Google’s Keeping Secrets

Chris Gaither of the LA Times looks at the wall of secrecy Google often hides behind. If you watched the live video feed during the Google Press Day, you would have seen Chris ask CEO Eric Schmidt about why Google is not more transparent with the way it makes money.

Wall Street knows how many iPods and computers Apple Computer Inc. ships, how many items EBay Inc. lists for auction and how many vehicles Ford Motor Co. sells because the companies disclose that information.

Google, in contrast, discloses only basic financial information, such as its profit, expenses and balance sheet.

Google has many closely guarded secrets, from the number of servers it uses, to the amount of commission it pays Adsense partners. Schmidt claims that sharing information with the public would do more harm than good.

RSS On Your Cell With Google Reader

Over at the Google Reader blog, they’ve announced support for your cell phone of choice. Oh great, as if checking email at dinner is not bad enough, the “Missess” is gonna love me for checking RSS too. :-)

Point your mobile device here:

Hat-tip to Barry.

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What’s In Your Blogging Toolbox?

Stephan Spencer shares with us some of the blogging tools he finds useful.

Free Traffic from Google’s Blog

I apologize to all of you for the little secret I am about to reveal, but things have gotten out of hand.

If you’ve ever linked to a post at the Official Google Blog, you’ve noticed that each post displays a list of blogs linking to it. Popular posts can send a nice chunk of visitors to your blog – all for just including a link back to the Google blog.

Unfortunately, I think we’re about to see the end of this free traffic, as spammers have also figured this out.

Spotted at this post.

Carrie Underwood posts – which leads to a spam site. Just about every recent post has at least one spam link.

Ditch Expensive Analytics, Invest in People Instead

Avinash Kaushik has some good advice for companies looking to get the most out of their web analytics tool. Ditch the expensive subscription and instead hire a dedicated person to analyze the data.

Avinash suggests a 6-part recovery plan for those of you blowing money on Ominiture, WebTrends, HBX etc.

Steps include ditching your high-cost analytics and instead getting a free Google Analytics account. Then?

…Cancel the contract with your favorite expensive analytics vendor and take that $50k or $100k or $200k and: 1) Hire a smart analyst for between $50k to whatever maybe your areas great salary 2) Put the rest of the money in your pocket.

Sound advice. We install GA for all of our clients, and it’s the first place we examine when trying to determine the success of a campaign.

AOL Acquires Lightningcast, Adds to

According to CNET, AOL has acquired Lightningcast, an online-advertising company that specializes in the placement of streaming video and audio content. The company plans to merge it with its existing subsidiary.

In addition to video and audio advertising creation and insertion, Lightningcast also handles ad campaign management and results reporting. AOL has had a working relationship with Lightningcast since 2002 and has used its services for AOL Radio, AOL Video and In2TV ventures.

Blogs Reaching “iPod” Status

The USA Today has a feature on the rise of blogs as a platform for social interaction.

A snippet that would interest Malcolm Gladwell

…a study done for Jupiter Research says that blogs have a “disproportionately large influence” on society. The reason? It’s not how many people read a blog, it’s who reads it.

The Jupiter study, which focused on blog use in Europe, found that while “active users” of the Internet make up a small portion of overall Internet users, they were starting to dominate public discussions and even have an impact on people’s buying habits.

What are bloggers saying about your company?