A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including advertisers are bailing ship over privacy concerns with Facebook’s Beacon advertising program, Digg adds new Images section, new taxonomy and more, The Los Angeles Times has taken a small equity take in new start-up, Mixx and integrates Mixx features into the LATimes.com web site, JetBlue to test in-flight email access and instant messaging, and finally, Google will begin to treat sub-domains like folders meaning, no more than two results will appear for any given search query.
- Advertisers Bailing Ship Over Facebook’s Beacon Program – TechCrunch reports that the backlash against Facebook’s Beacon advertising program just gets worse every day. Coca-Cola was the first to bail from the program due to concerns over privacy issues. Now Overstock.com is leaving and Travelocity is doubting whether they want to continue as well. This even after Facebook decided to change its policy regarding its users and the beacon program, making it an opt in instead of an opt out. More on Facebook’s Beacon program and why they decided to change policy in the TechCrunch story.
- Digg Adds Images Tab, New Taxonomy, & More - Barry Schwartz has the juice on the latest Digg updates which include a new section for Images that had been promised previously. They have also changed how their taxonomy works – you can submit news, images, or videos to any category within Digg. Additionally Digg broke out the “Offbeat” category on its own. And they have added a new “Lifestyle” category with sub-topics for “Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel.” There is a new Images Crawler which when submitting a link to a web page containing multiple images, they will crawl the page and present up to ten image thumbnails from that page for you to choose the one you want. Finally, they have added a new sort to the images section called “mosaic” view which is great for browsing image thumbnails.
- Los Angeles Times Takes Equity Stake in Mixx & Integrates With LATimes.com - Bill Hartzer reports that the Los Angeles Times has struck a deal with Mixx.com to take an equity stake in the company and as such has integrated the Mixx social media tools at the LATimes.com web site. This new alliance between the Los Angeles Times Media Group and Mixx is an an online content and co-marketing alliance that allows LATimes.com users control their own personal “Mixx” blend of online news, information, photos and videos. Mixx is also offering LATimes.com readers tools to help harness and organize news, information, and multimedia content. No details of how much of an equity stake the LA Times has taken in Mixx have been disclosed as of yet.
- Jet Blue Tests In-Flight Email Access - Next Tuesday, a plane dubbed “BetaBlue” will fly from New York’s JFK International Airport to San Francisco and in the process, offer passengers access to email and instant messaging functions while in the air. This is a move that has been anticipated after JetBlue division LiveTV won the $7 million bid for a 1MHz air-to-ground wireless license from the FCC during the summer of last year. JetBlue has teamed up with both Yahoo and BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion to grant passenger access to these lightweight Internet options. Even though this is a great step in being able to have Internet access while in flight, until the FCC loosens its rules, full Internet access will still not be available. More at Mashable.
- Google Will Start Treating Sub-Domains Like Folders - Goodbye sub-domain spam. Barry Schwartz reports on a statement Matt Cutts made at PubCon, currently being held in Las Vegas. Matt Cutts said that Google will very soon begin treating sub-domains and subdirectories the same in this fashion: there will be only 2 total URLs from a domain in any set of search results, so no more getting 3, 4 or however many spots via sub-domains. Barry questions whether this rule will apply to sites hosted on other domains such as Blogspot, Homestead, Geo Cities and others. At any rate, it is going to have a huge impact for search marketers who use sub-domains in their marketing techniques as well as companies who rely on the use of sub-domains to control reputation management in the SERPs.