Posts Tagged ‘eBay’

Google’s Largest Agency Client and Customer?

April 30, 2009

The final issue of Portfolio magazine has an interview with Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group.

As head of the marketing communications giant, Sorrell oversees more than 100 companies specializing in everything from advertising to consumer research.

Recently Sorrell had characterized his firm’s relationship with Google as that of “frenemies.”

In the Portfolio interview, Sorrell reclassifies WPP’s relationship with Google as “friendly frenemy” because Google competes with WPP through its acquisition of Doubleclick.

Sorrell then goes on to say what I believe hadn’t yet otherwise been made public before … “we buy about $850 million worth of search advertising from them. We’re their biggest agency customer.”

At an average CPC of $1.00, WPP’s $850 million spend on search advertising with Google would generate 850 million clicks.

Wow.

Although I am not absolutely certain Sir Martin – and unless eBay has doubled or tripled its Adwords spend recently – I think buying $850 million worth of search advertising from Google not only makes WPP Google’s largest agency client – its also makes WPP Google’s largest customer – period.

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eBay Auctions Off StumbleUpon.com

April 13, 2009

eBay has sold StumbleUpon.com back to its original owners according to the New York Times.

Comments about the transaction from Garrett Camp of StumbleUpon.com via the BITS blog:

“We’re really more focused on discovery and content, said Garrett Camp, one of the original founders, in a phone interview. “We realized it was best if we parted ways and did our own thing.”

eBay acquired StumbleUpon.com in May 2007 for $75 million.

More from BITS:

StumbleUpon has close to 7.5 million registered users, up from 2.5 million when eBay bought it. The service currently has 425 million “stumbles,” or collaborative recommendations made to Web browsers moseying around the site.

This sale confirms eBay is now officially in the process of selling non-essential assets to refocus on its core business.

eBay Being Distintermediated by Google?

August 21, 2008

“eBay will be permanently marginalized by Google.” – Inspired by Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch

via FastCompany:

“Although eBay is making changes to its fee structure – emphasizing fixed prices over the auction model it’s known for following, Schonfeld writes, “the Web has moved on and eBay is stuck in still waters.” Page views are down 15% year-over-year, while the stock is down 26%.

eBay’s main challenge, he says, “is that it is becoming easier and easier to find things to buy on the Web simply by searching for what you want on Google. During the early days of the Web, people needed a few big e-commerce sites they could trust and that could organize everything that was for sale online. That need was filled by Amazon and eBay. But now people are comfortable trawling the Net for the best bargains, and eBay is no longer the first place they go.”

Just as the tens of thousands of middle men and their companies like travel agents were disintermediated  by Web 1.0, eBay who became the middle man for millions of buyers and sellers now faces being disrupted itself by the web’s largest middle man: Google.

Why go to eBay and pay their toll when you can go direct to any seller via a Google search – toll free?