What’s Hot on A Fuller View

30 July, 2008

Over on sister site A Fuller View, here’s some of the recent posts that have been generating a lot of interest:

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It Would Be Funny… If People Weren’t Buying It!

29 July, 2008
How To Get Top of Google

How To Get Top of Google

Just thought I’d share the latest ‘classic’ with you that arrived in my inbox…

“Place Your Website Billboard at the Top of Google, Yahoo and MSN”

Well, if that isn’t an invitation to take a look at something, then what is… so I clicked on Web Banners Online to see what it was all about. And, indeed, it’s true, they CAN get your website placed at the top of any of these search engines.

Except, no-on will see them, because no-one knows about Web Banners Online… and certainly Google, Yahoo and MSN have not signed and exclusivity ‘deal’ with this business. In fact, they’ll probably send a link to show you how you would appear if someone came across their website.

The business (note I’m using a ‘no follow’ link used above just to make sure that I’m not giving it any credibility or value) of tricking unsuspecting business is proliferating online. I have one every week in my inbox… ‘get top listings by buying my e-book’, ‘Get a free website (did we mention shared hosting of £250 per month)’, and the sad thing is that people are being parted with cash by believing what they see.

So what’s the solution… I think we need to ‘out’ these businesses and practices for what they are… How we go about achieving this is an entirely different matter. Any thoughts?

Another time I’ll tell you about the business that can get you top listing in Google in just 10 minutes… and how you can make them pay for it!


Oodle & MySpace Launch Social Classifieds

28 July, 2008

MySpace Classifieds

Powered by Oodle

On the back of the Walmart deal, Oodle have announced they will be powering the Classifieds on MySpace.

AdViking thinks this will be a pretty interesting partnership to watch, in particular to see if a classifieds experience sticks well to the MySpace demographics and on the back of that extrapolate to the meta-theme of social media and classifieds.

MySpace did have something in place before but outsourcing this monetisation opportunity to and up and coming and hungry pure-play classifieds like Oodle looks like a smart move.

Free Online Classifieds - MySpace Classifieds_1217282931173


Microsoft Announces Live Search Deal With Facebook

24 July, 2008

Facebook

AdViking actually thinks that with all the news breaking in the industry at the moment it’s probably just easier to move to micro-blogging…might look into how to pull Twitter into WordPress.

Anyway, during Analysts Day in Redmond, Microsoft announced that it would be providing Live Search and Ad Center ads in the SERP to Facebook.  Deal is only for the US site.

Facebook currently doesn’t offer a web search so no real idea of what the volumes will be.  What’s interesting is that  Facebook will be getting the API to then build layers on top, kind of like a bespoke BOSS for one the high traffic Publishers.

It’s also pretty nifty when you consider the Powerset purchase by LiFacebook Friends Mash Search?ve…think semantic mashup with a decent index and heavy, I mean heavy social graph clickstream influencing of the results.

AdViking asked UK social media pundit and Facebook Developer Garage London host, Toby Beresford for his comment:

I think Search is really important addition to the Facebook experience. It’s just too difficult to find stuff at present.
What’s most interesting for me is their opportunity for more sophisticated searches, along the lines of that envisaged by the semantic web, find me the John Smith who is a lecturer at Kings College for example. Or perhaps all brand pages for cinemas near where I am now that are showing The Dark Knight…

Seems like AdViking and Toby are on the same page here and let’s hope for some exciting revolutions of the Search flywheel on the back of this deal.


Microhoo Fallout? Kevin Johnson Leaves Microsoft

24 July, 2008

Microsoft

In a surprise move, it was announced yesterday that Kevin Johnson has left Microsoft to become CEO of Juniper Networks.

Johnson was the driving force behind the run at Yahoo! and was head of the Platform & Services Division, the largest group at Microsoft, containing Windows, Live, Advertising (APS) and a few other things.

Debate around the why, what, etc. of this is pretty split, e.g.:

TechCrunch are positive, Microsoft Rumbles, Rearms For Online War It Can’t Win Without Yahoo

Though Kara Swisher (no surprise here) comes down on the negative side:  Microsoft’s Latest Web Stumble: Kevin Johnson Out

Why Did He Leave

AdViking believes that the run on Yahoo! is a (defensive) tactical play to ramp up the Search side of things and protect Windows and Office revenues (i.e.:  the part of the Cloud War rather than the Search Battle).

This run currently looks like it was a failure and some of the moves that were taken looked ill-conceived and the impact was that Ballmer and Microsoft currently look like they have egg on their faces.  The price to pay for this is that Kevin Johnson is leaving.

Has the Axe Fallen

The Impact

The immediate impact is that they have now split Johnson’s empire into two groups:

  • Windows/Live – Reports directly to Ballmer
  • Online Services Business – The search is on to fill this gap.  This fact is surprising and a clue to the fact this was an unplanned exit.

Picking up on the point that there is no-one in place to head up the Online Services Business, an interesting echo from the sphere is that this could possibly leave room for an acquisition CEO to fit into a key role nicely (e.g.:  Jerry Yang)

AdViking thinks this split makes a lot of sense and from looking at the Org chart before yesterday, didn’t quite understand why two such important groups rolled up under one Exec.

