‘Google’ Category Archive

September 16th

Content Doesn’t Matter Without the Package

by  |   6 Comments

In response to the launch of Google’s Fast Flip, I observed that Google is correctly focused on creating a new user interface for news, when most media companies are not. A lot of people responded that Fast Flip is not an innovative or effective UI for news — which may be true, but that misses […]

September 14th

What Google Understands About the Future of News and Publishing That Publishers Do Not

by  |   22 Comments

Google knows a lot about the future of news — more than many publishers. It’s evident in Google’s new product, Fast Flip, which allows news consumers to “flip” through news stories. What’s striking about Fast Flip is that Google is innovating precisely where publishers used to lead innovation. Fast Flip is a new package for […]

April 11th

How Google Stole Control Over Content Distribution By Stealing Links

by  |   70 Comments

There is so much misunderstanding flying around about the economics of content on the web and the role of Google in the web’s content economy that it’s making my head hurt. So let’s see if we can straighten things out. Google isn’t stealing content from newspapers and other media companies. It’s stealing their control over […]

November 10th

The market and the internet don’t care if you make money

by  |   50 Comments

The title of this post comes straight from the mind-blowing mind of Seth Godin, preaching to the book industry (promoting his book Tribes), but he could just as easily be preaching to anyone in media: [T]he market and the internet don’t care if you make money. That’s important to say. You have no right to […]

September 22nd

Why Isn’t Facebook Making More Money? (Hint: Advertiser Value and User Value Are Not Aligned)

by  |   20 Comments

I happened to visit Facebook’s Business Solutions page, and was struck by how, at least on the surface, these advertising formats seem like exactly the kind of innovation that should be helping Facebook achieve Goolge-style revenue — which is of course what Facebook’s $15 billion valuation assumes will happen. And yet with 100 MILLION users, […]

June 12th

Google Friend Connect Disabled By Facebook

by  |   9 Comments

Google is taking a big shot at Facebook in the PR war over data portability and social network interoperability. I signed in to Google Friend Connect, implemented on the Go2Web2.0 blog, and saw this: Normally, you wouldn’t list a service that isn’t a partner, but in this case Google chose to list Facebook and let […]

June 9th

What Magazines Still Don’t Understand About The Web

by  |   34 Comments

Since I already drilled a nerve with What Newspapers Still Don’t Understand About The Web, which is on its way to becoming one of my most linked posts ever — and since everyone loves a sequel — I thought I would do a follow up for magazines. The lessons, of course, apply to every print […]

June 5th

If Your Users Fail, Your Website Fails, Regardless Of Intent Or Design

by  |   20 Comments

On the web, in the age of Google, design has no margin of error, and there are no stupid users, only inadequate designs. Those were the main points of my critique of newspaper websites generally, and WashingtonPost.com in particular, which to be fair, apply to all online publishers, and really any website. I’m writing another […]

June 4th

Dear Advertiser: Your Ad Sucks!

by  |   5 Comments

Why is Google transcendent and Yahoo a takeover target? Compare the following: Sue Decker, president of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), addressed the advertising industry during a keynote this morning at the 2008 Advertising 2.0 New York conference. “Yahoo! is helping to accelerate the transformation of how display advertising is both bought and sold,” Decker told the […]

April 23rd

The Future Of Online Advertising: Entertainment vs. Information

by  |   19 Comments

There are two principal ways advertisers are trying to create value for consumers on the web — and they must create value because, you know, consumers are in control. On the web, advertisers can provide entertainment or information. How effective is advertising as information on the web? See Google’s $15B in ad revenue — an […]

April 12th

Forget Disintermediation, Focus On Open Data Exchange

by  |   24 Comments

For years Digg has had an active comment community, where the comments are submitted and appear on the Digg landing page, rather than on the article linked from Digg. FriendFeed got into this game by making it possible to comment on content pulled in from multiple web services, where all the comments appear on FriendFeed, […]

March 25th

Decommoditizing Social Networks By Connecting User Profiles Via OpenSocial

by  |   17 Comments

Why isn’t Facebook a founding member of the OpenSocial Foundation, along with Google, Yahoo, and MySpace? Because Facebook is threatened by OpenSocial’s ultimate aim of connecting user profiles and enabling users to easily manage and port their data across any social network. Facebook is worried that this will enable groups of friends to easily pick […]

March 20th

How Search Has Transformed News Consumption On The Web

by  |   16 Comments

We all know that news consumption is no longer passive, whether it’s reader comments on a blog post or news article, or individuals starting a blog to have a voice of their own — the evidence is everywhere. Less evident is how search has fundamentally changed how we consume news. Instead of passively accepting the […]

February 27th

Why It’s Good News If Google Is Vulnerable To A Recession

by  |   7 Comments

Tech bloggers and analysts had a collective cow yesterday over the news that January 2008 comScore data suggest clicks on Google’s paid search ads have stopped growing, which implies that Google may be vulnerable to a US recession already underway. Fred Wilson had a sober reflection on why he stands behind his (albeit ill-timed) purchase […]

January 15th

Future Of Digital Media: Perfecting Existing Technologies For People On The Web

by  |   14 Comments

A post by Steve Yelvington contemplating the secret of Apple’s success got me thinking again about principles that will drive the next wave off successful digital media companies, in addition to the five principles I wrote about to kick off the year:

January 9th

Finding The Best Coverage Of The New Hampshire Primary Results: Digg vs. Google News vs. Memeorandum

by  |   12 Comments

So Clinton and McCain won in New Hampshire. All the polls got it wrong. Great upset story. This morning, I wanted to read about how it happened, but I only had time to read one article before getting to work. This presented an interesting question. How should I figure out who’s got the best coverage […]

January 5th

Data And The Future Of The Web

by  |   22 Comments

After I asserted several times that data is the key to the future of the web, Umair Haque gave my head a good spin by asserting that data is in fact a commodity. Umair is half right — we are increasingly overrun by data, and SOME of it is a commodity. The commodity data is […]

January 4th

Gmail Slow and “Still Working”: Enough Is Enough!

by  |   38 Comments

Raise your hand if you’ve seen the dreaded “Still Working” error as Gmail takes half an hour to complete even the simplest functions. That’s what I thought.

December 30th

Email And Cellphone Contacts Are The Real Social Graph

by  |   31 Comments

Google has been quietly rolling out social features across all of its services based on Gmail contacts. While Google still has to overcome some of its social tone-deafness (e.g. automatically adding contacts without asking), this move makes perfect sense. For people over 30 (and probably even over 25) email IS the social graph.

