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May 21, 2007

Weekend Update 05/21/2007

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Don’t Believe Anything You Read On Friday

Despite the buzz that resulted from Fair Isaac’s press release on click fraud last week, it turns out it was all for naught. We can’t trust those numbers either. Freakin’ figures.

Fair Isaac caused a lot of hype announcing they had conducted an independent research study and found that 10 to 15 percent of clicks billed to advertisers were fraudulent. Clearly, the reported number was much larger than Google’s stated .02 percent and didn’t include any of Google’s pretty graphics, so we all sat around and waited for the sky to fall.

However, over the weekend clarity began to ensue. Kevin Newcomb writes that the data provided by Fair Isaac was based on a small sample size (fewer than 10!), and not statistically significant. The numbers were taken completely out of context causing people, and most main media, to get themselves all worked up over a bunch of nothing. The stats provided by Fair Isaac mean very little to anyone.

Shuman Ghosemajumder provides an intelligent response to what happened over on his blog. People, do yourselves a favor and never believe anything you read on a Friday. The fact checkers apparently take Fridays off.

Google and Its "Secret Deals"

The Sunday Herald stirred up some more trouble for Google reporting that the search engine had made ‘secret deals’ with several UK newspapers in order to license their content and include it in Google News. The news outlet then reported that the deals were being kept super secret in fear that other news outlets would begin requiring Google to make similar deals.
Don’t you just love it? Google making secret deals at midnight in dark, foggy open fields. Fun!

Well, it was until Google very bluntly says the reason we haven’t heard about these deals is because they never took place. (Or because Sydney Bristow doesn’t want you to know about them!)

I’m hoping (and thinking) they’re not true. Google has always fought for their right to include mainstream news in arguing fair use. Up until recently that line of thought has always worked. However, recently there’s been Google’s AFP settlement, and of course all that craziness going on over there in Belgium [ducks]. Either Google’s days of freely linking to content is over or the Sunday Herald is reporting rumors. I’m thinking it’s the second.

On the other side of things, if you want Google to index but make it only available to users who subscribe, Barry Schwartz explains how to do that over at Search Engine Roundtable. He’s so helpful.

Fun Finds

I’m loving the new marketing campaign, including the new domain where users can go to learn about and demo all the features that help Ask to stand out. Ask is swell. [I have to second the awesomeness of Ask here. I just used Ask City to find a mid-point for my friends and I to see a movie. Can’t do that with Google Maps.–Susan]

Shoemoney gets down and dirty in his video blog AdSense Arbitrage – Just the Facts and says unless you’ve received an email telling you that your AdSense account is going to be disabled, don’t fret over the recent hype.

Om Malik talks about the new Nokia 3109 that only allows you to make phone calls. No, seriously, that’s all it does. Sweet.

Not surprisingly, WebProNews discovered that as summer approaches, more and more users are conducting searches for "3 day diets", "fat diets" and "fast weight loss diets". As someone who just purchased a bathing suit for my upcoming vacation, I’m currently searching for "got the suit, now how do I fit into it?"


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