AdViking further likes the split as it does mean that the advertising side of the business will now have more power and therefore will be able to offer the industry an even more competitive offering.

Background Materials

Official Microsoft Press Release

News of the departure and re-org was announced in a few ways including a 2009 Strategic Update email from Ballmer.  This has had wide coverage in full text.

Some interesting tidbits to pull-out from these:

Betting on Display Advertising

Senior Vice President Brian McAndrews will continue to lead the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group (APS)…McAndrews will continue to focus on the display advertising opportunity for Microsoft

Google and Search

We continue to compete with Google on two fronts—in the enterprise, where we lead; and in search, where we trail. In search, our technology has come a long way in a very short time and it’s an area where we’ll continue to invest to be a market leader. Why? Because search is the key to unlocking the enormous market opportunities in advertising, and it is an area that is ripe for innovation. In the coming years, we’ll make progress against Google in search first by upping the ante in R&D through organic innovation and strategic acquisitions. Second, we will out-innovate Google in key areas—we’re already seeing this in our maps and news search. Third, we are going to reinvent the search category through user experience and business model innovation. We’ll introduce new approaches that move beyond a white page with 10 blue links to provide customers with a customized view of their world. This is a long-term battle for our company—and it’s one we’ll continue to fight with persistence and tenacity.

On the Yahoo Run

…I want to emphasize the point I’ve been making all along–Yahoo was a tactic, not a strategy. We want to accelerate our share of search queries and create a bigger pool of advertisers, and Yahoo would have helped us get there faster.


Social Media – A PR Minefield?

22 July, 2008

AdViking came across the story about how in Canada Corporate Craziness Gets the Ice Cold Beer Guy Fired, which is all about how a beer vendor at the Toronto Blue Jays stadium got fired for not checking ID of a mystery shopper from his employer who was of age.

But that’s not the real story, what is that fans of Wayne McManhon are using the tools available to them in the Web2.0 era and have started a Facebook group (15,954 member at writing) and started more formal action at PetitionSpot to get ARAMARK to hire the cult Ice Cold Beer Guy his job back.

This reminds AdViking about the Diet Coke + Mentos videos on YouTube and how Mentos embraced things heavily while Coke went the other way.

Now that everyone is a content producer and there are a heap of tools to quickly marshall forces, AdViking states the obvious in saying that PR folks really need to get their game on otherwise they will feel the bite of the consumer.

What’s then therefore interesting is to extrapolate this to the wider digital advertising field and suggest that there’s plenty of gold in those social media hills but no-one is really on top of the best way to mine it.


Market Reacts Badly to Google Results

17 July, 2008

Google announced Q2 results and the market has reacted badly dropping at time of posting to $493.85 (they opened the day at $534.16).

AdViking will be looking around tomorrow to understand the why’s of the fall but probably is just the market shakiness to do with potential impact of the credit crunch on advertising.

Here’s some early coverage that’s going to be morning reading:

  • New York Times
  • Washington Post

    One quick tidbit is that DoubleClick integration isn’t due to finish for a couple of months, so it seems like Microsoft is on the inside track there with it’s progress with the aQuantive integration.

  • Google Points

    Q2 – Revenue $5.37 billion / Income $1.25 billion

    They are having problems managing their cash (Perhaps having so many Self Service SME isn’t a good thing then?)

    Larry vs. Sergey

    Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t just have a problem agreeing on what beds should be in the Google jet – seems that Larry Page is behind a drive for quality ads that Sergey thinks has gone far enough.

    Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s senior vice president for product management,  said that Google  is decreasing it’s ad inventory in efforts to improve “ad quality”.

    Rosenberg said “Larry often says we would be better off if we showed one ad — the perfect ad,”

    In response to this Sergey said:  “There is some evidence we have been a little more aggressive in decreasing coverage than we should have been,”

    “Clearly that is not the ideal strategy, because we don’t want to end up with no ads,”

    Hal Varian on the Impact of the Economy

    So to summarize, when we look across verticals we see that consumers are being cautious in their online spending patterns just as they are in their offline spending. Despite the weakness in the economy, advertising revenue seems to be holding up remarkably well in most sectors

    Enterprises are Starting to use Google Apps

    Some of the enterprises mentioned that are using Apps:

    • Valeo, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers
    • Government of Washington D.C. has 38,000 users
    • Telegraph Media Group 
    • Sanmina

    Mobile

    Nothing exciting hear to say and actually from Sergey’s Use Case he gave (hyper-local pizza), very underwhelming and you can assume they will to acquire to get the knowledge here.

    Microsoft Gets Hit as Well

    Similarly, Microsoft announced and is taking a hit even though they beat Analyst expectations.

    Microsoft Points

    For 2008, Microsoft hit $60.4 billion revenue, $17.7 billion net income for 07/08.

    Q4(/Q2 08) – Revenue $15.8 billion, Net Income $4.3 billion

    The XBox 360 group was in the black for the first time.