Google Adds Click-to-Call to Google Maps

Google announced the addition of click to call technology to its Google Maps product.

Here’s how it works: Search for a business, like a hardware store, on Google Maps, and click the ‘call’ link next to its phone number. Then, enter your phone number and click ‘Connect For free.’ Google calls your phone number and automatically connects you to the hardware store.

Google picks up the tab for calling costs (except mobile fees) and businesses don’t pay either. More details here.

Danny Sullivan Moving to SearchEngineLand.com

Danny did a great job keynoting yesterday’s PubCon, and at the end, he announced where his new hope will be going forward.

You’ll find Danny, Barry Schwartz and Chris Sherman at their new home Search Engine Land, come December 11th.

Danny truly is an awesome guy and everyone will follow him there. Go ahead and subscribe to his feed now, so you don’t miss out!

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WebmasterWorld PubCon Coverage

Search Engine Roundtable is doing a great job recapping sessions from PubCon, including the panel I did with some of the best search bloggers in the industry.

If you’re not at the show, check out their coverage.

Barry even has a summary of Yahoo’s very cool party, invite only, party at Hugh Hefner’s penthouse suite at the Palms Hotel. Great food, free booze, music and some cool people. Thanks to Yahoo for hosting one of the best conference parties I’ve attended in a long time.

Google, Yahoo & MSN Now Support Same Sitemaps Standard

Breaking news today that Google, Yahoo and MSN have agreed to a single standard for XML sitemaps, according to Search Engine Watch.

As part of the announcement, the existing sitemaps protocol from Google gets a version upgrade to Sitemaps 0.9. However, no actual changes to the system have taken place…Anyone already using Google Sitemaps needn’t do anything different. The only change is now those sitemaps will be read by Microsoft and Yahoo, as well.

Let’s hope this is a start of a new trend by the top 3 to work together. TechCrunch has more and you can view a new web site dedicated to the new Sitemaps.

Google Holds $200m to Defend YouTube Copyright Claims

Just last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt denied there was any truth to the rumors that the company would set aside $500 million from the YouTube deal, to protect against any copyright infringement suits.

Today, we get one more example of why you can never truly take what Google says at face value. While Schmidt didn’t lie, we learn he was very careful in his reply, as Google has in fact set aside $200+ million for such law suits.

I’ve said for many years that statements such as “we have no current plans” or “we do not intend” have no weight, when coming from Google.

Now, of course, every video publisher knows they can sue Google for copyright infringement, safe in the knowledge there’s a cool $200m to share.

StumbleUpon For Sale?

TechCrunch has heard whispers that StumbleUpon may be looking for someone to buy them for $50 million.

The deal doesn’t appear to have been widely shopped – one potential acquirer said that they met with the company recently, but only to explore possible business development deals, and that an acquisition was not discussed. I spoke briefly with StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp this afternoon but he refused to comment, saying “we do not comment on rumors.â€? Fair enough.

I’m a big fan of StumbleUpon and I love it as a user (finding new sites) and a marketer (people finding my sites).

Blog World Conference Announced for 2007

Just learned of a new conference for bloggers, taking place in Las Vegas next November.

Blog World claims to be the first and only tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of blogging and new media.

The show floor will feature an abundance of products and services designed to help bloggers and new media entrepreneurs improve the look and functionality of their blogs, increase their readership, and monetize their blog…Topics will include blogging basics, monetizing your blog, podcasting, corporate opportunities in the blogosphere, building readership, RSS, Search Engine Optimization, blogging in the political arena, and other topics vital to serious bloggers who want to solidify their own space, and build their brand in the blogosphere.

Hopefully next year’s PubCon won’t clash with this, ‘cos I’d like to go.