2007年9月30日 星期日

Will A Google Phone Change The Game?


Will A Google Phone Change The Game?
Mobile biggies are quaking at the idea of competition from a free, ad-based service

Imagine your cellphone as a mini marketing machine. As you head into your car after dinner, a text alert pops onto the screen of your handset announcing the 9 p.m. lineup at a nearby cineplex. You choose the Jodi Foster flick The Brave One and a promo video for the next Warner Bros. (TWX ) release, a George Clooney movie, starts running. Afterward, more text appears, prompting you to launch the phone's Web browser so that you can click through to buy the movie's ringtones and wallpaper.

That kind of 24/7 advertising engagement--on a phone, no less--may sound like a nightmare. But what if you could determine the kinds of products you get pitched? Or, when your flight gets canceled in a faraway airport, text messages pop up for the best hotel deals in town? No random insurance ads or airline deals for trips to places you never visit. Best of all: Watch or read the custom ads, and your phone minutes are free.

For big cell carriers, that's the real nightmare. And it may be coming in the form of a Google phone. Wireless industry consultants and marketing executives with knowledge of Google's plans say it has been showing prototypes of a new phone to handset manufacturers and network operators for a couple of months. Its plans have been kept top secret, but Google is expected to tap a company on the Pacific Rim that specializes in mobile design and manufacturing to build a handset to its specs. Google could then apply its expertise in operating software and user applications, says Paul Catalano, a partner at consultancy RelevantC Business Group (RCBG). Google officials won't talk about phones, and industry sources don't expect one before the second half of 2008.

Still, Google has made it clear it has an interest in wireless. It is experimenting with wireless broadband networks in a couple of U.S. cities. In August, CEO Eric Schmidt announced his intention to participate in a federal auction early next year of the sort of radio spectrum that would help pull off a phone service.

So far only a few outfits in Europe and the U.S. have dabbled with ways to serve up ad-based service. Most, like Virgin Mobile USA, have limited control over ad delivery because their service runs over a network leased from one of the big players. Moreover, there are good reasons that advertising accounts for less than 1% of phone company revenues: Consumers remain skittish about ads on their phone. Networks and handsets are only now getting sophisticated enough to deliver colorful, location-specific ads. And Verizon (VZ ), AT&T (T ), and T-Mobile have no interest in giving up their fat service fees.

That equation goes out the window, though, once you combine Google's financial heft with its ultra-sophisticated ability to target ads to specific customers. "The day is coming when wireless users will experience nirvana scenarios--mobile ads tied to your individual behavior, what you are doing, and where you are," says Linda Barrabee, wireless analyst at researcher Yankee Group.

Google and advertisers drool over the growth potential in wireless. The more than 2 1/2 billion phones in use worldwide exceed the number of PCs and TVs combined. On Sept. 17, Google announced a Web program aimed at advertisers who have created sites for display on cell phones and other handheld devices. Like its online ad network, Google's AdSense for Mobile delivers ads relevant to the advertiser's mobile audience. "The sheer volume of users across the globe makes mobile the next channel for information," says Dilip Venkatachari, director of product management for Google's mobile team.

Why stop there? The core of Google's online ad strategy has always been to help advertisers target their ads so they fit like spandex tights with user interests. Employing technologies that figure out where callers are and where they're headed boosts advertising prices by 50%, according to studies by RCBG.

A number of existing strategies by smaller companies offer a glimpse into how Google might play its wireless hand, once all the cards have been dealt. Blyk, a wireless startup that made its debut in Britain on Sept. 24, offers free mobile phone calls and text messages for people aged 16 to 24 who agree to let companies such as L'Oréal, McDonald's (MCD ), and Coca-Cola (KO ) send text ads to their handsets. Blyk leases space on European carrier Orange's network in Britain, but it operates its own billing and marketing system. That lets it retain full control of valuable customer information and avoid sharing ad revenues with the carrier. Users fill out detailed information about their lifestyles, areas of interest, and brand preferences. Those who agree to receive tailored ads get 43 minutes per month of free mobile voice service and 217 free text messages.

In the U.S., a service from Virgin Mobile called Sugar Mama offers subscribers a chance to earn free minutes if they agree to view tailored ads. As of August, more than 425,000 people had signed up. They can choose to have text ads in the form of quizzes and games sent to a phone a couple of times a week; play the games and you earn minutes.

The big-time carriers already have banner ads from companies such as Avis or the Discovery Channel on the pages of their mobile Web portals. But don't expect the phone giants to change their business model if they don't have to. A Verizon spokesman says the incremental dollar value of advertising pales next to the cost of losing customers who don't like ads. Says AT&T Mobility's Mark Collins, vice-president for consumer data: "We don't believe in a world where you have to give everything away for free."

That's precisely what Google represents. Even without a network, Venkatachari says Google plans to connect mobile advertisers with users based on information from its search engine, maps, and other software, just as it has done on the desktop. Via Google search, for example, an advertiser learns a user is at the corner bakery in downtown Chicago. And it learns the person has a taste for sweets. Wireless carriers have customer information as well, but "they are not a data warehouse, the way Google is," explains Richard Siber, principal of SiberConsulting.

If Google decides to spend the $4.6 billion that may be needed to win the spectrum auction, analysts speculate that it has several options: continue its broadband expansion, or perhaps buy a wireless carrier, such as beleaguered Sprint Nextel (S ). Then it could launch the first ad- supported, and free, nationwide phone service. "Google is the first gambler sitting down with as big a bankroll as the carriers have," says John du Pre Gauntt, a wireless industry analyst for researcher eMarketer. "By playing in wireless, they have caused people to look at the industry in a different way."

2007年9月27日 星期四

Google, Microsoft Trade Barbs

Google, Microsoft Trade Barbs
Over Planned DoubleClick Deal


WASHINGTON -- Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. traded barbs over the antitrust and privacy concerns raised by Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick Inc.

In prepared testimony released before a Senate committee hearing, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith assailed the deal. Allowing Google to acquire DoubleClick, an online advertising broker, "raises serious questions," he said. "If [they] are allowed to merge, Google will become the overwhelmingly dominant pipeline for all forms of online advertising," Mr. Smith said. "It will substantially reduce the ability of others to compete."

Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, also in prepared testimony, said the deal doesn't raise antitrust concerns. Google and DoubleClick are complementary businesses that do not compete with each other, he said. "DoubleClick is to Google what FedEx or UPS is to Amazon.com," Mr. Drummond said.

Both Messrs. Drummond and Smith are set to testify Thursday afternoon before a Senate judiciary anitrust subcommittee that is reviewing the deal. That oversight is in addition to a review of the acquisition by antitrust regulators at the Federal Trade Commission.

The hearing is being overseen by Sen. Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat whose reaction to the testimony is important to the future of the deal. Earlier this year, Sen. Kohl criticized the combination of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. following a similar hearing.

Microsoft, which lost out to Google in trying to acquire DoubleClick, is one of a number of Internet and telecom companies that oppose the deal. Joined by firms such as AT&T Inc., Microsoft contends the merger would give Google control of the expanding online advertising market.

"Given the nature and economics of online advertising, this concentration of user information means that no other company will be able to target ads as profitably," Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Drummond noted in his testimony, however, that there have been a number of recent deals involving online advertising firms -- including Microsoft's purchase of aQuantive. "These acquisitions are strong signals that the market believes this space has lots of room for growth and competition," Mr. Drummond said.

In addition to antitrust issues, Mr. Smith also raised concerns about the potential Internet privacy concerns raised by the merger. Both companies compile a significant amount of consumer data, and critics have been wary of one company maintaining control over such a large database of information.

"With this merger, Google seeks to record almost everything you see and do on the Internet and use that information to target ads," Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Drummond outlined a number of steps Google has taken, and will take, to ensure the privacy of consumer information. "Google's bottom line is this: We believe deeply in protecting online users' privacy," Mr. Drummond said in the remarks.

