A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including PayPerPost is Google’s latest PageRank reduction victim, Congress heavy hitters urging FTC to look closely at the Google/DoubleClick merger, privacy advocate Move.org is upset over Facebook behavioral advertising policies, Happy Thanksgiving from the search engines, and finally, Dan Ackerman Greenberg of viral video marketing company The Comotion Group provides tips on how to make your videos go viral on YouTube.
- PayPerPost Slapped By Google, Latest PageRank Reduction Victim – It seems that PayPerPost, one of the leading services where you can buy sponsored links within blog posts, has been slapped by Google with PageRank reduction penalties. TechCrunch makes the following comment in reporting the story – “If participating in PayPerPost wasn’t questionable enough morally before, today it’s now a poisoned chalice as Google has commenced punishing PayPerPost bloggers by completely removing their page rank.” PayPerPost CEO, Ted Murphy, is crying foul claiming that it’s part of some sort of censorship conspiracy by Google. Better still Murphy claims that it’s part of Google’s attempts to deny competition because PayPerPost is a “a very attractive alternative” to AdSense. So the battle wages on. Actually I think we are only seeing the beginning of moves such as this. But really, if Google really wants to kill the “paid links by PageRank” industry, all they have to do is remove that little green (or gray for some) bar from the Google Toolbar.
- Congress Heavy Hitters Urging FTC To Look Hard at Google/DoubleClick Deal - The obstacles to the Google/DoubleClick merger continue now with Congress stepping into the mix.
WebProNews reports that heavy hitters in the Senate on the antitrust subcommittee want the FTC to look closely at the deal. “This proposed acquisition would combine the world’s largest Internet search company, Google, with DoubleClick, the leading company that places advertising on the Internet. The implications of this merger for the Internet advertising market – and for the Internet as a whole – are profound and potentially far reaching,” the Subcommittee said in the letter.” They went on to say, “While we have not reached any definitive conclusion regarding this issue, we urge that you only approve the merger if you determine that it will not cause any substantial lessening of competition with respect to Internet advertising.” The message from Congress comes a few days after European Competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, disappointed Google with the news of an extension of the ongoing review of the purchase in Europe. Google had anticipated closing the deal before the end of 2007, but the EC review won’t be completed until April 2008. Additionally, Danny Sullivan does a great job at pointing out some of the flaws or misunderstandings in the Congress’s open letter.
- Privacy Advocate Move.org Stand Against Facebook’s Beacon Ads - The Wall Street Journal reports that privacy advocate Move.org created a group on the Facebook site yesterday called, “Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!” The backlash comes as online advertisers experiment with “behavioral targeting,” or sending people ads based on personal information about them. A common type of behavioral targeting involves tracking the Web sites an Internet user visits in order to send them ads that are relevant to their interests. Facebook is stepping beyond this by collecting specific data about its users’ activities on outside sites and broadcasting that data to their friends and acquaintances. Users can’t opt out of the program, called “Facebook Beacon,” altogether. Instead, they have to opt out on a case-by-case basis when they use one of the outside sites. Pretty lame. let’s hope the pressure from Move.org as well as others who want their privacy protected allows Facebook users to opt out all together or better yet, have to opt in if they want to partake so that the default is to not involve users in this type of behavioral marketing.
- Happy Thanksgiving From the Search Engines - Barry Schwartz in typical fashion highlights some of the search engines and search related sites who were sporting Thanksgiving themed logos on their sites on Thursday (Thanksgiving). Sites include Ask, Dogpile, Google, Yahoo!, GMail, Cre8asite Forums and Search Engine roundtable.
- Tips For Marketing Videos on YouTube - I came across this very intriguing post at TechCrunch by Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of viral video marketing company The Comotion Group explaining how to effectively market videos on YouTube so that they go viral. He talks about video content itself, how to get on the “most vied” page, interesting titles, thumbnail optimization and much more. Check it out at TechCrunch.