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Yahoo Switching to Panama Platform Today

Monday February 5th, 2007, will be a day that goes down in search engine history. At 3pm PST today, Yahoo will bring together 30 to 40 engineers and start migrating the old Overture pay-per-click platform over to the new “Panama” model. Its future success or failure will depend on how well the new platform is received.

Thousands of advertisers, and billions of dollars in ad spending, will be watched closely, as Yahoo finally moves from the pure “highest bidder wins” model, to the “bid plus quality” model. By making this switch, Yahoo hopes to increase the average revenue per click from 2.5/3 cents to something closer to Google’s 4.5/5 cents.

As successful switch could mean the difference between Yahoo’s road to a comeback, or instead, further languishing behind Google – and facing a strong challenge from Microsoft’s adCenter.

Google Planning PowerPoint Clone?

TechCrunch loves to post rumors and speculation. To their credit, they’re right at least half of the time – perhaps someone could do an actual study – so whenever they post a new rumor, you should at least take note.

The latest speculation suggests that Google may be preparing an online presentation tool – similar to Microsoft’s PowerPoint – named “Presently”.

It certainly makes sense when you consider the company already has a word and spreadsheet offering.

Top Google Execs Can Earn $1.5 Million Bonus for 2006

Reuters is reporting that Google’s board of directors approved a 2006 executive bonus worth up to $1.5 million.

The company said on Friday in a regulatory filing that a committee would determine how to allocate the bonuses, which are in addition to payments in the plan from October.

No confirmation on whether Brin and Page will partake in the bonus.

SEOmoz Gets New Look, Premium Content

Rand and the SEOmoz team have finally launched the new look for their web site. New features include:

  • YOUmoz – submit your own posts and the most popular are pushed to the main blog.
  • Premium Content – for $39 a month ($299 a year), get extra benefits, and access to new tools.

It’s a bold move by SEOmoz to start charging for premium content. I know Rand is committed to providing the same level of content to those that don’t join the premium service, but it will be interesting to see how many people find SEOmoz valuable enough to cough-up forty bucks a month.

SEOmoz has an incredible community, so if any site can successfully roll-out a paid membership option, it’s the mozzers.

Free Keyword Research from Keyword Discovery & Wordtracker

In what appears to be a response to the slow death of the Overture Inventory Suggestion tool, both Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery have offered up free versions of their popular keyword research products.

Via SEW.

Google Bullied North Carolina Over Lenoir Project

According to the News & Observer, Google used its clout to bully North Carolina lawmakers into offering more incentives and keeping quiet about plans to build a server farm in Lenoir.

…the search engine behemoth demanded that lawmakers never speak its name, according to e-mail records…Records show that the company was often agitated by the legislative process. Google executives threatened to walk away from the negotiating table and asked Commerce Secretary Jim Fain to exercise his power over the bill writing process.

Using tactics right out of any negotiation handbook, Google used subtle threats to get what they wanted…

Google Slams Click Forensics Click Fraud Study…Again

On Tuesday, I voiced my concerns on trusting click fraud data, released by a click-fraud monitoring company.

Yesterday, Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder (whom I interviewed back in December) fired back at Click Forensics, pointing out all manner of flaws to their study.

We found serious flaws in their counting of clicks – a more fundamental issue than their counting of click fraud. They were making basic counting mistakes and inflating the number of clicks by an average of 40%. The source of this problem is incorrectly counting page views – from users browsing through an advertiser’s site – as clicks.

Shuman also discussed how Click Forensics measures clicks, Google didn’t even charge for, and follows up his original post with one that goes into more detail.