Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A contradiction

Back in April, Google announced a set of new advertising policies, among which was allowing advertisers to choose which sites display their ads. However, this new capability potentially shuts out a "long tail" of publishers which may be:

1. Sites with objectionable content.

2. New sites without a track record, or unfairly suspected of generating fraudulent clicks.

3. Sites with low nominal conversion rates, either due to low real conversion rates, or to low enough traffic resulting in zero conversions over some time periods.

This is part of a more general contradiction: in the quest for "quality" traffic, how much of Google's revenues will actually remain intact? If you take all the junk traffic out of the equation, will we see the same revenue growth rates? Add this to increasing competition coming from Yahoo and AskJeeves and it's an open question whether GOOG's high multiple is really justified.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Google Current

Apparently, Google is in a content partnership with Al Gore's Current TV, which just debuted last night. The unstated premise of this TV network is to promote an extreme liberal agenda to young people in a "hip" MTV-style format (at which Al Gore is an expert). The buzz so far is that this project is a complete flop. I haven't watched any of the programming, but I'm wondering what kind of content Google Current is coming up with. There will surely be some egg on Google's face as the overall crappiness of the whole enterprise becomes widely appreciated. A couple of facts about Current TV:

1. Their stated purpose is to provide 3 minute bite-sized segments (no shows), because young people are so stupid they don't have an attention span longer than 3 minutes.

2. The TV listings information on their web site requires personal indentifying information - and they don't give you the listings! (The database they're building here surely won't be used in some 2008 election campaign fundraising, right?)

3. Their web site sucks ass - SLOW, NO content, NONE of the promised "interactivity."