Google Versus Uncle Sam

CNet has a round-up of stories discussing Google’s refusal to hand over search data to the government.’

I don’t think the data itself is anything to worry about – although the precedent that would be set, is something to be concerned over – still I bet Microsoft and Yahoo wish they hadn’t already complied.

Google News Adds Recommendations

Do you use Amazon.com? Like the personalized recommendations it often gives you? Then you’ll love the new recommended section on Google News.

Greg Linden has all the details, including:

Google News can suggest news stories just for you. If you have Personalized Search enabled, you can sign in to your Google Account to get recommended news stories based on your past news selections.

Google News can … compare your tastes to the aggregate tastes of other groups of similar Google News users. Simply put, we recommend news stories to you that have been read by many other users who’ve also read similar stories as you in the past.

Channel Sponsors

Korea’s David Faces Goliath Google

BWeek (again) looks at how a small search engine in Korea is positively whooping some Mountain View butt.

NHN’s Naver.com search engine trounced Google’s offering. Google’s 4-year-old Korean-language search service accounts for less than 2% of search page views and search-related ad revenues in Korea. Under CEO Kim Beom Su’s adroit direction, NHN sold about $228 million in online ads last year, nearly 40% of the country’s total.

Why is Naver so popular? Read the article and find out. :-)

Shout-out to DJ Tom Foolery.

Timeline of the Google PC Rumor

So the Google PC/Cube didn’t materialize at CES. If you’re interested in knowing how the rumor started and spread, take a look at this article from Technology Review.

Many Waste Money on Pay Per Click Advertising

Kevin Newcomb has word from scholars at Stanford Business School that many PPC advertisers are paying much more than they need to.

“We want to educate advertisers about the fact that in some sense they are being taken advantage of,” Ostrovsky said in a statement. “Under the current mechanism, if they don’t think carefully about their bidding strategies, they can end up paying a lot more to the search engines than they need to.”

That’s exactly why we’re seeing more companies outsource their pay-per-click management to SEM firms. Sure, according to the SEMPO study, two-thirds of companies handle their PPC “in-house” but that doesn’t mean they fully understand how to get the best out of it.

Google Facing Problems?

Scott Kessler of Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded Google from hold to sell. In this Business Week article, he explains many of his reasons, including:

When it comes to the building competition, part of what they’re trying to do is diversify beyond Internet search advertising, but they are also trying to make their offerings more inviting and sticky to users. One of Google’s shortcoming is that even though users like its search offering, they don’t spend a lot of time on it. We’re seeing Google trying to provide more personalized services — enabling users to sign in, use e-mail, and access content that’s preselected and determined by the user.

A Look at Google’s Sales Team

BusinessWeek offers a glimpse of a typical sales meeting between Google and one of its larger clients.

The meeting with mutual fund company Vanguard offers an interesing insight and shows how aggressive Google is in grabbing as much of a the marketing budget they can.