Wow, what a week to skip a Tues News. In the past two weeks, there have been some seriously big deals going on and I was too busy doing a webinar to report about it. Please forgive me! If you’re asking yourself, “What big deals is this guy talking about?” then I have great news for you because I am not above reporting on news from two weeks ago here at the Tues News. So, before you check some real news sources that lack the bias and commentary of the Tues News, let’s get going to big deals!
1) Unless you’ve been living in a particularly poorly appointed cave, you’re aware that Yahoo and Microsoft finally struck a deal. The big question seems to be a combination of “so what?” and “so, what does this mean to me?” Well, for now, you probably won’t notice much of a difference but some big changes are a-coming. First of all, this effectively means that Yahoo is out of the search business. What are they? It’s tough to tell but in the future, Yahoo’s search will be powered by Microsoft’s Bing and showing ads populated by Microsoft adCenter. It also means that Yahoo gets to shed the overhead costs of running their own search engine and ad network.
So, who ended up the big winner in the deal? It’s tough to tell but you could argue that it’s Google. After all, this means that Yahoo and it’s properties (i.e. Flickr, del.icio.us and services like Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News and the like) remain separate from Microsoft. Therefore, although this deal is certainly not good news for Google, it is certainly better news than an all-out acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft, which was a real possibility about one year ago.
Personally, I’m not thrilled about all of this. Anyone who has spoken to me about my opinions regarding the Big Three (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) in search knows that I rank the user experience with Google at the top, Yahoo as a distant second and Microsoft as an even more distant third. When Bing came out and made some noise, it was my opinion that Bing would be nothing more than an expensive flash in the pan unless Microsoft could make the user experience better for the advertiser through it’s adCenter product. As it stands, the stubborn folks over at Microsoft still make bulk changes very difficult to perform, offer a poor quality account editor that is incompatible with Apple computers and employ customer service representatives that have always seemed overworked at best and poorly trained at worst.
Even if Bing stays relevant, even if people abandon Google for it, Microsoft will still have issues capitalizing on this if it can’t lure advertisers to use adCenter the same way that Google has been so successful with AdWords. Hopefully, though, that is Microsoft’s next goal. Certainly, Yahoo will push them toward this end when they find out that users were happier using Yahoo’s “Panama” interface than adCenter and begin shifting even more funds to Google. [Business Week]
2) So, have you heard of Twitter? Unless you were roommates with the aforementioned guy in the cave, you certainly have. Twitter’s biggest upside, according to many, was the fact that a search for trending Twitter topics revealed the “pulse of society” because the results were all in real time. From the Iranian Revolution to Lamar Odom re-signing with the Lakers, Twitter was on top of it in real time and it is because of this advantage that so many people think that the search function is the most powerful aspect of Twitter. Well, Twitter founder, Biz Stone, seems to agree because, if you check out Twitter’s homepage in the past few days, chances are good that you saw that Twitter had undergone a makeover. Much like Google’s homepage is a simple search bar, Twitter has prominently incorporated search in its own homepage.
This is big news for the search community. This isn’t just another search engine, this is a different entity all together. You know how Bing has those commercials that imply that Google’s results aren’t relevant? Well, they aren’t always the most up to date when it comes to current events. If you do a search right now (12:31pm PDT on August 4, 2009) for Bill Clinton in Google, Bing and Twitter you will get his wiki article in Google, his wiki article in Bing and an international discussion of Clinton’s role in the pardoning of the journalists in North Korea in Twitter. Google and Bing also offer news articles about this, however, in Twitter, you know you’re going to get the most up to date opinions of the global community and no matter how different Bing claims to be from Google, it’s still a search engine despite its claims to be a decision engine.
It is because Twitter is inherently built on a platform of users rather than a platform of data that it will continue be able to provide a viable alternative to Google. It may not always deliver the better result (maybe you were hoping to find Bill Clinton’s wiki article) but it is better equipped than any other search engine to provide a decidedly different and more current result. [ChannelWeb]
3) Wow, those are two pretty big deals, right? Surely, that’s all that’s happened in the world of search marketing, right? Of course not! Did you hear the one about the CEO of Google who sat on the Board of Directors at Apple? No? It’s a good one! Eric Schmidt, the guy who has been the third wheel on the Page, Brin, Schmidt Google Juggernaut Tricycle has been not-so-quietly been sitting on the board over at Apple all this time. Seems odd, right?
Well, that’s because it kind of is. TechCrunch wrote a pretty compelling piece about why Schmidt had to leave Apple, however, the interesting thing seems to be that this hasn’t been a bigger issue for longer. With Google now producing Chrome OS, which competes directly with Windows and Apple’s OSX, as well as the Android phone which competes directly with the iPhone, what was Schmidt doing in both camps?
It was widely believed for the longest time that Google and Apple were both defining themselves as the anti-Microsoft companies in their respective spaces. Well, with both companies growing and daring to tread more and more often on Microsoft’s territory, they have begun to find themselves at odds with one another with greater frequency. This past week, there was a great to-do made over the rejection of Google Voice from the iPhone app store. Was this the final straw for Schmidt? We may never know but what we do know is that with Schmidt off the Board at Apple, this battle between Google and Microsoft may have another player. Does this mean that Apple will make its own search engine? I kind of hope not but anything can happen now that the gloves are off! [TechCrunch]
It looks like this will teach me to take a week off. With three big deals going on in the past two weeks, it’s been an exciting time to be working in search engine marketing. Thanks for stopping by. Read up on and keep up with the online world; keep reading Tues News! Catch ya later!