New way to make bucks with advertising (Microsoft is screwed, Blodgett says); A9 switches to Windows Live

Here's a new way to make money: register names that are close, but are misspellings of popular sites.

What's fueling this? The new advertising craze, the Washington Post is saying.

In other news Henry Blodgett says Microsoft is losing in the Advertising game and gets very close to counting us out forever.

He's right. As long as Microsoft copies others and doesn't do anything radically different this game will be over.

Why? Because we're in an audience business. Blodgett assumes this is about search. It's not. Or about Web. It's not that either. It's about building audiences that advertisers want to pay money to be in front of.

Advertisers want a few things:

1) Eyeballs. Don't believe me? Go to Times Square in New York. Why are those signs (er, advertising) there (they cost millions of dollars each)? Eyeballs. Hundreds of thousands of them every day.
2) Purchasers. Every Sunday there's a "homes" section in the local newspaper. Why? Cause the newspaper industry has trained us that if we're looking to buy a home, we should get the Sunday newspaper, throw away all that news crud, and start circling homes we're going to look at that day.

This is a simple business. It's all about figuring out how to get an audience.

Now, Google, Yahoo, and MSN are just like the music industry in that regard. We're trying to figure out what the next big audience pleasing thing will be.

Let's be honest. Google signed the metaphorical equivilent of the Beatles.

So, is the way to build a world-class business to just copy the Beatles?

No.

If Microsoft and Yahoo want to grow, we must build the next big thing. Not copy yesterday's big thing.

On the other hand. Search is not done. That's where it's different from a music act. With services you can take what used to exist and make something new.

Look at A9.com. Here, search for Scoble. What do you notice? First, that it shows you a bunch of stuff that the other engines don't.

Another thing I notice? They are using Microsoft's search engine now instead of Google's. Take THAT Henry! Chris Overd is the one to notice that.

Or, look at Gada.be. Here, search for Scoble there. It uses all kinds of search engines.

This week RawSugar is going to turn on a new improved search engine based on tags. I got a look last week at what they are gonna turn on and it's really great. That small company has done something innovative that the big boys haven't even tried to do yet.

Oh, and if Google has done such a great job in search, why can't I find Sony's site when I do a search for Sony HDTV SD (I'm looking at buying a Sony SD-series HDTV). Nah, search is finished.

Microsoft is finished. Yahoo is finished. This job is done. There's nothing left to improve. Nothing left to do.

Hmmm, I've heard this before. Hell, in 1989 I even was one of those counting Microsoft out (the just released Apple Mac II back then was so superior to anything Microsoft had that I thought Microsoft should just close up shop and go home).

One thing: I like being the underdog. The one all the experts are counting out. The one that the stock market has no confidence in. It's motivating.

We got nowhere to go but up.

Brandon Paddock, lead us out of here.

Comments

  1. just checked the a9 thing. With all cookies deleted, history cleared, the default is still web by google.

  2. just checked the a9 thing. With all cookies deleted, history cleared, the default is still web by google.

  3. Thanks for letting the rest of the world in on the “secret” that Google is slipping big time. I started using Google when Yahoo started giving me results like that. Now I have started using Ask and Msn more and more. I think there are two real interesting stories here. One is that if you build a great search engine, someone will figure out how to manipulate it to make a profit and make their sites show up on top. Second, is that unlike before when Google was more accurate than Yahoo and everyone moved over to searching with Google, the IE7 search bar now gives everyone a slice of the pie. One search term and all the results in easy clicks, no more opening new windows, sites, and retyping the term. One type, and a few clicks and you get it all. One might say the search wars are starting all over again and anyone can win. The challenge now is for search providers to keep innovating and changing to provide relative results. It’s almost like the search engine has finally been put on notice, the developers are going to be put on par with security companies to innovate new ways to search, changing the engines every few months to counteract those that will manipulate the results, just like figuring out how to stop security exploits. It’s a brave new world.