September 2nd

Google News Hosting Wire Service Stories Diminishes Value Of Duplicate Content

by  |   15 Comments

When each local newspaper was a self-contained, non-overlapping, monopoly distribution channel, the news wires made all of the sense in the world — why have each newspaper spend its own resources to cover the same national and international stories? Just pool all of the newspapers’ resources and do it once. But on the web, where […]

August 22nd

YouTube’s New InVideo Ad Format Is Not Google AdWords

by  |   9 Comments

The new YouTube InVideo ad format is big news not because the format is new — Google has been testing the format for a while, and other sites like VideoEgg have used it. It’s big news because the ad format is being rolled out on YouTube’s massively scaled video site — kind of reminiscent of […]

August 21st

Embedded Video On Google News Is Just Another YouTube Distribution Channel

by  |   5 Comments

To understand why the inclusion of videos on Google News pages — which can be played via YouTube embeds right on the page, without leaving Google News — can be a valuable distribution channel for video content producers, first take a look at this video embedded right here on Publishing 2.0:

August 18th

Journalism Is Now A Continuous Dynamic Process, Not A Static Product

by  |   4 Comments

It used to be the product of journalism was static — printed column inches in a newspaper or magazine, a TV segment, etc. — when it was in the can, that was it. Done. The only additional mode of activity was printing a correction the next day, or perhaps a follow-up story. But the original […]

August 6th

Publicis/Digitas On All-Digital Advertising, Outsourcing, and Competing with Google Yahoo Microsoft

by  |   10 Comments

Kudos to Publicis Groupe and Digitas for imagining an all-digital advertising future, for planning to solve the deep structural problems of advertising 2.0, and for not sitting still while Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft take over the advertising industry. The most provocative idea to emerge from the New York Times profile of Publicis/Digitas’ digital advertising strategy […]

July 23rd

Mobile Network vs. Mobile Device

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This weekend we drove from our home in Leesburg, VA to visit my wife’s family in Staten Island, NY. Along the way, we passed through rural areas of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. I had my laptop with me, which we used while we were driving. I used my Blackberry 8830 as a tethered modem, […]

July 19th

Memo to Google: Buy Yahoo!

by  |   20 Comments

Why should Google buy Yahoo? With the exception of search, Yahoo’s strengths map to Google’s weaknesses, almost precisely. Consider the following:

July 13th

Is Google Search Advertising Deceptive?

by  |   2 Comments

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is suing Google for deceptive advertising practices. I don’t know if the suit has legal merit, but it puts the spotlight on Google’s advertising formats (which are used by most search engines) and, given that this is a government suit, raises significant questions about commonly accepted search advertising practices:

July 12th

Facebook Monetization: Lessons From Google

by  |   30 Comments

Banner ads on Facebook is a dumb way to monetize. Same on MySpace. People don’t pay attention to banner ads on social networks because they are too busy paying attention to EACH OTHER. It’s no surprise that people are complaining about low click through rates on Facebook display ads. But that doesn’t mean that Facebook […]

July 9th

Nielsen Replaces Page View Ranking With Time Spent, Swaps One Problematic Metric For Another

by  |   31 Comments

Nielsen took a big step towards accelerating the death of the page view by announcing it would rank websites by time spend on the site instead. But time spent is an equally problematic metric that assumes that more is better, which isn’t the case with web applications designed for efficiency, like Google search.

July 9th

Wrong On Hyperlocal: Google And Web 1.0 Killed Backfence

by  |   38 Comments

There’s been a lot of debate about what killed Backfence, the hyperlocal news site. Was it poor design? Lack of incentives for users to generate content? Bad business model? Maybe all of these contributed. But what really killed Backfence was Google and Web 1.0.

July 7th

Will Google Acquire Facebook?

by  |   17 Comments

As speculation and chatter increases, the question of whether Google ends up buying Facebook is turning out to be one of the big questions of 2007. My bet is that there is already an offer on the table, and that Facebook is seriously considering it. I’m also willing to bet that Facebook will file an […]

June 19th

Google Introduces User-Generated Content For Maps Without Community

by  |   15 Comments

I made the argument that Google’s weakness is community and social dynamics, which have become as fundamental to the Web as hyperlinks and which represent an opportunity for Yahoo or anyone else to change the game on Google. A perfect example is Google’s new “user-generated content” feature — adding reviews to Google Maps. The problem […]

June 19th

To Beat Google, Yahoo Needs To Change The Game

by  |   25 Comments

In all the coverage of Terry Semel’s stepping down as Yahoo CEO to be replaced by founder Jerry Yang, there’s a standard reference to Yahoo’s failure to beat Google — and the implication that perhaps Yahoo can never beat Google. The main reason way Yahoo has lagged Google is that Yahoo has been trying to […]

June 7th

Murdoch: Pour Money Into Digital, Make Wall Street Journal Free, Don’t Let Google Own The World

by  |   5 Comments

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating interview with Rupert Murdoch. Here are some choice quotes:

June 4th

Google Is An Ad Agency Competing With Madison Avenue

by  |   10 Comments

What does an ad agency do? It brokers ad sales, right? So is Google an ad agency? I mean in the traditional sense of being the middle man between advertisers and media companies, not as a media company selling ads directly, as Google does with AdWords. You tell me:

June 1st

It’s Official: Google Has Acquired Feedburner And It’s All About Metrics And Advertising ROI

by  |   8 Comments

FeedBurner just quietly posted to their site the official announcement that Google has indeed acquired Feedburner. Here’s what CEO Dick Costolo has to say about why it’s such a great fit (which it really is):

May 31st

Google Makes Gears Offline Access An Open Source Platform To Attack Microsoft

by  |   8 Comments

Google has finally taken a major step to bring online applications into the mainstream — by making them available offline. Despite less-than-credible denials, Google will now be competing overtly head-to-head with Microsoft Office. But Google isn’t content to just compete with Microsoft for control of the office application market — after all, Google has already […]

May 29th

Should Google Subsidize Journalism?

by  |   32 Comments

Neil Henry, a professor of journalism at UC Berkeley, has a lament about the decline of newspaper journalism in the soon to be editorially downsized San Francisco Chronicle. He puts forth some good examples of the types of investigative journalism that are at risk of being defunded. He also displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what […]

May 28th

Google’s Control Over Identity Is Nearly Absolute

by  |   4 Comments

Google’s control over identity really is astonishing. I received an email with this opening line, which I just assumed was some weird type of spam: Eagerly waiting for Insomnia Media Group\’s web site to launch as Variety story caught my attention.

May 25th

Facebook Platform Could Be A Google-Like Market-Driven Growth Engine

by  |   18 Comments

Facebook Platform, which allows companies to build applications — and entire ad or fee-driven businesses — inside Facebook is a brilliant move, which could given Facebook the opportunity to become the next Google. The secret to Google’s success with AdSense was sharing revenue with publishers and letting them figure out how to optimize the revenue. […]

May 24th

Should We Be Afraid Of Google’s Total Information Awareness?

by  |   11 Comments

Google’s PR guys must have been asleep at the switch when they let CEO Eric Schmidt make this comment: “We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation.”

May 23rd

Google Acquires FeedBurner To Control The Building Blocks Of Online Publishing

by  |   3 Comments

Despite the challenges with consumer adoption of RSS, XML feeds have become the building blocks of online publishing. So Google’s acquisition of FeedBurner, the show-stealing feed management platform, for $100 million comes as no surprise. The immediate applications are obvious — enhanced feed-based search, integration of feed stats into Google Analytics, integration of feed ad […]

May 23rd

Google’s Video PlusBox May Be Its Most Disruptive Feature Ever

by  |   14 Comments

Google has disintermediated media companies, not just through Google News, which has been the focus of newspaper lawsuits and handwringing, but also through Google’s main search results — and even more so with the introduction of Google Universal Search. But of all the features in Universal Search, the most disruptive may be the Video PlusBox, […]

May 23rd

The Disruptive Shift Of Ad Spending From Offline to Online

by  |   6 Comments

Every media company is positioning itself to benefit from the increasing shift of ad dollars from offline media to online and digital media, but in many cases ad dollars aren’t moving online in a 1-to-1 ratio. That’s why newspapers, for example, still get 80-90% of ad revenue from print, an artifact of monopoly pricing that […]

May 22nd

Can Facebook Be The Next Scalable Independent Web 2.0 Business After Google?

