2007 Predictions

Mashable has “tagged” me to share my predictions for 2007. Here’s some brief thoughts…

  1. Digg will get acquired or die (maybe even both). I think Digg is very close to jumping the shark and is close to its maximum level of exposure. It will either realize this and sell or wait too long and decline.
  2. Yahoo’s new search interface and algo will be key in the revival of the company’s fortunes. Once they switch to a platform that includes a performance metric, they’ll see better average CPCs.
  3. Social media marketing (SMM) will find its place. There will be some marketing agencies who actually figure out how to show an ROI from SMM.
  4. We’ll see at least one company, offering search marketing services, go public in 2007 and more acquired than in 2006.

Google Coming to North Carolina? Part 2

Just over a year ago, I pieced together a whole bunch of rumor and speculation to show reasons why Google could set-up office in North Carolina.

Thirteen months on and we learn that N.C. has offered Google $4.7m in incentives if it builds a server farm in struggling Caldwell County.

A company spokesman told The News & Observer via e-mail that the company is evaluating a number of sites, including the one in Lenoir, for an expansion that could bring $600 million in new investment and 210 jobs to a region socked by job and industry losses.

That sound you hear is the many techies in North Carolina updating their resume. ;-)

UPDATE: According to Lenoir resident, Mark S, there’s a lot of grading and preparation going on at the rumored Google site.

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Google to be Most Visited Site in 2007

It was all the news when Microsoft took over as the worlds most visited web property this year and it looks like Google has set the stage to play leapfrog in 2007. USA Today is running a story indicating YouTube’s visitor count will be added to Google’s overall ranking by the major traffic measurement services.

Google’s revenue hit $7.2 billion for the first three quarters of 2006. Its stock topped the $500-a-share mark (now at $468). Most significant, Google in October acquired highflying video site YouTube for $1.7 billion. Measurement services ComScore Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings plan to add YouTube to Google’s overall rankings next year.

That “assures that Google will be No. 1 in both worldwide and U.S. visitors,” says Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Land blog.

100 Billion Reasons to Celebrate this Year

comScore Networks reports that online retail spending reached $100 billion for the year as of Saturday, December 23. It looks like procrastinators placed their faith in expedited shipping, as the last business week before Christmas saw $2.25 billion in eCommerce.

2006 year-to-date spending was up by 26% over 2005, but the last week before Christmas increased 38% over the same period in 2005.

Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks, stated in a press release:

Retail e-commerce now accounts for approximately 7 percent of consumers’ U.S. retail spending (excluding gas, autos and food), making it an important component of the total U.S. economy.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 26, Amazon.com had the highest online retail sales, followed by Dell, Yahoo, Walmart and Ticketmaster. The etailers with the highest percentage increase over last year were Best Buy, Walmart, Ticketmaster, Circuit City and Yahoo.

The Five Key Missteps Microsoft Made with the Vista Blogger Fiasco

I’ve been giving some thought to why Microsoft’s attempt to reach out to bloggers, by sending them free Vista-loaded laptops, went horribly wrong.

I know that hindsight is 20/20, but as a business blogging consultant, here’s the five mistakes that I believe led to such a negative response from the blogosphere.

  1. Microsoft (and Edelman) was not clear in its message to bloggers. They sent out these fully-loaded, top of the line laptops to bloggers without being clear what exactly they expected from them. Did they want bloggers to review Vista? Were they expecting bloggers to disclose the gift? Would there be a follow-up from MSFT to learn flaws about Vista on laptops? The message was clearly too ambiguous as some bloggers shared news of the “gift” with their readers, while others didn’t.

Google Faces Catch-22 With Deleted Gmails

TechCrunch has details of a developing story involving the Gmail accounts of 60 users who found all emails deleted due to a suspected breach in FireFox.

Now here’s the catch-22 for Google. Supposedly, once an email is deleted in Gmail, it is gone forever. That keeps the privacy conspiracy theorists happy.

If you’re not able to locate a message in your Inbox, Sent Mail, All Mail, or Trash, it’s been permanently removed from your Gmail account. Unfortunately, we’re unable to recover messages or Contact entries that have been deleted from your account.

Now, what if Google is able to restore the deleted emails of the Gmail accounts effected? Wouldn’t that prove that Google keeps a secret backup of all deleted data?

The Ultimate Secret to Getting Your Website to Dominate Its Industry

Want to know the best way to push any website to the #1 popularity spot for its industry? It’s quite simple, you leverage the traffic from one of Google’s existing properties.

Need proof?

Google’s Blog Search has taken over the #1 spot from Technorati, thanks to a link placed on the homepage of Google News. Hitwise explains how that helped the Google service leapfrog Technorati in just a few weeks.

Google Blog Search began catching up to Technorati in October, when Google placed a link to Blog Search on the Google News home page, causing a 168% surge in market share for Google Blog Search over a two week period (week ending 10/14/06 vs. week ending 10/28/06). Since then, approximately 60% of Google Blog Search’s traffic has been coming directly from Google News, compared to less than 1% before the change.