Author: Chris Lake

Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy.

Google's Schmidt on the economics of click fraud

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has played down calls for the search industry to tighten its grip on click fraud by declaring the problem "self-correcting".

Quoted by ZDNet from a speech at Stanford University earlier this year, the Google CEO said clickfraud could ultimately be solved by market forces, and that PPC firms should "let it happen".

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AOL and retailers are rubbish at customer service

Wow, what a week for customer services. First we had the now-infamous Vincent Ferrari call to AOL. Then we noticed a press release on E-consultancy that painted a bleak picture of online customer services among retail companies.

Vince wanted to cancel his account and having heard “the nightmare stories” decided to record his phone call to AOL Member Services. Some 21 frustrating minutes later he finally managed to achieve his goal… not entirely helpful.

International fame followed after the AOL tape went viral – the combination of Digg and the New York Times channelled 700,000 visitors to Vince’s site in rapid succession, forcing him to temporarily remove the recording (still offline).

If you didn’t hear it you can watch him being interviewed about his AOL experience on TV via YouTube – the interview has excerpts from the cancellation call. Too funny, unless you're an AOL executive...

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eBay says no way to Google Checkout

Bang bang, eBay has - rather unsurprisingly - shot down Google Checkout, preventing people from using it to pay for auction items, according to a post on AuctionBytes.

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Google owes you nothing

The Guardian’s Jack Schofield has written a thought-provoking piece on the power of Google, specifically referring to the case of a website called sprayonmud.co.uk which was delisted from the almighty search engine in December 2005.

Jack asks whether it is ‘fair’ for Google to act as judge and jury in these cases, even suggesting that it should finance an ‘independent ombudsman’ to address complaints. He warns: “If Google’s management don’t find a way to temper the company’s power, legislators will eventually do it for them.”

The whole article seems based around the weird notion that Google owes you something. The fact is that Google owes you nothing, and everything you get from it is a bonus (either by accident or design).

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The 12 reasons why UK businesses don't blog

How many companies in the UK are blogging? Not many, it seems, according to a list compiled by Suw Charman . Not many at all. The list isn’t fully comprehensive, but it highlights the dearth of business blogs in the UK, compared to US.

So why is it that UK and European marketers / business folk are ignoring blogs? I reckon it comes down to one of the following reasons…

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Bid for London office space and ghosts on eBay

There have been some very odd things sold via eBay - it really is a website that seems to create demand for everything. Even 'a ghost in a jar' managed to find an owner, who spent more than $15,000 to acquire the bona fide gift of somebody else's lifetime, and a jar.

Seriously, you can use eBay to sell anything. A ball of aluminium foil sold for $3.10. A videotape with 'Death Tape: Do Not Watch' written on it sold for $18. Take a blowtorch to some cheese on toast and you can make a million...

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Nick Denton's Gawker Media sheds staff, awaits reversal

Nick Denton is hunkering down, it seems. The Daddy of Gawker Media is reducing headcount and offloading two blogs, having determined that “it is time for a perversely countercyclical move”.

What does he mean by that? He means it is getting harder to make money from blogging, which was never especially easy in the first place.

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Manchester Internet Night - July 25th

At this year’s Internet World we met a bunch of passionate internet professionals based around the M62 corridor, who pretty much demanded that we host more events based outside of London. And hey, we’ve taken notice…

Having seen the (Northern) light, Team E-consultancy is rather looking forward to our inaugural ‘Digital Shorts’ internet networking event that we’re jointly hosting with Manchester Digital later this month.

Yup, it’s in Manchester, so internet folk based in the Good North should come along and say hello if we’ve not met you before.

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Troubled mobile operator 3 loses walled garden

3, the mobile operator with the dubious brand name, has teamed up with Yahoo to finally allow its users to access the web via mobile handsets.

The telecoms group today announced a global agreement with Yahoo to demolish its ill-advised 'walled garden'.

Despite being the first mobile operator to roll-out a 3G network in the UK, 3 users haven't been able to visit websites of their own choosing, instead being force-fed a diet of 3-approved websites and services.

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AIM preferred to Nasdaq on SOX concerns

Is London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) the new Nasdaq? This is the question being asked in the US by VC’s such as Charley Lax, of GrandBanks Capital.

The figures speak for themselves. Last year some 519 companies sought a listing on AIM, while there were just 45 IPOs on the Nasdaq.

Why is this happening? The Nasdaq is a larger market, so wouldn’t that be a better place for many VC-backed US companies?

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Google launches Google Checkout, not GBuy

GBuy is here, only it is called Google Checkout and despite the chief doers of no evil claiming that it “isn’t like PayPal at all”, it is, erm, rather like PayPal, in that merchants use it to process consumer payments.

Google Checkout allows consumers to purchase products by simply logging in to Google – no need for credit card numbers or filling out forms. Obviously you need to tell Google to begin with, but thereafter Google will store your credit card and address data...

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YouTube and NBC jump into bed together

YouTube has settled a six-month dispute with NBC, after the TV network decided to relax and climb into bed with the video-sharing behemoth.

The turnaround is unbelievable, and a huge positive for YouTube. Some months ago NBC’s legal department forced YouTube to remove the 'Lazy Sunday' sketch, taken from NBC-owned Saturday Night Live. Like much of the content on YouTube, the clip was used without the permission of the copyright owner, in this case NBC.

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