Friday, March 25, 2005

YHOO 360 too tough for non-techies

Danah Boyd gets an early peek at Yahoo 360, and says it has problems. Here's an extract from her full review, and why this matters:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 25, 2005 at 01:09 AM in Sub-sector: Services, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Five implications of the YHOO vs GOOG email war

Yahoo (ticker: YHOO) upgraded the storage capacity of its free web email accounts to 1 GB, equal Google's (ticker: GOOG) Gmail. Five implications:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 25, 2005 at 01:07 AM in Sub-sector: Services, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Net stocks now lead, but GOOEY or GERQY?

ThinkEquity's Michael Moe argues that the US economy is now dependent on the health of Internet companies rather than industrial companies like GM:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 25, 2005 at 12:53 AM in ticker: EBAY, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Take-aways from a visit to GuruNet

After a visit to GuruNet and a conversation with its CEO Bob Rosenschein, American Technology Research analyst Mark Mahaney sent the following to his clients outlining two implications for Google (ticker: GOOG), Yahoo! (ticker: YHOO) and MSN (Microsoft - ticker: MSFT):

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 24, 2005 at 06:19 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: GRU, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

IACI to purchase ASKJ, plus news/analysis in brief

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 20, 2005 at 09:49 PM in ticker: AMTD, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: GSIC, ticker: IACI, ticker: MAMA, ticker: MNST, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: SHOP, ticker: UBET, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Seven implications of Yahoo! 360

Yahoo! announced the launch of Yahoo! 360, an integrated suite that includes web email, instant messaging, blogs, photo sharing, and music downloads. Here's a clip from Yahoo's press release, followed by analysis - a list of seven implications:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 17, 2005 at 07:00 AM in Sector Themes, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Competition and The Long Tail

Wired editor Chris Anderson's discussion of The Long Tail is important, but investors in Internet stocks need to analyze the impact carefully.

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Posted by David Jackson on March 15, 2005 at 04:26 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Content, ticker: CNET, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Monday, March 14, 2005

WSJ on YHOO competitor to GOOG AdSense

The Wall Street Journal (finally!) reports today that "Yahoo Inc. plans to introduce a system to broker online advertisements for small and midsize Web publishers, according to people familiar with the matter."

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Posted by David Jackson on March 14, 2005 at 12:18 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Is online dating firm Spark Networks' IPO (ticker: SPRK) attractive, or will it be left on the shelf?

Online dating company Spark Networks filed for a US IPO (the stock already trades in Germany). Spark Networks runs websites JDate.com (for Jewish singles) and AmericanSingles.com, and will be closely watched by investors since its filings and earnings results should cast light on the online dating businesses run by Yahoo! and IAC. Lead underwriter: Piper Jaffrey. Proposed ticker: SPRK. A careful look at the S-1 reveals some fascinating aspects of this business:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 14, 2005 at 08:33 AM in Sub-sector: Services, ticker: IACI, ticker: SPRK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

China Internet search developments

Points of interest about Sohu (ticker: SOHU), Baidu.com, Zhongsou.com, Yahoo! China (ticker: YHOO), and Google (ticker: GOOG):

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Posted by David Jackson on March 10, 2005 at 09:10 AM in Sub-sector: China, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SOHU, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

GOOG on Google versus Yahoo (quotes from an investor conf)

Google CEO Eric Schmidt faced a series of lame and sycophantic questions from analyst Alexia Quadrani at the Bear Stearns Media Conference. (The big sell-side firms still don't understand how to run conferences effectively.) As a result, most of his comments were a rehash of old material. But here's what he said about the difference between Google and Yahoo!:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 10, 2005 at 08:21 AM in Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

GOOG UNDER THREAT: YHOO subdomain confirms competing service to AdSense

Yahoo has effectively confirmed that it will soon introduce a competitor to Google's AdSense (contextually placed keyword ads) for publishers program. This is highly significant for both YHOO and GOOG, and investors in both companies should take careful note. The proof of Yahoo's imminent new service?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 9, 2005 at 01:20 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

YHOO readies competitor to GOOG AdSense

Multiple reports confirm that Yahoo! (ticker: YHOO) is preparing a competing service to Google's AdSense. AdSense is a fully automated contextual advertising program for publishers that has been remarkably successful in attracting small Web publishers.  Details and implications:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 8, 2005 at 01:16 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Content, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

eCommerce and content developments in brief

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 8, 2005 at 08:20 AM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: E-finance, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: BFLY, ticker: BOFI, ticker: MACR, ticker: NTBK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Search developments in brief