by  |   4 Comments

Has Facebook missed the boat by not being acquired by Yahoo, or is it just getting warmed up? A MediaPost piece by Gavin O’Malley showcases some opinions supporting the former:

May 21st

Journalists, Made For AdSense Publishers, And Regression To The Mean Of Content Quality

by  |   16 Comments

What do offline media journalists have in common with Made For AdSense publishers, i.e. online publishers who create sites with junk content for the sole purpose of making money off of Google’s pay-per-click ads? Quite a lot it seems — Google is destroying their business models from either end of the content quality spectrum. Compare […]

May 21st

Is Google’s Indexing Of News Sites Copyright Infringement?

by  |   14 Comments

The issue of whether Google’s indexing of news sites constitutes copyright infringement is likely to receive more attention following a report that Google has entered into licensing agreements with several large UK news groups, similar to the licensing deals that Google has made with the Associated Press in the U.S. and Agence France-Presse in France. […]

May 20th

Will The Gaming Of Open Ad Systems Slow The Growth Of Online Advertising?

by  |   4 Comments

Google has so many conflicts of interest, e.g. delivering the highest quality “organic” search results vs. tolerating high ranking sites that clearly have no purpose other than to make money from Google AdSense (i.e. “made for AdSense” sites). There’s also pay-per-click arbitrage, where someone buys keywords in Google AdWords in order to send users to […]

May 19th

What Is The Value Of Online Display Ads?

by  |   6 Comments

Now that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and WPP have spent collectively $10.4 billion to acquire the largest online display ad platform companies (DoubleClick, Right Media, aQuantive, and 24/7 Real Media) on the bet that display ads will be a key driver of growth for online ad spending, it’s fair to ask exactly what the value of […]

May 18th

The New Vertically Integrated Media And Advertising Companies

by  |   30 Comments

It’s clear now that the media and advertising industries, which thanks to Google and Web 2.0 now include the software industry, will be dominated by a new breed of company — the vertically integrated media and advertising company. Google’s AdWords created a new model by combining a media company — Google’s search results and its […]

May 18th

Gmail And The Challenge Of Web Services Scaling

by  |   6 Comments

Google has more engineers and infrastructure than God, but that hasn’t prevented me from being frozen out of my Gmail account for the last hour with this error message:

May 17th

WPP Acquires 24/7 Real Media To Compete With Google And Yahoo

by  |   18 Comments

I saw one of Google’s “agency relationship managers” give a pitch to a top agency, where she gave the standard line that Google doesn’t want to be an ad agency. I didn’t believe it for a second. And neither does WPP, one of the top agency holding companies, which just announced the acquisition of 24/7 […]

May 17th

Google Universal Search Will Be Even More Of A Gatekeeper To Media Company Content

by  |   20 Comments

Google announced a major change to its standard web search results — the inclusion of results from its vertical search engines, e.g. Google News, Google Video, Google Maps, inside its standard search results, which they are calling Google Universal Search. That means links from Google News and YouTube videos (playable right in the search results!) […]

May 16th

Could Gaming Social Media Sites Be A Legitimate Form Of Online Advertising?

by  |   10 Comments

Social media marketing, i.e. promoting content through social media sites like Digg has become a cottage industry. Digg and other “audience as editor” sites have fought tooth and nail against gaming, trying to keep marketing content from receiving the same homepage attention as “editorial content,” i.e. content voted up by the community without marketer influence. […]

May 13th

How To Make $10 Billion In Ad Revenue Without Measuring Unique Vistors Or Page Views

by  |   18 Comments

Can you name an online media company that has billions in ad revenue but has never had to bother with measuring unique visitors or pages views — those antiquated measures that keep the dynamic web locked into antiquated ad sales processes and ruin the online advertising economics of most media companies? Ok, so that was […]

May 10th

How Will Twitter Affect Search?

by  |   5 Comments

Blogging and search have been good to each other overall. Bloggers have cranked out millions of links, which drive search algorithms, and in turn search has rewarded bloggers by ranking their content high in search results, which is to a large degree a function of bloggers giving each other so many links. (Blogging platforms like […]

May 8th

Google Controls Your Identity

by  |   21 Comments

“Googling a person” has been part of the vernacular for some time now, but Google’s control over identity has become so powerful that it’s now influencing baby naming choices — at least that’s the hook in this WSJ piece on Google and identity: So when Ms. Wilson, now 32, was pregnant with her first child, […]

May 4th

Microsoft And Yahoo Combined Can’t Beat Google

by  |   12 Comments

Perhaps there are good reasons why Microsoft should acquire Yahoo, but beating Google probably isn’t one of them. The reason is simple: Microsoft and Yahoo have businesses that leverage the online network. Google increasingly IS the network.

April 19th

What if Redstone “Googled” Murdoch?

by  |   4 Comments

The following piece was co-authored with Robert Young. One by one, the big media companies and the Internet giants have started to ante up for the big poker game over the future of the video content business. Google started it all with its acquisition of YouTube. Then GE’s NBC-Universal and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp responded […]

April 18th

W(h)ither The Book?

by  |   5 Comments

I’ve spent a lot of time on Publishing 2.0 talking about the impact of digital media on periodical publishing, i.e. newspapers and magazines, and about online publishing broadly defined, e.g. search results as a form of publishing, that I’ve only rarely looked at the publishing form that gave birth to modern publishing — the book. […]

April 15th

Cumulative Advantage Explains Web 2.0, MySpace, The A-List, TechCrunch, Digg, And So Much More

by  |   36 Comments

Just when you thought you understood Web 2.0, along comes a theory so disruptive it razes everything in its path. The theory of cumulative advantage suggests that every successful Web 2.0 site — and the output of every Web 2.0 platform — is completely arbitrary and random. The head-exploding NYT piece by Columbia professor Duncan […]

April 14th

Google Acquired DoubleClick To Create A People-Driven Advertising Platform

by  |   29 Comments

I sat in on a presentation by a Google rep to a New York agency — it was a big, wet sloppy kiss. Here was Google, king of impersonal, self-serve online ad efficiency up to its eyeballs in gooey “relationship building.” It’s no accident that Google’s New York office has more humans than servers. This […]

April 13th

Online Video Needs Distribution But What It REALLY Needs Is Discovery

by  |   16 Comments

Everybody in the video content business is focused — to the point of obsession — with distribution. Viacom is going to distribute through Joost. NBC Universal and News Corp are creating their own distribution channel. CBS is going to distribute through everybody and their dog. All these content owners are right to be focused on […]

April 4th

The Battle For Control Of The Media Marketplace

by  |   10 Comments

Let’s play connect the dots with a number of recent announcements that together reveal the real battleground for the future of media: Doubleclick announces that it is setting up a “a Nasdaq-like exchange for the buying and selling of digital advertisements” Google announces that it is extending its AdWords marketplace to TV AOL announces that […]

April 3rd

Google’s Core Competency Does Not Translate To Offline Media — But That May Work To Google’s Advantage

by  |   8 Comments

What is Google’s core competency? I would argue that it’s harvesting the value from massively scaled, complex human activity, i.e. millions of websites linking to each other and hundreds of thousands of advertisers bidding on key word and experimenting with ad creative, clickthrough rates, and conversion rates. The other critical element of this core competency […]

March 23rd

Is Google Just A Little Bit Nervous?

