Skype to Offer Bloggers Live Chat Rooms

CNET has details of Skype’s plans to offer bloggers the ability to host audio chats from their own web site.

The next version of Skype will enable people to post a link on a blog or Web site that will take people to a public chat room when clicked on.

There’s no timeline for the launch, but Skype execs say the feature is coming “soon”.

Skype is also in talks with many social networking sites about offering services that would allow members to share content with each other in conversations.

Facebook Recovers from Declining Traffic

We recently ran a poll on whether Facebook.com should take the money and run, after reports its traffic had started to decline. 63% of Pilgrims believed (me included) CEO Mark Zuckerberg should take sell the company now, lest the value reduce even further.

What the heck do we know!?!

Hitwise has stats that show Facebook’s decline in traffic was just a seasonal blip, which happens each September as college kids focus on their return to school. As the chart below demonstrates, Facebook is as healthy as ever.

Hat’s off to Zuckerberg – he wins this round of brinkmanship!

Channel Sponsors

LoudLaunch.com Jumps on Paid Blogging Bandwagon

The blogging purists of the world will wince when they discover yet another launch of a service that pays bloggers to write about a certain company or product.

Steve Rubel has the barest of details on LoudLaunch.com which appears to take a slightly different post to the likes of PayPerPost.com.

There’s not much to be found on the LoudLaunch web site either…

Loud Launch is building a smart platform which connects savvy advertisers with influential web personalities (bloggers).

We are excited to tell you more soon, so please sign up to be notified when we launch. You’ll love whats coming…get paid for doing what you already do!

Add Any YouTube Video You iLike to iTunes

“Like” is the word of the week. After the launch of visual shopping search engine Like.com, earlier this week, comes news from TechCrunch that social music site iLike has added the ability to download music videos from YouTube to iTunes.

Every song on iLike includes a link to play a short sample of the actual song. Now there is also a link to “play video.� Click the link and iLike searches for the video on YouTube, embeds it into the site and begins playing it. In our tests iLike found the correct music video about 2/3 of the time.

The entire rollout took just 72 hours from idea to launch!

You can learn more at the iLike blog.

Google Adds Diagnostic Tool to AdWords

Barry reports Google has gone live with a diagnostic tool – which it began testing back in October – and can now be accessed by all AdWords users.

The tool helps advertisers quickly identify which ads are running and which are not, with suggested recommendations for fixing non-running ads.

The Anatomy of a Search Marketing Scholarship Contest

The last four weeks of Marketing Pilgrim’s Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest has been lots of fun. When I put together the idea for a scholarship, I wanted to find a way to give back to an industry that has been very good to me and help find the next top talent – you could call it “SEM Idol”. I was fortunate enough to find some great sponsors, who contributed over $6,000 in prizes and a panel of judges who are arguably the best in the industry.

I wanted to give everyone who entered a fair chance, so I crafted the contest to have two components:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt at Web 2.0 Summit

Dan Farber has a good summary of John Battelle’s chat with Eric Schmidt at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit.

Here’s what stood out for me.

1. On why Google acquired YouTube…

“YouTube was growing faster [than Google Video] and video became fundamental data type on the Internet, so that’s why we bought them.,” Schmidt said.

2. On potential copyright issues with YouTube…

“We have visited with as many media companies as we can,” Schmidt said. “We have to respect copy right.”

3. On allowing Google users to have access to their own search data…

“We would like to do that, as long as it is authenticated….If users can switch it keeps us honest.”

4. On not competing with Microsoft Office…