A backdrop to the hearing is an ongoing feud between the two firms. This summer Google filed a complaint with the federal government over Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, contending it violated the terms of Microsoft's 2002 antitrust settlement. The complaint was resolved after Microsoft agreed to update Windows Vista to accommodate other desktop search functions.

AT&T is opposed to the combination in part because it is one of the largest advertisers in the U.S. Additionally, the telecom titan has sparred with Google over the issue of network neutrality. Google has been one of the most outspoken tech firms in favor of government legislation on the issue, which AT&T opposes.

--Corey Boles contributed to this report.

Write to Michael R. Crittenden at michael.crittenden@dowjones.com

2007年9月26日 星期三

new hirings in Europe

英国《金融时报》迈亚•帕尔默(Maija Palmer)伦敦报道
2007年9月27日 星期四


Google is planning to expand its staff by a third, with most of the new hirings in Europe, as the internet search company tries to avoid being seen as an aggressive American multinational.


Google plans to hire several thousand engineers in Europe to create a research and development team in the region as big as the one it has in the US.


Only 500 of an estimated 7,000 Google engineers are in Europe, but the company has signalled plans to expand the numbers dramatically.

谷歌新任欧洲工程主管纳尔逊•马托斯(Nelson Mattos)表示:“我的目标是,将EMEA(欧洲、中东和非洲)的工程团队扩大到北美团队的规模。这就是我加入谷歌的原因。”

“I aim to grow the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] engineering team as big as the one in North America. This is why I joined,” said Nelson Mattos, Google’s new head of engineering in Europe.

2007年9月25日 星期二

科幻短篇小說:Google as a Bad Big Brother

A New Short Story Imagines
Google as a Bad Big Brother

September 26, 2007

In science-fiction author Cory Doctorow's short story "Scroogled," a woman shrugs when she sees "Immigration--Powered by Google" on an airport sign, but that's just the beginning of the search giant's presence in a not-too-distant future.

[Cory Doctorow]
Cory Doctorow

The story, published in Radar Magazine's latest issue, envisions a world in which Google turns into Big Brother. Customs agents grill travelers about their search queries, public places are swept by Webcams and officials look for terrorist connections in social-networking sites. All of this is made possible by Google's powerful search tools and the company's willingness to share its trove of personal data with the government.

While a work of fiction, Mr. Doctorow, 36 years old, one of the editors of the popular blog Boing Boing, said his story builds on his real concerns about the amount of information that Google and others collect and store about Web users, including search histories, email and videos. Its publication has sparked online discussions about online privacy and the plausibility of Mr. Doctorow's scenario.

Do you worry about all the online information being collected and stored about you? How do you think it will be used in the future? Join a discussion

Asked about the Orwellian story, a Google spokeswoman responded: "Google is proud to offer a range of innovative products that have proven to be both useful and trusted by our users. User trust is central to our business and that's why we aggressively protect our users' privacy."

Mr. Doctorow spoke with The Wall Street Journal's Andrew LaVallee about "Scroogled," why he's fond of Google despite his dystopian tale and why it's hard to get people worried about online privacy.

WSJ.com: How did you get the idea for the story?

Mr. Doctorow: Well, [Radar] asked me to write it. They were doing an issue, and they emailed me and said that we're thinking of commissioning some science fiction on this subject. And certainly it was something that I'd given a lot of thought to over the years.

I actually have a great deal of affection for Google, by and large, although like any large organization, it's hard to speak of Google as one thing. It's really lots and lots of things, some of them very good, some of them less good.

But on balance, I think most of the things that Google does are good. I think one of the most heartbreaking things that any of us can live through is for an institution that we love to change in a way that makes us hate it. So it seemed to me that this would be a great opportunity to write something of dramatic note, something that would work as a story.

The following is an excerpt from Cory Doctorow's short story "Scroogled," published in Radar Magazine.
"Evening," Greg said, handing the man his sweaty passport. The officer grunted and swiped it, then stared at his screen, tapping. A lot. He had a little bit of dried food at the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it.
"Want to tell me about June 1998?"
Greg looked up from his Departures. "I'm sorry?"
"You posted a message to alt.burningman on June 17, 1998, about your plan to attend a festival. You asked, 'Are shrooms really such a bad idea?'"
The interrogator in the secondary screening room was an older man, so skinny he looked like he'd been carved out of wood. His questions went a lot deeper than shrooms.
"Tell me about your hobbies. Are you into model rocketry?"
"Model rocketry."
"No," Greg said, "No, I'm not." He sensed where this was going.
The man made a note, did some clicking. "You see, I ask because I see a heavy spike in ads for rocketry supplies showing up alongside your search results and Google mail."
Greg felt a spasm in his guts. "You're looking at my searches and email?" He hadn't touched a keyboard in a month, but he knew what he put into that search bar was likely more revealing than what he told his shrink.

WSJ.com: How much of it do you consider fiction versus prediction?

Mr. Doctorow: It's not prediction as much as a scenario. It's a scenario about how Google could be co-opted. There are much more banal ways that Google could be co-opted. Larry [Page] and Sergei [Brin] could retire and decide to spend all their time on their party jet. And the business could be slowly but surely taken over by a kind of managerial cast who have very traditional ideas about doing what's best for the shareholders but without regard to what's best for the world, and the sometimes already too-thin barrier between profitability and ethical behavior would just erode in a way that would, over time, make it just another company.

WSJ.com: Are there signs of that at Google? Are they doing something that concerns you?

Mr. Doctorow: Sure, absolutely, there have been lots of signs of that. I mean, one of the things that I think is in Google's DNA is a real tension about, on the one hand, being good to people, but on the other hand, acquiring as much information about them as they can, under the rubric that it allows them to be better to people.

And it does, a lot of the time. There are lots of ways in which Google knowing more about you makes Google better for you. But without much regard to what's happening in the world around us, in an era in which the national security apparatus has turned into a kind of lumbering, savage, giant toddler, it behooves us to not leave things within arm's reach that it might stick in its mouth. And that includes things like my search history. And I'd prefer that Google not be storing a lot of that stuff, especially today, especially after Patriot [Act] and so on. They're inviting abuse, I think, by doing that. The steps you don't save can't be subpoenaed. And by saving them, Google is inviting a subpoena.

So Google's always had this kind of "We will collect all your information, and it will belong to us, and you won't be able to take it away, but it's OK because we'll only do good things for you" attitude, and that's a bit of a problem.

WSJ.com: Is it hard to get people concerned about these sorts of things?

Mr. Doctorow: I think that people are really bad at valuing their privacy. More than anything else, I think privacy is the hardest one. By and large, we undervalue future privacy breaches. It's a little like [digital rights management], in that privacy breaches only harm you long after you have compromised. You buy Google videos, and for the moment, you're watching videos. You've got a library of Star Trek videos, it's great! And then six months later Google comes over to your house and takes all your videos away. At that point it's too late to go back in time and say I'm going to boycott this product because it's got DRM on it.

A similar phenomenon happens with privacy, where we say, all right, yes, incrementally collect my searches, do lots of analysis on my email, cross-link my email with my search habits. Cross-link my search habits with my RSS reader, my photos, my social network and the rest of it. By all means, one after another, because all of these things incrementally improve my life and my experience, until there's a terrible privacy breach resulting from it. I think that collecting all that information in one place is just a bad idea, generally speaking.

I had a really interesting meeting a couple of years ago with some of the [chief information officers] of Danish ministries. We sat down to talk about data interoperability and document retention. Document retention's a really thorny one, because hard drives are cheap, and governments don't really understand why they shouldn't just save everything. Who knows when it will be useful? I started to talk to them about this, and a gentleman put his hand up and said you know, you may need to talk to people in other countries about this, but you don't need to talk to the Danes about this.

Because after the Nazis occupied Copenhagen, they went down to the police station and got from the files all the addresses of the people they wanted to round up and stick in boxcars, and they took them away. We don't retain anything here. As soon as we're done with it, we throw it away because we understand that you can't always predict how information will be used, and the only way to ensure it's not misused is to get rid of it when you're done with it.

