Mobile Phone Operators Quaking in their Boots

It appears mobile phone operators are trying a new tact in their effort to compete with mobile app providers – begging them to stop.

Chris Sacca, head of special initiatives at Google, told an event at Oxford University’s Said Business School that “we’ve been getting notes from some of the telco carriers who are saying ‘look, you need to stop our customers from downloading this thing’.”

If only Alta Vista had thought to ask Google not to start a search engine, they might still be in business.

“Look, Larry, you and Sergey have created this new search engine and it’s simply taking away our user-base. You need to pull the plug on Google or else!” ;-)

Italy Investigating Google Employees for Video Violence

Now this is interesting. Italian prosecutors are investigating two Google Italy employees as part of an inquiry into how a violent video appeared on Google Video.

The two are being investigated for allegedly failing to check on the content of the video posted on the Internet search engine’s Web site.

As Reuters points out, the investigation doesn’t imply guilt, but it’s interesting that Italy appears to be holding the two Google employees accountable, as opposed to Google itself. It appears, Italy is investigating the event the same way it would investigate a journalist or TV reporter.

Italy’s Education Minister Giuseppe Fioroni said the prosecutors had been right to apply to the Internet the same legislation that in Italy regulates what can be published in newspapers or broadcast on television.

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More Consumers Researching Holiday Purchases Online

ClickZ has a good summary of two new studies – from Performics and Google Checkout – that show the web will be a big part of consumers holiday shopping this year.

  • 58 percent of adults surveyed plan do conduct online research during this years’ holiday season
  • 40 percent of employed U.S. adults say they’ll be doing at least some of their online holiday shopping from work this year

Can Google Prove Financial Analysts Wrong?

Barron’s, the weekly financial newspaper, reportedly claimed this week that Google will see its share price take a tumble.

Barron’s said Google is overvalued because it trades at 37 times next year’s expected earnings and because its growth rate is slowing. It also noted that Google now has the 15th largest market capitalization among U.S.-traded shares, and its price-to-earnings ratio is two to three times higher that of similarly sized companies.

For the past couple of years, everyone and their mother has suggested Google stock is going to take a dive. What ends up happening? The stock soars to a $500 per share high! I’ve personally given-up predicting Google’s earnings, but you have to credit Barron’s for getting in on the linkbaiting meme – flaming a big company is a sure-fire way to attract attention. ;-)

Why Online Video Will Not Topple TV

The BBC conducted a survey of more than 2,000 people to learn more about their online video viewing habits. While the Reuters report suggests that nearly half of Brits are watching less traditional TV, the reality is a little different. Here’s what Reuters leads with…

The ICM poll of 2,070 people for the BBC found that some 43 percent of Britons who watch video from the Internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less traditional TV as a result.

Sounds like the beginning of the end for TV, doesn’t it? But wait…

Online video viewers are still a minority though, with just 9 percent saying they go online regularly to watch clips.

Free Business Advice for Search Marketing Firms

Back in September, I posted the Top 10 Mistakes Search Marketing Firms Make. Since then, business coaching for SEM firms has become a large part of my consulting services. I’ve had the privilege of working with SEOmoz, We Build Pages and many other marketing agencies, looking for assistance with scaling their business, structuring their services and building a better SEM firm.

I’m going to write a follow-up article that looks at the top-10 ways to grow your search marketing firm. I have some ideas for the list already, but thought I’d get your input on what areas you’d like me to cover.

Here’s some of the ideas I have already:

  • How to price a campaign to win a client account
  • How to grow your business to 200 employees

French Film Producer Sues Google

A French film producer is suing Google, claiming the company infringed on its copyright by allowing his movie, “The World According to Bush”, to be freely downloaded from Google Video France.

“We made estimates of the prejudice and its goes well beyond 500,000 euros ($648,700). The film has been downloaded about 50,000 times and it has certainly been copied afterwards,” Lepetit [the producer] said in a telephone interview.

Google has since removed the video, but this suit does nothing to dampen concerns that Google Video (and YouTube) will face an influx of law suits, unless they can figure out a way to monitor uploads for copyrighted content.