Google Keeps Technology Costs Low with New Inventions

We’ve heard the stories about how Google uses the cheapest servers it can buy and simply throws them away when they crash. The NYT digs a little deeper and finds Google has a lot of cool tools it’s invented to reduce cost and increase efficiencies.

For example, Google designed a software system it calls the Google File System that keeps copies of data in several places so Google does not have to worry when one of its cheap servers fails. This approach also means that it does not have to make regular backup copies of its data as other companies do.

Another system, called the Google Work Queue, allows a big pool of servers to be assigned to various tasks as needed and reassigned to other projects later.

Omniture IPO Analyzed

TheStreet.com takes a look at the recent Omniture IPO and tries to evaluate whether the company will be a sure-thing or not.

The 10 year old company is certainly one of the more dominant web analytics vendors, but faces tough challenges from Web Trends and WebSideStory.

The upside:

Omniture’s revenue has more than doubled for three years in a row. And the first quarter showed it’s on track to make it four in a row: Revenue in the quarter rose to $16.4 million from $8 million. That quarter also showed operating expenses, which went from 69% of revenue in 2004 to 93% in 2005, fell back to 79% in the first quarter of 2006.

The downside:

Channel Sponsors

Not All Google Touches Turns to Gold

Business Week takes a cold-hearted look at the facts about many of Google’s new product launches – though they start with a sizzle, they end with a fizzle.

…if you cut through the hype, Google’s intimidation factor quickly fizzles. An analysis of some two dozen new ventures launched over the past four years shows that Google has yet to establish a single market leader outside its core search business, where it continues to chew up Microsoft and Yahoo.

Some analysts are concerned that Google is desperate to find a new revenue stream and is launching new products, not without a plan, but because the can.

Blogging Turns on the Red Light with PayPerPost.com

As of today, knowing whether a blog post is unbiased or a blogfomercial, will be a lot trickier with the launch of PayPerPost.com.

As Business Week reports, the new service from MindComet’s Ted Murphy, pays bloggers to write about and endorse products in return for payment by advertisers.

Advertisers pay to post details about their “opportunity,” specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they’ll pay only for positive mentions. Bloggers who abide by the rules get paid; heavily trafficked blogs may command premium rates.

PayPerPost bloggers will not be required to disclose they are getting paid for the post.

Obviously blog-prostitution has been going on for months, now it has it’s very own brothel. ;-)

China Looking to Strangle Blogs and Search Engines

I really can’t imagine what’s it like to live in a country that controls what you can and what you can view online. China once again shows its paranoia by launching an initiative to tighten supervision of blogs and search engines.

“As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through the blog and search engine, we will take effective measures to put the BBS, blog and search engine under control,” said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of the State Council, at a meeting held Wednesday.

With search engine users numbers expected to top 100 million this year, surely China will soon face the realization that they fighting a losing battle – how will they cope when that figure gets to 200 million?

Via Steve Rubel.

Realtors Start to Look at Online Advertising

A couple of years back I spoke at two different real estate conferences – Inman and REMAX – and let me tell you, they were some of the toughest people to get to understand search marketing.

Well, according to ClickZ, they’re finally starting to get the hang of this internet-thing and will spend more than $3 billion in online advertising by 2010.

It’s not surprising that the newer realtors are realizing the benefit of online advertising ahead of the more experienced crowd.

…36 percent of those who have been agents 10 years or longer use online advertising, while 64 percent of those in the business for 10 years or fewer buy online ads. Seventy-one percent of those less-experienced agents will boost their Web ad budgets this year compared to 48 percent of their veteran counterparts.

Google Copying Amazon’s Master Plan

I order a lot of stuff via Amazon.com, why? They already have my credit card info and I can shop many merchants all from a single shopping cart. Sound like any new service that may have launched recently?

It sure does to CNET

Checkout is, however, a huge threat to Amazon. The biggest thing the online superstore has going for it is convenience. Once you buy an item on Amazon, buying the next one is a one-click affair. But go to another store, and you’ve got to enter your credit card info all over again. Amazon wins for convenience, and over time it’s earned buyers’ trust.