I think it's important to note here that what makes Google Google, what makes them such a good target for this stuff, is that they make the best search product on the market. They are so important to all of our lives that it's vital that we start thinking about what they mean and how they work, and what it could mean to have that much power concentrated into just a few hands. And what will happen down the road if the company's culture changes.

I mean, we don't need to have this discussion about search engines that no one uses. We don't need to have this discussion about Ask, or MSN Search, because they just don't have enough market share to matter.

WSJ.com: On Boing Boing, you and the other bloggers take up certain causes, like DRM and copyright law. Is it a meaningful soapbox? Is it having an effect?

Mr. Doctorow: We helped take down a member of Parliament in Canada last year. That was pretty cool. It was a member of Parliament who had a terrible conflict of interest over her stance on copyright, and she lost her seat after we and a group of activists outed her for taking money from the people she was supposed to be regulating. She was a multi-term incumbent who had every chance of getting back into office. That's just one example of many, many, many. There are lots of ways in which we've made changes.

My fiancee's laptop had broken down and she had a Sony warranty that supposedly guaranteed her next-day onsite service. They said they wouldn't service it anymore. She said why not, and it was a long story, but basically they said the guy who came out and broke it last time, because he had to come out two times, that used up your two service calls for this year even though he didn't end up fixing it, and therefore you don't get any more service. It was a six-month-old laptop…. So she wrote about it, and I re-blogged about it, and three hours later, five Sony VPs sitting around a speakerphone called her up and said how can we make this right for you? We solve problems for lots of people this way.

Write to Andrew LaVallee at andrew.lavallee@wsj.com

Microsoft Takes Aim at Google’s Ad Supremacy



Microsoft Takes Aim at Google’s Ad Supremacy

Published: September 26, 2007

MICROSOFT has used its might, clout and smarts to take on any number of products and services — the browser, the operating system, the portable music player, to name just three — with varying degrees of success.

Now, Microsoft is taking solid aim at a business that is arguably outside its core competence: advertising. And it is deliberately facing off against a specialist, Google.

The general in charge of part of Microsoft’s assault, Brian McAndrews, joined the company just last month and is still learning its way of doing things. But he does know the Internet ad business, having run aQuantive, the advertising company that Microsoft acquired for $6 billion last month.

AQuantive’s main competitor in technology is DoubleClick, the ad company that Google announced it would buy for $3.1 billion in April, so the competition will be face to face. Google, the dominant force in Internet advertising, has a running start, but Microsoft has a leg up: its deal for aQuantive is done, while Google’s bid for DoubleClick still faces scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission. Microsoft and others call the deal anticompetitive.

Mr. McAndrews has a long-term strategy that boils down to divorcing online advertising from Internet searches. The two have been viewed as a couple, because so many people use portals and search engines as their home base on the Web, but Mr. McAndrews says that model shortchanges advertisers and Web publishers.

Mr. McAndrews’s proposed system, called “conversion attribution,” would track all of the online places where consumers see ads and give advertisers a fuller picture of the various ways that consumers reach them. Tracking is important, because the site that gets credit for prompting a user’s visit is the one that gets paid for it.

Mr. McAndrews contends that search engines, which long have claimed credit for sending people to companies’ Web sites, do not deserve it all.

“Google gets all the credit, and in fact, you might have just gone to Google to type in the U.R.L.,” Mr. McAndrews said, pointing out that people often search for companies’ names after seeing their ads elsewhere.

Using technology from aQuantive’s Atlas division, Microsoft will be able to provide advertisers with a log of all the places on the Internet where people see ads before going to the advertisers’ Web sites. The data is based on individual computers’ electronic signatures, not individual people.

Atlas, which delivers online ads to Web sites, has been working on such a system for more than a year and is running pilot tests with it. DoubleClick introduced a similar technology in July.

But Atlas contends that the system will be expensive to deploy without Microsoft, because it requires vast server capacity to analyze billions of ad impressions each day, said Young-Bean Song, a vice president of Atlas. He said that Microsoft would be able to use the new tracking capability to prove the value of its ad space, much of which is unrelated to search.

“Microsoft recognizes that in order to get TV dollars and traditional advertising dollars, you need this type of measurement to really show this value; otherwise the answer over and over again is: ‘buy more search,’” Mr. Song said. “All the portals, including MSN, have a lot to gain from this.”

While this system is still a work in progress, Microsoft today will announce a more modest advance: changes to the MSN Video site that are supposed to make the ads there less intrusive and more ubiquitous. This development is a response to Google’s announcement in August that its YouTube site would overlay advertisements on the bottom of some online videos.

MSN Video will play fewer video ads in a session, but increase the reach of the ads by showing them once every three minutes. Until now, video ads have appeared at the start of every two clips, even if those clips were only 10 seconds long. The change is also meant to make sharing videos easier, which MSN hopes will encourage more online video watching.

Since announcing the deal to buy aQuantive, Microsoft has been expressing its online advertising ambitions more loudly. “We are hell-bent and determined to allocate the talent, the resources, the money, the innovation, to absolutely become a powerhouse in the ad business,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, at the company’s financial analyst meeting in July.

He pointed to aQuantive as a crucial piece of the plan during his speech. “We’re emerging, but we’re also looking to redefine the way online advertising gets done, because we have so much smaller a footprint than the two market leaders,” he said, referring to Google and Yahoo. “This is a chance to invest in, or to reinvent and rethink the whole business model of online advertising,” he said.

Microsoft has signed up more than 80,000 advertisers since introducing its Ad Center hub in May 2006. The company wants to offer advertising throughout its product line, and says it has technology to predict many details about Web users, ranging from where they come from to whether they intend to make a purchase. This summer, Microsoft opened a research center dedicated to online advertising.

The company also named Mr. McAndrews the senior vice president of a new advertising unit, the advertiser and publisher solutions group. His assignment will be to build what Microsoft calls its advertising “monetization engine,” and his group will oversee advertising products across some of Microsoft’s own Web sites, cellphone and game platforms as well as on thousands of other publishers’ sites.

Both aQuantive and DoubleClick have built pipelines that send ads to Web sites each time someone logs on. The companies serve as middlemen between advertisers and Web site owners, exporting banner ads, videos and text ads to land on the right Web sites at the right times.

“We’ve been competing with DoubleClick for years,” Mr. McAndrews said. “Google, if that deal closes, is obviously an industry leader, a formidable player.”

But, he said, “it’s a long game. We’re not going to, you know, count this by the number of outs in the first inning. We’re going to look at this as a nine-inning game.”

Unlike DoubleClick, which does not own an advertising agency, aQuantive owns Avenue A Razorfish, the agency where the technology for Atlas was incubated. When Atlas was made into a separate business unit in 2001, it was a controversial decision, Mr. McAndrews said, because some people within the agency feared that the technology was a “secret sauce” that should not be shared. But Atlas became successful in its own right, and Avenue A Razorfish now makes up less than 10 percent of its revenues, he said.

The Atlas technology was a big attraction for Microsoft, and people in the online ad business suggest that Avenue A Razorfish may be sold. But Mr. McAndrews said that the agency business was important to retain because it provided firsthand insight about the needs of advertisers.

Fiber-Optic Cable under the Pacific

Google Plans Fiber-Optic Cable under the Pacific

Google plans to build a fiber-optic cable under the Pacific Ocean to link its U.S. operations with Asia, according to a report in Communications Day.

Linda Rosencrance, Computerworld

Monday, September 24, 2007 3:00 PM PDT

...The Unity cable, as it is being called, has been under development for several months and is set to launch in 2009, according to the report, which said Google met with a group of carriers in Sydney last week to discuss the plan.

Google could not be reached for comment, but the company told CommsDay that it couldn't confirm or deny the Unity plan.

"Additional infrastructure for the Internet is good for users and there are a number of proposals to add a Pacific submarine cable," a Google spokesman told CommsDay. "We're not commenting on any of these plans."

