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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.

Time to Say Goodbye to the NoFollow Tag?

Over at SEJ, Loren provides 13 reasons why the NoFollow tag simply sucks. My favorite?

Linking to someone with a NoFollow attribute is a sign of not trusting them. It’s like reaching to shake someone’s hand, but stopping to put on a pair of latex gloves.

Loren’s also turned off the default nofollow for links in comments. It’s a bold move, and I’ll be watching to see if it impacts the amount of spam or quality of comments.

We’re also going to be testing a new plugin which will reward loyal commentators with a link without the “nofollow” attribute. Stay tuned!

Google Sharing AdWords Quality Score?

According to an email received by Shimon Sandler, Google is gearing-up to start letting AdWords advertisers see their Quality Score.

…we’re making improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score to set minimum bids for keywords. First, we will be launching an optional Quality Score column to provide you with more transparency into the Quality Score for your keywords. Second, we made improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score for all keywords. This change will allow us to more accurately set minimum bids for keywords where the system does not have a significant amount of data.

Sharing the quality score of ads is something that Yahoo decided to do, with the launch of their new platform. It’s interesting to see Google following Yahoo’s lead for a change.

Google misspells its own name?

Google Valentine LogoGoogle wishes us all happy Valentine’s day with a chocolate covered strawberry. People are saying Google spelled its name wrong: no ‘L.’ (It’s like a Christmas joke for Valentine’s day!)

And yes, it does look that way at first glance. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the long stem of the strawberry is supposed to be replacing the regular green ‘L.’

What do you think?

Hat-tip to Matt Bailey.

UPDATE: Google’s responded. (from Andy)

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.