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Posted by David Jackson on March 8, 2005 at 07:52 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

February short interest

Short interest in Nasdaq stocks rose by 6.3% month over month in February. But short interest for Nasdaq Internet stocks rose by more: on a basket of 25 Internet stocks tracked by American Technology Research, short interest  rose by 10.4%. Details:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 6, 2005 at 07:41 AM in ticker: AMZN, ticker: CNET, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ELNK, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOMS, ticker: IACI, ticker: LOOK, ticker: NFLX, ticker: NILE, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Business Week's odd take on GOOG and YHOO

Business Week's Ben Elgin asks whether Google (ticker: GOOG) is "a $50 Billion One-Trick Pony". Here are the five key points from the article followed by some comments that question its conclusion:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 4, 2005 at 02:39 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Under the hood of Google Movies - implications for GOOG and other stocks

Within hours of Google's announcement, its new movie search service received rave reviews from a lot of people. But investors and those wishing to understand the implications for Google and the other Internet companies need to dig deeper:

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Posted by David Jackson on March 4, 2005 at 12:43 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: AMZN, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOLL, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: NYT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

How big a problem is click-fraud?

According to The Times of India, "A growing number of housewives, college graduates, and even working professionals across metropolitan cities are rushing to click paid Internet ads to make $100 to $200... per month". Investors in search and advertising stocks had better understand the scope of the click-fraud problem. Some thoughts:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on March 2, 2005 at 07:20 AM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: LOOK, ticker: MAMA, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Sell-side attacks, defends prospects for paid search

Late last week, following FindWhat's results and conference call (which included an unusual attack on Google and Yahoo!), RBC Capital Markets published a note claiming that the paid search market was weakening. The evidence? Falling prices for keyword ads. In response, Mark Mahaney of American Technology Research wrote the following to his clients:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 26, 2005 at 08:15 PM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

FindWhat.com (FWHT) attacks Google (GOOG) and Overture (YHOO) on conference call (quotes from the 4Q04 conf call)

FindWhat (ticker: FWHT) CEO Craig Pisaris-Henderson made a controversial comment on his fourth quarter earnings results conference call about Google (ticker: GOOG) and Overture (owned by Yahoo!, ticker: YHOO). Here it is:

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Posted by David Jackson on February 24, 2005 at 12:03 AM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The future of comparison shopping

Sean O'Rourke, author of the Organized Shopping Blog, writes his thougths and questions on the future of comparison shopping. This is a must-read for anyone interested in Shopping.com, Google's Froogle, Yahoo Shopping, MSN Shopping, and ValueClick's entry into comparison shopping. Here are his thoughts in full:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 08:52 AM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Surprise stock implications of wealthy online user growth

Nielsen/NetRatings reports (PDF) that the fastest growing segment of Internet users by income during 2004 was the top group - those with household incomes over $150,000. Details of the Nielsen/NetRatings report, then analysis including stock implications:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 12:05 AM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: E-finance, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: IACI, ticker: NILE, ticker: PRVD, ticker: REDE, ticker: SCH, ticker: TSCM, ticker: TSG, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (3)

Microsoft launches MSN Shopping beta

Microsoft launched the beta of MSN Shopping, with strengthened comparison shopping tools. Competitors: Yahoo! Shopping, Shopping.com, Google's Froogle and ValueClick. Microsoft's Andrew Ma asked for feedback, and Sean O'Rourke provided it, concluding that:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 22, 2005 at 12:03 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: SHOP, ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Will GOOG and YHOO's contextual advertising businesses continue to grow?

Google and Yahoo (Overture) have built significant businesses providing contextual ads to Web sites. Here are two radically different views of the prospects for Google's AdSense and Yahoo's Overture contextual ad businesses:

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Posted by David Jackson on February 15, 2005 at 06:59 AM in Sub-sector: Advertising, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 14, 2005

New stats on Firefox market share good for Google, bad for Microsoft, less clear for Yahoo!