by  |   2 Comments

Did the NBC Universal/News Corp deal make Google a tad nervous? Via WSJ: Mr. Chernin said Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt called yesterday and said Google will consider signing on as a distribution partner. A Google spokesman confirmed a call took place, but declined to comment on what was discussed. After spending $1.65 billion on […]

March 21st

Is Content Still A Business?

by  |   57 Comments

Is it possible that the future of the content business is worse than being less profitable and worse even than not scaling anymore — is it possible that content creation will cease to be a business? I was struck by this quote from a music business manager in the WSJ article about the complete collapse […]

March 20th

Can Google Transform The Entire Web Into A Direct Marketing Machine?

by  |   44 Comments

As anticipated, Google has launched a “cost-per-action” advertising program that allows advertisers to pay only for specific results, such as a sale, lead, sign-up, etc. Andy Beal thinks this is a threat to online affiliate marketing, and surely it is. But Aaron Wall’s comment jumped out at me: If they push this as hard as […]

March 19th

How Much Money Does Google Make From Spam In Its System?

by  |   19 Comments

Microsoft released a research report about the scourge of search engine spam (via NYT). Nick Wilson has an excellent podcast on the topic, in which he observes that Google is perversely incented NOT to clear up spam in its search results because it actually makes money off of those spam sites by supplying the ads. […]

March 17th

Why Online Advertising Economics Are So Messed Up

by  |   53 Comments

We’ve all heard that page views are dying. Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed pointed out a few weeks ago the problem with scaling an online advertising business based on revenue per thousand page views, an analysis which has now been picked up by the Dan Mitchell at the NYT. Jeremy’s analysis is correct, on one level, […]

March 5th

Media Meditation: What Is The Value Of YouTube In 2007?

by  |   4 Comments

Here’s a koan for everyone in media: YouTube had revenue of $15 million is 2006; what is the value of YouTube in 2007? If you’re not familiar with koans, this is from Wikipedia: A kō·an is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that […]

March 3rd

YouTube And The Value Of Video Content Hosting, Distribution, And Discovery

by  |   12 Comments

Google is learning that the value propositions of content hosting, content distribution, and content discovery are not created equal, and that YouTube’s monopoly on all three may be slipping away. A story in the Washington Post states what has been evident for some time: In the few months since Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire […]

March 1st

Google Apps’ Achilles’ Heel

by  |   14 Comments

I was working on a spreadsheet in Google Docs & Spreadsheets last night when I got this error message: This is like the infamous Micorosft blue screen of death — the end of trust. Until Google Apps has seamless, ultra-user-friendly offline support, it’s simply not ready for prime time — and not to be trusted.

February 27th

What I’ve Learned About SEO

by  |   20 Comments

There is a very real body of knowledge about how to manage search that is not fairly characterized as gaming of the system. There are some very smart people who are masters of this knowledge base. There are many SEOs who, in addition to possessing this knowledge, appear to be very honest brokers. (See this […]

February 26th

Google Loses Some Of Its Strategic Opacity

by  |   Comments

Web 2.0 is all about openness, right? At least that’s the ideology. But as to the BUSINESS of Web 2.0, the most successful money-making machine of the Web 2.0 era, Google AdWords, derives huge strategic advantage from opacity. Today, Google lost some of that advantage when upstart Quigo forced Google to open the kimono on […]

February 25th

The Great Media Industry Schism

by  |   42 Comments

The once monolithic media industry is undergoing a radical schism, dividing itself into content creation, on the one hand, and content aggregation and distribution on the other. The nature of this transformation suddenly crystallized for me when I read Tom Foremski’s piece on the new West Coast/East Coast media industry divide. Tom seems to be […]

February 18th

Will Online Video Remain A Monopoly?

by  |   21 Comments

I was struck by this statement from a NYT report about the ongoing dialogue among Viacom, NBC, and News Corp about the future of online video, GoogTube, etc.: It has become evident that the question of who will rule video on the Web is incredibly tangled. For now, most of the sticky strands lead to […]

February 9th

Top Ten Things That Suck About Google Docs

by  |   21 Comments

I’ve been using Google Docs to work on some documents with other collaborators. This was my first real test of Google Docs, and I have to say, while most of the application works quite well and online collaboration really is a new paradigm, some fundamental elements of the application really SUCK. Here’s my top ten […]

February 9th

What If Google Never Succeeds With Offline Advertising?

by  |   7 Comments

Discussions of Google’s offline media ambitions — to extend their wildly successful platform for online advertising to offline advertising — typically assume that Google’s success in the offline arena is just a matter of time. But the reality is that Google has nothing but a string of failures to show for itself, most notably in […]

January 24th

What Is The Check On Wikipedia’s Power?

by  |   33 Comments

Wikipedia is starting to feel awfully Google-like in the amount of power it wields online. If you publish any original information or insight, and it gets incorporated into Wikipedia, even if you are properly cited in Wikipedia, based on the new “no follow” policy for such external links, Wikipedia will likely rank much higher than […]

January 9th

Apple’s iPhone And The Head Rush Of REAL Innovation

by  |   27 Comments

Instances of REAL innovation are so painfully rare, so few and far between. There’s so much HYPE, so much hollow, empty promise, it just weights you down — but there’s nothing like the head rush of experiencing real innovation — and that’s exactly what Apple delivered to today with the wildly anticipated and obsessively hyped […]

January 8th

Google Experiments With Utterly Old School Video Ads

by  |   5 Comments

Google is experimenting with ads in some Google Video clips (via Inside Google via Boing Boing) — a stunning failure of innovation, here is was an example of an Allstate ad embedded into a Charlie Rose clip, which is was as interruptive, untargeted and utterly old school as anything mass TV advertising has ever inflicted […]

December 21st

Silicon Valley vs. Madison Avenue

by  |   12 Comments

If you spend too much time in Silicon Valley you’d think that the technology industry — with Google leading the charge — already owns the future of advertising. But don’t count out Madison Avenue just yet — they may be responsible for perpetuating the imbalance between media time spent online and ad dollars spent online […]

November 29th

Copyright Holders Take Back Control from Consumers

by  |   Comments

There’s been a flurry of news about new video downloading services — BitTorrent, Wal-Mart, Time Warner — as copyright holders get busy taking back control from consumers. YouTube just cut a deal with Verizon that gives users so little control that the blogosphere couldn’t find enough pejorative adjectives to describe it. The glory days of […]

November 6th

The Upside and Downside of Google’s Newspaper Deal

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Unbowed by its failed magazine print ad program, Google has cut a deal with 50 major newspapers to sell remnant print ad space to its enormous roster of AdWords advertisers. Here’s the upside and downside for Google and the newspaper industry: Upside Google — Even if newspaper print advertising continues to decline, Google’s share will […]

October 31st

YouTube, Google, and Rumors vs. Truth in the Blogosphere

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Mark Cuban posted an interesting theory about the YouTube/Google deal from an “anonymous author.” The self-described “experienced veteran in the digital media business” characterizes the theory like this: Some of this is based on talks with people involved and some is speculation based on my experience working in the industry, negotiating settlements and battling in […]

October 27th

Is Audience Measurement Still Relevant?

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In the continuing (and, I predict, growing) audience measurement saga, Fred Wilson chastises Mike Arrington for calling comScore’s audience metrics “flaky” vis-a-vis Digg’s audience: My guess is that Digg has something like 5mm monthly unique visitors worldwide. Not 20mm. The difference probably results from cookie counting, multiple browsers, and a few other factors. Perhaps a […]

October 26th

The New Media Audience Measurement Business Model Conundrum

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I was struck by this comment from a session on audience measurement at the Business Blog Summit (via conversationrater): I don’t care about how many page views or visitors I really get. I care about getting the right visitors, the influential visitors, or the potential customer visitors. How can I tell who’s who? Duh! But […]

October 25th

Does All Advertising Want to Be Free?