But according to the report, Google plans to join the carriers to build a multi-terabit cable. Although CommsDay said it couldn't confirm the carriers working with Google, it said that both Asia Netcom and Telstra had discussed the concept with Google.

The route for the cable hasn't been determined, but it could potentially connect Australia to new and existing cables in Guam and Hawaii, according to the report.

2007年9月24日 星期一

Microsoft Goes Behind the Scenes

Microsoft is campaigning with a PR firm to persuade Internet companies, advertisers and regulators to oppose Google's planned $3.1 billion purchase of online-ad firm DoubleClick.

Microsoft executives and a public-relations firm retained by the software giant are waging a quiet campaign to convince Internet companies, advertisers and regulators to oppose Google's planned $3.1 billion acquisition of online advertising specialist DoubleClick, according to press reports.

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2007年9月23日 星期日




Ebay首席执行官梅格•惠特曼(Meg Whitman)表示:“用户体验方面有些落后。”她承认自己的企业增长逐渐减缓。长期以来,人们在研究如何打造和培养网上经商群体的时候,一直把Ebay当作一个重要的案例。对于这样一家企业而言,这不啻于是认输。


雅 虎在网络广告领域的地位,就像Ebay在电子商务商务领域一样,而该公司遇到的困难甚至更多。直到现在,对该公司的注意力一直集中于落后的搜索广告业务, 表明雅虎未能跟上谷歌(Google)的步伐。然而,作为谷歌刚刚开始涉足的一个市场,雅虎核心的在线显示广告业务似乎也已开始下滑。

雅虎 新任总裁苏•德克尔(Sue Decker)承认:“我们未能在网络显示广告方面持续推动创新。”她补充道,这家互联网企业一直拘囿于其最熟知的市场,向希望进行大规模在线品牌宣传的 广告客户销售广告空间。她表示,对于其它在线市场营销来说,“我们未能及时看到日益增长的需求。”


在这背后,是广告客户和用户越来越高的期望,是搜索广告的可度量性已经改善,是以新方式融合通信和娱乐特性的社交网络日益发展,以及其它“Web 2.0”技术付诸实践——而这些技术已使“Web 1.0”时代的一些巨人们已经沿用了10多年的方式手段明显落伍了。

经验丰富的硅谷金融家、Elevation Partners创办人罗杰•麦克纳米(Roger McNamee)表示:“这正在迅速改变许多东西,并暴露出早期领袖们的自满。”



惠 特曼表示,互联网创新加速的根源,是初创企业投资新热潮。这与Ebay和雅虎等公司在本世纪初的5年内面对的市场完全相反。惠特曼谈到那些年接触风险资本 的遭遇时表示:“当时的市场已经枯竭。”迅速增多的新竞争者得不到资金供应。“现在,我们已经看到了下一波创新浪潮。”速度方面的改变暴露了大型互联网企 业多么停滞不前。

当然,流向网络公司的资金数目还达不到网络繁荣时的水平。在泡沫最鼎盛的年份,流入资金最高曾达到1000亿美元,是今年 可能流入网络行业资金数目的三倍多。然而,美国风险资本家目前投资的速度是近6年来的最快水平,几乎比1998年高出50%,而1998年本身在初创融资 业方面已经是一个历史上比较活跃的年份了。

这种情况已经足以触发一场竞赛,争夺网上的某些大型新市场——从视频到网络电话,不一而足。风险 投资公司Benchmark Capital合伙人比尔•格利(Bill Gurley)表示,创新正在涌现,“因为每个人都在踩油门。”这家公司在网络繁荣时期由于支持Ebay等企业而名声大噪。

这是硅谷最知名 的资本主义品牌。对于老牌公司里比较谨慎的经理人来说,它似乎有点不计后果。例如,估计有30家初创企业已经筹集到风险资本,准备创建消费者视频网站了。 很多公司都会因失败而放弃。然而,这种过度投资周期带来的结果类似于做实验,硅谷正是以此得到了繁荣,而这也曾是意外剧变的起源。



从 某种意义上说,雅虎和Ebay等公司的命运掌握在它们自己手中——因为,对于已经确立市场地位的大公司来说,总是要面对一段急剧变化期。它们拥有全球最有 影响力的消费者品牌和受众普及率,几乎没有什么非网络公司能与之匹敌。然而,如果它们不继续寻找更好的方式取悦自己的消费者,它们的资产就会迅速褪色。

即 便是雅虎,也只触及到了互联网真正潜力的皮毛:它能根据个人兴趣与用户打交道,也能把这种媒体的互动力量充分开发出来。等谈到目标广告与衡量、提高营销活 动有效性的时候,雅虎在线显示广告市场业务负责人托德•泰雷西(Todd Teresi)表示:“我们仍然处于实验阶段。”


不 过,在某些情况下,问题还要更深奥。运营改善的需要是一码事,与极其具有破坏性的商业模式竞争则要难得多。麦克纳米指出:“这些家伙面对的都是世界级的 ‘创新者难题'。”他提到了克莱顿•克里斯滕森(Clayton Christensen)书中的内容。克里斯滕森分析了成熟公司在与破坏性新进入者竞争时遇到的问题,而他的分析被视为论述这个问题的“标准文本”。他把 大部分原因归结为出现了社会网络等新的“个人对个人”业务,这种业务正在改变许多在线用户的行为。



微 软(Microsoft)面临着谷歌由广告支持的互联网应用软件的蚕食,对它来说,这种威胁意味着耍弄两种完全不同的方法。微软商业部门负责人杰夫•莱克 斯(Jeff Raikes)表示:“真正的机遇是,当市场倾向于此时,要足够敏捷地在各种传递机制中使用一种核心代码基础,并支持不同的业务模式。”换句话说,一个技 术平台要能够用来服务于不同类型的用户,其中一些用户愿意付费,另一些则愿意看广告。


同 时,在乐观主义者看来,还会有足够的回旋空间。就算新进入者白手起家创建了大型企业,雅虎和Ebay们只要行动够快,仍将保持网上实力。网景公司 (Netscape)联合创办人马克•安德森(Marc Andreessen)表示:“我认为两种类型的公司都会做得很好。”“现在市场太大了,有很多事情可以做。”他也携自己的社交网络公司Ning投入了最 新的初创企业浪潮。

然而,针对这种广泛存在的乐观看法,有两个警告。第一,对新投资的需求将让互联网巨头不能再坐收巨利——从结构上说,这 个行业也许将面临比以往看起来更低的利润空间。最近的新闻说,谷歌的成本已经急剧上升,似乎就传达了这样的信息。正如雅虎联合创始人、新任首席执行官杨致 远(Jerry Yang)所说的那样:“千万记住:我们处于投资模式中。”这些投资的范围程度尚且不得而知。



作者:英国《金融时报》理查德•沃特斯(Richard Waters)
2007年9月24日 星期一






作者:英国《金融时报》理查德•沃特斯(Richard Waters)旧金山报道
2007年9月24日 星期一





随着谷歌在今年春季进行了这笔交易,此举显示出它自己如何难以将其倍加珍视的商业原则付诸实际,其中包括该公司著名的内部格言:“不要作恶”(Don't be evil)。

谷歌创始人曾公开标榜自己秉持超常标准,而他们现在仍然坚信,长期来看,其理想将会改变世界。“在我们之前,没有大公司制定这样的道德规范,”拉里•佩奇(Larry Page)最近表示。“我认为我们能够成为一股积极的力量。”






但这种不满情绪也有实质内容。哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)教授大卫•尤费(David Yoffie)表示:“当你是一家发展成熟的公司时,‘不要作恶'就过于简单了。你必须对它加以演变和提升。”


即 便是反对该决定的一些人也承认,这很难怪罪于谷歌。牛津大学(Oxford University)互联网治理及监管教授乔纳森•齐特林(Jonathan Zittrain)表示:“我认为这个绝对很合理,也合乎道德,(在与中国打交道时)采取哪种方式最好,人们在这个问题上可以有不同意见。”齐特林个人也 反对谷歌这一举措。






