Microsoft’s Plans for Google?

Greg Linden offers his thoughts on how Microsoft can put a hurting on Google. Sparked by this comment in the New York Times (sub)

Mr. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and chairman, paused, looked down at his folded hands and smiled broadly, as if enjoying a private joke. “Nah,” he replied, “we’ll do something different.”

Greg suggests…

It seems like Microsoft could do a fair amount of damage here by trying to drive the share the advertising engine takes in this deal to near zero. To do that, it just needs to launch its own AdSense-like product and be willing to set its take to its breakeven point.

Why are Bloggers Getting Greedy?

I’m pretty sure I am not the first person to point this out, but I think blogging is in danger of causing its own demise. The problem? Too many damn ads!

Everyone is advertising these days. Everyone is told to advertise. There’s even blogs that explain – if not compel – other bloggers to turn, what is supposed to be a medium for self expression, into a hardcore business with rules, standards and yes, lots of advertising.

Now don’t get me wrong, having advertisers on your blog is not a bad thing. Indeed, back at SEL, I sold more than $100,000 a year in advertising and at MP, I shamelessly plug my own company. So what is my particular beef? Why am I so crabby?

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Google Invites You to Abandon Clean Homepage

Google is keen to see if you’d rather clutter-up their homepage or keep it squeeky clean. To that end they have launched an API for the hompage, allowing developers to create modules of content Back in Google

Brian Livingston summarizes recents events with Chris Pirillo’s – a metasearch engine for RSS feeds.

It appears creating search results on the fly, as sub-domains, didn’t sit too well with Google’s spam filters. After some adjustments, the site is now back in Google.

How Google Can Win AOL

Tom Foremski thinks that Google has a good chance of keeping its relationship with AOL. He explains that it’s not simply a case of who’s promising the most cash.

Google has a massive sales force that is already established in every significant metropolitan area in the world. And that sales force has been forming key customer relationships for several years.

Is it better to take the bigger offer? Could there be any question of potential brand damage if AOL gets a reputation as place where ads convert poorly?

Where do CEO fiduciary duties to shareholders stand at Time-Warner? Maximize short-term profits at the expense of long-term?

As Foremski points out, AOL could be seen as losing – no matter who they select – simply because they won’t own the advertisers themselves.

Amazon Offering Alexa Index to Everyone

JB takes a look at Amazon’s decision to offer up use of Alexa’s index to anyone wishing to pay a modest fee.

Anyone can also use Alexa’s servers and processing power to mine its index to discover things – perhaps, to outsource the crawl needed to create a vertical search engine, for example. Or maybe to build new kinds of search engines entirely, or …well, whatever creative folks can dream up. And then, anyone can run that new service on Alexa’s (er…Amazon’s) platform, should they wish.

It’s all done via web services. It’s all integrated with Amazon’s fabled web services platform. And there’s no licensing fees. Just “consumption fees” which, at my first glance, seem pretty reasonable. (“Consumption” meaning consuming processor cycles, or storage, or bandwidth).

AOL Reveals Top Searches for 2005

AOL Search today announced the year’s top searches based on the topics that received the highest volume of online queries on, the portal and the AOL service during 2005.

“Millions of people search online through AOL Search for a wide spectrum of things, but there are those terms that are looked-up more frequently than others,�? said Jim Riesenbach, senior vice president of AOL Search and Directional Media. “From news and people that grab attention to popular products and common queries, the most searched for topics online during 2005 are a reflection of what was top of mind or what people wanted to find more information about.”