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Archive for April, 2010

Yahoo wins Premier League online highlights rights

April 30, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Yahoo has secured the exclusive UK online football highlights rights for the English Premier League from 2010 to 2013.

Yahoo wins football leagure rights English premier league champions Manchester United The 3 season deal, which starts in August, will see Yahoo.co.uk show five minute highlight packages of every Premier League match.

It follows similar video content deals signed by Yahoo.com in the US with basketball and ice hockey.

Virgin has owned the UK internet clip rights for the past three years.

As part of its rights ownership, Yahoo UK says it will be able to offer video advertising packages to leading global brands around its highlights clips.

Yahoo will also own the rights in the UK to syndicate all or part of the Premier League highlights content to third parties.

Rich Riley, Yahoo’s European managing director, said the deal with the Premier League was good news for both its users and advertisers.

Highlights will be available from midnight on Sunday after weekend matches and at midnight the same day for midweek fixtures.

“The way fans access Barclays Premier League action is growing ever more diverse and sophisticated,” said Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League.

“The online highlights package is an important medium for supporters of all our clubs to be able to follow match action.”

Google bullies booze start up over name

April 29, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Internet giant Google has threatened an Australian businessman with legal action if he tries to register his company Groggle as a trademark.

Groggle- alcohol comparison Google bullies start up

Groggle has nothing to do with search engines but instead lets consumers find the cheapest priced alcohol.

Cameron Collie has spent two years setting up the alcohol price comparison website, and was in the process of getting the name Groggle trademarked when he received a letter from Google claiming the name was “substantially identical with and deceptively similar to” its own trademarks.

The letter came after Mr Collie, 36, had spent thousands of dollars setting up the company and buying the relevant domain names on the internet.

The site, which allows consumers to search for the cheapest price alcohol – or grog – in their area, was in the beta test phase and Collie was planning a formal launch within weeks, as well as an accompanying iPhone app.

His trademark application had been accepted by IP Australia, which grants rights in patents, trademarks, and designs, when the cease and desist letter arrived.

The letter demands that Mr Collie withdraw his trademark application, change the company name and transfer all domain names to Google, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s website.

If Mr Collie does not comply with its demands the letter said Google would “make an urgent application to the court seeking interlocutory injunctions restraining Groggle and its directors”.

Mr Collie told smh.com.au that he could not afford to fight Google in the courts.

“We don’t have the financial backing to fight them on this, we just want them to reconsider because it’s just crazy,” he said.

Mr Collie said that Groggle was simply a play on the word grog, Australian slang for alcohol, and he had decided on the name after discovering that grogger.com was taken.

“We want Google to reconsider and realise that we’re not a threat and never will be,” he said.

Teenagers create a secret language on Facebook

April 28, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Teenagers on social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo are creating a secret language to stop adults knowing what they are up to, researchers say.
Teenagers secret language on Facebook Bebo langauge

Teens use it to stop parents and employers seeing their actions like partying and drinking.

Instead of writing they are drunk, teens post ‘Getting MWI’ – or mad with it.  Being in a relationship is known as ‘taken’ or ‘Ownageeee’, and ‘Ridneck’, a corruption of redneck, means to feel embarassed.

Meanwhile, girls posting ‘Legal’ are indicating that they are above 16 and legally allowed to have sex.

Lisa Whittaker, a postgraduate student at the University of Stirling, who studied teens aged 16-18 on Bebo in Scotland, said the slang had been created to keep their activities private, and cited the example of one young girl who was sacked after bosses found pictures of her drinking on the website.

“Young people often distort the languages they use by making the pages difficult for those unfamiliar with the distortions and colloquialisms.,” she said.

“The language used on Bebo seems to go beyond abbreviations that are commonly used in text messaging, such as removing all the vowels.

“This is not just bad spelling, which would suggest literacy issues, but a deliberate attempt to creatively misspell words.

“The creation and use of their own social language may be a deliberate attempt to keep adults from understanding what is written on the page.

“By doing this they are able to communicate with their in-group and conceal the content from the out-group. This further adds to their online identity.”

She said that one reason for encoding their messages was to keep adults in the dark about their drinking or smoking.

Warning over eBay bidding trick

April 27, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Online auction bidders have been given a “wake-up call” after a trader was guilty for bidding against himself to raise prices on Ebay.

Warning of Ebay rip off
Trading standards officers warn it is illegal to push up a price artificially by bidding against yourself or by getting family or friends to do so.

