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Lenoir Officials Abandoned Economic Study of Google Tax Incentives

Wow, it’s going to be hard for Lenoir and Caldwell County officials to keep justifying their decision, to provide Google with 30 years of tax breaks, when they didn’t even finish an economic study to see if a data center would be beneficial or not.

Local officials ran a computer analysis that determined a state job-creation grant of almost $5 million would generate more than $45 million in state revenue over 12 years. But they didn’t study whether committing to three decades of tax breaks made economic sense. “Intuitively, the numbers showed it was a good deal,” Lenoir City Manager Lane Bailey said Wednesday.

Oh cool, because there’s nothing us taxpayers trust more than the intuition of our elected officials.

Hat-tip Techdirt.

Yahoo’s Jerry Yang Buys Doctorate from Stanford for $75 Million?

Ok, so that title edged me more towards Threadwatch (just kidding guys), than it did the WSJ, but I figured it might get your attention.

That being said, would it be surprising if Stanford awarded Yahoo co-founder an honorary doctorate as a “thank you” for his $75 million contribution?

Of the total, $50 million will pay for a new environment and energy building and $5 million will go towards a doctor training facility for Stanford’s medical school. The remaining $20 million will be used for future projects, Stanford said.

Of course, this is all just a little fun. Nothing but respect for Yang for making the donation.

Via SEL.

Yahoo SearchLight Awards Next Week

Yahoo asked us nicely – so we’re obliging – if we’d let all search marketers know about the upcoming Searchlight Award Show.

The 2007 Yahoo! Searchlight Award Show celebrates the best and brightest in search advertising. A panel of industry experts will evaluate four agency campaigns and the audience will vote for the winner. This is an exclusive event for marketers and advertising agencies, featuring a keynote address by Laura Desmond, CEO Starcom MediaVest Group, on industry issues and the opportunities facing today’s marketers. The event will be an enjoyable and entertaining celebration of creativity in marketing.

The event is Feb 22 at the Time-Life Building in New York. You can register here.

Note: No tchotckes or logoed apparel were exchanged as part of this announcement. We did it ‘cos they asked politely. ;-)

Yahoo Leaks Continue; Why Doesn’t this Happen to Google?

OK, so TechCrunch has acquired a copy of an email sent out to all Yahoo employees, by CFO Susan Decker. It’s a long-winded memo highlighting restructuring and promotions (congrats to Tim Cadogan).

I’m not going to re-hash the entire email, but I do want to ask this (not so) rhetorical question:

“What does the leaking of internal emails say about the morale and unity at Yahoo?”

It’s interesting that while getting this kind of stuff from Google is like getting blood out of a stone – Google employees are very loyal to the vision – Yahoo employees are leaking this stuff out to the public.

If Yahoo is going to make a legitimate attempt to gain ground on Google, it needs to look within the core. It’s going be tough to fight the battle, if you don’t have the loyalty and support of the troops.

Omniture Acquires Touch Clarity

ClickZ is reporting web analytics firm, Omniture, has acquired Touch Clarity, a site-side behavioral targeting and analysis firm.

Utah-based Omniture said the deal should be completed before the end of the first quarter. In addition to spending up to $51.5 million to acquire the privately held, London-based Touch Clarity, Omniture will spend about $8.5 million for assumed vested stock options, the company said.

The acquisition will give Omniture the ability to analyze user behavior, alongside their existing analytics, and bring 50 employees and clients such as AOL and British Telecom to the mix.

Google Invests in Venture Capital Funds in India

Google has already gone on record that India is going to be a country to watch over the next few years. Now it has literally put its money, where its mouth is, and invested in two early stage Indian VC funds, Seedfund and Erasmic.

“While the rush of large amounts of venture capital into India is well-documented, very little of this trickles down to small firms – the early-stage startups. Our effort is to build this gap by investing in these funds,” said Samir Sood, head (corporate development – South Asia), Google.

India is reportedly one of the first countries to receive this kind of investment from Google.

Wall Street Journal Gives Thumbs-up to Link Baiting

Hat’s off to Kelly Spors for helping to keep WSJ readers up to date on the latest marketing buzz. In today’s weekly roundup of news, she explains the art of link baiting…

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.