Fortune Interactive Announces Four New Hires

I mentioned a few days ago, Fortune Interactive is growing fast and we’re hiring. Today we announce some great new additions to the FI family.

From the press release

RALEIGH, N.C. – Fortune Interactive LLC, an interactive marketing firm specializing in search engine and blog marketing, announced four new hires.

Cameron Morrison joins Fortune Interactive as an account manager in client services. Her background includes advertising and public relations experience. Prior to joining Fortune Interactive, she was an account and new business coordinator at The Signature Agency.

Chris Maynard joins Fortune Interactive as a marketing copywriter. He is responsible for creating web site content for clients that facilitates search engine optimization. Mr. Maynard is also a freelance sports writer covering the Durham Bulls for a local newspaper.

Should eBay Be Afraid of Google Base?

I know Google’s integration of Google Base, with its regular search results, hit most people’s news reader last week, but the company had been quietly integrating Google Base for a couple of weeks now.

In today’s edition of Investor’s Business Daily, I explain how that move is helping Google Base to grow so fast.

The smooth integration of Base into Google’s main search results is one reason Google Base has grown so fast, says Andy Beal, chief executive of Fortune Interactive, an online services firm.

“If you’re searching to buy a car or a house and you type that into Google and you see Google Base results come up, it’s no wonder that Google Base is starting to grow at such a phenomenal rate,” he said.

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BlogBurst Ready to Start Newspaper Syndication

eWeek reports that BlogBurst will launch on Tuesday and syndicate more than 600 bloggers to traditional newspaper publishers.

[BlogBurst] initially has signed up Gannett Co. Inc., Washington Post Co., San Francisco Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman and San Antonio Express. Eventually, the Austin, Texas-based company will offer BlogBurst editorial materials to niche business and overseas publications.

I joined the program, so will let you know what kind of results I see.

The Search Engines are Killing Creativity

An interesting NYT article on how Google (and others) are forcing newspapers to change their approach to writing news headlines.

In newspapers and magazines, for example, section titles and headlines are distilled nuggets of human brainwork, tapping context and culture. “Part of the craft of journalism for more than a century has been to think up clever titles and headlines, and Google comes along and says, ‘The heck with that,’ ” observed Ed Canale, vice president for strategy and new media at The Sacramento Bee.

It’s not just traditional news media either, bloggers are also having to sacrifice creativity in order to have a greater chance of being found in news search engines.

The Answer to Click Fraud?

CNET explains how the recent $90 million click fraud settlement by Google does not mean we won’t see future law suits.

Hidden in the article is what I feel is a viable solution…

Some experts say the solution is to have an independent auditor that would use data from the search engines and advertisers to determine in a neutral environment whether clicks are fraudulent.

Everyone – the search engines and advertisers – should embrace the idea of an independent audit of click activity. By independent, I’m not talking about a SEM firm or one of these “click fraud detection” firms that are popping up with claims of 35% click fraud. I’m suggesting a truly independent group that has no incentive on what amount of invalid click activity they find.

Google Acquires Rights to Text Search Algorithm

Google has hired Israeli-born Ori Allon, an Australian student who has developed a text-search algorithm called Orion, according to

The advanced text-search algorithm… will make searches much less time-consuming, by working with existing search engines and expanding on their function.

Instead of finding pages on the net that contain keywords, then providing links, the new search engine will provide expanded text extracts which will eradicate the need to open every link.

Orion has sparked interest from the likes of Google and Yahoo, with Google acquiring the rights to the algorithm.

Orion is still 12 to 18 months from being completed – plenty of time for Yahoo, MSN and Ask to build their own version. ;-)

Yahoo Tests Similar Ad Model to Google

Forbes is reporting that Yahoo has released a test version of its new paid search mode, codenamed “Project Panama”, which includes a “relevance” component similar to Google’s.

Analysts predict a switch to this model will result in greater click-thrus for Yahoo and hence, greater revenue. It will be interesting to see how Google reacts to this. They settled a PPC patent dispute with Yahoo before going public – but can Google claim they own the patent for a relevance-based component. I guess the big question is what is this “relevance” attribute and how similar is this to Google’s algo.

Any takers?