Rumors And News From Social Media And Search

Maybe it’s everyone posting more the week after SES or maybe it was just a big week for news, but when I looked at the links I’ve collected for tomorrow’s This Week In SEO post I realized I had gathered a lot more than usual and it was going to be hard to cut some. In order to keep the links tomorrow somewhat manageable I thought I’d offer some of them tonight in the form of three big stories.

Two are from today, the rumor of eBay buying StumbleUpon and the launch of MySpace News. The third story, which broke very late last week, was the acquisition of DoubleClick by Google.

Did eBay Buy StumbleUpon?

The big rumor today was the report that eBay had bought StumbleUpon for somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million. Michael Arrington broke the story, which was followed up by a quite a few other blogs. Om Malik of GigaOM offered an interesting scenario for the purchase involving eBay incorporating StumbleUpon into Skype. By combining the two they could essentially offer a search box inside Skype and further Skype as something eBay can place on the desktop.

Muhammad Saleem later theorized the purchase was to merge social networking with shopping.

All things considered, when you think about the the potential to know what someone wants to buy, and then the ability to link the person to that very thing, which has also reviewed and recommended by the person’s peers, eBay’s decision makes absolutely perfect sense. Now they have a marketplace, a service to facilitate monetary transactions, and a platform to determine consumer preferences, opinions, demand, and so on. The circle has been completed.

However Chris Sherman spoke with StumbleUpon co-founder Garrett Camp who claimed the sale was just a rumor. Of course should a sale be under way it’s likely Garrett would be prohibited from speaking about it.

One of the companies rumored to have been bidding on StumbleUpon was Google and when The Official Google Blog made the announcement that they were adding a recommendation button (with a pair of dice as an icon) it struck many as a StumbleUpon like feature. The timing of the Google news would lead one to believe they won’t be buying SU and perhaps the rumors of the sale to eBay are indeed true.

MG Siegler has a nice overview of the new Google dice button which is very stumble like except that Google will be sending you to sites based on your search history instead of the votes of the social network. MG gives some reasons why this might not be the best data to use.

I think it’s likely that sometime in the very near future we will see an official announcement of the sale of StumbleUpon to eBay. My hope is whatever they do with SU they continue to maintain it as a stand alone site. StumbleUpon delivers some surprisingly good results and adds an element of fun in it’s randomness that other social media sites lack. I suspect they would maintain it as a standalone product while also integrating into other eBay properties.

Move Over Digg, Here Comes MySpace

They made the announcement a few weeks ago, but today MySpace launched MySpace News. Times Online is calling it a blend of Google News and Digg and given the large user base of MySpace this could be something to challenge Digg.

Ironically the top story in the Internet Tech category right now is MySpace News…Kinda Sucks. The post does make some very valid points such as why are there no comments, search features, or widgets to integrate with MySpace profiles. And perhaps most importantly why isn’t MySpace News being linked to from the main MySpace site. Somewhere right in the main navigation would be a nice place to link to the news.

What you probably want to know most is How to List Your Site in MySpace News. I’ll let Loren Baker fill you in on the details (hint you have to click on the previous link), but know that it all starts by submitting your site or feed.

Google Acquires DoubleClick

The $3.1 billion deal was announced last Friday, so it might seem like ancient news already. What’s interesting is the questions surrounding the deal. Andy Beal mentioned how it’s typical for public companies to release negative news late on a Friday, which is when the deal was announced. Several companies including Yahoo, AT&T, and Microsoft are asking for regulators to take a closer look at the deal. Google is quickly becoming the only player in online advertising and if the deal goes through they would be serving 80% of all ads online.

Bill Slawski took a look at some DoubleClick patents as a result of the deal and also provides a brief history of DoubleClick.

Another development of the deal is that Google has acquired Performics, the search marketing company that DoubleClick owned. You have to see that as a huge conflict of interests as the main goal of Performics is to rank their clients sites well on Google. Should Google keep Performics they could basically charge for guaranteed rankings.

I’ll leave you to sort it all out by providing the following links.

That’s all for the moment. I’ll have the usual weekly roundup tomorrow and hopefully now I can keep the list of links to a reasonable size.

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