• Google Spends Advertisers' Leftover Budgets
    Google is quietly rolling out a new program that addresses the drop in click-through growth outlined in a comScore report earlier this week. Called Automatic Matching, the new feature would use up search marketers' unspent advertising budgets. Automatic Matching is currently in a limited beta test and gives marketers the opportunity to opt-out at any time. Where AdWords gives marketers control of their keyword budgets, the new service gives Google more control. Automatic Matching takes advertisers that haven't maxed out their budgets and expands their list of keywords to include terms Google deems as relevant. Since Google ...
  • Google Unveils Google Health
    Google is launching a new plan to help patients take control of their medical records and is working with doctor's groups, pharmacies and lads to help them share health information. The announcement marks Google's long-rumored move into the sensitive field of medical health. The new platform is called Google Health. The service's launch partners include medical testing company Quest Diagnostics, health insurer Aetna, and the pharmacies at Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Google Health gives patients their own password protected Web site that lets users easily import doctors' records, drug history and test results. Google hopes patients will use ...
  • Study: Agencies Ill-Equipped For Social Media
    More and more clients, per a new study, are demanding that their agencies be proficient in social media--whatever that means. A TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony poll of 60-plus marketers in North America, France and the UK found that "agencies don't get it." Frustratingly, the study says they either treat interactive social sites like blogs as traditional media, or their half-baked ideas lack a fundamental understanding of how consumers use social media. "I think traditional ad agencies have very little contribution to make," Bryan Simkins, a marketing specialist at FedEx, told TNS. "They are mostly driven by their compensation models, which ...
  • Digg Founder: Web Measurement System "Broken"
    Digg.com founder Kevin Rose launched a scathing attack on Internet audience measurement, calling it "a broken industry." Content providers have long complained that measurement firms like Nielsen Online and comScore, which use panels to measure audience, undercount the traffic that goes to their sites. They argue that this causes advertisers, that rely on third-party data to buy ads, to spend less money with them. Moreover, there are often sizable discrepancies between the data collected by comScore and Nielsen on the same sites. As Rose says, "There's a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about Web stats and traffic. ...
  • Take-Two Assesses its Options
    Beleaguered video game maker Take-Two Interactive, which last week turned down a $2 billion offer from Electronic Arts, claims it's had other offers from bigger game publishers, but the company isn't saying from whom. There aren't that many possibilities aside from EA, and according to various sources, none of them seem interested. Take Two's other options would have to be either Viacom, French publisher Ubisoft or Activision Blizzard. The latter is unlikely because Activision and Blizzard are still working out their merger, sources tell the Silicon Alley Insider that Viacom isn't interested, and TheDeal.com (link: http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2008/02/ubisoft_as_taketwos_hero_not_s.php) calls an Ubisoft-Take ...
  • VMNO Helio Is $560 Million In Debt
  • YouTube to Broadcast Live
  • Wikia Launches Social Networking Tools
  • Apple Needs A Stock Repurchase Plan
    You could do a lot with $18 billion. That's why Business Week is proposing that Apple use some of its enormous cash pile to buyback some stock to help boost the company's share price. After topping out at $199.83 in December, Apple's stock has fallen 38 percent to $122.96. With an $18 billion-plus cash hoard (the third most in the tech sector, behind Cisco Systems and Microsoft), and at a time when analysts expect consumer spending on products like the iPod to slow, it might be time for a buyback. A stock repurchase program would accomplish three goals: ...
  • Google to Bid for Yahoo Stake?
    TechCrunch has the hot rumor of the day: Google is apparently far more scared of a Microsoft-Yahoo merger than previously thought and could be preparing an offer to purchase 15-20 percent of Yahoo's stock. Henry Blodget of the Silicon Alley Insider (link: http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/2/google_to_buy_19_9__of_yahoo_to_block_msft__why_not__they_ve_done_it_before) reminds us that this is a play that Google has used against Microsoft before, when it swooped in at the 11th hour to purchase a $1 billion 5 percent stake in AOL. In any event, what's so scary about Micro-hoo? Haven't most analysts predicted that the merger would be a win for Google? Apparently, ...
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