Top Search Stories – June 2008

Google Brands react to Google's Trademark bidding.
Google's decision to allow UK and Ireland advertisers to bid on their competitor's trademarks from May 5th has led to a number of major brands considering 'gentleman's agreements' not to bid on each others brand names. It is believed that rival companies in industries such as travel have held informal discussions in order to prevent escalating keyword costs within paid search.
Brands such as Tesco have publicly declared that they will not be bidding on the names of their competitors, whereas rival supermarket chain Asda has refused to rule it out.
It has also been reported that Lastminute.com has threatened to take legal action against Google as it believes the new policy will cost the brand millions in brand protection.
Search marketing agency Greenlight has launched a new platform to help advertisers protect their brands. Search Sentry is a brand monitoring service targeted at paid search marketing campaigns.
Interested in learning more about what Google's trademark policy means for your PPC campaigns? Tune into our next webinar Brand Wars - Are your brands for sale?

Newspapers want less regulation to fight Internet
Trinity Mirror has expressed concern over the excessive regulation of the press, especially when compared to the limited rules applied to leading search engine Google.
Chief executive of Trinity Mirror, Sly Bailey recently said: " I am not arguing that they should be regulated more, I am arguing that we should we regulated less." Bailey's comments follow her reluctant closure of eight newspapers in Derby and Peterborough, after she decided that it would not be profitable to keep them running. Johnston Press has been blocked by competition authorities from buying the newspapers out due to fears of their increased ownership.
In response, Google's co-founder Larry Page said: "The internet is still very young. It has really benefited from a small amount of regulation. If you have static regulation of businesses they tend never to change."
Total internet ad spend set to surpass that of the TV sector in 2009.

Microsoftlogo Microsoft gives cash back for using Live Search
On May 21st Microsoft Live search announced the launch of its new Live Search CashBack programme which will offer cash back to consumers who search on Microsoft Live and make a purchase. The new initiative, that is being trialled in the US, has already been adopted by more than 700 retailers, including eBay and book site Barnesandnoble.com.
The scheme comes as an attempt by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates to counter Google's dominance of internet searches. Payment for using Live Search CashBack will be made to consumers 60 days after the transaction is made, in order to ensure users do not return products to obtain the rebate.
Warren Cowan, chief executive officer of Greenlight, said: "The one thing Microsoft does have is money, so if it can buy market share in the search arena then maybe this is its ticket. But I wouldn't be surprised if Google tries to counter this move to win user loyalty."

MicrosoftlogoMicrosoft & Yahoo! still talking
Microsoft and Yahoo! have re-started talks for a possible limited merger that would unite parts of each company's online business. As part of the potential deal, Microsoft would buyout Yahoo's! search engine business and a minority stake in the rest of the company.
This latest announcement follows mounting pressure from Yahoo! shareholders keen for an alliance with the software giant, who walked away from talks earlier this month. Despite this, Microsoft has made it clear that it is not planning to make a full bid.
Google has also expressed an interest in Yahoo!, with the two companies recently teaming up for a two week trial of Google ads on Yahoo! search pages.
A Microsoft/Yahoo! merger has been welcomed by the ad industry as it would help compete with Google's dominance within the search industry.

Yahoo Yahoo! files lawsuit against spammers
Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against 'Yahoo Lottery Spammers' for sending unlawful e-mails to internet users saying they have won a lottery prize offered by the search engine. The aim of the scam, commonly known as 'phishing', is to encourage recipients to divulge personal information such as credit card details, passwords and social security numbers.
The scammers typically use the stolen information to access bank accounts, apply for credit cards or loans or to carry out identity fraud using the personal details they have gathered from their victims.
A statement put out by the search engine said: "Yahoo does not offer any such awards and has no affiliation or any connection with the spammers or their e-mail communications."
The lawsuit follows a record payout made earlier this month to MySpace over junk messages sent to its members. The legal judgement ordered a payout of $230million.

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