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Isn’t there an odd contradiction in all the thinking about new media? Individuals are now empowered to create content, to publish and have a voice without going through the old corporate hierarchy. You can blog and be heard, all for free, without asking permission. But what about brands? The assumption that online advertising will finance […]

October 24th

Google Wants To Own the Business of Content

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Despite increasingly frequent reassurances to content creators, Google clearly wants nothing less than to own the content industry — but Google is completely earnest about not wanting to actually own or create any content. Google wants to own the BUSINESS of content. The big news today is of course Google’s launch of customized search, which […]

October 22nd

How Has Google Changed the Software Industry?

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Google has clearly transformed the software industry’s approach to business models, as evident in the hundreds of online software companes (i.e Web 2.0) planning to “monetize” through advertising. But Google may also be influencing the software industry in less obvious but equally significant ways, through its ethos of simplicity and its obsessive (and often hyped) […]

October 19th

Brands Matter More Than Ever In Media and Technology

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I’ve been thinking a lot about media brands and whether they still matter in the new media landscape. The more I think about, the more it seems that brands are the only thing that still matters in media. What’s changed is not the importance or the role of media brands, but rather what defines a […]

October 15th

Edelman, Wal-Mart and the Loss of Control in Media

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It’s inevitable that a PR firm like Edelman would create a phony blog for one of its clients (in this case Wal-Mart — see Shel Holtz for a great analysis). For all of the hype over “conversation” as the new media paradigm, no one has yet figured out how to use conversation to reliably achieve […]

October 12th

More Evidence That Media 2.0 May Be Less Profitable Than Media 1.0

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There is now macroeconomic data to support the theory that Media 2.0 won’t be as profitable as Media 1.0 (from MediaPost): In a break from historical patterns, the equities research team at Merrill Lynch says the rate of advertising price inflation now trails the overall rate of economic inflation. “Interestingly, advertising growth seems to be […]

October 9th

Google Acquires YouTube, Becomes the Archetypal Media Company

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Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube solidifies Google’s position at the center of media. Google already has Google Video, so they didn’t buy YouTube for the technology. No, they bought YouTube for the traffic, the same reason they cut the $900 million deal with Fox Interactive Media. So don’t believe Eric Schmidt for a second […]

October 4th

Google’s Eric Schmidt Admits to Polluting Online Content

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Buried in the Time interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an astonishing admission: Another example of a question that we are debating right now is: we have this amazing product called AdSense for content, where we’re monetizing the Web. If you’re a publisher we run our ads against your content. It’s phenomenal. How do […]

October 3rd

Engagement Is a Euphemism For Measuring the ROI of Brand Advertising

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Last week I attended the Consumer Engagement Conference, put on by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), where I discovered that the word “engagement” — which is being proffered as a new “output” metric for advertising to replace outdated “input” metrics like Gross Rating Points and Impressions — […]

September 13th

The 2.0 Control Paradox

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There is a fundamental tension in Web/Media 2.0 between openness and control — openness is required to leverage the network effect of the Web and harness the power of socially-connected users, but control is required to get a share of any money that changes hands. Google has been most successful in walking this line — […]

September 12th

Will Content Quality Still Be a Driver of Advertising Online?

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Numerous “analysts” (including me) have been predicting that user-generated content sites like MySpace and YouTube, despite their runaway popularity, will not receive all (or even much) of the big brand ad dollars that will be poured into online advertising across the next few years. The reason — advertisers still care about the quality of the […]

September 1st

Google’s Vertical Search Problem and the Law of Average Users

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Poor Google — all these great vertical search options, from images to maps to books to shopping, and yet the vast major of their users still default to plain vanilla Google searching. In an apparent effort to change this, Google is testing a new search results page that pushes Google’s vertical search options (see left […]

September 1st

The Zen of 2.0

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There’s more inevitable debate over “social” software, Web 2.0, and 2.0ness in general. Is it really new? Is it a passing fad? Is it just for geeks? Does it help us get things done? Does it improve our lives? Has it jumped the shark? (Great commentary from Mathew Ingram, Kent Newsome, Stowe Boyd, Rob Hyndman, […]

August 27th

When Will Google Be Honest About Its Enterprise Ambitions?

by  |   17 Comments

Google has Microsoft squarely in its sights with the release of Google Apps for Your Domain — a bundling of Gmail and Google Talk, Calendar, and Page Creator for the enterprise, focused at this point on universities and small businesses. Here’s what jumped out at me from the press release: Girouard underscored that the Google […]

August 18th

If Google Is the New Microsoft, That’s Precisely Why They Shouldn’t Be Feared

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Google is the new Microsoft, and therefore direct competition with Google should be avoided at all costs — that is Paul Graham’s takeawy from the news that Kiko, a web calendar play done in by Google Calendar, is autioning off its assets: The best solution for most startup founders would probably be to stay out […]

August 15th

Google Local Coupons: A Limited Offer for Consumers

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Google is allowing local businesses to offer coupons through Google Maps for free (some details from Google here), which is pretty good from the perspective of Google’s hallowed “user experience,” but far from revolutionary. Local searchers on Google Maps will be able to see which local businesses featured in the search results are offering a […]

August 13th

The State of Search Marketing: Observations from Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2006

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The state of search marketing was on full and vivid display at the 2006 Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose this past week, masterfully orchestrated by Danny Sullivan and Co. (thanks for the invite, Danny). I came away with pages and pages of notes, but here are some observations that rose to the top […]

August 9th

Does MySpace Matter in Google’s Deal with News Corp?

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Om Malik took an interesting critical look at the Google deal with News Corp, which got me thinking about whether MySpace matters much at all to this deal, despite all the hype: In a conference call, FIM executives noted that a very large number of people leave MySpace to go to Google. According to data […]

August 8th

Google Takes The Gloves Off in Battle Over Click Fraud

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The gloves came off on a click fraud panel at Search Engine Strategies this morning when Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety at Google, blindsided all of the panel members, including Yahoo, with the release of a study aiming to discredit third-party click fraud auditing (full report is here): A rigorous technical […]

August 7th

The Rise of Online Video and the Fall of TV

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I’ve been predicting for a while that the TV advertising house of cards would collapse, and McKinsey just huffed and puffed and predicted (to its big Fortune 100 advertiser clients) that “by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990″ (from AdAge): That shocking statistic, delivered to the company’s […]

August 5th

Lack of Transparency in Pay-Per-Click Ads and TV Ads: A Tale of Two Ad Councils

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What does it say about an advertising format when an industry “council” has to be formed in order to arbitrate the problem of advertisers not knowing whether they are getting what they paid for? That’s what happened to both pay-per-click advertising and TV advertising this past week, and the similarities between these two ad councils […]

July 30th

Inform Enters the Search Economy

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Inform.com has wisely gotten out of the Web 2.0 news aggregator business and into the publisher services business. Erick Schonfeld at the Business 2.0 Blog has the scoop: As readership declines for newspapers and online readership grows, every publisher faces the threat coming from the edge of the network. Sites like Google News, Yahoo News, […]

July 26th

How Exactly Does Google DEFINE a Fraudulent Click?

