After False Start, Sphere Launches

We were told it was launching last week, but after a little delay, Sphere is now live.

Microsoft Threat Causes Google to Whine

I’ve criticized many companies in the past for their “it’s not fair” attitude towards Google. From search engines to cable companies, it seems each week there is a new company complaining that Google is too dominant in the search space.

Well, that goes both ways.

Google needs to quit its whining over Microsoft’s plans to include a search box in the new Internet Explorer 7, with MSN Search set as the default.

“The market favors open choice for search, and companies should compete for users based on the quality of their search services,” said Marissa Mayer, the vice president for search products at Google. “We don’t think it’s right for Microsoft to just set the default to MSN. We believe users should choose.”

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The Life of a Search Marketing Speaker

If you’ve been wondering why you’ve not seen me at Pubcon or ad:tech, simply take a look at Gord’s gripe on why it’s not always fun being in demand.

While I enjoy speaking at conferences, it’s certainly been nice to stay planted in the office and take care of business.

That doesn’t mean we weren’t wowing people with our SEMasphere technology in San Fran.

Alexa Dumps Google for Microsoft

Threadwatch discovers Alexa has dumped “powered by Google” in favor of “powered by Windows Live”.

Via SEL.

Google Adds Suggest Feature to News Search

Jon McAlister, a software engineer for Google, has used his “20% time” to bring us Google Suggest for Google News.

Sequoia Capital Predicting Huge Growth in Online Advertising

At last week’s ad:tech, Sequoia Capital’s Mark Kvamme predicted that online advertising would exceed $35 billion in 2008, way more than the $18 billion predicted by the IAB.

Thirty-two percent of people are reached by TV, to which 38 percent of ad dollars are allocated. The Web, meanwhile, reaches 32 percent of the population but captures a mere five percent of ad dollars. TV CPMs run circa $64, contrasted with $10 to $30 online.

Via ClickZ and MarketingVOX.

Can Yahoo and MSN Catch Google AdWords?

BusinessWeek looks at the new efforts by Yahoo and MSN to try and take market share away from Google’s paid search business.

They look at Yahoo’s “Pananma” initiative, which we disclosed a couple of weeks back. They also look at whether adCenter’s demographic targeting will be enough to win it some of the multi-billion dollar pie.

However, analysts aren’t expecting Google to see much impact from Yahoo’s and MSN’s efforts.

…expect Google to continue gaining share even after its rivals adjust, albeit at a slower pace. One big reason: Even after overhauling their search ad mechanics, Yahoo and MSN won’t come close to matching Google’s total number of advertisers. Analysts believe Google has north of 400,000 ad clients, twice as many as Yahoo.