someone bought some gripe ads on Google, Yahoo and MSN, only to have them rejected. He then sued all three companies arguing that the search engines should be required to post his ads. The judge in the case appears to have made quick work of it, dismissing almost all of the claims and pointing out in no uncertain terms that many were specious and frivolous.

If I had a “dumb moves” category, this news would be filed there.