WhoLinked Not Being Sneaky

Melanie Colburn is none too pleased with some “covert spam” being inserted into her WhoLinked feeds.

At the bottom of the list of links is an innocent little tag “What is this?” You might think it was a link to WhoLinked with an informational bit. Instead there’s a small drop-down that includes a random link to eBay. Wait, there’s more. The affiliate link is cloaked and disabling java gives a spammy page (http://kqzfj.com/, which had an additional redirect to junk).

It looks innocuous enough, but maybe Todd Dunning can include a disclaimer in the FAQ. I’ll ping him for his thoughts.

Regulators Approve MSN as Default Search Engine In IE 7

Looks like Google’s griping didn’t get them anywhere. The monopoly steamroller that is Microsoft, has just received approval to move forward with plans to make MSN the default search engine in IE 7.

Following their review of Internet Explorer 7, officials concluded that Microsoft’s search feature “respects users’ and OEM’s [original equipment manufacturers] default choices and is easily changed.”

Hat-tip to Barry.

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Google’s Desktop Offensive?

Wow, it’s amazing how, adding a “question mark” to the title of BusinessWeek’s recap of Google’s new product launch, changes the entire meaning, while still remaining strangely relevant. :-)

Anyway, the meat of the story: Google’s threatened by Microsoft; the new products help Google get in front of many web surfers before they actually “search”; all while making lots of extra money for the company.

Yay for capitalism. But still, Google’s missing out on something. ;-) Have a good weekend!

Rave Review for Fortune Interactive’s SEMasphere

Andy Beal is no longer associated with Fortune Interactive. View Andy’s consulting services.

If you’ve not yet had a chance to take a look at our SEMLogic and SEMasphere technology, you’ve not yet seen the Future of Search Marketing. Think we’re just tooting our own horn? That maybe true, but here’s a third-party review of what Fortune Interactive offers.

Kudos to Michael Marshall and the entire Fortune Interactive team for winning praise like this…

“…Fortune Interactive came up with a tool to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of an advertiser’s search campaign in real time on a real engine, plotted against real competitors…”

“…All this technology brings a precision to search engine optimization that was previously only available to pay-per-click management…”

Microsoft’s Ballmer Claims Google Wants Special Treatment

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, fired back at Google’s recent whining that IE 7 will make MSN the default search engine.

“Google wants us to prompt the users to change the defaults. They want to see a list of search providers, with the No. 1 search provider listed first,” said Ballmer, who was speaking generally and not recounting a formal meeting or discussion with Google executives.

IE 7 offers a list of search sites that can become a user’s default search engine. The list is alphabetical, so Google is listed after some (such as Ask.com) but before others, including MSN.com. IE 7 also doesn’t actively suggest to a user that they can change their default based on their recent search histories or other behavior.

Something is missing…

It’s Friday. The end of the week, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the Coronas are on ice, but something is missing…

For those of you needing a break from Google news.

Updated: Added link, thanks Jenny!

Google Faces New Lawsuit to Block Click Fraud Settlement

Elinor Mills has details of an effort to prevent the recent $90 million click fraud settlement from being finalized. Understandably, some advertisers are pissed that Google will end up only giving back $60 million and even that includes paltry refunds.

Shawn Khorrami, one of the lawyers listed on the latest lawsuit, said…

“Under the settlement, Google can pay a half a percent of your losses,” or $5 on every $1,000 of losses claimed, he said. For instance, a loss of $10,000 would garner a coupon worth $50 from Google that could used only to buy more advertising through Google, he added.

When the settlement was first announced, I thought it was a big win for Google. Just $90 million, out of the billions of dollars collected in advertising, and they only have to issue fractional credit? No wonder others want to block the deal.