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YouTube Founders Selling $326 Million in Google Shares

Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have registered to sell 3.23 million shares of Google stock.

Hurley and Chen, who founded YouTube in February 2005, may each sell shares worth about $326.2 million as of today’s closing price. Sequoia Capital, YouTube’s largest investor, may sell shares worth $504.4 million.

Others investors included in the filing include:

  • Sequoia Capital (worth $504.4 million)
  • Artis Capital Management LLC ($83 million)
  • Jawed Karim (another YouTube founder; $64.6 million)

The rest of YouTube’s employees will have to wait until vesting before they get to cash out.

What does this say about the future of YouTube? You can’t blame the guys for cashing-out, but it’s hardly a vote of confidence.

Hat-tip to Pete.

ChannelAdvisor Launches Integrated Paid Search Solution

If you’re involved in anyway with eBay (or other auction sites), you’re likely very familiar with ChannelAdvisor. They’re arguably the leaders in helping ecommerce companies sell their products via shopping channels and auction sites.

A couple of years ago, they acquired a search marketing company, and ever since they’ve been slowly integrating paid search management into their product offering. This week sees the launch of their SearchAdvisor solution, a one-stop shop for managing ads on Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.

By integrating Google, Yahoo!, MSN and ASK.com into a single user interface, SearchAdvisor provides eTailers the ability to scale their paid search efforts without adding costly resources or sacrificing ROI targets.  SearchAdvisor takes it one step further by allowing eTailers to manage keywords on a product or sales margin basis, allowing you to know which keywords drive the most profit…and which keywords fail to drive a profit. 

Must-See Sights When Visiting the Googleplex

Valleywag has put together the “25 things to see at the Googleplex before you die“.

They’ve created a plan of Google’s Mountain View location and identified the areas that any visitor should try and get a peak at.

Highlights include…

  • Omid Kordestani’s Office – At one point, the non-engineering parts of the Googleplex were called Omidistan, in honor of head sales guy Omid Kordestani.
  • Pintxo Cafe – From Yelp: “Pintxo simply rocks. They’ve got an awesome selection of foods, such as smoked salmon, steaks tartare, shrimp cocktails, lobster bisque, french onion soup, etc. The emphasis definitely is on quality over quantity here, just the way I like it. But since this is a Google cafeteria, it’s also all you can eat anyway! Perfect! I’d eat here every day if only I worked closer to Building 47.”

Google Ready to Abandon Ad-Subsidized Model?

It appears that Google might be ready to concede that not all of its products can be supported by the careful placement of AdWords ads. According to Business Week, Google plans to introduce a subscription fee for their Google Apps for Your Domain office suite.

In coming weeks, Google Apps will turn into a real business as Google begins charging corporations a subscription fee amounting to a few dollars per person per month.

With tens of thousands of businesses already using Google Apps, Google has made an impressive challenge to Microsoft’s dominance in the office suite arena, but it’s clear that businesses are not going to tolerate offers for free ring tones or mortgage refinancing alongside an email from the CFO.

The Last Word on Link Buying

V7N’s Contextual Links offering received a lot of online coverage and comments, first here on Marketing Pilgrim, then at Search Engine Journal and Matt Cutts’s blog.

The debate may rage on over the “ethical” nature of paid links. A more important subtext to that debate is the overall effectiveness of link buying as a strategy to improve search engine rankings. But now the ultimate link authority, Eric Ward, has spoken.

Eric has written a short-but-sweet article in today’s Web Marketing Today called “The Pros and Cons of Buying Links.” Eric warns against buying links to improve search rank, whether they’re “undetectable” or not. He offers three basic rules for link buying:

Google Willing to Share Just a Little More Link Data

There’s a reason for search marketers to smile today – Google has added backlink details to Webmaster Central.

Now, before everyone runs off and pops the top off a bottle of champagne, Matt Cutts would like you to know about a certain caveat to the new tool.

Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight. I’m going to say that again: Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight. Sometime in the next year, someone will say “But I saw an insert-link-fad-here backlink show up in Google’s backlink tool, so it must count. Right?” And then I’ll point them back here, where I say do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight.

Online Fastest Growing Advertising Medium

Outsell, Inc. has released a report that seems to indicate that we are reaching the end of an era: they project broadcast and print ad spending will decrease in 2007. Key findings of their survey of 1010 advertising professionals include:

  • Online spending growing the fastest: companies plan to increase online spending by 18% this year as online advertising’s market share increases to 20% of advertising spend.
  • Advertisers perceive online advertising as “very effective” for branding, a reversal of their “conventional wisdom.”
  • Search marketing is the fastest growing online medium: advertisers plan to increase search engine advertising spend by 39% (though Outsell didn’t indicate whether this was SEO, PPC or both in its press release).
  • PPC ads’ market share will actually decrease 1% this year; other online media will grow (CPA ads: 8%; “online sponsorships” 12%).