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.eu TLDs

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 9:23 pm

The first phase of registrations for the new Top Level web Domain .eu began on December 7, 2005. This marked the start of a 4-month ‘sunrise’ period during which only the holders of existing trademarks or other prior rights may register. Registrations for .eu will be fully open to the public from the beginning of April 2006. Eurid is the independent organization selected by the European Commission to operate the new registry for .eu. Pre-registering a domain name within the .eu TLD is not possible.

Dates applications will be accepted:

For trademark holders and public bodies: December 7, 2005 to April 6, 2006.

For holders of “other prior rights”: February 7 to April 6, 2006.

For the general public: from April 7, 2006.

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Category: Uncategorized

Don’t Be (Really) Evil

Posted by Melanie Phung on Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 10:11 pm

In defending his company’s decision — a year in the making — to offer a censored version of its search services in China, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said the move would be a lesser evil than boycotting business in the country altogether:

We concluded that although we weren’t wild about the restrictions, it was even worse to not try to serve those users at all. We actually did an evil scale and decided not to serve at all was worse evil.

An “evil scale”? Is he serious? That doesn’t really work as well as a corporate motto.

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Category: Uncategorized

Subpoenas, Censorship, Privacy, Porn

Posted by Melanie Phung on Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Wow, what a week.

Bloomberg News has declared that Yahoo! Inc. capitulated to Google in the battle for market dominance. The story quotes Yahoo CFO as saying, “We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google. It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share.” But then Yahoo turned right back around and reaffirmed its “commitment to being the world’s best search engine.” It’s not terribly smart to tell your investors you’re happy with being #2.

Meanwhile, Google is fighting PR battles of its own. The #1 search engine is defending its cooperation with government censorship in China

…but not government snooping into its data to figure out just how popular Internet porn is. (Duh — very!)

Google is resisting on the basis that complying with the DOJ request would put trade secrets at risk.

But Forbes has this take on it:

A public disclosure of exactly how much pornography is on the Internet and how often people look for it–the two data points that will result from fulfilling the government’s subpoena–could serve to make the Internet look bad. And Google, as its leading search engine, could look the worst.

Nielsen/NetRatings says that porn sites attracted 38 million unique viewers in December–or a quarter of all Internet surfers.

Google and its competitors all benefit from porn sites, which help generate search queries and page views. But Google is the only portal company that makes nearly all of its revenue from click-through advertising. Restricting porn and porn advertising–the likely aim of COPA’s sponsors–could hurt Google disproportionately.

And filtering in general would also hurt Google more than its competitors. The Google brand is built on the notion that the engine gives users the clearest picture of the Web, without playing favorites. Restricting content in any way could hurt Google’s carefully burnished image, its 60% market share for search queries and its share price.

Fifty-six percent of Internet users said they do not want Google to turn over any information to the government, according to a poll conducted over the weekend by the Ponemon Institute. They are highly concerned about their privacy. But if my experience with surveys is any indication, most of those 56% aren’t actually part of the 60% that actually use Google, so they’re out of luck since competitors Yahoo, MSN and AOL (whose search results are powered by Google) have already complied with the government’s requests for the data.

Bob Evans, writing for Information Week, lambastes what he calls ā€?so-called privacy criticsā€¯ by saying (entirely without irony):

First of all, three cheers for Microsoft! The latest news has the company defending its decision to cooperate with the Justice Department in an anti-pornography effort.

The company said it limited the material it gave to Justice to “a random sample of pages from its search index and some aggregated query logs that listed queries and how often they occurred,” and that it was careful to avoid passing along any information that could possibly be tied to either an individual human or an individual machine or an individual IP address.

Danny Sullivan was quoted on Nightline suggesting the government request shows something important: The government has no idea what it’s doing. “It’s overkill, the amount of data that they want. They’re literally going to get more than a billion searches in what they’re asking for.”

Sergey Brin said on ABC News, “The idea there could be such a large overreaching, in my mind, request, based on something so far off and not related to security or anything like that, I think that’s worrisome.”

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Category: Uncategorized

Another Day, Another Dollar for Google’s Execs

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, January 27, 2006 at 10:06 pm

Brin, and his fellow Google execs Schmidt and Page, are the lowest paid CEOs on earth — they make a dollar a year … if it weren’t for the fact that they have tons of Google stock, which has been mentioned in the same sentence as the phrase “$600 a share.”

Updated February 12:
My prediction that Google was going to lose its golden boy status is coming to pass much faster than expected; GOOG’s stock price is down to $360 a share. Still not bad for a stock that IPO’d at $85, but not good news for those who bought when GOOG was approaching $500 just last month.

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Category: Google,Monetizing,Navel-Gazing

GM Commercial: Google Pontiac

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 10:08 pm

You know when it’s time to give your in-house search marketers a big bonus when you want your customers to visit your website and you don’t have to give a URL, you just tell the audience to “Google us.” According to a The Search Insider article, a new 30-second TV spot produced by GM ends with this unusual call to action, and a screenshot of the Google interface with “Pontiac” typed in the search field.

The article goes on to explain:

GM’s campaign implies tremendous authority and trust in the Google brand. It’s almost as if Google is moving into the territory of J.D. Power & Associates as the ubiquitous barometer of customer satisfaction, so often plugged into automotive advertising. GM sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve said in a recent Business Week article by David Kiley: “We’re touting Google, frankly, because it stands for credibility and consumer empowerment, and we like the association.”

… While association with Google’s credibility is understandable, no responsible brand manager would widely promote a search for his brand, without some degree of confidence that the results will support the brand objectives.

Tell me about it.

Update: Feb 1
I just saw the commercial. Slick.

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Category: Google,search marketing