Janco Associates released its First Quarter 2005 Browser Market Share Study showing that Firefox now has 4.5% market share and Microsoft Internet Explorer's market share has now fallen to 84.9%. But the situation for IE might be worse than that.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 14, 2005 at 09:13 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Wal-Mart.com catching up with Amazon and eBay

Nielsen/NetRatings reports latest traffic numbers for November/December:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 9, 2005 at 06:05 PM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: IACI, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google maps: search companies and portals on collision course

Google released a beta version of Google maps. Surprise, surprise - it's terrific. As with Gmail, Google just seems to do things better. But instead of focusing on the individual application, investors need to step back and see the big picture: search companies and portals/content comanies are on a collison course. Why, and what are the stock implications?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 9, 2005 at 04:25 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Google, Yahoo, AOL, Ask Jeeves bid for About.com

The NY Times reports (free registration required) that Primedia's About.com unit is for sale, and final bids are due Tuesday. About.com was purchased by Primedia for $690 million in 2000. Here's a list of the (reported) bidders, and three quick comments:

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Posted by David Jackson on February 8, 2005 at 08:46 AM in Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ah! So this is why Shopping.com is entering the financial services vertical.

Bankrate made the following point on its Q4 earnings call:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 7, 2005 at 03:48 PM in Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Provide Commerce (PRVD) on online marketing (quotes from the conf call)

Provide Commerce (ticker: PRVD) has some interesting things to say about online marketing on its conference call:

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Posted by David Jackson on February 7, 2005 at 01:06 PM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: Advertising, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: PRVD, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NY Times on Internet retailing

The NY Times has a perplexing survey of the Internet retailing stocks in its Sunday business section. The article, Is Online Retailing a Victim of Its Own Success?, argues that online retailing is growing fast, but the outlook for the stocks is uncertain.

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Posted by David Jackson on February 7, 2005 at 08:35 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 04, 2005

CEO of Date.com talks about online dating

Meir Strahlberg, CEO of Date.com, talked about the online dating business in a speech at an industry conference. Why does this matter to internet investors? First, Yahoo! and IACI both own an online dating business. Second, dating sites are big spenders on online advertising. Third, dating sites will converge with social networking and content businesses.

Here's the majority of the speech:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 4, 2005 at 07:00 AM in Sector Themes, ticker: IACI, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (3)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

As search engines add proprietary content, what are the implications?

Recent announcements have strong implications for the search business:

  • Microsoft announced the full release of its search service today.
  • Google announced that it would offer search of movie scripts and is planning to offer search of books stocked by major libraries.
  • Amazon.com announced that its A9 search engine will offer street-level photographs as part of its local search.
  • Yahoo! announced that in future it will provide its own financial data instead of relying on outside vendors, and will syndicate that data to other web sites.

Here's a quick recap of Amazon's announcement, then a brief discussion of what's going on in the search market and the implications for investors.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on February 1, 2005 at 07:03 AM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: AMZN, ticker: GOOG, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Comparison shopping and Blue Nile (NILE)

Quick question: Since comparison shopping puts price pressure on broad e-commerce retailers like Amazon, will we see a similar phenomenon with online jewelry retailers like Blue Nile?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 28, 2005 at 11:00 AM in ticker: NILE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Would search companies suffer from clearer results?

Amazing - the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 24, 2005 at 08:01 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Search briefs

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 23, 2005 at 08:45 PM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: LOOK, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Skype threatens instant messaging providers TWX, YHOO, MSFT

Instant messenging and voice-over-IP are converging. AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple already offer voice-chat capabilities for their instant messengers. But that means that the instant messaging providers face an aggressive new competitor: Skype. Here's a report that Skype just displaced AOL in a major instant messaging deal:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 21, 2005 at 12:47 PM in ticker: MSFT, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Firefox adoption rockets in January; good or bad for Google and Yahoo?

Analytics firm WebSideStory reported (story via CRN) that as of January 14th, Firefox has 5% of the Web brower market, a full 1 percentage point higher than in early December. Firefox's adoption rate in the U.S. almost tripled during the last month, and as a result Microsoft's share is now on the cusp of falling through the 90% mark.

