Yahoo Upgrades Real Estate Tools

CNET reports that Yahoo has revamped the Yahoo Real Estate site and added shortcuts to Yahoo Search for listings, mortgage rates and house valuations.

Griping Online Gets Noticed

The Toronto Star’s Kurt Kleiner looks at the increase use of “gripe” sites by consumers looking to get revenge or results.

After reviewing common factors among consumer complaints online, they noticed a common pattern…

First, like any good protest organizer would, the complainers painted themselves as the victim of a grave injustice and the champions of the little guy against a more powerful opponent. Next, they elicited similar testimonials from their readers and used those testimonials to create an all-important sense of solidarity.

They also dramatized and even exaggerated the harm they had suffered, and stereotyped their corporate enemies, painting them as not only rude or uncaring, but also as evil. Finally, they called on readers to take collective action against the company.

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Book Review: Search Engine Optimization: An Hour A Day

I’m always being asked to review the latest book on marketing. With a hectic schedule, it can be tough to get any time to read any of them, but I just made time to read Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day.

You have to give credit to authors Gradiva Couzin and Jennifer Grappone for putting together an excellent book that combines practical advice sprinkled with humor – very much needed to prevent this topic from being too dry.

The book is definitely aimed at beginners, with half of the book spent on search engine optimization background and campaign preparation. At the half-way point Couzin and Grappone walk readers through a step-by-step plan that takes them from day one through to the end of month three. Experienced SEO’s can skip the structured approach, but for those new to SEO, this logical and detailed plan, is a great way to get into the SEO habit.

Red Hat’s to Take On MySpace?

This may be below your radar, but Raleigh-based Red Hat – known for its Linux software – has quietly launched a social networking portal that may challenge MySpace and other popular destinations.

Launched May 31st, Mugshot allows users to aggregate music, blogs, messaging and other media from a single location. Unlike competing sites, Mugshot allows its users to choose their favorite applications from anyone they please, meaning they could use Gmail, Flickr or Rhapsody if they wish.

From the Mugshot “about” page…

Mugshot is an open project to create a live social experience around entertainment…Mugshot makes it easy to share web pages and show off your music tastes. You can learn about Mugshot feautures as we introduce them on our Mugshot Features page.

What Happened to Yahoo Blog Search?

Lot’s of speculation this morning surrounding Yahoo’s mysterious removal of blog search from Yahoo News.

Google’s Matt Cutts offers his thoughts and Greg Jarboe receives official word from Yahoo explaining blog search has been “temporarily taken offline to retool the offering”.

So, is Yahoo about to launch a new version of blog search? Will they be announcing the acquisition of a blog search company, such as Technorati? Or is this just a publicity stunt to gain attention? We’ll keep you updated.

Google Launches Microsoft Office Alternative

There’s long been speculation that Google was preparing an online office suite that would take on Microsoft Office products.

Today Google announces the launch of Google Apps for Your Domain a new service which allows users to access their email, calendar and instant messaging from a central location.

From an email announcement…

Everything is hosted by Google, so there’s no hardware to buy and maintain or software to manage, deploy and patch. The applications are fast, reliable, work from anywhere, anytime and have the elegant simplicity everyone has come to expect from Google. And they’re free. The applications we’re releasing at this time represent only the beginning; we’re working hard to add more. We know you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Google and eBay Create Advertising Alliance

Google and eBay have today announced a new business partnership which will see the two companies work closely on new advertising over the next few years.

While eBay has a deal with Yahoo for ads that are shown domestically, the new deal sees Google providing ads for eBay’s international sites.

In addition, the two companies plan to work together on a pay-per-call service.

The companies said they would use Skype and Google Talk, the search engine’s instant messaging and voice-over-Internet telephone service, to build a search function that lets Web surfers launch Internet phone calls to eBay merchants or Google advertisers by clicking on ads.

Interesting that back in May, eBay and Yahoo announced that they too would work together on a pay-per-call model, but I guess that never worked out. From May’s release…