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Weekend Acquisitions

Neo@Ogilvy/GSI
Neo@Ogilvy, the digital & direct media arm of Ogilvy, acquired Global Strategies International, “a leading search marketing consultancy,” they announced Friday. GSI specializes in SEO, brand reputation management and training.

In their press release, Neo@Ogilvy said of the merger:

“Search marketing cannot live in a silo anymore,” said Nasreen Madhany, Global CEO of Neo@Ogilvy. “It needs to be part of a 360 strategy for delivering marketing solutions. When managed holistically, search marketing can deliver branding as well as business results. The integration of GSI into Neo@Ogilvy will allow us to deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions to clients throughout Neo’s global network.”

GSI will keep its founders, including recently elected SEMPO board member Bill Hunt, to “maintain its own identity within Neo@Ogilvy.”

The rest of the story

Here’s some of the news also going on in the search world now:

  • Google Blogoscoped features an FAQ of Google censorship, including a pretty comprehensive history of censorship by Google—and not just on Google.cn. Says Phillip Lenssen: “For the scope of this FAQ I’ll define censorship as missing results which are filtered for reasons of politics or regulations, not because they’re spam, non-family friendly, or copyright-infringements (though your mileage may vary).”
  • Today is Yahoo’s 12th birthday, according to Wired. That explains why they’re having such a hard time lately—they’re in the ‘awkward’ stage.
  • eMarketer reports that Facebook is tops with the 17-25 demographic (free on a limited basis). As a member of that demographic, I say, “Duh. MySpace is for my 15-year-old sister and child predators.” Females in the demographic name MySpace and YouTube as numbers 2 and 3, respectively. Males pick YouTube and Yahoo! as 2 and 3 (MySpace is #6—ight above Wikipedia).

The SMO Debate Begins

The newly announced Social Media and Tagging Forum at Cre8asite Forums is up and running. They’ve already announced three moderators: Liana Evans (SearchMarketingGurus), Chris Winfield (10e20) and Pierre Far (aka eKstreme). If you’re looking to debate how long YouTube will last or whether the traffic from SMO is any good, hop in.

Beer Gets Social

Anheuser-Busch has announced a partnership with MingleNow.com, a relatively new social network for their “Here’s to Beer” campaign.

MingleNow.com appears to be particularly well-suited to Anheuser-Busch’s campaign. Unlike a network focusing on building online relationships, this social network is set up around real-life meetings in bars, clubs and other gathering places:

The places you like to go define you. MingleNow enables you to meet other people who are attracted to the same places. . . . Most importantly, MingleNow has a built in calendar to organize your weekend without having to wade through calls, emails and IMs.

Also, by utilizing a startup, Anheuser-Busch can take advantage of its newness and help to shape the network around their campaign and brand. As MediaPost puts it:

Wired.com Proves Digg Can Still be Bought

Despite the many bold claims by Digg execs that the popular tagging site can easily spot attempts to game the system, Wired.com proves that it can be done – and quite easily too.

Four and a half hours later, I was the only person who had dugg my story. That’s when I hired a Digg-gaming service called User/Submitter, or U/S. This enterprise, run by one or more zealously anonymous individuals, advertises that it can help “submitters” get Digg stories noticed by paying “users” to digg them…Ten hours after hiring U/S, I had 40 diggs…When I woke up in the morning, my story had been awarded the “became popular” tag and had 121 diggs. U/S had done what it promised: The company had helped me buy my way into Digg popularity, and my site traffic had gone way up — overnight, I’d been hammered with so many hits that the diggers had to set up a mirror.

MSN Invites You to Take Over Mainstream Media

MSNBC is launching a site for citizen journalists to contribute to their news. As a separate site, FirstPerson has a social media twist to it:

In the coming months, you will see the FirstPerson logo show up throughout the site, seeking your input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted. You will also be able to quickly scan through FirstPerson submission requests from throughout the site. . . .

See FirstPerson content from other readers you like? We invite you to vote for your favorite reader-submitted photos and video, and will let you know which ones the editors liked as well.

Although they say they’ll be taking “input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted,” right now their site is mostly requesting color stories: quirky local attractions, celebrity look-a-likes, dog photos, vintage car photos . . .

Is Your Site StumbleUponAble?

StumbleUpon is one of my favorite ways to browse the web, though I have to admit that I haven’t used it much lately. As the number of users nears 2 million, lots of Internet marketers are thinking about the best way to take advantage of the traffic.

After all, StumbleUpon offers a steady stream of qualified, interested visitors—if your content is good enough. If your content gets the “thumbs up,” it will be shown to more stumblers. If it gets “thumbs down” or no votes at all, it will be shown to stumblers with decreasing frequency.

How can you be sure your site is really ready for StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon’s paid inclusion program FAQ gives a few guidelines: