A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including news that Google reaches settlement with Belgium publishers, YouTube coming to a mobile phone near you, a new service geared towards seniors (or those without computers) that allows them to receive email via special printer, Google Answer’s closes, Yahoo seek to scoop up researchers from Google Answers, everything you ever wanted to know about Matt Cutts, Google’s secret advertising network and finally, one of the funniest pranks played on a telemarketer I’ve ever seen.
- Google Settles With Belgium Photographers and Journalists – From the New York Times, Google reaches a settlement with Belgian photographers and journalists yesterday in a copyright dispute over how Google’s news service links to newspaper content. The agreement was made with the Belgian copyright groups Sofam, representing about 3,700 photographers and Scam, on behalf of journalists. Danny Sullivan has an in-depth write up on this and Google historical problems with Belgium publishers at Search Engine Watch Blog.
- YouTube Videos Now on Mobile Phones – From WebProNews, YouTube is partnering with Verizion Wireless to expand its videos to mobile phones. Video content is expected to be available early next month. Unlike the free service YouTube offers online the mobile phone service will cost $15 a month. The new service will be called V Cast. Not all YouTube content will be available but rather distribution will be controlled by YouTube.
- Email To Printer Service Geared Towards Seniors – From TechCrunch, a silicon valley startup called Presto has quietly launched a new service aimed at people who don’t currently have Internet access, but want to be able to receive emails and photos from loved ones. It combines a special printer produced by Hewlett Packard with a web service that sends data to the printer over a normal phone line – no need for internet access or a computer. This would be perfect for my grandmother who attempted to get into computers a few years ago but gave up as she found them too difficult to understand.
- Google Answers Closes – Later this week, Google will shut down the Google Answers service. Google Answers was a service that allowed users to send questions to volunteers of which they would provide answers. Although they won’t be accepting any new questions, the existing Qs and As are still available. They will stop accepting new Answers to questions by the end of the year. From the Google Blog, “Google Answers was a great experiment which provided us with a lot of material for developing future products to serve our users. We’ll continue to look for new ways to improve the search experience and to connect people to the information they want.“
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Matt Cutts – Chris Winfield has put together a list of 20 facts about Matt Cutts. If you don’t know who Matt Cutts is, then I’d have to ask what planet you are living on. Matt is Google’s most public face to webmasters around the globe. He even has a fan base called “Cuttlets” who pretty much mob him and any trade show or conference he attends. Facts include information on his education, life before Google, the Google years, personal information and fun facts. One thing I might add to the list is that Matt is a cat guy which I can totally respect, me being a cat guy as well.
- Yahoo Invites Former Google Answers Researchers To Yahoo Answers – One day after the announcement that Google Answers is closing, Yahoo invites those who were formerly providing answers at Google to come on over to Yahoo Answers which has done quite well. An excerpt from the post reads, “The folks who are researchers and information specialists have been at this longer than us, and there’s a lot we can learn from you. We’ve set up a Yahoo! Group for former Google Answers Researchers and we’d prefer that one of the exGARs help moderate the group.”
- Google Has a Secret Advertising Network – It is a pretty well know fact that Google has AdSense for Content and even AdSense for Domains but what most people do not know is that Google has an advertising network for Fortune 1000 companies as well. John Chow spills the beans and writes, “The Google Display Advertising Network was created so Google can go after Fortune 1000 companies, which buy advertising to build a brand more than to sell a product.” he goes on to say, “Google has been hand-selecting sites (no word on how many sites has been chosen) that they want to put in front of Fortune 1000 companies. The goal being to sell these big companies display and video ads at a very high CPM – unlike the AdSense network, the display network is 100% CPM based.”
- Friday Funny – Not too much going on today as most SEMs are getting ready to head on out to Chicago for Search Engine Strategies Conference, myself included. I did come across something very funny however (thanks Jennifer). It is an audio file of one of the funniest pranks played on a telemarketer that I have ever heard. Give it a listen and see if you do not laugh yourself silly.