Google Named Fortune’s Best Place to Work

Grab you morning coffee and settle down for a long, envy-inducing read as to how Google made it to the top of Fortune’s list of Best Companies to Work For.

Is it any wonder, with benefits like these?

At Google you can do your laundry; drop off your dry cleaning; get an oil change, then have your car washed; work out in the gym; attend subsidized exercise classes; get a massage; study Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, and French; and ask a personal concierge to arrange dinner reservations. Naturally you can get haircuts onsite. Want to buy a hybrid car? The company will give you $5,000 toward that environmentally friendly end. Care to refer a friend to work at Google? Google would like that too, and it’ll give you a $2,000 reward. Just have a new baby? Congratulations! Your employer will reimburse you for up to $500 in takeout food to ease your first four weeks at home. Looking to make new friends? Attend a weekly TGIF party, where there’s usually a band playing. Five onsite doctors are available to give you a checkup, free of charge.

New Court Ruling Favors Those Bidding on Trademarked Keywords

Eric Goldman breaks-down a recent court ruling that appears to allow the use of trademarked keywords in sponsored ads. Focusing mostly on using trademarks for keyword “bids” and not ad creative, the court ruled that merely bidding on a trademark term is not enough to confuse a consumer.

The court holds that, as a matter of law, the use of keyword-triggered ads and keyword metatags cannot confuse consumers if the resulting ads/search results don’t display the plaintiff’s trademarks. Given the inconsistencies of past rulings, I simply don’t believe that this case will be the final word on the matter. However, if other courts follow this conclusion, we would see a reduction in the quantity of silly litigation over keyword advertising and keyword metatags.

Channel Sponsors

ChaCha-Ching! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Among Group Investing $6 Million in Human-Powered Search Engine

It looks like we’ll be hearing more of human-powered search engine ChaCha as they today announce they have secured $6 million in private funding. The group of investors includes…

…Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos, with additional participation from Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer, and Jack Gill, veteran Silicon Valley investor, founder of Vanguard Ventures and current partner at Maven Ventures

ChaCha launched in September 2006 and claims to have 20,000 people signed-up as user guides. They don’t reveal how many people are actually using the search engine, but claim they have “already garnered user traffic at levels that exceed many first generation search engines”. Anyone care to guess what that number would be?

Sex Vs. Zune

After I announced I’d be giving away a free Zune MP3 player to one lucky member of Marketing Pilgrim’s MyBlogLog community, Shoemoney decided he’d throw down the gauntlet.

His challenge? That sex still sells and people who join MyBlogLog are essentially only one step above MySpace users (my words, not his), and would rather see a photo of an attractive girl in a tight top, than win a Zune.

It’s an interesting challenge, and while I’m more interested in building community members than beating Jeremy, it will be fun to see who “wins” this social experiment.

So, in the meantime, I’ll ask you. Are you that easily swayed by a picture of a pretty girl? Or does old fashioned bribery work best? ;-)

Thanks for adding an extra twist Jeremy!

Sentiment Analysis for Internet Explorer; Comparing to Firefox


Digg!

This is another post in the “IE 7 Sucks” series. This time, I’ve been poking around at data that suggests IE 7 really is crap, and it’s not just readers of Marketing Pilgrim, that think so.

Taking a look at Opinmind, we learn that only 24% of bloggers have a positive sentiment towards Internet Explorer, compared to 69% positive with Firefox.

Switching to Technorati, we discover 632 bloggers have stated “internet explorer sucks“, compared to 274 who think the same of Firefox.

Using Google Trends, it’s clear that more people are looking to download Firefox, compared to IE. In contrast, more users are looking to uninstall Internet Explorer, than FF.

Will Pligg Be the End of Digg?

An interesting conversation is going on between Lyndon Antcliff and Jason Calacanis about whether Digg can withstand the onslaught of clones using Pligg.

While Lyndon demonstrates just how many Digg clones are gaining traction, Jason suggests Digg will remain strong as it is focused on an important vertical – young, tech males.

Calacanis also explains why Digg needs to be careful not to mess with the the formula that attracts young techies.

When you build a huge, passionate community like digg has (and Fark, Slashdot, Engadget, iVillage, and the Well have), you live and die with that group. If digg wants to go big they should start a second digg for women, and one for politics–they shouldn’t do it as part of digg.

Google Now Letting You Point a Domain to Blogger

This is good news for all bloggers that are using Google’s Blogger service and hosting via their free BlogSpot.com service.

Nathan reports Blogger has introduced a new service that allows you to point any domain name to Google’s DNS servers (ghs.google.com) and get all the benefits of using a TLD (top level domain).

With domain names costing less than ten bucks a year, it’s a quick and easy way to get free hosting for you blog, while branding it via your own domain name. It’s not as good as hosting the blog yourself, but an easy alternative for new bloggers not wanting the hassle of setting up their own hosting and using FTP.