斯坦福大学(Stanford)法律教授拉里•莱西希(Larry Lessig)仍然认为,这个集团瑕不掩瑜。他表示:“谷歌做出大胆决定,要去捍卫法律赋予他们的权利。在某种意义上,这种斗争是对社会的一种公共服务。”





谷 歌坚称,解决这个争端是自己的重点。谷歌欧洲首席律师奈杰尔•琼斯(Nigel Jones)称:“我认为,谷歌和YouTube在解决这个问题方面都有着巨大动力。”这类争端不仅仅是被起诉的风险。如果不去解决,它们可能会扰乱这个 行业未来的发展,因为这个行业可能将越来越依赖于谷歌等互联网运营商和现有媒体集团之间的合作。琼斯表示:“如果潜在的合作伙伴对我们的进展不满意,我们 将拿不到最好的内容。”


对 于任何声称占领道德高地的公司来说,广告销售方面的决策总是相当棘手。从一开始,拉里•佩奇和共同创始人埃里克•施密特(Eric Schmidt)就担心,广告可能会对自己工作的可信性造成破坏。在他们首次讨论自己的互联网搜索新方法的学术论文中,他们警告称:“广告业务模式的目标 和为用户提供高质量的搜索,这两者并非总能保持一致。




最近,一位过于热心的广告代表在谷歌的博客上写道,谷歌的广告可能会成为利益集团的有益工具,以反驳电影导演迈克尔•摩尔(Michael Moore)对美国医疗体系的批评。

谷歌高管否认这类事件反映了其广告业务及其核心价值之间存在任何更为广泛的冲突。“我认为没有这个趋势,”谷歌欧洲业务主管尼凯施•奥罗拉(Nikesh Aurora)表示,“这些都是独立事件。”





这两位知情人士表示,谷歌高管亲自向时任美国在线总裁的乔纳森•米勒(Jonathan Miller)保证,它们无意推出一个与美国在线竞争的基于网页的电子邮件产品。









谷 歌毫不掩饰其目标的远大。它正在创建一个能够吸纳海量数据的、巨大的全球计算平台。最近,谷歌扩大了它的使命,将“应用软件”包括进来:这是迄今最明显的 一个迹象,表明在为电脑用户提供他们日常生活中依赖的基础工具方面,谷歌希望象微软在个人电脑(PC)领域那样,在互联网领域取得垄断地位。






Google agreed to buy online advertising outfit DoubleClick five months ago, it put a lot of backs up.

US behemoths from Microsoft to AT&T expressed concern at the group's newfound might. Antitrust regulators were alerted. Consumer groups complained. The deal was also one of the clearest illustrations yet of how Google has changed.

Just two years ago, the Financial Times has established, Google abandoned a potential acquisition of DoubleClick amid concerns that a fundamental part of the way the online advertising company does business – using “cookies” to collect banks of data on users so it can target adverts to them – conflicted with the much-touted ethical principles of Google's founders.

By proceeding with a deal in the spring, Google showed how it has struggled to apply its cherished business principles in practice, including its well-known internal motto: “Don't be evil.”

Having publicly set themselves above others, its founders remain adamant their ideals will make a difference in the long term. “We haven't had big companies before that had that kind of ethic,” Larry Page said recently. “I think we can be a positive force.”

That is not how some are coming to see it. The DoubleClick deal has amplified complaints that Google has on the one hand abused its users – invading their data privacy as well as adulterating search results with increased advertising – and on the other trampled over potential business partners.

Former executives and other observers argue that the increasingly complex nature of Google's activities, particularly as it moves into new markets such as the one where DoubleClick operates, is forcing it to adapt and in some cases make compromises with its founding principles.

Facing growing numbers of commercial rivals and legal adversaries over copyright and other issues, it is not uncommon these days to hear comparisons to a company that many people in Silicon Valley love to hate: Microsoft.

In part, this is about image. “As you get more powerful, it's natural for people to think this way,” said Mr Page.

But the backlash has substance, too. “When you're a grown-up company,” says David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School, “ ‘Don't be evil' is too simplistic. You have to evolve it and develop it.”

Google's decision early last year to launch a censored search engine in China became an early lightning rod, since its stance appeared so clearly at odds with its self-declared mission – to make “the world's information universally accessible and useful”.

Even some opponents of the decision concede it is hard to criticise Google over it. “I think reasonable, and ethical, people can disagree on which path is best to take [when dealing with China],” says Jonathan Zittrain, professor of internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, who was personally opposed to the move.

Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that Google's nebulous claims to ethical superiority are backfiring – antagonising, in particular, other companies who see no basis for them, and who find they conflict with their own business interests.

“I think they have a view that what's good for Google is good for the world,” snaps one business partner. “Every nation state reaches that conclusion at some point.”

An executive who has worked closely with Google's most important business partners, adds: “I absolutely think their heart's in the right place, but they're trying to apply this [‘Don't be evil' principle] to increasingly difficult business situations.” As Google grows by acquisition, the challenges multiply.

Google's $1.65bn purchase of the YouTube video-clip website last year encapsulates the tension between Google's anti-establishment principles and its new-found status at the heart of the big-business establishment, with the frequent posting of copyrighted music, sport and film by the site's users causing friction with media groups worldwide.

Stanford law professor Larry Lessig still sees the group more as saint than sinner. “Google has taken aggressive decisions to defend the . . . rights that the law allows them,” he says. “It was in some senses a public service to engage in these fights.”

But an executive at one big media company counters: “If they're testing the limits of copyright, they've gone over the line and now they're trying to get back.”

To its critics, the YouTube deal confirmed Google's disregard for the rights of media owners. Internet companies cannot be sued for posting content that infringes copyright, as long as they respond promptly to requests to remove it – though Viacom, which has sued YouTube, argues these protections do not apply.

The company has spent much of this year developing a “digital fingerprinting” system to try to make it easier to identify copyrighted material. Opponents claim, though, that it has deliberately dragged its feet over the technology – and also that the work on fingerprinting is an admission that Google has not done enough up to now to fulfil its legal responsibilities.

Google itself insists that resolving the disputes is a priority. “I think there's a huge incentive for Google and YouTube to get this right,” says Nigel Jones, Google's chief lawyer in Europe. Such disputes are not just about the risk of getting sued. Unresolved, they could disrupt the future development of an industry that looks likely to rely increasingly on collaboration between internet operators like Google and incumbent media groups. “If potential partners aren't happy with our progress, we won't get the best content available,” says Mr Jones.

The other big row to engulf Google, over cookies, was also triggered by an acquisition, that of DoubleClick.

For any company claiming the ethical high ground, decisions about advertising sales were always going to be knotty. From the outset, Mr Page and co-founder Sergey Brin worried that advertising in any form could undermine the integrity of their work. In the academic paper where they first discussed the outline of their novel approach to internet search, they warned: “The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search for users.”

For the young, idealistic, engineering-driven company they had created, “Don't be evil” was a slogan that served a useful purpose in signaling that they were not about to make compromises as they looked for ways to make money, according to one Google official.

A small number of cases that have thrown a harsh light on the practices of some members of its salesforce appear to justify that early caution. Earlier this year, two Google salesmen antagonised some of the biggest media companies by actively recommending the search engine's advertising system for use by websites that make money by distributing pirated content.

More recently, an over-zealous advertising rep wrote on a Google blog that advertising on the search engine could be a useful vehicle for interest groups seeking to counter criticism of the US healthcare system made by filmmaker Michael Moore.

Google executives deny that instances like these point to any broader conflicts between its advertising practices and its core values. “I don't think there's a trend here,” says Nikesh Aurora, head of Google's European operations. “There are isolated cases.”

Yet Google's rapid expansion, which has led to a sharp increase in its rate of hiring, seems likely to put a strain on its traditional way of inculcating its business values.

“We try not to have too many controls,” says Mr Aurora. “People will do things that they think are in the interests of the company. We want them to understand the values of the firm, and interpret them for themselves.”

Google's ambitious push into new online markets, meanwhile, has caused friction with even its closest allies, adding to suspicions about some of its motives.