The process is known as shill bidding and breaks new European Union fair trading rules. Offences carry a maximum fine of £5,000 in UK law.

Minibus hire firm boss Paul Barrett, 39, from Stanley, County Durham, pleaded guilty to 10 offences at Skipton Magistrates’ Court after using two separate eBay accounts to bid on and increase the prices of his own items.

He told the court he was unaware that bidding on his own items, including a pie- and pasty-warmer, was against the law. The case was adjourned for sentencing at Bradford Crown Court on 21 May.

Claire McKinley, trading standards officer, told the court: “Mr Barrett placed bids on items he himself owned to raise the price and left positive feedback on his own eBay site, leading buyers to believe his reputation was better than was the case.”

Jo Boutflower, of North Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “I think people do it either themselves or by getting friends and family to bid on their items and do not think they are doing anything wrong, but actually they are breaking the law.

“We certainly hope this case is a bit of a wake-up call to people who do trade on eBay, or other auction sites.”

Speaking after the hearing on 16 April, Vanessa Canzini of eBay said: “Shill bidding is illegal and it is important for people to understand that there is not, nor has there ever been, room for illegal activity on our site.

“We invest over £6m each year in state of the art technology to detect shill bidding and other illegal activities.

“This acts as a strong deterrent to the small minority who attempt to use our site inappropriately but, more than this, it helps us to work with law enforcement agencies to secure successful prosecutions if anyone decides to try their luck.”

Now Facebook wants to control how you see the web

April 26, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Hot on the heels of Facebook’s dictatorial attitude to it’s user’s protection– or lack of, comes a new wheeze to control your online life.

Facebook to control your online experienceFacebook has announced plans to spread its influence across the internet by weaving its service into all websites.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of the social networking site, described how the new Open Graph platform could challenge Google, allowing users to be guided around the internet by their connections and interests rather than by a search engine.

Users of the Open Graph will be able to click on a button next to an internet item to share it on their Facebook profiles without leaving the other websites. The New York Times, CNN and the Internet Movie Database were among about 30 websites that have been testing the new software and have it in place.

This could mean that sites would become customised to each user, showing which of their Facebook friends liked which articles or automatically playing music from their favourite bands, for example.

The plans could backfire, however, without stringent privacy measures. “How many people are really going to want all this information about them shared?” Greg Sterling, an internet analyst and founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, said.

Mr Zuckerberg claims said that users will control privacy. Dr Search suggest a wait and see policy.

Advertising demand increases Yahoo’s profits

April 23, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

An increase in online advertising helped profits at Yahoo almost treble in the three months to the end of March.

Yahoo's profits increaseNet profit rose to £200m from £79m in the same period a year ago.

The company’s takings were helped by its search and advertising partnership with Microsoft and sake of the Zimbra email service.

But after subtracting commissions paid to its advertising partners, Yahoo’s revenue slipped slightly to £750 million.

This was below analyst’s estimates – pushing Yahoo shares about 3% lower in after hours trading.

The firm’s chief financial officer, Tim Morse, said that its search advertising business “just didn’t seem to grow at the pace they had previously”.

However its display advertising business was strong, growing 20% year on year.

“High quality advertisers are coming back,” Mr Morse said. “We are still in the very early innings of this turnaround.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft’s plans to buy Yahoo’s internet search and search advertising businesses were been cleared by both European and US regulators.

The European Commission ruled that the deal “would not significantly impede effective competition”.

Under the deal, Yahoo’s website uses a Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and the two firms share the revenues.

Google ‘not interested’ in privacy, warn international information watchdogs

April 22, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Google has repeatedly shown a “disappointing disregard” for safeguarding private information, the privacy officials from 10 major countries have warned.

Information Commissioner ICOGoogle does not care about your privacy

Britain’s Information Commissioner Chris Graham and equivalent officials from Canada, France, Germany and Italy were among the signatories to a letter to the search giant’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, which condemned the way the company has delivered both its Streetview mapping service and its Buzz product, which was conceived as a rival to social network Facebook.

The letter, organised by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, calls on Google to lay out how it will meet concerns about its use of public data in the future, and says that it has “violated the fundamental principle that individuals should be able to control the use of their personal information”.

The search giant has already acted to address a number of the points now raised in the letter, but said that it had no further statements to make on its privacy policies.

