A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Digg Caught red handed censoring content by burying stories internally, AOL acquires mobile advertising network and ad-serving management platform provider – Third Screen Media for an undisclosed amount, computer giant Dell is sued for allegedly ripping off their customers, a new “social local site is launched – LocalGuides, and finally, Microsoft agrees to acquire online marketing firm aQuantive.
- Digg Caught Censoring Content By Burying Stories Internally - Neil Patel has all the juicy details at the Pronet Advertising Blog. He conducted a test last week that shows Digg might be burying stories internally. MG Siegler wrote a post on I’m in like with You which got submitted to Digg and buried after 20 or so diggs. Most would assume that users buried the story, but it actually was one of the Digg employees who buried it or an algorithm that is targeting specific content topics/sites. Either way, it is apparent that Digg is censoring stories internally and has it out for certain groups, SEOs to name one.
- AOL Broadens Mobile Ad Platform - From Mashable, AOL announces today that it has acquired Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising network and ad-serving management platform provider, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition will help AOL experience better positioning in the mobile market, and allows them to offer this ad distribution channel to their advertisers as well. Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com division and will continue to act as a broker for advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers, connecting them on a common platform to enable ad-management and delivery via WAP, downloadable applications, SMS, MMS, and mobile video, putting forth a wide array of options for all parties involved.
- Dell Faces Consumer Lawsuit Over Its Services - Or should I say, “lack of services?” ABC News has the story reporting that New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo files a lawsuit against Dell, accusing the company of deceptive, fraudulent and illegal business practices. Dell is the second largest computer seller in the United States, but now some say the technology giant is ripping off its customers. Part of the suit claims that though Dell gave the impression of an “award-winning service” available to consumers “24 hours a day, seven days a week,” consumers faced “nightmarish obstacles” to get help and technical service for their computers. The story refers to this as “Google Hell.” let me say that I have been there and it is not a pretty place.
- Social Local Site LocalGuides.com Launches - Local Matters, a company that provides a lot of behind-the-scenes technology and data for a number of local search services, has released a beta version of its own “social-local” site, LocalGuides. The site is described as a new approach to creating a “social-local” experience. LocalGuides empowers consumers with the tools to create, annotate, expand and share lists of local businesses and places – publishing their own personal local guides. They are also just beginning to introduce new elements of local-vertical by providing “starter guides” that users can copy and personalize for common local shopping activities. Story via Search Engine Land. Matt McGee also has a short write-up on the subject.
- Microsoft Acquires aQuantive For $6 Billion - It was rumored that Microsoft would acquire 24/7 Real Media but instead they have decided to acquire online marketing firm aQuantive who also owns Atlas and Avenue A | Razorfish. Yes, now Microsoft joins Google in the fact that they own a search marketing company which places them in a controversial position indeed. From the official press release, “The aQuantive acquisition enables Microsoft to strengthen relationships with advertisers, agencies and publishers by enhancing the Company’s world-class advertising platforms and services beyond its current capabilities to serve MSN. The acquisition also provides Microsoft increased depth in building and supporting next generation advertising solutions and environments such as cross media planning, video-on-demand and IPTV. Combining aQuantive’s technologies and services with Microsoft’s portfolio will provide value for the industry’s key constituencies.”