Posts Tagged ‘Google’

The Attention Wars

October 27, 2009

Now playing on a screen near you – The Attention Wars.

Some time ago I wrote a piece characterizing Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo as their attempt at reinforcing and fortifying the habits of computer users to remain on Microsoft owned property.

Not because Microsoft needed Yahoo for additional desktop market share but because Microsoft needed Yahoo’s search audience share and still does.


Microsoft doesn’t want to lose any more attention, audience or keystrokes to their now main strategic rival and desktop franchise threat – Google.

I also thought Microsoft’s offer was dubious at best – offering just enough money to get everybody’s attention including half Yahoo’s board of directors – but not enough in the end to cause Co-Founder Yang to surrender his baby.

The whole act was really a masterstroke on Microsoft’s behalf.

Because as we all now know, Yang was excommunicated for not agreeing to sell while Microsoft also got to add the latest chapter to their Embrace, Extend and Extinguish playbook.

I digress…

Anyway – as the web has matured every large internet property has become visitor retention focused – ie., motivated to retain what audience and attention they have.

Hence, the recent introductions of new web homepages for each of the three largest internet audience properties – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

In case you hadn’t noticed, each property has recently introduced a more sticky homepage.

Google has introduced their “fading” home page.

Google Attention

Google Attention

No links are shown on the page until a user mouses over the links.

The Google home page links “fade in” only after a cursor moves onto the page.

This may not seem like much of a change, but over the course of a day and with it 100s of millions of users – the amount of additional time spent collectively by visitors on the Google home page will  increase.

Bing’s Home Page Picture

Bing Attention

Bing Attention

Even before Bing became Bing, Microsoft had added an eye catching image to their homepage with several pop up boxes throughout the image to capture and retain searchers attention.

I am not sure what direct branding effect this will have on the Bing brand, but it will definitely increase awareness and recall for each of the images featured on their home page.

Yahoo My Favorites

Yahoo Attention

Yahoo Attention

Yahoo moved “My Favorites” to their home page’s left rail in the hopes of both  increasing their users attention and keystrokes.

I suspect Yahoo’s efforts will achieve both.

Expect to see every media company with a screen presence whether on the world wide web, television or mobile phone going to ever greater lengths to try and capture the growing more elusive with each passing day audience’s attention.

At Least Yahoo Is Trying…

October 20, 2009

A search for Google on Yahoo produces rather interesting results.

Yes, the top result is an ad for Google from Google.

However, the next result although innovative is quite biased in nature:

“You could go to Google. Or get straight to your answers here.”

Yahoo Google

Yahoo Google

Apparently navigational search ie., “google” is alive and well at

To Yahoo’s credit, a search for advertising in their “search here” box does produce a top sponsored listing result for Yahoo Search Marketing.

Yahoo Advertising Search

Yahoo Advertising Search

Yet curiously, organic search results for Yahoo marketing are nowhere to be found while Microsoft Advertising appears fourth in Yahoo’s search results.

Doesn’t Yahoo’s absence from their own search results for advertising mean Yahoo is in need of some help with their site’s own Search Engine Optimization?

Superpages Promoting Google and Yahoo Paid Search

October 17, 2009

While logging into my account I noticed a promotion for paid search products from both Google and Yahoo.

SuperPages Google Yahoo Ads

SuperPages Google Yahoo Ads

Although I am highly certain there are significant benefits available to advertisers who use Superpages to place Google and Yahoo advertisements in their behalf, I not as certain what benefits beyond a percentage of advertising spend will receive for sharing their advertisers with Google and Yahoo.

Authorized Adwords Reseller

Authorized Adwords Reseller

Top 50 Web Properties

October 16, 2009

comScore has released its September 2009 Top 50 Web Properties list by unique visitors.

From comScore:

Top 50 Properties

Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in September with 165 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 160 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 133 million visitors. held its #5 ranking  with 95 million visitors, while ESPN climbed 9 spots to #30.

Top 50 Web Properties

Top 50 Web Properties

I wonder how many of the top 50 web properties and their ad generated revenues it would take to match and surpass Google’s advertising revenues?

Fast Forward: Google and Wharton School Join Forces To Educate Marketers

September 23, 2009

Google and the Wharton School (the oldest business school in America) have joined forces and formed Fast Forward an online resource for educating and empowering marketers.

Google Wharton School Fast Forward

Google Wharton School Fast Forward

From the Fast Forward YouTube Channel:

Marketing is in the midst of a complex transformation. As consumers become more technologically sophisticated and choices multiply, marketing must adapt. Tune in to viewpoints from industry and academic thought leaders to acquire inspiring, empowering and actionable insights.

Google and The Wharton School have partnered to gather and provide quick perspective on managing the change in the marketing landscape. As we explore what will define success through marketing’s continual evolution, we aim to share ideas and lessons learned to help keep us all better informed and effective as the game – and conversation – rapidly progresses.

The following Google Experiments in Digital Creativity is an example of the content now available from the Google Wharton school Fast Forward project.

Where Google Is Headed

August 9, 2009

Google CEO Eric Schmidt was recently interviewed by BusinessWeek about the future of Google.

The following is an excerpt from the BusinessWeek interview:

Maria Bartiromo

Where is the growth coming from in the next 5 or 10 years for Google? Is it more search opportunities? Is it mobility?

