Category Archives: Advertising

Microsoft Invests USD$240 Million In Facebook

After a lot of rumours flying around the internet about Facebook looking for investors or buyers and the rumour being continually shot down; today sees an announcement that Microsoft have invested USD$240 million dollars in Facebook. The $240 million dollars is nothing short of a minority stake in Facebook, which has now been officially valued at USD$15 billion dollars, yes you read that correctly billion dollars.

While everything was still on the rumourmill, it was expected that both Google and Microsoft would have been bidding for a stake in Facebook. What has surprised the industry to some extent, is that Microsoft actually won the deal. Of course, this investment has now extended the marketing agreement between Microsoft and Facebook, which now sees Microsoft as the supplier of user centric advertising on the Facebook platform globally, where as it was previously limited to the United States. Of course, Facebook haven’t closed the door on further investment opportunities – we might see at least one other deep pocketed company come to the table yet.

While I appreciate how important this investment was for Microsoft, in a vain attempt to keep themselves in the online marketing game – I haven’t yet joined the dots on how it is going to work. As most savvy internet users will attest, the Microsoft search platform via MSN and its successor Live is some what limited. To add insult to injury, the advertising platform that Microsoft have been building seems so lacking compared to Google, that Microsoft are only recently realising just how far behind they are.

None the less, it’s good for everyone to see some healthy competition in the online advertising space. I expect there will be a lot of people watching this space to see how it develops over the coming months; for all we know this might be the starting point for Microsoft to launch a full frontal assault against Google.

Streamed Directly From The U.S

Channel Ten are pushing new advertising bandwagon at the moment:

Streamed directly from the U.S

The television network are promoting this little catch cry for all of the new TV series they are airing at the moment, such as:

Apparently, streaming the content directly from the United States some how makes the content better. I haven’t quite got my head around how that works just yet but if and when I do, I’ll be sure to make a note of it.

I realise that it is nit picking and that the average Joe wouldn’t notice or give a damn, but for some reason I find it a little frustrating. It’s as if Channel 10 have cottoned onto this new fangdangled ‘internet’ thing and thought that combining a new cool word or phrase with their advertising would some how make it hip and happening.

The reality of it is and they say so in their own advertisement, that we’re still seeing it with a few days delay. That begs the next question, since we’re not seeing it the same day that it is airing in the United States and that it isn’t being steamed directly from the US and aired in Australia – why couldn’t they simply ship a copy of the new series the traditional way?

That’s right, I forgot – the shows are better because they are streamed directly from the U.S!

I love advertising.

Nothing Like Spam To Lower Your Opinion Of A Site

Squidoo spam, regarding cat urine removers.Last year, Seth Godin launched a new service named Squidoo, which aimed to bring the power of recommendation to search. Squidoo has been gaining reasonable momentum since it launched and as a result, it has now become the next haven for spammers.

I appreciate that it might be difficult to manage the problem, however if a site like Squidoo can’t get it under control then it completely erodes the usefulness of the site in my opinion. The Squidoo spam problem has been happening for quite some time and the owners are aware of it, however it seems that they have yet to find a way to curb it.

It’s a shame really, as I hate spam so much that it has now tainted my opinion of Squidoo as a useful service. Fortunately, I find the site pretty much useless, so at least I don’t have to put up with it while browsing their site.

Dashes Versus Underscores, It Doesn’t Matter

One of the common strategies employed during search engine optimisation has involved placing high visibility keywords and phrases into the URL. Using this search engine optimisation technique lead to URL’s which looked like:


For quite some time now, search engine optimisers all over the internet pondered whether using dashes versus underscores was the best performing technique. It wasn’t long before it became clear that using a dash as a word separator out performed the humble underscore.

Matt Cutts, a Google engineer has stated at WordCamp 2007 that very shortly Google will support an underscore as a word separator as well as the existing dash. Although the difference between the two seems so subtle, for many web sites it has proved a significant thorn in their sides as their content management systems produced URL’s which utilised an underscore and not the recognised dash.

This news is going to make a lot of people very happy in the near future.

Google Acquires Feedburner

Google have acquired the popular XML feed distribution and advertising platform Feedburner for approximately USD$100 million. There has been rife speculation about the Feedburner deal on various web sites over the last month and the cat is finally out of the bag.

When you look at the online advertising landscape now, its incredible to think that in just a few years there has been such a massive swing in one direction. Back in the year 2000, there wasn’t really any one player that totally dominated online advertising – however companies like DoubleClick were really gaining strength and Google Adwords was growing as well. Fast forward half a dozen years and now you have:

  • Adwords (Google)
  • Adsense (Google)
  • DoubleClick (Google)
  • Feedburner (Google)
  • TextLinkAds (Independent)
  • YSM (Yahoo!)
  • MSN (Microsoft)

Without the recent additions of DoubleClick and Feedburner, Google already controlled over 60% of the online paid advertising. Yahoo! and Microsoft must be having crisis talks every other month at the moment about the marketshare that they seem unable to recoup individually; no wonder Microsoft are in negotiations to purchase Yahoo! again.