  4. Thanks for letting the rest of the world in on the “secret” that Google is slipping big time. I started using Google when Yahoo started giving me results like that. Now I have started using Ask and Msn more and more. I think there are two real interesting stories here. One is that if you build a great search engine, someone will figure out how to manipulate it to make a profit and make their sites show up on top. Second, is that unlike before when Google was more accurate than Yahoo and everyone moved over to searching with Google, the IE7 search bar now gives everyone a slice of the pie. One search term and all the results in easy clicks, no more opening new windows, sites, and retyping the term. One type, and a few clicks and you get it all. One might say the search wars are starting all over again and anyone can win. The challenge now is for search providers to keep innovating and changing to provide relative results. It’s almost like the search engine has finally been put on notice, the developers are going to be put on par with security companies to innovate new ways to search, changing the engines every few months to counteract those that will manipulate the results, just like figuring out how to stop security exploits. It’s a brave new world.

  5. I also tried a9.com it is still google.
    I also tried Sony HDTV SD on google. The onebox gives the information on buying it.

  6. I also tried a9.com it is still google.
    I also tried Sony HDTV SD on google. The onebox gives the information on buying it.

  7. I experienced a related phenomenon with my blog whereby on a key search term (“software startups”), MSN Search found my site (onstartups.com) easily and put it at the #1 spot. Same search on Google and I’m not even the top 1,000.

    Blog readers commented that it’s likely because my blog is too “young” (its about 6 months old). My point is this: As dynamic as the web is these days, how can Google not even place me in the top 1,000 for a search that both MSN and Yahoo! put me at #1.

    Doesn’t make any sense…Maybe MSN Search is just better now in responding to market conditions. Instead of putting new sites in a “sandbox” to prevent against splogs and such, maybe they should just improve the algorithms to fight against exploits?

    I like the security analogy. I think Google is falling behind and finding too many false positives in their search for the violators.

    My two cents…

  8. To extend your metaphor, Robert, at the moment, Microsoft seems to be taking the approach that if they sign enough artists, they must manage to catch at least one ‘next big thing’. With Xbox360, Origami, Atlas, the whole Live program as well as tons of other stuff that MS is doing which seems to be outside their traditional product category of desktop software, you really are getting involved in as much stuff as possible. And I reckon that you do stand a chance of winning through in at least some of those areas.

  9. I experienced a related phenomenon with my blog whereby on a key search term (“software startups”), MSN Search found my site (onstartups.com) easily and put it at the #1 spot. Same search on Google and I’m not even the top 1,000.

    Blog readers commented that it’s likely because my blog is too “young” (its about 6 months old). My point is this: As dynamic as the web is these days, how can Google not even place me in the top 1,000 for a search that both MSN and Yahoo! put me at #1.

    Doesn’t make any sense…Maybe MSN Search is just better now in responding to market conditions. Instead of putting new sites in a “sandbox” to prevent against splogs and such, maybe they should just improve the algorithms to fight against exploits?

    I like the security analogy. I think Google is falling behind and finding too many false positives in their search for the violators.

    My two cents…

  10. To extend your metaphor, Robert, at the moment, Microsoft seems to be taking the approach that if they sign enough artists, they must manage to catch at least one ‘next big thing’. With Xbox360, Origami, Atlas, the whole Live program as well as tons of other stuff that MS is doing which seems to be outside their traditional product category of desktop software, you really are getting involved in as much stuff as possible. And I reckon that you do stand a chance of winning through in at least some of those areas.

  11. Looks like Google is falling behind in search results. A site I created two months ago for the Doors to Diplomacy competition (http://www.lifeonthedge.com/) is already crawled by MSN and Yahoo (MSN – 8 results, Yahoo – 1 result) but not by Google.

  12. Looks like Google is falling behind in search results. A site I created two months ago for the Doors to Diplomacy competition (http://www.lifeonthedge.com/) is already crawled by MSN and Yahoo (MSN – 8 results, Yahoo – 1 result) but not by Google.

