Yahoo Upgrades Search Marketing Product

ClickZ reports Yahoo will today announce a series of upgrades to its Yahoo Search Marketing platform.

Upgrades being rolled-out include:

…keyword grouping enhancements, IP-based mapping features to support geo-targeting, better scheduling capabilities, the expression of business goals such as cost-per-acquisition, and indirect conversion tracking.

Yahoo also plans to move to a quality-based ranking model, which we reported they were testing, and which they denied existed.

60 Million Blogging in China by Years End

Reuters is reporting a new study by Baidu.com which estimates a huge increase in the number of Chinese bloggers by the end of the year.

There are currently 16 million bloggers in China, with that number expected to reach 60 million (of the 110m internet users) by the end of this year.

They’re not just creating them, they’re actually keeping them updated too!

A recent report by the Internet Society of China showed nine percent of bloggers write every day, 29 percent write once to three times a week, while 35 percent write four to six times a week.

While China’s Communist Party has very strict laws on free speach, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up with this growth.

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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? ;-)

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!