The launch of the Buzz network in February sparked an international wave of protests because it took information about email users’ most common correspondents and automatically built each individual a network of followers.

This meant that links which people wished to keep private could immediately become public- without any warning or opt out opportunity.

Google Streetview, which provides an eye-level picture of almost every street in dozens of cities around the world, continues to cause “concern about the adequacy of the information [Google] provides before the images are captured”, the commissioners said.

The product has also been launched some countries “without due consideration of privacy and data protection laws and cultural norms”, they added.

In a statement Google said that it had quickly rectified the problems that caused Buzz users concern. “We have discussed all these issues publicly many times before and have nothing to add to today’s letter,” the search company said. “Of course we do not get everything 100% right. We try very hard to be upfront about the data we collect, and how we use it, as well as to build meaningful controls into our products.“

The commissioners, however, said that they “remain extremely concerned about how a product with such significant privacy issues such as Buzz was launched in the first place”.

Dr Search has repeatedly warned about Google’s blatent disregard for your data security. Their response above does nothing to allay those fears. You have again been warned.

Celebrity Twitter messages show senders’ happiness

April 21, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

University of Edinburgh researchers have analysed celebrity Twitter messages to guage the senders’ happiness.

Celebrity twitters happiness guide
They believe the study could provide insights into the emotional well being of the general population.

The researchers looked at word patterns in the tweets of 13 celebrities.

Basketball player Shaquille O’Neale was said to be the happiest tweeter, followed by cyclist Lance Armstrong and television presenter Jonathan Ross.

The rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg was the least happy.

The study, which was carried out in partnership with a technology firm, found that the majority of celebrity messages were happy and positive.

They used computer analysis of messages posted on the Twitter social networking site to pinpoint the underlying emotions and determine the relative happiness of the celebrities writing them.

Ed Cochrane, from the University of Edinburgh Business School, said there was a “serious point to this research”.

The researchers plan to use the technology to analyse links between emotion and important lifestyle issues.

For example, they hope to identify whether widespread social problems – such as obesity and alcoholism – have common emotional links that could be detected through the monitoring of online communications.

Mr Cochrane said: “We hope this type of analysis will shed light on the emotions involved in real social situations, helping to shape policy for the better.”

The researchers will monitor the emotional content of social networking sites of participating residents from other major UK cities.

One of the things they hope to look at is whether there are common emotional factors that determine why Glaswegians die younger, on average, than people from the rest of the UK.

Networking sites help rescue stranded travellers

April 20, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

As flights in and out of Europe are grounded for the week, smart phones and social media websites are becoming an essential method for stranded passengers searching for ways of getting home.

As travel information websites crashed under the pressure of online inquiries, tens of thousands of stranded travellers turned to Twitter and Facebook.

Television presenter Dan Snow created a Calais Rescue service which he organised via Twitter  to bring home foot passengers from France in a small boat.  Unfortunately french jobsworths closed this service down as it “posed a threat” to their nationalised ferry service. And this was after Brits had struggled to get to Calais during a french train strike.

Twitter users found succour by searching on themes, or “hash tags”.

The most popular were #getmehome, #stranded and, for those who had given up the struggle, #putmeup.

This allowed people to reach potential liftsharers and others in the same boat (or train or car).

Typical of the messages left on #getmehome was this from @LexiProud are “I’ve started a group for #stranded people who need HELP to #getmehome by car sharing etc PLS RT”

US television reported that Jen Stoltenberg, the Norwegian prime minister, was using an Apple iPad mobile device and wireless hotspot in an airport executive lounge to run his country from New York.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, sent tweets about his adventures in trying to get from London to Valencia for the Festival of Media conference, and set off on a 24-hour bus journey.

Site speed- now an official Google factor in deciding your ranking

April 19, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Google’s Matt Cutts has finally confirmed that your site’s speed is a critical factor in Google determining your free results rankings.

Google uses speed in determining your site's ranking

Dr Search notes that Google’s Pay Per Click rankings calculations have been using a site’s speed for over a year.

Google’s site speed confirmation posting says:

You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.

Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.

Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.

If you are a site owner, webmaster or a web author, here are some free tools that you can use to evaluate the speed of your site:

* Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
* YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
* WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
* In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.

* Many other tools on code.google.com/speed.

While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point.

We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven’t seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site.

We encourage you to start looking at your site’s speed (the tools above provide a great starting point) — not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the Internet.

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team