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Google Brings Ex-Pixar CFO On Board
The search advertising company appointed Ann Mather to its board of directors, and made her chairperson for Google's Audit Committee.

Be The Google Cinematographer
A temp position listed on Craigslist seeks a Video Production Specialist to work at the search advertising company's Mountain View-based Googleplex.

Google API Vulnerable To Cross-Site Scripting
Security advisory firm Secunia reported a cross-site scripting vulnerability in the Google API Search Engine Script version 1.x, and confirmed it does exist in 1.3.1.

Firefox 1.5 Arrives Today
Despite a few fits and starts, and some bugs to quash, the Mozilla Foundation will make the full release of the Firefox browser, version 1.5, available this afternoon.

Search Offers Challenges To Business Publishers

The growth and acceptance of search engines posed a conundrum to sites like the Wall Street Journal, and they still see a need for a more effective business model.

Disney to Provide 'iPod' Content Insurance
A disaster befalling an iPod usually means having to repurchase content, but a plan from major content provider Disney will cover those lost songs and videos.

Connecting Google Boxes To Cubes
When last we left the inestimable Robert X Cringely, he had announced the big shipping container slash portable data centers secreted away in Google's parking garage...

Google, Yahoo May Go To Old Trafford
With current Manchester United sponsor Vodafone ditching its sponsorship of the Red Devils after the end of this Premiership season, the club's new owners have been looking for a new high-tech sponsor.

TiVo Jumps Into Search
The phrase "TiVo it" may have just expanded its meaning. Next year, a new advertising search function with digital video recorder (DVR) producer, TiVo, will debut allowing pizza-hungry couch potatoes to "TiVo" a pizza delivery service.



Free Edition of Web CEO: a Complete Software Toolkit for Search Engine Marketing - Download Now

David Utter
Tuesday Nov 29, 2005

Blogs Can Help eBay Affiliates

A lot of people write blogs and place affiliate links on their sites, and we have a few suggestions to help make them work better. It's easy enough to create a blog and toss some affiliate links into the blog's site template.

Editor's Note: How are you using blogs to help augment your site? Has blogging made you a more profitable publisher? Let us know on WebProWorld.

Blogs Can Help eBay Affiliates Creating posts every day proves a tougher challenge, and the vast majority of blogs don't last for very long. Non-writers who think writing is easy find out that one to three entries a day, every day, doesn't just roll out of the brain and into the ‘post comment' field of a blog.

The potential to profit from an affiliate program like eBay's can be realized with lessons learned from California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger: optimism, discipline, and focus.

People will find optimism the most difficult of the three to maintain consistently, and no wonder. Checking affiliate earnings on a continual basis, especially if they aren't growing at the rate one wants to have, can be a real downer. Couple that with all the demands placed upon people by real life, and maintaining optimism gets a lot harder.

That impacts one's blogging. Sentences become too terse, or grow to lengths that would have William Faulkner adding a period or two just to make them readable. Optimism comes from not just what one sees today in dollars and cents, but the continual work toward a goal.

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Discipline is easier than optimism. That may seem strange, but people are creatures of habit. Most people tend to do certain tasks each day or week, whether they are at work or at home. Blogging's additional challenge, consistently posting a minimum number of posts each day, even just one, can become part of one's routine.

Not every blog post has to be 800 words long. There is something to be said for brevity, but the content has to be good enough at a hundred words to get a point across to a reader. Consider the quick reward, attention-distracted Internet audience of today. Sometimes less is more.

Now we come to focus, the most complex of the three, and we can tie this in to how blogs benefit affiliates. In an earlier story on affiliates and APIs, we revealed the product category developers hadn't really hit with web applications: industrial and large equipment. Developers can focus their efforts on that or any other category.

For many affiliates, the goal isn't to build a better way to integrate their sites with eBay, just to be enough of a focal point to garner the kind of traffic that would find the eBay affiliate link enticing enough to click through and begin bidding. Getting that traffic means the blog has to effectively inform visitors consistent with the blog's focus.

The blog could be a standalone presence, or it could be in place to support a site. Either place can display the affiliate links; publishers probably want to have them on both if a blog complements an existing site. This is where focus helps.

Regular, disciplined blog posting in a way that focuses on the main topic of the blog helps build a perceived authority on the topic. A lot of big niches have received corresponding attention and investment; automobiles come to mind.

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About the Author:
David is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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An Online Christmas Carol: Part II

Jason Lee Miller By Jason Lee Miller

So after being told of a good way to avoid the traffic-and-tryptophan-induced fisticuffs breaking out at shopping centers everywhere in a way that made perfect sense, you realize you've been hornswaggled. Cyber Monday, like Valentine's Day, is a brand of marketing genius created a week in advance. Welcome to I-Feel-Stupid Tuesday, merry stinkin' Christmas.

Not that any of us that had some doubt about the sudden buzz that made every major news network in the country just in time expressed those doubts before waiting to see what happened---except for this guy, who was willing to throw a little rain on the parade. Everybody else just held their breath.

Doesn't matter now, even after Business Week's day-too-late-and-dollars-too-short exposé of Shop.org's calculated buzz generator.

"Shop.org member Shmuel Gniwisch, chief executive of the online jewelry site Ice.com, recalls getting an e-mail from Shop.org last year, suggesting that online retailers come up with their own marketing hook to match Black Friday," writes Robert D. Hof. A year later, Shop.org releases a press release, giving birth to Cyber Monday.

It doesn't matter because done is done. It's been created, the masses are aware of it, even after being a little disappointed at the lack of blowout specials. The lack of blowout specials is due to online businesses only having a week to prepare for so-called busiest online shopping day of the year. They'll be back in stronger force next year.

Cyber Monday is actually the 12th busiest day. But why split hairs? Amazon.com's stock went up after 1 million items were ordered Monday between 6 AM and 1 PM, an increase of 340,000 items over the same time on Sunday.

Just add that gumdrop to the actual busiest day so far, November 22nd, when revenue spiked 55% to $441 million, according to ComScore.

And let's not forget about Thanksgiving Day itself, when everything's closed. Overall, major online retailers like eBay and Amazon.com saw a greater online push that day than on Black Friday, with Turkey Day driving up traffic 18.8% over last year.

So it was a bunch of hooey. But it's hooey that's going to make online retailers a lot more money.

Merry….um…Merrrrrry, (sigh) Christmas.

Miss An Online Christmas Carol: Part I? Click here.

About the Author:
Jason is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.
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Chris Editor's Pic Chris Richardson

Help With Google's Sandbox

While there have been many discussions about the existence of the Google Sandbox, ever since Google quasi-acknowledged it's existence, much of the chatter has died down. However, there are people who remain unintiated to Google's cyber holding pen, much like the poster in our spotlight post. If you don't mind (and if you believe in the its existence), drop by and give ukbrad1980 some help with managing his site while it goes through the Sandbox ringer.

|| Chris||
 

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Average time in Sandbox?

Forgive me the indulgance of using one of my own sites as an example for this, but as time progresses it seems that it takes longer & longer to move out of the sandbox and into regular positions on Google - especially for more generic, fewer word search phrases. Using www.bigscreencells.com and the search term 'film cells' as an example:

Launched in August 2004
Shows #11 for allinanchor
Appears #1 in Yahoo.co.uk, MSN.co.uk, Lycos.co.uk etc
Shows 83 backlinks in Google
Shows 256 backlinks in AllTheWeb
No hidden text, limited use of alt tags, no spamming of Meta data

Generally the site fluctuates between pages 5-7 on Google, but has today dropped down even further to past page 20. This also happened during Jagger, but re-appeared when the dust settled.
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