In one notable instance in 2004, according to two people close to the situation, Google failed to deal openly with a looming clash of interests with AOL, at the time its most important business partner.

According to these people, Jonathan Miller, head of AOL at the time, had been personally assured by senior Google executives that they had no plans to launch a rival web-based e-mail product to AOL's own service.

Weeks later, Mr Miller received a phone call from Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, to warn him that the next day Google would be unveiling its Gmail service – an about–turn that made him “furious” and left the impression that Google was willing to “ride roughshod over its partners”, said one person close to the situation.

One business partner who has faced conflicts like this, attributes Google's behaviour more to error than arrogance. Strains on its internal organisation, along with its highly decentralised approach to developing products, help explain how misunderstandings like this occur, this person says.

Google's rapid growth, company executives admit, meant that for a long time it had too few employees to be able to talk to all the media companies that were worried about the impact of its growing power on their businesses. This just fed suspicions that Google, confident in its intellectual superiority, had an arrogant disregard for others.

Google's expansion into new markets has left even some of its closest allies decidedly wary. “You don't know what's inside the box of chocolates,” one partner says of Google's many new product initiatives.

A senior Google executive gives short shrift to such complaints. The media industry has traditionally accommodated relationships where companies are both partners and rivals, this person says. This is not an issue of questionable ethics: “It's considered business.”

Meanwhile, Mr Schmidt has made it one of his main missions over the past year to build better relations with business partners.

Tensions like these could be nothing compared to what lies ahead. The implications of the company's ambition, to bring information to everyone everywhere, are only just coming into focus.

Google is unabashed about the extent of its aims. It is in the process of building a massive global computing platform capable of absorbing vast amounts of data. Recently it extended its mission to include “applications” – the clearest indication yet that it wants to assume the same role on the internet that Microsoft has played with the PC when it comes to providing the basic tools computer users rely on in their everyday lives.

These ambitions will inevitably lead to a backlash, Mr Page warned shareholders at this year's annual meeting. “The scale of our opportunity is very, very large,” he said. “We need to scale to meet that opportunity. One of the impacts is that we will cause traffic in this area.”

Translation: as Google becomes the conduit for much of the world's information, and the tools for manipulating it, it will inevitably feed many more commercial rivalries and public suspicions about its motives. What meaning will there be by then in the slogan: “Don't be evil”?

2007年9月21日 星期五

Testing, One, Two, Google

這是用自己手機搜索的"次測試"結果之報導 (原先 一般說法為Testing, One, Two, Three - Testing, One, Two ,Three)

Testing, One, Two, Google - Testing, One, Two Google
by Steve Smith, Thursday, Sep 20, 2007 2:00 PM ET
DIGITAL NEWS OUTLETS WERE AWASH in headlines and warmed-over press releases regarding Google extending its AdWords and AdSense programs further into mobile properties. Sure, it is a big deal. We'll have to see what kind of volume the content partners see and how well the text links can remain relevant in a mobile context. But generally, this only helps legitimate mobile marketing both for marketers and for publishers contemplating a WAP site. But this is what gets me. In all of the reporting on this story, I didn't come upon a single instance where the reporter or blogger bothered to check the ads themselves.

It's actually quite simple. As longtime readers know, my family established long ago that I am not nearly as smart as I think I am, so if I can manage this, then so can any cub reporter with fresher synapses.

I ran a handful of common searches at m.google.com and came up with some pretty impressive results.

"Britny": "Did you mean Britney Spears?" Yes, I am ashamed to say. I won't dwell on the quality of the content hits (though they were good)) and scroll way way down to the ads themselves. In fact I am wondering how the ads get noticed at all when they are planted at the end of an extraordinarily long scroll of links. I found an interesting plug for credit card debt relief, and rather than a link through to a landing page, the ad gave me only a click-to-call button. In addition, I got the ubiquitous "100% MP3 Ringtones" pitch for mobile content from Jamster. Apparently this ad is relevant everywhere and any time, because I have seen it now on celebrity searches and local food searches.

"Pizza 19711": If this clichéd search doesn't deliver optimal results and matched ads, then you know something is broken. The results again were good, topping the list with links to local businesses rather than the images that headlined the celebrity search. Either for lack of localized ads or because the system is just that smart, this search left well enough alone. It didn't try to layer ads on top of the pizza directory listings. All I got were direct links to businesses.

"OJ": Okay, I wanted to screw with Google's head a bit here, and I almost succeeded. The engine wanted to give me airline information and then nearby businesses that started with O.J. While it correctly found some Wikipedia references to Simpson himself, it was good to see that Google didn't even attempt to run any ads beneath these results.

"Fashion": This is the search that got Yahoo in my bad graces a few weeks ago when it used the term to push searchers to partner Elle's coverage of Fashion Week. Google does a bit better on the content side, although most of its hits land on full-blown Web pages that warp terribly on the phone. But the ads are only vaguely related. Cellfire, the mobile coupon service, tried to reel us in with a hook about getting free music. And ItsMy.com links to a mobile dating and social network. What is interesting about ItsMy.com is that the mobile site is the first I happened upon that is carrying the Google mobilized AdSense contextual ads. In this case it is a big, honking blue box that occupies about a quarter of the screen with an ad for a weight loss link.

In my limited test of several other terms, Google made good on its promise to filter out AdWord and AdSense ads that didn't land on mobile-friendly pages. In that sense the experience did not seem cluttered with garbage that a mindless automaton tossed onto WAP sites.

But I sense that mobile search ads are as much an opportunity for other mobile content, especially media branded content, as it is for direct marketers. The unspoken cold hard truth of mobile advertising right now is that the banner and text spaces are choked with cheesy ads for more downloadables. Go to one off-portal mobile site that sells ringtones and you may well see an ad for another service that sells wallpapers. I am reminded of an old line from James Cain's "Postman Always Rings Twice." The Depression-era hobo hero looks out on a modern American service economy of stores rather than factories. He snipes that "The whole damn country is just selling hot dogs to one another." On mobile decks sometimes it feels like everyone is just selling ringtones to one another. Oddly enough, it is the low level of mobile ad creative that opens an opportunity for the clever, the attractive, the familiar.

I happened upon several AdWord ads for media like Ellegirl.com that had the effect of reminding me there was a mobile extension to their site. As a way of invigorating the mobile media eco-system, mobile search ads could be an important driver. Users will tire of having those "free" ringtones pushed at them left and right. Having an actual recognizable media brand pop up in the context of my search is sure to stand out, at least for a while. It remains to be seen how SEO for mobile is going to shake out, and whether branded media will be able to float to the top on these engines as effectively as some of them have on the Web. For now, however, there is an opportunity to rise above the clutter, even if it is at the bottom of a mobile search results page that is only slightly shorter than the Torah.

Contributing writer Steve Smith is a longtime new-media consultant and columnist, and current editor of Digital Media Report for MinOnline.com and Mobile Media Report for TelecomWeb.com Contact him at popeyesmith@comcast.net.

2007年9月19日 星期三


2007年09月18日18:33 wsj
網絡巨頭雅虎公司(Yahoo! Inc.)和谷歌(Google Inc.)正在向微軟(Microsoft Corp.)地盤發起新的衝擊﹐它們競相推出基於網路的電子郵件和演示應用軟件產品﹐來挑戰微軟的傳統主營業務。

雅虎週一宣佈簽署一項協議﹐以3.50億美元現金加股票的價格收購集中持股的Zimbra Inc.﹐後者是一家開發網絡電子郵件用軟件的企業﹐其軟件被大學、網絡服務供應商、中小企業等採用﹐客戶數量超過了1,300家。

雅 虎表示﹐公司希望通過此項收購提升電子郵件業務﹐將業務範圍延伸至Zimbra所掌握的大學、企業市場。目前雅虎的電子郵件用戶數量已經達到2.50億。 Zimbra的電子郵件帳戶共有900萬付費用戶﹐它的郵件服務提供群組日曆和文件共享等功能﹐Zimbra憑藉這種類似Microsoft Exchange、但更為經濟的產品在一定程度上對微軟構成了威脅。


Kevin J. Delaney

Google Unwraps Presentations

Not even a week after I reviewed Google's word processor and spreadsheet, the company launched a presentation program that gives it a full set of Web-based productivity tools. The news came out in a blog posting Monday night, followed soon after by an e-mail from Google's public-relations department. (Note to Google PR: This is information I could have used a week ago. I'm just sayin'...)