  13. One thing MSN could do is get their users to ‘trust’ their paid advertisers (they won’t be lead to a scam site).

    I hate it when those iPod pyramid schemes are advertised on Yahoo mail pages. I mistrusted those guys, and in turn mistrust Yahoo (as in they don’t care about me). Then I started seeing such links in Google’s ads too.

    MSN could try and have ‘reputed’ companies advertise their website. Of course these guys might pay lesser but MSN will have the trust of its users.

    I have been using siteadvisor.com for google and msn searches. Though not very accurate, its a tool which makes me “feel” comfortable.

  14. One thing MSN could do is get their users to ‘trust’ their paid advertisers (they won’t be lead to a scam site).

    I hate it when those iPod pyramid schemes are advertised on Yahoo mail pages. I mistrusted those guys, and in turn mistrust Yahoo (as in they don’t care about me). Then I started seeing such links in Google’s ads too.

    MSN could try and have ‘reputed’ companies advertise their website. Of course these guys might pay lesser but MSN will have the trust of its users.

    I have been using siteadvisor.com for google and msn searches. Though not very accurate, its a tool which makes me “feel” comfortable.

  15. You know how Microsoft is going to win, and that’s in several steps : 1) acquire all major web hosts on earth 2) tweak robots.txt to prevent Google bot from even trolling, doing so reducing the relevance of Google results 3) cash in.

    First in the list, GoDaddy.

  16. You know how Microsoft is going to win, and that’s in several steps : 1) acquire all major web hosts on earth 2) tweak robots.txt to prevent Google bot from even trolling, doing so reducing the relevance of Google results 3) cash in.

    First in the list, GoDaddy.

  17. I just wanted to chime in and say that I am definitely looking for an alternative to Google, but it won’t be Yahoo or MSN. There has been an improvement in Yahoo search results, but like someone said above, Yahoo simply leads to too many scam sites/ads. I’m going to check out some of these other places you mentioned.

  18. I just wanted to chime in and say that I am definitely looking for an alternative to Google, but it won’t be Yahoo or MSN. There has been an improvement in Yahoo search results, but like someone said above, Yahoo simply leads to too many scam sites/ads. I’m going to check out some of these other places you mentioned.

  19. So more thoughts on the search engine. How about some improvements through filters. Yes, its been tried, but maybe with an added flair. Have an “offical” filter. A DNS 2.0 almost. The only results that you will recieve is corporate/entity owned web sites. An “information” filter that will remove all purchase sites. Anything that allows you to buy will be removed. This would be a though filter, but maybe it could be achieved to allow a “Scobleizer” website even though it has a purchase ad on it. An “economic” filter that will give all purchase sites that can be filtered further down by location. This filter would give you all of your “e-business” sites, then you could limit down to local businesses. Maybe these filters are already there and I have yet to discover them, but making it more transparent would be an idea.

  20. So more thoughts on the search engine. How about some improvements through filters. Yes, its been tried, but maybe with an added flair. Have an “offical” filter. A DNS 2.0 almost. The only results that you will recieve is corporate/entity owned web sites. An “information” filter that will remove all purchase sites. Anything that allows you to buy will be removed. This would be a though filter, but maybe it could be achieved to allow a “Scobleizer” website even though it has a purchase ad on it. An “economic” filter that will give all purchase sites that can be filtered further down by location. This filter would give you all of your “e-business” sites, then you could limit down to local businesses. Maybe these filters are already there and I have yet to discover them, but making it more transparent would be an idea.

  21. There’s one problem with MSN. Every service MSN has *ever* offered other than search has always had two neighborhoods:

    The Windows/IE neighborhood. Big houses. rolling lawns. Parks where kids play. Bright, sunshiney, and it never rains the day of the big game. Never too hot, never too cold.

    Then there’s the ‘hood where everyone else is. Crowded, dark, and kind of falling apart. You don’t get the same services, and the services you get aren’t that good. You soon learn to stop complaining, because when you do, you realize that you’re not wanted. This is a neighborhood built because they felt they had to do *something* for those non-Windows/IE losers. So they did *something*. The bare minimum. It’s creaky, and depressing.

