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The same tactic can be very effective when used online. Enter Google.
Google is taking this tactic to its online extreme. During the last month, whenever ANY major or even minor story about another search engine popped up, Google was there.
Take today for instance: there is a short story [researchbuzz.com] floating about the new altavista look from Research Buzz. Guess what? Within hours, Google floats a story [researchbuzz.com] on some esoteric new search features.
This same tactic has happened four times in the last three weeks. It is an outstanding ploy. If you have the resources to mount a pro-active defense, it is certainly one of the finer tricks of the press trade.
We told them to hold the story until something else happened in their industry that hit the news. Sure enough - late last week a competitor announced a new cobranding agreement with another site. Our guys were there and released their story within hours. It clearly meant a nice traffic boost and deflected some attention. It also got us, our first pure pr job ever ;)
Q, I don't think we will ever see a Google IPO. I think Yahoo will buy them outright real soon.
The wireless stuff release seems more just part of the ongoing efforts at Google. They have lots of news because they are doing lots of things, rather than they are writing releases just to crash in on other search engines, I would say.
There have been examples of this in the past, with other search engines trying to crash in on another's annoucement (excite clubs and yahoo clubs going live at the same time, for example), but I really haven't seen that happening with Google.
A better example is Inktomi coming in with its annoucement right after the LookSmart paid listings annoucements. The timing seems to suggest they thought it would be good to get this in alongside LookSmart, rather than standalone in what some would consider a semi-controversial move.
Best thing to do, watch Google for the next few months. I'd almost bet this trend continues. M. Moritz is a master of PR.
You think Yahoo will buy Google?
>eljefe >yahoo stock
It will probably go down. I don't know just how much Google would be worth at this point (2-3 billion?), but whatever it is, Yahoo will have to pay through the teeth for it. A better investment would be Sequoia Capital who owns 10% of Yahoo, an undisclosed percentage of Google, $15 billion worth of Cisco, also some Apple.
All those deals were masterminded by Michael Moritz - a former Time Magazine beat reporter. The rest of his by line [sequoiacap.com] is a who's who of the internet. While you are there, read the seed capital faq [sequoiacap.com].
A nice article on Moritz from Internet.com [internetworld.com] in 98.