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Google has had an excellent PR day with the announcement that it will disclose to advertisers how many fraudulent clicks are being caught in Google’s filter. Yes, this is step in the right direction, and all that flowers and sunshine, but I have one question: What EXACTLY is the definition of a fraudulent click? In […]

July 22nd

The Fundamental Problem of Invalid (Fraudulent) Clicks

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An NYU professor conducted an independent analysis of Google’s efforts to combat click fraud and found that, while Googe’s efforts are “reasonable,” pay-per-click advertising “does not offer any ‘built-in’ fundamental protection mechanisms against the click fraud since it is very hard to specify which clicks are valid vs. invalid in general” and that any particular […]

July 21st

The Hypocrisy of Google’s User Experience Policies

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Explain this — Google is penalizing AdWords advertisers “who are providing a low quality user experience on their landing pages,” and yet Google just signed a deal with GoDaddy.com to run AdSense on parked domains (via JenSense): Now, GoDaddy is offering customers the ability to run AdSense for Domains on their parked pages – for […]

July 20th

Web 2.0 Puts Users in Control of Everything Except Profits

by  |   23 Comments

I’ve been following an interesting trend of power grabs by Web 2.0 companies, from MySpace to YouTube to Google — Web 2.0 is supposed to be all about the “user,” but when it comes to profit making the user is getting shut out: MySpace Musicians don’t get paid for music played on MySpace (via Umair): […]

July 19th

The Transition of Online Advertising From Clicks to Conversion

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With click fraud moving quickly from the ridiculous (Clickmonkeys) to the absurd (“gangs” of click frauders), Google is clearly positioning itself for the coming transition from a click-based online advertising economy to a conversion-based online advertising economy. Every day new evidence is emerging that Google’s new landing page quality scores and Google Checkout are all […]

July 17th

Yahoo Uses New Homepage to Push Search Adoption

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Yahoo went live with it’s new homepage today, and when I went to check it out with my Firefox browser, this is what I found: Yahoo clearly saw an opportunity with its tremendous homepage reach to leverage its strong portal brand to try to change users’ default searching habits. Interestingly, the pitch is not “use […]

July 13th

Pay-Per-Click Ads Are “Indifferent Displays of Advertising”

by  |   7 Comments

Beyond affiliate and cost-per-action advertising, all paid media advertising models — from billboards to print ad to TV spots to pay-per-click text ads — are “indifferent displayers of advertising.” I lifted that apt phrase from Bruce Schneier’s Wired piece on Google’s click fraud crackdown: Google is testing a new advertising model to deal with click […]

July 11th

Distributed Revenue-Sharing Ad Platforms Are the Paradigm For Monetizing Social Media

by  |   35 Comments

I’ve been critical of AdSense of late, but let’s give credit where credit is due — AdSense, i.e. a distributed, shared-revenue advertising platform, represents the new paradigm for monetizing content. That’s why I remain skeptical that MySpace, despite being the current center of gravity for social media and despite its current off-the-charts traffic growth, will […]

July 9th

The Corruption of AdSense

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Perhaps the greatest testament to AdSense’s success, and the greatest irony as well, is the degree to which AdSense has been corrupted by gaming of the system, abuse, and outright fraud. Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks that market forces will correct the problem of click fraud (via Donna Bogatin): Eventually, the price that the advertiser […]

July 7th

Google Search Ad Spam

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Have you noticed how much spam there is in Google search ads? I was doing the periodic ego search that we all do and found this: Click on the top ad on the right and you’ll find this: Maybe the guy in the picture is named Scott, but other than that I can’t figure out […]

July 7th

What Does Google Want to Be?

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The news that Google is building two massive computing centers caused much speculation at the time about what Google’s ultimate ambition is. Figuring out what Google wants to be has become a parlor game of sorts. Perhaps there’s a clue in “Answer,” a 1954 sci-fi story by Fredric Brown: Dwar Ev ceremoniously soldered the final […]

July 5th

What Will Replace Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

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I predicted months ago that click fraud would cause advertisers to lose faith in pay-per-click advertising, and so it is coming to pass, according to a new study by Outsell that estimates click fraud at $800 million (not so far from the middle of my back-of-the-envelope estimates): The perception of pervasive fraud has prompted many […]

July 4th

If Google Didn’t Exist…The Upside

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The Google Operating System blog has an interesting meditation on the downside of life without Google — which of course begs for a rebuttal speculating on the UPSIDE of life without Google (Garret Rogers also has a point-by-point response): * our mail account would still have 2MB or 4MB of storage and we would be […]

July 3rd

The Real Cost of Google’s “Low Cost” Beta Launch Strategy

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Poor Google — such a short walk from pedestal to whipping post. The PR cycle is now faster than the product development cycle. Speaking of which, Valleywag has the FUNNIEST post lambasting how Google churns out products faster than candies on the I Love Lucy candy factory conveyor belt — which is now more than […]

July 2nd

Life-Changing Applications Don’t Come Along Very Often

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Google is taking a lot of flack lately because it’s launched tons of apps but none has had even a fraction of the success of Google search. BusinessWeek gave Google a big kick in the head, as did Scoble, and many others. So why hasn’t Google launched anything as successful as the original search? Because […]

June 29th

Google Is A Very 1.0 Shopping Engine

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With the launch of Google Checkout, Google is clearly aiming to be the world’s online shopping engine. The strategy has all the hallmarks of AdWords — Google doesn’t care what you’re looking for, what you find, or where you buy it — so long as Google can make money off of every step of the […]

June 23rd

Google Is SO A Media Company

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Now that Google is offering free ad-sponored video content — what we used to call TELEVISION — is there anyone left on the planet besides Eric Schmidt who thinks Google isn’t a media company? I’m sure Rupert Murdoch would love to give his stock price a boost by insisting that News Corp is a technology […]

June 20th

Search Advertising Does NOT Build Brands

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At the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, search advertising is getting slammed for its inability to build brands — and rightly so: Laura Desmond, chief executive of Mediavest USA, which advises clients such as P&G, Masterfoods and Kraft on buying and planning media, said: “Google is going to have to change its business model soon. Search […]

June 17th

Increasing Advertising’s Low Return on Consumer Attention

by  |   27 Comments

Search advertising was revolutionary because it created a new science of ad relevance — the old targeting tools of demographics and psychographics seem like a shot in the dark by comparison. On the face of it, the value proposition of search advertising makes perfect sense — ads are chosen based on key word relevance — […]

June 17th

Data Storage Is the Key to the Web App Revolution

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The future of Web 2.0 and the web app revolution will hinge on one critical issue — where the data is stored. The advantages of hosted, instantly upgraded, never-have-to-install applications on the web are obvious and many — anyone who has ever struggled with software installation and upgrading knows this intuitively. But there is a […]

June 13th

Google Is Killing the Economics of Content

by  |   66 Comments

When Seth Jayson at Motley Fool suggested the other day that Google’s AdSense is killing the internet by driving the creation of sites that exist solely to squeeze money from AdSense, many people scoffed. But here’s more evidence that he’s right: A venture-backed Waltham company that’s quietly amassed more than 650,000 Internet domain names is […]

June 13th

Individual Talent as Media Brand

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There’s another Techmeme frenzy about a blogger’s departure from an institution, but Om Malik’s departure from Business 2.0 does represent an important macrotrend — individual talent as media brand. Traditional media brands are built around institutions — The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, CNN. The blogging phenomenon has made it possible […]

June 12th

Google Redefines the Media and Tech Business

by  |   10 Comments

Never before in the history of business has the collision of two industries caused so much confusion. According to CEO Eric Schmidt, Google is not in the media business: It’s better to think of Google as a technology company. Google is run by three computer scientists, and Google is an innovator in technology in our […]

June 10th

Popping the Google Hype Bubble

by  |   14 Comments

Seth Jayson at Motley Fool takes a scalpel to Google’s soft underbelly with a fascinating deconstruction of Google’s business model, the effect it’s had on the web, and the prospects for the future — or lack thereof. Some of the my favorite passages: Whether or not you believe that the junk sites out there peddling […]

June 7th

Google Is Tech News, And Vice Versa

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TechMeme, the Google Edition

June 6th

Googlism

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Understanding Google’s strategy requires a different world view — let’s call it “Googlism”: Conventional wisdom: Google Spreadsheet is a Microsoft Excel killer. Googlist View (Nick Carr): Google is going to live off of Microsoft apps like a leech, the same way it does with online content.

