Tuesday, March 20, 2007
topix worries about google trafic
After paying $1 million to purchase the rights to the Topix.com domain, Topix.net CEO Rich Skrenta now has to deal with a couple of daily realities in the search world: changing domains could cause a dropoff in search engine-driven traffic, and Google isn't exactly Nordstrom or L.L. Bean when it comes to customer service.

Several top level domains have come along in recent years to complement the .com, .net, and .org that have been available to the public. Dot com started life as the domain for commercial organizations, and over the years has become the must-have domain for one's business name.

Topix has been Topix.net for quite some time. Skrenta wants the dot com credibility, not to mention making it easier for people to find the news aggregator site. When it comes to the Web, people tend to think in terms of dot com.

Skrenta told the Wall Street Journal about the concerns he has with the change. Sites that make name changes without accounting for the ways search engines look for them could make a website invisible to searchers.

Redirection, particularly the issues with using 302 redirects, has been an issue of contention between webmasters and Google in particular. As the dominant search engine, Google can determine a website's success. Skrenta fears what a mishap with redirecting people from Topix.net to Topix.com could do for the site:
Even if traffic to Topix, which gets about 10 million visitors a month, dropped just 10%, that would essentially be a 10% loss in ad revenue, Mr. Skrenta says. "Because of this little mechanical issue, it could be a catastrophe for us," he says.
Skrenta also experienced the palpable frustration shared by many site publishers when dealing with Google:
Further frustrating him is that Google's response to Topix's plea for help was an email recommending that, if the switchover were to go badly, the company should post a message on an online user-support forum; a Google engineer might come along to help out. "This can't be the process," Mr. Skrenta says. "You're cast into this amusing, Kafkaesque world to run your business."
Amusing, maybe, but no one at Topix will be laughing if Topix vanishes from the Google realm. In the same article, Google's Matt Cutts said the post-and-wait support strategy 'is more reliable than it sounds.'

Fortunately, the issue of pleasing the search engines with a redirect can be addressed. Search engines like 301 redirects, which unlike the 302 redirect tells the search engine crawler that the redirect is permanent.

WebProNews Blog Talk contributor Eric Enge discussed 301 redirects in a recent article. In Google, a site Enge moved managed to be recognized properly within two to three weeks.

Skrenta probably will choke on a Pop Tart at the prospect of two to three weeks of uneven traffic. But we see no reason to think Matt isn't giving Topix good advice, so perhaps Skrenta should just drop in on the relevant Google Group and send out the SOS.
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posted by admin @ 9:18 PM   1 comments
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Google adding adsense for audio
It's funny how a whisper can sometimes push a hurricane; expect one to swirl up by Monday. The rumor, as was whispered into the ear of a DM News reporter, is that Google is about to undergo a major corporate restructuring just as they prepare to release AdSense for Audio.

Giselle Abramovich floated out a rumor post on Tuesday, the steady crescendo of which has expanded to discussion on at least five other well-known blogs.

According to Abramovich, Google "is a bout to set up an IBM-like structure. What this means is that there would be one global account director per account, that pulls in resources to sell as needed - PPC, Print, Radio, Video, Display, etc."

And the blogosphere went flashback-squiggly, hearkening back to Google's acquisitions of dMarc and YouTube. That was a dawning for some, but for the others, it became a cat's-out-of-the bag situation. Abramovich's little leak became a spilling of guts, moving bloggers to tell what they know.

ThoughtShapers.com's Jeff Molander was quick to quote three credible sources as the benefactor of what appear to be planned Google leaks. As David Utter reported, these leaks have been more prevalent in the past week, an apparent new Google strategy to gauge reaction before official release. Molander then expounds on the audio component of Google's master plan.

AdSense for Audio would place contextual ads alongside podcasts, and perhaps other streaming media (like that found on YouTube), all the way…perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…to radio and television. MTV is already on board.

Just to add to the speculation, I'm submitting Google has a killer audio-recognition technology that won't rely on spidered transcripts. Remember the application that can listen to your television and serve up advertising?

Molander uncovers also, the well-turned phrase of the week, courtesy of Revenews's Wayne Porter:

As Google turns you can feel the fabric of the media tear beneath your feet.

eWeek's Steve Bryant says he's been holding out for months, but in light of Molander's post, felt he needed to come clean.

Earlier this year, Google contracted with several podcast engineers to help them develop Google AdSense for Audio. According to one source the product was originally slated for a 3Q release, but apparently it slipped behind a month or so.

There may also be an mp3 player in the works, but that could be the most speculative of all. But Bryant's thoughts that this podcast search and ad technology could be integrated into mobile services, Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Desktop is probably right on the money.

About the Author:
Jason Lee Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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posted by admin @ 11:44 PM   2 comments
The Future of web vidio
Just what direction web video is going raises a challenging question. While Youtube has been an obvious success for the short video clip format, will there be a sustainable market for longer form web video?

The possibility of web video doing to cable TV, what cable did to network programming is the larger issue. Will people be willing to break from the comfort of their couch to watch longer form web video content instead of tuning into Dancing with the Stars?

In a blog posted by Wendy Davis for blogs.mediapost.com, this question is raised. Kevin Shiveley from TVWorldwide.com commenting on a mediapost blog said, "Internet TV has the potential to do to cable broadcasting what cable did to network TV, which is to expand the range of content (topically) and depth of that content on subjects that could never be feasible on network or cable broadcasting."

The quality of the content in the longer video form becomes another issue. To attract viewers, it would have to be something well written and extremely compelling to generate a large audience along with advertising dollars.

Some in the industry see it another way. In an interview with Justin Kownacki, creator of the web based comedy Something To Be Desired, I asked him his thoughts on longer web video content. Kownacki stated, "I see "longer-format" web video continuing to grow in proportion to both the audience and the market. As the viewers and the web economy adapt to support web video from 10 to 60 minutes in length, the quantity and quality of shows offered will continue to expand" On competing with traditional TV and cable he said, "Competing with cable / traditional TV programming is only a matter of time, not quality."

The technology is currently being developed by several companies to allow users to view web video from the comforts of their own living room. AT&T is one company that has developed Homezone, which uses broadband Internet along with satellite TV through a home networking system. This allows the viewer the ability to watch web video as well as regular TV.

As the technology improves, people will no longer have to sit in front of their monitors to view the latest rage in the web video world. They will have the luxury of watching web video on their flat screens while kicking back on their couch.

The shift to longer format video seems to be promising and will most likely continue to grow to the point it will become "old hat". Maybe in the near future the next innovative programming will not come from the traditional TV, but from the cutting edge of the web video world. Stay tuned.

About the Author:
Michael Sachoff is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
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posted by admin @ 11:37 PM   0 comments


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