    Google’s prime product, search, has always worked the same for all the residents. Gmail is the same. When they realized that the Mac folks already had a kick-assed jabber client, instead of writing another one that might not be as good, they just made sure that you could plug iChat into Google chat and it works, real well. In fact, they set up Google chat so pretty much *any* Jabber client will work. It’s an open block party, come on in. Google Earth took a while to get off of Windows, but it’s here, and it works pretty damned good.

    Macs don’t need Google Desktop, nor do most Linux boxes. Linux users could make good use of Picasa, Mac users, we’ve got better tools, so it’s a non-issue. But it could be cool. I figure I’ve got a better chance at Picasa on !Windows than the MSN version of Google Earth on !Windows. Slim is better than none.

    So knowing how MSN treats you when you’re not using Windows, why would I willingly move from a rather comfortable neighborhood, nice, middle-class, where I’m treated well to a ghetto where I’m treated as a boil on the ass of the preferred class?

  22. There’s one problem with MSN. Every service MSN has *ever* offered other than search has always had two neighborhoods:

    The Windows/IE neighborhood. Big houses. rolling lawns. Parks where kids play. Bright, sunshiney, and it never rains the day of the big game. Never too hot, never too cold.

    Then there’s the ‘hood where everyone else is. Crowded, dark, and kind of falling apart. You don’t get the same services, and the services you get aren’t that good. You soon learn to stop complaining, because when you do, you realize that you’re not wanted. This is a neighborhood built because they felt they had to do *something* for those non-Windows/IE losers. So they did *something*. The bare minimum. It’s creaky, and depressing.

    Google’s prime product, search, has always worked the same for all the residents. Gmail is the same. When they realized that the Mac folks already had a kick-assed jabber client, instead of writing another one that might not be as good, they just made sure that you could plug iChat into Google chat and it works, real well. In fact, they set up Google chat so pretty much *any* Jabber client will work. It’s an open block party, come on in. Google Earth took a while to get off of Windows, but it’s here, and it works pretty damned good.

    Macs don’t need Google Desktop, nor do most Linux boxes. Linux users could make good use of Picasa, Mac users, we’ve got better tools, so it’s a non-issue. But it could be cool. I figure I’ve got a better chance at Picasa on !Windows than the MSN version of Google Earth on !Windows. Slim is better than none.

    So knowing how MSN treats you when you’re not using Windows, why would I willingly move from a rather comfortable neighborhood, nice, middle-class, where I’m treated well to a ghetto where I’m treated as a boil on the ass of the preferred class?

  23. I just checked A9.com again. On my system it brings in Live.com results. Not sure why it isn’t for everyone else. I’ll have to try deleting cookies, I don’t think I set anything weirdly.

  24. I just checked A9.com again. On my system it brings in Live.com results. Not sure why it isn’t for everyone else. I’ll have to try deleting cookies, I don’t think I set anything weirdly.

  25. “not quite… Gmail and Google Calendar are still quite messy with Opera.”

    Quite right. Firefox is their own baby and they have to bow down to IE current market share. So really their deeds could only be measured on minnows like opera. Indeed, they are a massive failure.

  26. “not quite… Gmail and Google Calendar are still quite messy with Opera.”

    Quite right. Firefox is their own baby and they have to bow down to IE current market share. So really their deeds could only be measured on minnows like opera. Indeed, they are a massive failure.

  27. The next evolution Search may be:

    –> Intelligent Concept Search Technology
    –> Latent Semantic Indexing
    –> Personalized Search Results based on User Learning

    Microsoft and Google will possibly be forefront in optimizing these new technologies – because they will require the very highest of the hi-tech to implement – and will require MASSIVE resources.

    Both G and MS have access to some of the brightest software engineers worldwide along the deep investment pockets.

