Yahoo Sees Advertising Slowdown, Share Price Drops

A double whammy for Yahoo. Not only did the company announce it is seeing a slowdown in advertising spend in its two hottest sectors…

Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker told investors at a Goldman Sachs media conference that Yahoo has seen “a little bit of weakness in the last few weeks” in auto and financial services advertising.

“It’s a new trend. It’s been two to three weeks and we don’t know yet if it’s an indicator of a broader slowdown,” Decker later told reporters at the conference.

It was also greeted with a 13% drop in share price because of the news.

Ouch!

Wize.com Offers Online Shopping with Social Media Twist

Lee Odden offers an intro to one of his clients, Wize.com. The site offers users the normal comparison shopping environment, but throws in a social media aspect as well.

Wize.com consolidates expert and consumer-written reviews for over ten thousand consumer products and then sorts them by “Wize Rank�, a score between 0-100. The “Wize Rank� score is determined by the content of the consumer and expert product reviews and provides a quick metric for comparison.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen a “hot deal” only to do some research and find out the product is a lemon. I’ll be giving Wize.com some attention and see if it can help cut out some of that research time.

Channel Sponsors

Could New YouTube Deals Alienate the Masses?

ClickZ has details of YouTube’s latest advertising deal, this time with Warner Music Group.

While these deals are a nice way for YouTube to make some cash, over commercialization of the site could annoy those that helped make it popular.

If the site continues on this branded content path, however, it could alienate the very users who have made it popular, suggested JupiterResearch Analyst Emily Riley. “If people come to the front page of the site and it becomes commercialized,” she said, “It’s going to be like going to the mall or grocery store rather than talking to your friends.”

That’s assuming YouTube can continue without getting hit with a law suit.

Google’s Picasa Web Albums Now Available to All

If you weren’t luck enough to get in on the limited launch of Picasa Web Albums back in June, you’ll be pleased to know that Google has now made the feature available to everyone.

Download here.

Google Changes URL Queries

Matt Cutts is nice enough to let webmasters and SEOs know that Google has changed the way it handles searches for a domain name.

Previously we treated the query [www.example.com] like the query [info:www.example.com], and now we treat it like [�www.example.com�].

The change was made to better assist the average Google user, looking for a web site. Us uber geeks will just have to switch to “info:”.

Google Sticks-it to Belgian Courts – Round 2

We reported Sunday that Belgian courts had ordered Google to remove all news stories by Belgian publishers. Google, just fired back.

According to Nathan, Google has decided to teach the Belgian publishers a lesson, by removing their sites from the Google index completely!

Here’s an example of the removed listings.

As Nathan puts it…

Old, dying media, here’s your lesson for the day: Google doesn’t steal your content, it just points its millions of users at you. That is to your benefit. Don’t blow it next time.

Microsoft Jumps on YouTube Bandwagon

YouTube has made online video so cool, that Google, Yahoo and now Microsoft wants in on the act.

CNET has full details of Microsoft’s plans to let people upload videos via its new service Soapbox.

Soapbox users will be able to rate, comment on and tag the videos, create RSS feeds and share links with others via e-mail. They will also be able to embed the Soapbox player directly on to their Web site or blog.

Microsoft has plans to eventually let people embed video links in messages sent via Windows Live Messenger.

The service launches later today, but Microsoft obviously believes it can win audience share without Firefox users, as the site is only available in IE. :-(