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May 3, 2007

Video on Demand, Invisible Text & A Prettier Search

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While I’m putting too much pressure on myself working on another project, here are some headlines for you to enjoy.

Europeans Tuning In Online

TechCrunch reports on a European Motorola study (via Andy Beal) that polled 2,500 European broadband users and found that 45 percent of them are tuning into television online. It’s worth pointing out that it’s 45 percent of broadband users, not 45 percent of all Internet users. I’m pretty sure those on dialup are staying away from Internet-based television. And probably the entire Internet as a whole. [It’s hard to get broadband when you live under rocks. –Susan] Crazy talk. You live in a cave and you have broadband. *rimshot*

Forty-five percent seems like an impressive number, though it really depends on how Motorola defined "watching TV". As Andy Beal commented, does watching a 10 minute Internet program classify as watching TV? For the number to be that large, personally, I think it does, which means these numbers are probably somewhat skewed. It’s a sign of things to come, though. I may not be, but it looks like Europeans are ready for video on demand.

Did you learn nothing from BMW?

Volkswagen didn’t. I’m a huge fan of Volkswagen; my first two cars were Jettas and if I wasn’t broke the third time around I would have scooped one up again, but this is just ridiculous. Barry Schwartz blogs about how his BFF Danny Sullivan checked the source code of the very pretty new Jetta site and found something odd:

<div class=”invisibleContent”>Volkswagen of America presents U.S. vehicle information, pricing, incentives, deals, comparisons on Eos, GTI, Jetta, New Beetle, New Beetle Convertible, Passat, Passat Wagon, Touareg, Rabbit, R32 and the GLI with links to VW dealers, owner information, Volkswagen merchandise, and VW accessories. homepage, volkswagen, volkswagon, vw.com, home, landing, top, volkswagen.com, home page, home, top, back, VWofAmerica, Volkswagen of America, Volkswagon of America, VWoA, VWofA, volkswagon.com</div>

Sweet! It’s the old invisible text trick again. Even better, the text is defined as "invisibleContent". Volkswagen must have had some top notch SEOs working on that project. Have we learned nothing from last year’s BMW incident? C’mon people, evolve!

Yahoo SERPs Hit With The Pretty Stick

John Battelle reports that Yahoo may be testing a new look for its search results, even including a screenshot of the clutter-free, pretty blue search results. It was first reported that users could only see the pretty results from a UK IP address viewing the main yahoo.com site, but Karl Ribas disproved that theory when he noticed them earlier.

UK reader Rob Phillips told John this may be the first stage of an AJAX-based search results page. Could be.

Fun Finds

901am tells me that BlogHer has opened up registration for its 2007 conference being held in Chicago July 27 & 28. Sounds like fun and a wonderful educational experience for female bloggers. *looks at Bruce adoringly*

WebProNews posted the video of SES NY’s great Rock Em Sock Em battle of the search engines. Despite being in attendance, it’s was my first time actually witnessing the event. At the time of its occurrence I was seated in the back corner trying to get a special Bruce Clay analyst to eat the funny looking cheese.

Rae Hoffman announced that guestwhore week will commence on the Sugarrae blog as of Monday. Yours truly will be kicking off the debauchery, with Graywolf, Mozzers Becs and Jane, Vanessa Fox and a slew of others pitching in later in the week. I don’t know how I get myself into these things. Everyone, everywhere, should be afraid.

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