  28. The next evolution Search may be:

    –> Intelligent Concept Search Technology
    –> Latent Semantic Indexing
    –> Personalized Search Results based on User Learning

    Microsoft and Google will possibly be forefront in optimizing these new technologies – because they will require the very highest of the hi-tech to implement – and will require MASSIVE resources.

    Both G and MS have access to some of the brightest software engineers worldwide along the deep investment pockets.

  29. er..um..actually everybody pretty much copied The Beatles after they got popular. And pretty much they all did fairly well during “The British Invasion”. I mean, I’m sure Dave Clark, Peter Asher, Eric Burdon, Ray Davies, Manfred Liebowitz, Peter Noone, Mick Jagger,Eric Clapton, and Rod Argent, just to name a few of he leaders of very popular British Invasion bands, have no regrets in forming bands following the Beatles motif. So, a rather bad analogy, Scoble.

  30. er..um..actually everybody pretty much copied The Beatles after they got popular. And pretty much they all did fairly well during “The British Invasion”. I mean, I’m sure Dave Clark, Peter Asher, Eric Burdon, Ray Davies, Manfred Liebowitz, Peter Noone, Mick Jagger,Eric Clapton, and Rod Argent, just to name a few of he leaders of very popular British Invasion bands, have no regrets in forming bands following the Beatles motif. So, a rather bad analogy, Scoble.

  31. petermcc, try using the delete button after selecting multiple mails. I prefer that to the little checkboxes.

    Checkboxes are ok if Google’s “shift mechanism” works.

  32. petermcc, try using the delete button after selecting multiple mails. I prefer that to the little checkboxes.

    Checkboxes are ok if Google’s “shift mechanism” works.

  33. [...] Google Dumped by Amazon’s Alexa for MSN Live – via Memorandum. So Alexa is no longer using Google. Anyone else? How about A9 – now using MSN as well (via Scoble). I wonder how much this cost the guys from MS. Though if the performance and results don’t come through, it wont make any difference. [...]

  34. Trojan+ransom, Microsoft+NYT (and painting+darts)

    Pun-tastic! It’s IT Blogwatch, in which the latest Trojan horses around [geddit?] and Microsoft climbs into in bed with the gray lady [geddit?]. Not to mention discovering the point of painting… [You're fired -Ed.]

  35. I’ve got a theory that’s probably wrong, but I’ll toss it out anyway because I enjoy being attacked by people I have never met: Google’s billion calculation algorithm is predicated on the state of the internet in 2003. The further we move away from 2003, the less relevant the results become.

    Googlarti, fire away!!

    PS: For fun, try searching for “google’s algorithm” on google. Strange how moldy the results are, eh?

  36. I’ve got a theory that’s probably wrong, but I’ll toss it out anyway because I enjoy being attacked by people I have never met: Google’s billion calculation algorithm is predicated on the state of the internet in 2003. The further we move away from 2003, the less relevant the results become.

    Googlarti, fire away!!

    PS: For fun, try searching for “google’s algorithm” on google. Strange how moldy the results are, eh?

  37. hmm, well u r not the decision maker here, just bcoz u say a few negative words for microsoft, it wont b eonof to mark us down in the customer’s view, ppl believe on us and we respect their judgement and we work accordingly, who could think of anything like BizTalk or HIS, we the the technology makers and we are the best, and unbeatable. Windows live is doing good, windows shopping is doing excellent too, who isnt aware of MSN Spaces the most happening place for bloggers, we believe in changes so that we can keep a track of the technology, we are the trendsetters.

  38. hmm, well u r not the decision maker here, just bcoz u say a few negative words for microsoft, it wont b eonof to mark us down in the customer’s view, ppl believe on us and we respect their judgement and we work accordingly, who could think of anything like BizTalk or HIS, we the the technology makers and we are the best, and unbeatable. Windows live is doing good, windows shopping is doing excellent too, who isnt aware of MSN Spaces the most happening place for bloggers, we believe in changes so that we can keep a track of the technology, we are the trendsetters.