After a quick tryout, the new Presentations program looks like a solid but unpolished counterpart to the other Google Web programs. Like its siblings, it does an extraordinary job of making a Web site look and work exactly like a disk-based application: You can move and resize images and text boxes by dragging them around with the cursor, just like in Microsoft's PowerPoint, and right-clicking invokes a short menu with context-sensitive commands ("new slide," "change theme," "send to back," "send to front" and so on).

Presentations doesn't provide much design flexibility, though. You can choose from just six fonts and five slide layouts, and you can't change the background color or pattern at all except by picking from one of 15 prefab themes like "Chalkboard" or "Pink n' Pretty." You can insert your own images if they're under 2 megabytes each, but only if they come from your hard drive--you can't copy them over from an album saved on Google's own Picasa photo-sharing site. Odder yet, in my test Presentations rejected several JPEGs on the grounds that they were in an "invalid image format."

Presentations can import PowerPoint files up to 10 megabytes in size; two fairly dense marketing presentations came through with only cosmetic problems, such as an incorrectly indented line of text. It cannot, however, save your work as a PowerPoint file. Instead, it keeps everything in HTML format, which makes online sharing easy but makes offline storage slightly awkward, since saving a slide show to your desktop gets you a .zip archive of separate image and HTML files.

Have you tried Presentations yet? How's it been working out for you?

By Rob Pegoraro | September 19, 2007; 10:29 AM ET | Category: The Web
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Google is seizing on the popularity of widgets

Google Program Enlists Mini-Sites as Selling Tool for Advertisers

Published: September 19, 2007

Google is seizing on the popularity of widgets — small online tools that function like mini-Web sites — for its latest push into advertising.

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An ad for Honda Civic was an example of Google’s widget program. Users can give the ad a ubiquitous presence on the Web.

The online giant will announce today a Gadget Ads program that will provide tools for advertisers to run widget ads in Google’s AdSense network.

Marketers can use space within these display ads on Google’s network to show videos, offer chats with celebrities, play host to games or other activities. If consumers like the widget ad, they can save it onto their desktops or on their profile pages online on sites like Facebook and MySpace.

The new widget ads represent a more aggressive push by Google to attract big brand advertisers who like flashy ad units rather than the simple text ads commonly run in Google’s ad network.

One big advantage of the technology is that the consumer does not have to click through to a Web site. A weather widget, for example, would constantly update the weather report in a particular area. Similarly, marketers could feature content to attract consumers while constantly updating their own messages.

More than 48 percent of Internet users in the United States — over 87 million people — now use widgets, according to comScore, the online measurement company. Some of the most popular widgets on Facebook, for example, are the “Top Friends” tool, which allows people to go to their best friends’ profiles with a single click, and iLike, which lets users add music to their profiles.

“Consumers are pulling in content from multiple sources” said Christian Oestlien, a business product manager at Google who is overseeing the new ad program. “It is what we are calling the componentization of the Web. The Web is sort of breaking apart into smaller pieces.”

Many widgets have been built by media outlets, like Lucky Magazine’s shopping widget, which features hot fashion and beauty products. And some companies like Slide are developing networks of widgets made by individuals that advertisers can place ads within.

But consumer brands like Sierra Mist and Honda Civic have also been creating their own widgets as a way of providing content or tools to potential customers. Google is hoping marketers will pay to place these widgets throughout its AdSense network.

Advertisers bid for keywords to place their widget ads in Google’s network in the same way they do other Google ads. Since many users will interact with the ads within the ad units and not click through, Google has developed a new interaction measure to document the interest in the ads.

Google tested its Gadget Ads program this summer with a group of 50 marketers. To encourage more advertisers to make such ads, Google is offering to be host of videos for the ads in YouTube’s servers — a cost-saving for advertising agencies. And Google provides tools for updating the ads, even if marketers do not bid for ads in Google’s network. Marketers pay Google only for the ads that run in its networks and not for any downloading or saving of those ads that consumers may choose to do.

“We’re not trying to monetize every single event that happens in a creative,” Mr. Oestlien said, adding that they wanted advertisers “to make rich creative ads that are really useful to the end user.”

Google’s tools are convenient for ad agencies because they make it easy to create a widget quickly, said Dimitry Ioffe, chief executive of Media Banners, a division of the Visionaire Group, a digital agency based in California. Mr. Ioffe ran a widget ad for Paramount Vantage’s movie “A Mighty Heart” this summer in Google’s new program.

Mr. Ioffe said that Google’s tools to help marketers make widgets more easily may also help them cut expenses. Instead of paying news sites to run videos from a movie’s premiere, for example, studios can make it easy for consumers to post the movie videos on their own sites or social network profiles, providing free advertising.

“Widgets are a dream for marketers,” Mr. Ioffe said. “They allow them to extend their brand off of their individual sites and allow their brands to live as long as consumers want them to live.”

work with ad agencies on new ways to promote products.

Google tapped Andy Berndt, an Ogilvy & Mather co-president, to work with ad agencies on new ways to promote products.

Ogilvy & Mather New York co-president Andy Berndt is leaving the WPP Group shop to join Google. ...

2007年9月16日 星期日

June 28, 2005 舊聞存檔


June 28, 2005 -- 1:51 a.m. EDT

Google's Shares Top $300
Google stock topped the $300 level less than a year after the Internet-search firm's $85-a-share IPO, rising $6.85 to $304.10.
Googometer: Google's Rising Valuation


Google's Shares Top $300,
But the Bulls Remain


Can a $300 stock be a "buy"?

The shares of Internet-search leader Google Inc. topped that level yesterday, less than a year after its initial public offering at $85 a share.

Despite the lofty price, 24 of 30 stock analysts on Wall Street rate the company as a "buy," or "strong buy." Mark Mahaney, of Smith Barney, has posted a price target of $360 a share, recalling some of the outlandish price targets at the height of the Internet-stock bubble in 1999.

At its 4 p.m. price on the Nasdaq Stock Market of $304.10, up $6.85, or 2.3%, Google commands a market capitalization of $84.5 billion, ranking it 23rd among U.S. corporations, just ahead of Home Depot Inc. and just behind PepsiCo Inc.

Google's ascent has defied skeptics, whose lack of interest in Google's unusual "Dutch auction" IPO last August forced the company to lower its offering price to $85. Since then, Google's stock has more than tripled, compared with a 2% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and 1.2% rise for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index.

The rich valuation is rooted in the growth of online ads, which accounted for 99% of Google's revenue last year. Analysts expect Google's revenue to increase 82% this year, and its earnings per share to grow by 91%, according to a Thomson First Call survey. Over the next five years, analysts expect Google's revenue to grow 30% annually, on average.

That's a tall order, say some. That would require Google to maintain its lead in the search-advertising market, despite the aggressive competition from rivals Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and others. It also assumes that the company continues its leading position as it expands into other overseas markets. In addition, Google is moving into new markets such as electronic-payment processing where other big incumbents, such as eBay Inc.'s PayPal, service exist.

These new businesses and projected gains in Google's share of the online-ad market "represent potential wild cards to our outlook for revenue," wrote Marianne Wolk, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, on June 14.

But some Wall Street watchers think Google can meet the lofty targets. Safa Rashtchy, of Piper Jaffray, wrote in a May 31 note that the Mountain View, Calif., company has consistently topped Wall Street expectations, and is aggressively expanding into new areas, such as maps, local search and personalized home pages.

