A good idea to counter Googles Adsense

This seems to be a good idea: Vidsense. A program working similar to Googles Adsense. Only difference: the context-sensitive input are little video clips. They are, of course, preceded by short adverts – 15-30 secs long. The clips are about 45 secs to 90 secs long. And the videos don’t start to play, unless a user initiates them.
This can be, of course be much more effective than Googles Adsense, as there is more than just text, but it’s (hopefully) not as intrusive as banners or rich media ads. And its relevant to the content your reading.
And you can also choose, if you don’t want X-rated clips, but only G-rated ones. (Other than that, you don’t have a choice).

Nice thing: you also earn money by a user’s click. Difference being: the click you need here is the one of the user starting the movie. And since the user doesn’t think the tool will take him off the current site (as it would be with Adsense), a click is much more likely…

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Google doing the MS thing

Gary Price of the Searchenginewatch Blog writes about the new Google Toolbar.
It offers
– Spelling Correction (obviously working well with Gmail),
– Autolink – which, as Gary rightly says, offers many commercial opportunities: Google inserts links into the webpage whereever the context allows for relevant links.

I wonder if this will not get too annoying at some point? Addresses on a webpage can even be linked to Google Maps.
He mentions other features, but I won’t go into that here. The main point is, that this is another step on arranging information neatly. At the same time, Google is taking the opportunity to once again show that they are really at the top of filtering information on the web.

There are quite a few blogs upset about it. Steven has a post on it and Rex also mentions it, referencing Dan Gillmor, who complains that Google emulates MS (and gets away with it sofar). Greg Linden is also highly scepticle about it.
I have already mentioned in a previous post, that I think we need to watch Google. Sofar everything has been very much user centric and supported users in many ways.
But now they even modify the webpages you’re reading. Question is: if this is a trend, when will we reach a stage, when you just can’t read original content any more, because someone modified the content on everything you read (without the original authors knowledge or permission?)
Another quote from Greg, which he wrote after several people commented on his first post:

To clarify my original post, I’m not so concerned about what Google Toolbar currently does with Autolink. It is what may follow that bothers me.
Rewriting pages to add links is a dangerous trend. While Google’s current implementation may be fine and dandy, it may also be the first step on a slippery slope.

I fully agree!

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Not News: Google pay-per-click fraud

I have no idea how the german manager-magazin.de thinks that it is really delivering a newsworthy story about fraud with the pay-per-clicks, since CNN already had this story 2.5 months ago?
I guess for some things I will always have to read international press in order to stay on top of things.
For those interested in a quick reminder: it is about companies hiring people, or using software, to have their competitors pay-per-click ads clicked on. The effect:
1) they increase the ad costs of their competitors,
2) once a certain spent-limit is used up, their competitors will not have the top spot of the list on certain keywords any longer.

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Will there be any spot on the web without Google?

Google offers hosting for Wikimedia projects is one of the headlines of the last couple of days.
Just to be more precise: Wikimedia is:

a super project of free content wikis and a wiki engine called MediaWiki that runs them. The Wikimedia wiki projects so far include (oldest first): Wikipedia, Sep11wiki, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource and Wikispecies.

John Hokes hopes:

that this is a good thing in the long run, and that there are no grand schemes to slowly assert any control over the content and day to day operations of Wikimedia in a negative way.

paidcontent thinks more along the lines that I am thinking about:

A possible tie-in with eternal beta Google News? Google Answers? Something completely new?

Let me just recap of a few areas that Google has now moved into:
1) there are, of course, all the search related functions: keywords, images, maps (new), TV programs (new), groups and news.
2) Gmail: you can store 1GB of your emails (and Google even suggest not to delete any of them)
3) Blogger: Google purchased blogger.com (my very own hoster of this great blog) offering free&easy blogging for users without a website and hosting environment
4) Wiki: Google might now also be hosting the wiki projects.

See the pattern? In the not so distant future, Google will know exactly what webusers
– write to each other (over a history of 1GB, including your „social network“ and the stuff your network talks about),
– search for (regarding all sorts of media!),
– blog on about, and
– what is worked on and talked about in open wiki environments.
No other company will have such profound data on what’s really happening on the web. What the users, who as an aggregate mass, are doing and wanting.
And if there are any other areas on the web, where Google has no part in, I am sure they will soon move there, too.

Given this load of information it is only a matter of computing power (and time) to aggregate comprehensive user trends and profiles. Once they have their ear in every corner of the web, they will have a competitive advantage that I fear we don’t fathom yet. We are in the information age, the whole web is about information. And those that manage and utilize the information best, will win. Obvious as it is…

I personally think that Google is soon on its way to overtake Microsoft in terms of relevance and mindshare for the everyday PC user. And they will be a powerful player as far as information on the web is concerned. Not only search, for which they already have cornered the market, but everything regarding intelligent information management.

Is this good or bad? Sofar Google has not charged any money to the everyday user (at least that I know of). If they continue to make money by (relevant, thank god!) advertising through, e.g. Adsense, then it’s fine for me. I don’t mind a little advertising as long as that means free content.
But if they manage to get even a near-monopoly on information management on the web, they might exploit this and charge users for content. Even though I don’t think this is very likely, the danger exists.

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Google local

Just tried the new Google local search, which is still in beta. It was smart enough to see that I am from Germany (everything was in German), but it failed to give me any results for pizza in Frankfurt (or Germany in general), which is a shame, because I know of at least 2 pizza places right around the corner. 🙂

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