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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Harvard Professor Says What Apogee Weblog Readers Already Know

Yesterday, via Domain Name News, I read this post: Harvard Professor Says Google is Profitting From Typo Squatting. Readers of Apogee Weblog have been aware of this issue for years. For instance, read this 2007 post for more details: How Google Uses Fake Searches Click Fraud to Hide Typosquatting Revenue. I'm still waiting for Google to do the right thing and route *all* parked domain traffic (typosquatting and legitimate) through a separate ad network. This is the kind of option Google advertisers should be given:

google adwords parked domains network

If you want more details about the issue of Google deriving revenue from typosquatting, read these previous Apogee Weblog posts:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

GOOG: Wall Street Stock Analysts Oblivious to Impending Bidding War

Google stock (GOOG) is down near $350 today, partially due to a reiteration (not a downgrade!) by a Stifel Nicolaus analyst:

stifel nicolaus on goog

Notice this text (emphasis mine): "While thinks GOOG's online search advertising biz is resilient and measurable, believes ad budgets are likely to be reassessed during current period of economic weakness." I don't think this Stifel Nicolaus stock analyst nor the other Wall Street analysts cutting GOOG estimates are aware of a seemingly trivial but potentially massive change to the AdWords system. I'm talking about the recent change to display first page bid estimates instead of minimum bids. This change went into effect last month so will be in place for the full 4th quarter. Are stock analysts taking this into account?

Why is this significant? I believe this seemingly subtle change to AdWords will lead to a bidding war. Now, whenever advertisers (or agencies on behalf of advertisers) review their keywords via the AdWords interface, they will see first page bid estimates displayed prominently for any keyword which is not triggering an ad on the first page of search results. Here's an example:

Google AdWords first page bid estimates

What advertiser does NOT want their keyword ad on the first page? (Zero.) How many will start raising bids as Google offers this bid guidance? (Thousands, I suspect.) If most advertisers do raise bids, what will these first page bid estimates look like after a few weeks? Whether or not this was Google's intention, I think this will trigger a bidding war. These higher bids will clearly boost Google's revenue. Think about that. And, if you see a Wall Street stock analyst talking about this, let me know. I'm sure Google will mention it during their 3Q conference call.

P.S. Yes, I do own some GOOG stock.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

SearchPerks ( - Is Microsoft a Dinosaur?

SearchPerks is a new promotion powered by Microsoft Live Search. When I went to the site using Firefox, this is what I saw:


I outlined the error message in the above image in red. It reads:
To earn value for your searches and join the SearchPerks! promotion you must have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher to participate. Copy this URL and paste it into Internet Explorer:
Notice, too, the statusid=2101 at the end of the URL. I wondered what other error messages would be displayed. Changing that to 2102, I'm greeted with this dandy:
Your operating system is not supported. This program requires Windows XP or Windows Vista in order to run.
Does the Microsoft strategy to gain search engine market share from Google involve locking users into the Microsoft web browser *and* a Microsoft operating system? Wow. Does Microsoft NOT understand the Web? Maybe Leonsis was right. Is Microsoft a dinosaur?

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