June 5th

Godzilla vs. Mothra

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Google launches an Excel killer. Microsoft launches a Gmail killer. And the rest of the media landscape is starting to look like Tokyo real estate.

June 2nd

You Can’t HANDLE Brand Advertising

by  |   8 Comments

Brand advertising is the X-factor of the online advertising land grab — Google knows it needs to tap into brand/display advertising to grow, but Eric Schmidt knows they’ve got a problem: “It’s a question of whether our system, which is so highly measurable, can really handle that . . . We have not yet come […]

June 1st

Google Reality Check

by  |   10 Comments

News flash: Google is indeed fallible — and vulnerable. I predicted on several occasions (here, here, and here) that Google’s Print Ad program was less than promising (to put it kindly), and sure enough: GOOGLE’S RECENT FORAY INTO PRINT advertising fell short of the company’s expectations, a company executive said Wednesday. Speaking on a conference […]

May 29th

The Long Tail of Revenue 2.0

by  |   24 Comments

If the “long tail” is the organizing principle of web/media 2.0, why shouldn’t we expect revenue distribution to follow the same pattern, with a handful of companies (i.e. Google, Yahoo) controlling most of the revenue and the remaining online players fighting over the crumbs? When Google found a way to monetize the long tail through […]

May 23rd

Google Video Ads May Accelerate Paid Media Advertising Death Spiral

by  |   7 Comments

Michael Arrington is betting against Google’s new pay-per-click video ad program, and so am I, but it’s even worse than Google failing (again) to break into “traditional” advertising. Focus on Mike’s reason #4: Fourth, people don’t want to click on video ads. They don’t want to watch this stuff at all, really. And if a […]

May 22nd

Is Google Hiding Fraud?

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“Google has some very good reasons for keeping parts of its business secret,” says the LA Times — what if one of those reasons is their knowledge of (and complicity with) rampant click fraud. Google is an investor darling, so nobody wants to contemplate this possibility. But let’s not forget that Enron was once an […]

May 20th

Click Fraud Snowballs

by  |   14 Comments

From Help Net Security comes the astonishing revelation that a botnet comprising more than 34,000 infected computers has been perputrating click fraud against pay-per-click systems like Google AdWords. Let’s do some math: 10 clicks/day X $1/click X 34,000 computers X 365 days = $124M annual fraud 100 clicks/day X $1/click X 34,000 computers X 365 […]

May 18th

In Advertising, the Hunter Should Become the Hunted

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In advertising, people aren’t people — they’re targets. Consumers “need” to see an ad, but they just don’t know it yet. Luckily, Yahoo’s new ad system knows: Yahoo’s new ad system is designed to let marketers target prospective consumers not only by the search terms the people use, but also by their demographics, location and […]

May 11th

Google Co-op Is a Vertical Search Killer

by  |   6 Comments

As usual, Google watchers miss the forest for the trees when it comes to Google’s intersection with traditional media. Google announced the launch of Google Co-op, which clearly has one strategic purpose — destroy the opportunity that magazines and other niche media believe they have to compete with Google by creating vertical searches. Here are […]

May 8th

Will Search Advertising Be Winner Take All?

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Reading about Yahoo’s new search-advertising software code-named Project Panama, I can’t help wondering whether any other form of advertising can compete with search advertising’s projectable ROI and hyper-efficiency: But as advertisers enter each bid, they will see an estimate of how many clicks they will receive each day. More important, a graph will show how […]

May 4th

2.0 Business Model Doomsday Scenario

by  |   24 Comments

It’s official — Microsoft is no longer a software company. With the launch of adCenter, Microsoft will be joining the ranks of Google and other media companies: “Ad-supported software services are an integral part of Microsoft’s plans to give consumers access to a broader variety of digital media, whenever they want and on whatever device […]

April 23rd

What If Media 2.0 Is Less Profitable Than Media 1.0?

by  |   86 Comments

The advent of web-based e-commerce fundamentally lowered the costs of doing business, increasing the scalability (and in many cases the viability) of thousands of small businesses. The introduction of micro-marketing through Google AdWords gave a huge jolt to this trend, making marketing scalable and profitable for these same small businesses. Two companies — Google and […]

March 24th

How Fast Can Google Grow Offline?

by  |   6 Comments

I’ve been very skeptical of Google’s Print Ad program since its inception. So I’m hardly surprised by the news from BusinessWeek that the program is a dud (thanks to David Utter for passing on the article): Carl D. Haugen, president of BluePenguin Software, spent $3,000 on an ad through Google, which ran in the November […]

March 21st

Google Fails to Innovate in the Finance Vertical

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I’m with Om Malik — Google Finance underwhelms. The improvements over Yahoo Finance, like interactive graphs, are nice but not transformative. Which is disappointing, because it’s easy to imagine features that would be transformative — or at least a bigger step forward: 1. Company Memetracker The company tearsheets have mainstream media stories over here and […]

March 16th

Accounting for Click Fraud in PPC Advertising ROI

by  |   5 Comments

What’s an AdWords advertiser to do? Your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is profitable, but then you find out that 35% of the clicks you paid for were fraudulent. Does your PPC advertising campaign still make good business sense? That’s the conundrum that Radiator.com confronted, according to the Washington Post: After analyzing where and when each click […]

March 9th

The Coming Search Advertising Crash

by  |   66 Comments

I’m not sure if I’ll be the first to predict it, but search advertising is headed for a cliff. I can’t say with any certainty when–or whether–the crash will come, but the evidence is mounting. Everyone is talking about the $90 million click fraud settlement, and the Google apologists are out in force, arguing that […]

February 25th

Audiences Are NOT Created Equal

by  |   59 Comments

Media is about conversation and participation. Consumers can create their own media. Value is being created at the edge. You’ve heard all the New Media maxims. The problem, as many people have stated many times, is that the more everyone participates in content creation and content interaction, the harder it is to navigate the sea […]

February 23rd

Bogs and the Website-less

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Try searching for “blogs” on Dog Pile — it asks: “Did you mean: bogs?” Maybe it’s been a long day, but I thought that was too funny. But not as funny as Scoble’s comments on Google’s Web Page Creator: the Office Live team tells me that 45% of small businesses don’t have a Web site […]

February 23rd

Is Google Like a #1 Band on the Decline?

by  |   6 Comments

Chartreuse synthesizes all of the negative press on Google’s new products and, impressively, invokes Prince in mapping out a possible downhill run for Google: It was said at his peak that Prince was so popular that he could put out a record of himself coughing and it would sell. To see if it was true […]

