There’s Only One Way to Topple Google

Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer told Allison Linn, of The Associated Press, Microsoft can challenge Google.

“We are hardcore about having the best search offering ourselves, with our partners,” Ballmer said. “We’ll just keep at it and at it and at it, and I have confidence in our ability to build a loyal user base.”

Here’s the thing. Take a look at Yahoo, MSN and Ask – heck even AOL – and you’ll see they all have really cool tools, great networks and relevant search results. The problem? They don’t have the “Google” name.

I’ve said for months that Google has such a strong brand that people simply associate a great search experience with Google.com. It’s not the technology that will win the battle, it’s figuring out how to take the shine of Google’s brand.

eBay Looking Over Shoulder at Google

eBay’s Chief Executive Meg Whitman told analysts that she is fully aware of the threat Google poses to them, according to the Mercury News.

Whitman acknowledged the threat from Google’s growing online database of products, known as Google Base, and from the Mountain View company’s test of a payment service it calls the Google account. However, Whitman said eBay was competing from a position of strength.

Would that be the same position of strength that Yahoo, Alta Vista and Excite once had? ;-)

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Ask.com’s TV Commercials Online

In case you’re interested, you can now view Ask.com’s latest TV spots online.

Google Faces Frivolous Lawsuit

CNET has word that Google is being sued for making billions of dollars in advertising by allowing child pornography and other obscene content.

The suit really doesn’t stand a chance considering what Google has in place.

A Google representative said Friday that the company prohibits child pornography in its products and removes all such content whenever the company finds or is made aware of it. “We also report it to the appropriate law enforcement officials and fully cooperate with the law enforcement community to combat child pornography,” spokesman Steve Langdon said in an e-mail.

How Many URLFans Do You Have?

Just discovered URLFAN which offers some neat tools for tracking popularity of blogs (I have some work to do). It claims to monitor 295k feeds, 33 million posts and 1.6 million domains – all in realtime!

Federated Media Launches Advertiser Planning Tool

John Battelle has been a busy guy recently. Not content with writing a NY bestseller, he’s also been putting together a new advertising platform for blogs.

Today he announces the launch of Federated Media’s Advertiser Planning Tool.

FM’s platform empowers advertisers to reach more than 70 million monthly pageviews on the leading technology, parenting and community-driven weblogs. Offering categorized and demographically relevant search and instant purchasing, Federated Media’s new online advertiser toolkit makes designing and launching cost-effective campaigns simple.

“What brings advertisers to FM is the incredible conversations between authors and their readers,�? said John Battelle, Chairman and Publisher, in a statement. “Our platform makes it simple for advertisers to participate in these conversations – to join the authors and audience in a meaningful way.�?

Why Microsoft Changed the Name of MSN adCenter

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, will today announce the official launch of adCenter.

Over at SEW, there’s some thought given to why the service is being re-branded from MSN adCenter to Microsoft adCenter. I think the answer is in the official press release…

“Ad-supported software services are an integral part of Microsoft’s plans to give consumers access to a broader variety of digital media, whenever they want and on whatever device they prefer,” said Ballmer. “Our close partnership with the ad community is extremely important to us as we evolve Microsoft from a software company into the world’s largest, most attractive provider of online media through MSN, Windows Live(TM) and adCenter.”