No More New Products from Google?

The LA Times’ Chris Gaither reveals Google’s plans to pull-back from launching new products and instead focus on making the 35 it has, more usable.

Co-founder Sergey Brin is leading a companywide initiative called “Features, not products.” He said the campaign started this summer when Google executives realized that myriad product releases were confusing their users.

“It’s worse than that,” said Brin, Google’s president of technology. “It’s that I was getting lost in the sheer volume of the products that we were releasing.”

Google also appears to have decided to actually start integrating products…

The initiative’s primary goal is to make Google products easier to use, especially by packaging disparate products. For example, said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Google plans to combine its spreadsheet, calendar and word-processing programs into one suite of Web-based applications.

SEMPO Expands Resources to In-House Search Marketers

ClickZ reports on SEMPO’s efforts to better help in-house search engine marketers get the resources and respect they deserve.

SEMPO’s initial steps in improving services for in-house marketers include the creation of an invitation-only online discussion board where in-house members can trade information and ideas. It also hosted the first of many planned in-person events for in-house marketers at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose in August. Turnout for that event surpassed 60 people, many representing Fortune 500 brands…

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MySpace Founder Claims Foul Play on News Corp. Deal

Brad Greenspan, founder of MySpace.com, is seeking a federal investigation on the sale of his company (Intermix Media) to News Corp., last year.

According to eWeek

On Oct. 5, Greenspan accused former Intermix Chief Executive Richard Rosenblatt of hiding revenue growth data at MySpace from shareholders to present a distorted financial picture and execute a deal quickly. Greenspan’s claim contends MySpace could now be worth more than $20 billion.

It will be difficult to determine whether MySpace was truly undervalued at the time, or if it has just grown beyond expectations, since the acquisition.

Google Brings Yahoo and Microsoft into Publishing Fight

Google’s decided, “if we’re going to be sued for our book-scanning project, then so should our friends.”

The WSJ reports Google will subpoena Yahoo and Microsoft to seek information about their book-scanning and Internet publishing projects.

It’s kind of like the a teenager getting scolded for smoking, who then exclaims, “but Yahoo and Microsoft were smoking too!” ;-)

Google Buying YouTube?

UPDATE: Google Announces Acquisition of YouTube.

The search engine space is no stranger to rumors and they do often turn out to be reality. On that basis, we’re reporting TechCrunch’s rumor that Google may be in talks to acquire YouTube for $1.6 billion.

Michael Arrington explains…

I got an email tonight about a possible Google acquisition of YouTube that may be in the final stages before closing. Rumored price is $1.6 billion. A quick phone call to a VC confirmed that the rumor is circulating (he also confirmed the price), but that is far from confirmation that this deal is happening. I’m digging for more but the source on this one is very good.

Google Analytics’ Brett Crosby Reveals All

Ok, so Google Analytics’ Brett Crosby doesn’t exactly reveal “all”, but he does share some interesting insights in this interview with Avinash Kaushik.

Snippets include…

One of the biggest challenges facing the industry right now in my opinion is getting the right data to the right people at the right time. Some companies are great at using the data, but far too often there is only a small handful of people who use this data regularly.

A reminder of how you can use GA in your SEO efforts…

Google Groups Gets Much Needed Facelift

If you thought the interface at Google groups was something that only a mother could love, your were not alone – Google agreed with you.

That’s why the company has announced a fresh new look for Google Groups. Here’s the scoop from Brett Lider, User Experience Designer, Google Groups…

One of the things I’m happiest with in the beta version is the new design for individual groups. It’s cleaner and simpler, and yet manages to integrate a lot more features. Group owners can now create a welcome message, upload a group logo and customize your fonts and colors. You can make your group your own, in other words — something you had been telling us you really wanted.

Looks good to me.