February 22nd

Is Search Advertising Reaching a Plateau?

by  |   4 Comments

Search advertising has been all the rage the last few years, leaving sellers of traditional display advertising to fear a slow death as Google and other search engines siphon off all of the ad dollars. But after a dramatic run-up in search, there’s evidence that we’re reaching a plateau. I try to avoid the dangerous […]

February 20th

The Death of TV Advertising

by  |   2 Comments

Everyone thought TiVo, with its ad-skipping technology, would lead to the death of TV advertising — but it’s actually the shift of audience and media value to digital media that is draining the value from broadcast media. Take Coldwell Banker’s new ad campaign in which TV plays an ancillary role, supporting the real action which […]

February 18th

Google and Its Watchers Don’t Get Print Advertising

by  |   4 Comments

Nathan Weinberg at InsideGoogle wants to know why Google has extended the deadline for its print ad program: Does this mean that responses and bids have been less than stellar, or that Google realized twelve days simply wasn’t enough time for most people to get their bids in? Can someone please give all these Google […]

February 17th

NO LUV 4 GOOGLE

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Activists of Students for a Free Tibet and Friends of Tibet (India) are not happy with “Google’s collusion with Chinese government in censoring information in China and Tibet.” They “lead the protest demonstration in coordination with world-wide campaign against google’s censorship bit.” “‘Google is no longer the colourful and trust worthy we used to think […]

February 16th

Google Tilts at Offline Advertising ROI

by  |   6 Comments

So Google thinks they can measure the ROI of advertising in offline media. Good luck! For years, Corporate America has been putting the screws to marketing departments to find a way to measure the ROI of advertising, but until recently the results have been mostly smoke and mirrors. One of the (many) empty promises of […]

February 15th

The Short-Term Value of Google Advertising

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Is it possible that the text ads pioneered by Google have near zero branding value and, as one search advertiser noted in a Stifel Nicolaus analyst report on Google, the “lifetime value of a customer acquired through Google for his/her business [has] approached zero”? The Stifel Nicolaus report by Scott Devitt is cited in a […]

February 11th

Bloggers Need a “Chinese Wall”

by  |   8 Comments

The backlash and naming calling over Scoble’s declaration that bloggers who run AdSense are “employees of Google,” is understandable (it was a stupid thing to say), but this is an age-old issue in media — how do media companies avoid appearing that they’re “in the pocket” of advertisers? Concerns that advertisers — who keep the […]

February 10th

Blogger Defensiveness

by  |   13 Comments

Bloggers are great at channeling outrage, but when it comes to their own affairs — or pet topics — they are uniquely defensive (I include myself in this critique). I’ve been trying to sort through the FON “scandal,” and the efforts to defend the bloggers involved has lead to some rather tortured explanations. Take David […]

February 9th

Google Chases the Declining Print Ad Business

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It’s entertaining to watch tech commentators, who know next to nothing about the dynamics of print advertising (with all due respect), assess Google’s new print advertising program. Does anyone writing about Google Print Ads today know who the Nielsen of print ad buying is? (hint: it’s MRI — Mediamark Research). It makes perfect sense that […]

February 8th

How Powerful Does Google Want to Be?

by  |   7 Comments

In the firestorm over my article that looked at Google through an Orwellian lens, I heard many apologists argue that Google is not really that powerful because there are plenty of competitors, and because users have the option to switch. This from Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch: Yep, a huge amount of traffic flows through Google. […]

February 6th

Google Orwellian

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Google is powerful — and we all learned from Orwell that power corrupts. As to search, Google has near total power — will total power totally corrupt Google? Ask BMW, whose SEO strategy violated Google’s “orthodoxy,” leading Google to unceremoniously excommunicate BMW’s German website from its “organic” search results. The BBC reported this action as […]

February 5th

Focus on the User, Not the Technology

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There are two prevailing views of the evolution of online information flow — one focuses on the arc of technology, the other on what the user wants and needs. The technology-centric view focuses on issues like RSS adoption rates and RSS vs. email. The user-centric view focuses on issues like how people can find the […]

January 27th

Why Google Needs Rich Media

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The news that Google is testing rich media supports the view that traditional brand advertising is not about to go away. Having wrung every penny from smaller advertisers with more transactional businesses — which are the ones that work best with text ads — Google is aiming now at the BIG advertisers who have BIG […]

January 26th

Publishing Requires More Than Technology

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Tom Foremski answers “yes” to Dave Winer’s question, “is the publishing industry the new technology industry?” I think that is like saying the printing press industry is the old publishing industry. Web 2.0 applications, like the printing press, enable publishing — but they don’t define publishing. (A distinction that Tom makes.) And the current crop […]

January 25th

Is Media a Commodity?

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Will media become a commodity? Google and the search marketing industry that grew up around it think so. Creators of Web 2.0 content applications like Digg and Reddit think so. Today, we learn that eBay also thinks so — MediaPost reports that they pitched an electronic trading system for buying and selling media. And who […]

January 23rd

Is There Hope for Content Brands?

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Beneath all the buzz about Google re-taking the top spot as #1 Global brand is evidence of a worrisome trend for content brands, which supports the theory that Google is a brand killer. If you look at the U.S. & Canada results for the brandchannel survey across the last five years, you’ll see that content […]

January 21st

How to Fix RSS

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RSS sucks. I’m with Paul Kedrosky. Let the technodweebospehere rain fire and brimstone. I could add to Paul’s rant, but instead here’s a Really Simple three-step Solution (of course, the real first step is admitting that you have a problem): 1. Call it “subscribing” Everyone understands subscribing. You’ve got your email newsletter subscriptions, your premium […]

January 18th

Web 2.0 Is Not Media 2.0

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There may or may not be a Web 2.0 crash coming, as Steve Rubel has predicted, but there’s certainly blood in the water, with Yahoo’s earnings miss, Gather.com’s bad reviews, the demise of SearchFox, and the gathering buzz about an impending crash. Steve thinks a key factor is that “online advertising isn’t growing as fast […]

January 17th

Starting From Scratch

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I came across Stowe Boyd’s new indepdent blog, /Message, and his plea for help in working his way up from zero on the Technorati food chain. Still near the bottom of the curve myself, I feel Stowe’s pain. Since I’ve been the beneficiary of much blogosphere goodwill in getting links to Publishing 2.0, I thought […]

January 14th

Blogs Need to Monetize Influence, Not Audience Size

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Until recently, a principal business objective of publishing was to amass an audience that advertisers would pay to reach. A good publishing business plan clearly defined the audience and how advertisers would value the audience. Bloggers are so enamored with their ability to publish without going through the gatekeepers of Old Media. But they could […]

January 13th

Big Advertisers Don’t Want an Open Web

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Here’s another reason why the blogosphere’s vision of the web as an open marketplace likely won’t come to pass: the BIG advertisers won’t finance it. Let’s face it, the Googlenomics revolution has been financed by the little guys, who have profitably grown their businesses with pay-per-click ads. For small companies, brand management is secondary to […]

January 12th

Bloggers Are So Wrong About Media

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There is so much wrong with the blogger view that the monoliths of old media will be brought down and consumers will bask in the glory of infinite media choice — discussing, creating, tagging, rating (meta-ing) each other’s content in one big solipsistic frenzy. Everyone can create media. Everyone controls their own media. Everyone is […]

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