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Lenoir Officials Defend $260 Million Tax Incentives to Google

It seems there’s been a lot more interest in the tax breaks to Google, since we learned the search engine could receive as much as $260 million in incentives for building in North Carolina.

Today, Lenoir and Caldwell County officials fight back against the critics, arguing why having Google build a data center is great for the local area.

“I truly believe that 80 percent of the people are tickled to death, and they are getting mad” about the criticism, Lenoir Mayor David Barlow said…”Where’s all the good talk of the millions and millions of dollars in payroll? Our people need to hear the good news,” he said.

And just because we keep hearing the $260m number, doesn’t mean that Lenoir will be worse off for having Google as a neighbor.

dMarc Founders Quit Google; Could YouTube Guys Be Next?

Mediapost is reporting that the founders of dMarc, the radio advertising company acquired by Google last year, have resigned.

It appears the recent suggestions that Google and dMarc were not seeing eye-to-eye, on the best approach for selling radio ads, was more than just a small road-bump. Add to that, the fact that dMarc was unlikely to see the full $1.13 billion payout, as part of the acquisition structure, and you can see why Chad and Ryan Steelberg decided to take their $102 million in cash, and run.

…the two companies apparently differed over the need for a “human touch” in the sales process. Although dMarc was a pioneer in automated radio ad sales, the company still employed human beings to explain the dMarc system to prospective customers and tutor those who signed up. As Google began integrating dMarc’s system into Google AdWords, it pushed to limit the number of product reps. dMarc executives in turn blamed this policy for their sluggish revenue results.

iCrossing Acquires U.K. SEM Firm Spannerworks

Now, had I known that the Spannerworks guys were about to announce their acquisition by SEM mega-firm iCrossing, I would have swung by for an interview, while visiting my home town of Brighton.

Spannerworks, a 10-year-old search engine marketing company based in Brighton, England, has done work for clients including Best Western Hotels, car insurance site Confused.com, SN Brussels Airlines, and nursery company Kiddicare.

iCrossing is rumored to announce the deal this coming week.

Yahoo Not Deleting Advertiser Accounts, Claims Account Offline Due to Spam

UPDATE: We’ve finally heard back from Yahoo. They’re claiming Florian’s account was not “lost” but taken offline for spamming.

According to Yahoo’s Kristen Wareham, “In researching his specific situation, we have come to find that his account was taken offline for quality control reasons. Our customer team reached out to Florian to explain that it had nothing to do with our new advertiser system or import tool but rather due to the lack of quality with his keywords which were not tied to any content. This is standard procedure for handling advertisers who spam our system.”

Google Posts North Carolina Job Openings

It’s been just a few weeks since Google confirmed their plans to build a data center in Lenoir, N.C.

Well, they didn’t wait too long before starting their recruiting efforts, posting two job openings on the corporate web site.

Data Center Facilities Manager – North Carolina (link)

Google is looking for an experienced data center facilities manager to provide day-to-day oversight and management of a Google-operated data center facility. This individual will act as the interface between teams at Google headquarters, the local contractors and employees responsible for maintenance and operation of the facility (including electrical systems, mechanical systems, security contractors, janitorial services, and all other aspects of data center facility operation), and the Google team responsible for installation and operation of servers within the data center. This position will ensure the ongoing flawless operation of the data center, will ensure that facilities problems are identified and repaired quickly, will ensure that contractors are delivering quality services, and will make sure that all internal customer demands are being met. This individual will work to find creative ways to keep operational costs to a minimum and will work outside of the box with team members to improve efficiency and implement new data center strategies.

SEOs – Slimebuckets or Geniuses?

Ladies and gentleman, presenting the heavy-weight battle for the reputation of search engine optimizers.

In the red-corner, we have Jason Calacanis, who blogs a whole bunch of criticisms of SEOs, without backing up any facts or responding to reader’s comments and questions.

…the truth is that 90% of the SEO market is made up of snake oil salesman. These are guys in really bad suits trying to get really naive people to sign long-term contracts. These clients typically make horrible products and don’t deserve traffic–that’s why they’re not getting it organically so they hire the slimebuckets to game the system for them.

In the blue-corner, we have IAC’s Barry Diller, singing the praises of SEO.

Yahoo’s Product Pipeline Reveals Feed Mashup Tool

The blogosphere is  buzzing this morning, with news that Yahoo has launched Yahoo Pipes. Instead of simply regurgitating what’s already out there, let me just help point you to the various reviews.

But first, what the heck is “Pipes”. Nial Kennedy provides the best explanation

Yahoo! Pipes lets any Yahoo! registered user enter a set of data inputs and filter their results. You might splice a feed of your latest bookmarks on del.icio.us with the latest posts from your blog and your latest photographs posted to Flickr. You might automatically translate your favorite news sources to your native language, or only receive the 1 out of 20 news stories from your local paper that reference your town or local schools. A traditional web feed lets you select your news from a set menu, while tools like Yahoo! Pipes let you build your own dish with only the ingredients you care about.