"Google should be able to extend its brand successfully and build a long-term advantage," Mr. Rashtchy wrote. At the time, he raised his price target on Google to $300. Yesterday, Aaron Kessler, another Internet analyst at Piper Jaffray, said the firm would re-evaluate its price target now that Google has surpassed it.

But Mr. Kessler pointed out a significant difference between Google and the Internet wunderkind of 1999: strong and growing earnings. "You were buying a concept before. You're buying on fundamentals today. You were buying earnings five years down the road. You're buying earnings this year or the next year."

Mr. Mahaney, in an interview, pointed out another difference: Google has been rising while other Internet companies have been falling. Indeed, shares of Yahoo, eBay and Amazon.com Inc. all are down for the year, while Google is up 58%, Mr. Mahaney said. In 1999, Internet stocks "traded directionally the same," he said. "That's clearly not happening here."

Ken Smith, a portfolio manager for Munder Capital, acknowledges that Google has far exceeded his expectations since going public. "That's where everyone has been wrong," Mr. Smith said. "It's a dangerous stock to be a bear on." Munder owned 308,700 Google shares as of March 31, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Still, Mr. Smith said that Google's growth will inevitably slow one day, with important consequences for its share price. "We've seen that a little on Amazon and eBay, on those stocks where the business momentum has started to slow and all of the sudden valuation has started to matter. Some day that will happen for Google. I don't know if it's this week, this year or five years from now."

2007年9月15日 星期六

AdSense API to 100,000 page views per day

我讀了一則新聞 進去讀一下
才多少想像出 API等

NewsCloud writes "Google has raised the required minimum traffic limit for publishers who wish to use its AdSense API to 100,000 page views per day. The AdSense API was introduced in March as a way for sites with user generated content to share advertising revenue with their members. Says Google, "This policy change will probably result in fewer developers going live and give us a chance to enhance our support resources and processes to more easily support a greater number of developers in the future...we hope to be able to lower it in the future as we become more efficient at supporting our developers!" Meanwhile, some publishers report waiting a month for their API usage to be approved. I take Google at its word for now but worry that small developers could be increasingly squeezed out of the mashup space if this were to become a trend."

2007年9月14日 星期五

Google, at age 10

A Google logo. Born 10 years ago, the Google Internet search engine has grown into the electronic center of human knowledge by indexing billions of web pages as well as images, books and videos.

Born 10 years ago, the Google Internet search engine has grown into the electronic center of human knowledge by indexing billions of web pages as well as images, books and videos.

Google, at age 10, is the official heart of the Internet

NEW YORK (AFP) — Born 10 years ago, the Google Internet search engine has grown into the electronic center of human knowledge by indexing billions of web pages as well as images, books and videos.

On September 15, 1997 Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two 24 year-old Stanford University students, registered the domain name of "google.com." The word is a variation of 'googol,' which refers to the number 10 to the power of 100, a term popularized by US mathematician Edward Kasner.

Page and Brin incorporated Google one year later, on September 7, 1998, in a household garage in northern California.

News of Google spread largely thanks to the efficient way the search engine classified results through algorithms, and it quickly became one of the most used methods to find information on the Internet.

From the beginning Page and Brin considered their role as global Internet researchers was crucial.

"We thought research was really important," said Sergey in a recent interview. "The other search engines stopped research on search. They thought that 'if our search engine is only 85 percent as good as the next guy, it's good enough for us.'"

To search for Internet documents it is necessary to permanently contact each site and memorize its pages, a colossal task for the Google data bank, which is constantly renewed, allowing the users to search for key words. Google needs several weeks to troll the Internet and renew its data bank.

Soon after its launch this search engine became a motor that "absorbed" web pages across the Internet, at a rate of billions per day.

Google has become the most popular Internet search engine in the world outside of China, Japan and Russia, handling more than 500 million visits a day.

In 2000 Google began to sell ads linked to key words. At the time, as the dot-com bubble was bursting and scores of web-based operations were declaring bankruptcy, Google was making a healthy profit.

When Google went public in August 2004 its shared initially sold at 85 dollars. Today its shares are valued at 525 dollars, and Google has a stock market value worth some 164 billion dollars.

In 2006 Google reached 13.4 billion dollars in revenue -- the third part based on Internet ads -- and profits of 3.7 billion dollars.

In the past years Google has expanded at a breakneck pace, and currently has some 13,700 employees. The company thrives on a culture of innovation: the best example is that it asks employees to dedicate 20 percent of their time to develop ideas for the company.

Page and Brin, now in their mid 30s, each have some 16 billion dollars in personal wealth.

In 2006 Google bought YouTube, the largest and most popular video exchange website, and soon after bought DoubleClick, one of the Internet's most powerful ad services.

Google also launched free e-mail -- Gmail -- as well as a word processing program, picture editing programs and a calender that competes directly with products from software giant Microsoft.

Despite the company motto of "Don't be Evil," it seems that the Google's ubiquitous presence increasingly generates hostility. Both Google and YouTube have been sued by media groups that charge that they have stolen content.

Its ads are directed at a very specific public based on their Internet searches.

Google's photographing of city streets has also been criticized, but also admired and widely used.

The human rights group Privacy International is lukewarm on Google's respect for private data. "At it most blatant it is hostile, and at its most benign is ambivalent," the group said.

2007年9月13日 星期四

Google 勝華佗 (2006)

我們這blog月前報導過 各大公司在這健康領域競爭激烈
本Google 公司這方面的負責人宣佈離職


今天2006/11/11? {中國時報}潘勛/綜合報導:「Google勝華佗 診病超準確」

,我們可以談點它的專有名詞之翻譯。我將我的COMMENTS 寫在【】之中:


【「古鉤」(Google) 是該公司未有「谷歌」中文名之一說法,可能有違商標法…….】

【將拼寫更正為:IPEX Syndrome, IPEX 症候群,
IPEX (immunodysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X linked syndrome)






有位十六歲水球球員血管阻塞,醫生們診斷解釋說,病因不明,但球員的爸爸立刻插嘴說,顯然他有「佩氏症候群」(Paget-von Schrotter syndrome),也就是是頸部肌肉壓迫到腋靜脈;老爸找遍古鉤,而且診斷沒錯。」
【拼寫似乎為Paget-von Schrotter Syndrome 這既然是兩人,似乎要公平對待:
...Sir James Paget first described thrombosis of the subclavian vein
while von Schrotter theorized that the clinical presentation was, in
fact, due to venous thrombosis. The syndrome is also known as
"effort-induced thrombosis" as it ... 】



By Maija Palmer in London
Friday, September 14, 2007

Google will today attempt to take the high ground in the debate over internet privacy, by calling for new international laws to be set up to protect personal information online. An international body such as the United Nations or the OECD should draw up new guidelines, Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel for Google will tell Unesco members at a conference in Strasbourg today.

Google has become a focal point for a debate on internet privacy since European Union data protection bodies earlier this year questioned the length of time the company kept data on individuals using its search engine. Google was also criticised by Privacy International, the human rights group, as being potentially “hostile” to privacy.

high ground

A position of superiority over others, especially competitors or opponents: used negotiations as a way to gain the psychological and intellectual high ground.

The noun focal point has one meaning:

Meaning #1: a point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges
Synonym: focus

英国《金融时报》迈亚•帕尔默(Maija Palmer)伦敦报道
2007年9月14日 星期五

谷歌(Google)今天将呼吁建立新的国际法规,保护 网上个人信息,以图在有关互联网隐私问题的争论中占据有利地位。在今天将于法国斯特拉斯堡举行的一次会议上,谷歌的全球隐私法律顾问彼得•福莱希尔 (Peter Fleischer)将向联合国教科文组织(Unesco)建议,联合国或经合组织(OECD)等国际机构应当制定新的指导方针。

今年早些时候,欧盟(EU)数据保护机构质疑谷歌对个人用户使用其搜索引擎的数据保存时间过长,此后谷歌便成为了一场有关互联网隐私问题争论的焦点。人权组织“隐私国际”(Privacy International)也批评谷歌,称其潜在上“敌视”隐私问题。