Eric E. Schmidt

Probably a combination. It’s obvious that the highest growth is in our core business as we get better and better at targeted ads, and those ads become more valuable. Our whole theory about advertising is that an advertisement that’s not targeted—just a random ad that you just walk by—is a waste of somebody’s money because you’re not going to buy. It wasn’t relevant to you.

Aren’t there three times as many phones out there as there are PCs now?
More than that. The rough number of PCs is around 800 million; the rough number of mobile phones is on the order of 3 billion. Even more important, the growth rate of mobile phones is quite a bit higher than that of personal computers. There’s an estimate of about 600 million mobile phones that are data- and Internet-capable. And that is the group that we really care about because those are the ones that are able to run powerful browsers. This was all kicked off by the iPhone. The iPhone sort of showed what you can do with a very powerful browser. Now there are many new kinds of devices with powerful browsers where you can have very high-quality ads, new applications, and, of course, the phone.

So how do you get to the next step in the mobile business? Do you need to partner with other companies to make sure that the speed is there, that the connectivity is there?
We’re doing that with our telecommunications partners. We actually share in the revenue for the ads that show up on the phones. So the advertiser pays us, and then we share it, literally, with the handset and mobile operator. And often we divide between both. And that seems to be the only way to really get money into that system. It’s very, very important that the telecom operators have enough capital to continue the build-outs of the so-called 3G and 4G networks.

What are the biggest challenges the mobile Web presents?
Let’s start with the fact that the phones are not fast, the networks are not as capable, the ad formats are not standardized. But on the other hand it’s very, very important to solve those problems because a phone is very personal. And so if we know a fair amount about a person, with their permission we can target a useful ad—you know, “It’s Eric. You had a hamburger yesterday, do you want pizza today? There’s a pizza store on the right.” That kind of ad is likely worth a lot of money to an advertiser because it will generate a sale.

In other words, you send a message to the person’s cell phone, saying: “Look, we know you had a burger yesterday. If you want pizza today, just go around the block”?
Right. It may sound creepy, but it might also be quite valuable. People could use advice as to what to eat and where the food is—and of course you can turn it off. So the important thing here is advertising that has value to the person is advertising that is a valuable business. That’s the business we’re in.

How To Create and Search Your Own Twitter Followers List

July 22, 2009

Yesterday I wrote a post about how to create and search a list of Twitter updates in both WordPress and Google.

Today, I am going to tackle a similar problem: Searching Twitter Followers and Following lists.

Until Twitter makes searching Twitter account followers and following lists part of Twitter search, finding someone who follows you or who is following you isn’t very easy to do.

Creating a searchable list isn’t too dificult it just requires some time.

Go to your Twitter account and click on your followers link and select list view.

This will produce a list of 20 followers per page.

Twitter Followers List

Twitter Followers List

Copy the list of followers from each page.

Depending on how many followers you have will determine how many pages you will have to scroll through and scrape to create your own searchable list.

I have 873 followers at the moment so I had to visit 43 pages to create my list.

Paste the list of followers into a Word document or Excel if you extracted tables and save.

You can now sort either the Word or Excel documents alphabetically to create your first archived list of Followers in a searchable hierarchy.

To archive your Twitter followers list in the cloud, import it into a Google indexed WordPress blog and wallah! – you will have a instant browser searchable WordPress file with a list of all your followers.

After the Googlebot visits your site, your list of followers will also be archived in Google’s search engine results pages.

I have posted my current list of Twitter followers over on

Bing: But It’s Not Google

July 9, 2009

David Pogue has written a piece in today’s New York Times comparing Microsoft’s new search engine with Google.

The article’s title: Bing, the Imitator, Often Goes Google One Better descsribes Microsoft’s long standing strategy of imitating successful products after other company’s have established and developed newer technologies and markets.

To find out whether Bing delivers better search results than Google, Pogue references a new website called

Bing vs Google

Bing vs Google

A search on Bing-vs-Google produces results pages that are hard to differentiate from one another.

Bing vs Google Search Results

Bing vs Google Search Results

Microsoft’s strategy of imitating innovators may have produced market footholds in other categories.

I will be surprised if imitating Google search results produces anything more than a few percentage points of search market share gain for Microsoft.

Search Arbitrage: Bing Targeting Local Search… On Google

June 12, 2009

Last week, I wrote about how Microsoft’s was buying ads on Google to promote its new search engine Bing.

With Bing’s launch, Microsoft said it planned to target four distinct categories: shopping, local, travel and health.

Today while logged into my Gmail account, I noticed the following Google Adwords ad for Bing targeting local search.

Bing Local Search Decisions

Bing Local Search Decisions

The Official Bing site ad reads: Local decisions. Get Pricing, Maps and Reviews For Local Businesses.

Clicking the Bing ad takes visitors to site where the Bing search box is prepopulated with the “Business, category and/or location” prompt.

Bing Business Category or Location

Bing Business Category or Location

Upon entering a business name, Bing presupposes my search is for a local business and provides a list of results from my city.

Bing Local Business Search

Bing Local Business Search

Entering a business category produces search results from the same locale as the business name search.

Bing Local Category Search

Bing Local Category Search

A Microsoft brand search produces a list of businesses that apparently carry Microsoft branded products within the same locality.

Bing Local Brand Search Microsoft

Bing Local Brand Search Microsoft

Any predictions on how this search / search arbitrage will pan out for Microsoft’s Bing?