Now, it's obvious that the spread of Firefox is negative for Microsoft. But what about Google and Yahoo!? Here's are some points to consider:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 20, 2005 at 11:07 PM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

Click-fraud and the search engine stocks

Click-fraud is becoming increasingly problematic for the search companies. Look at this comment from Google's CFO at an investor conference:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 20, 2005 at 11:06 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

The impact of blogs on online media companies

Jeff Jarvis provides an outstanding overview of the impact of "citizens journalism" on established media companies. His key points for Internet investors:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 20, 2005 at 04:33 PM in Sub-sector: Content, ticker: CNET, ticker: IVIL, ticker: TSCM, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Chinese search engine market grows in 2004

Asia Pulse, citing a recent report, claims that China's search engine market reached 940 million yuan ($113.6 million) in 2004. The market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 60-70% and reach 2.6 billion yuan by 2006.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 20, 2005 at 08:56 AM in Sector Outlook, Sub-sector: China, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: NTES, ticker: SOHU, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

European e-shopping could favor ECST, NILE, OSTK, REDE more than AMZN, EBAY

The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that savy Europeans are taking advantage of their strong currencies by shopping from U.S. online retailers. The article mentions Amazon as a potential beneficiary. But here's a point to consider for investors in e-tail stocks:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 19, 2005 at 11:40 AM in Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IBUY, ticker: NILE, ticker: REDE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

YHOO - key quotes from the conf call

Here's what Yahoo! had to say this evening about online advertising, personalization and RSS, its plans for international expansion, the growth in its user base, and revenue per Yahoo! user:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 19, 2005 at 12:33 AM in ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Five Google-related data points from Yahoo!'s conf call

Here are five data points from Yahoo!'s conference call relevant to investors in Google:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 19, 2005 at 12:17 AM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Yahoo, the search company, beats estimates

Highlights from Yahoo!'s results:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 18, 2005 at 05:44 PM in ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Yahoo to acquire Six Apart?

Six Apart, the owner of hosted blogging service TypePad and publisher of blogging software Movable Type, just acquired LiveJournal. Within six months Six Apart itself will be acquired by Yahoo!.

Here's why.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 17, 2005 at 08:30 AM in Sector Themes, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (36)

Are job listings an indicator of growth?

...because if they are, then Shopping.com is growing faster than Yahoo! Shopping and Froogle. (Well, we already knew that Froogle isn't doing as well as the other two because of its inferior functionality.) Here are the job listings numbers:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 17, 2005 at 12:02 AM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 14, 2005

IBuyDigital.com files for IPO and 5 reasons why YouMightNotBuyThis.com

Online consumer electronics retailer iBuyDigital.com just filed an S-1; underwriters are Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. and Oppenheimer and Co. The proposed ticker is IBUY. Here's a quick overview of the filing, five reasons why you should be careful of this IPO, and implications for other stocks including ECST, OSTK, SHOP, YHOO and GOOG.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 14, 2005 at 10:00 AM in ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IBUY, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Keynote says YHOO and MSN search experience catching up with GOOG. Yawn.

Here's the Keynote press release. Though widely publicized, there seems to be absolutely no incremental news in it. Yahoo! and MSN getting better, Google still has best customer experience, local search still rudimentary... yawn. If you find something that I missed, leave a comment.

With research like this, maybe Keynote should get into the sell-side research business. In fact, it could buy IRG from TheStreet.com.  :-)

Posted by David Jackson on January 13, 2005 at 03:07 PM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: KEYN, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Business Week article on desktop search underestimates risk to GOOG, YHOO and ASKJ

Following Yahoo!'s release of its desktop search earlier this week, Business Week now asks: Can Desktop Search Find Profits? It's answer: desktop search is a step on the road to the holy grail of search, namely universal search. (Search everything from one place.) But in the short run, there's no money it.

Wrong.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 12, 2005 at 10:54 PM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

DoubleClick says search engine keyword ad prices up 23% in December

DoubleClick released data gathered by Performics, its search engine marketing division, about December pay-per-click (PPC) ads. The most important data point:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 12, 2005 at 11:31 AM in ticker: DCLK, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yahoo expanding in travel?

Yahoo! is hiring, this time for Yahoo! Travel. Positions? Director of Product Management, engineers in content management and travel search, and posts in business intelligence and business operations. (You can view the job descriptions here.)

Travel search? Yes.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 12, 2005 at 12:09 AM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: CD, ticker: IACI, ticker: PCLN, ticker: TSG, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Keyword pricing up 24% sequentially in fourth quarter

Media Post's Media Daily News says:

Search engine advertisers on average paid 24 percent more for keywords in the fourth quarter than they did at the end of September 2004, according to estimates being released today by Fathom Online. The price hike, one of the steepest since Fathom began publishing its so-called Keyword Price Index (KPI) earlier this year, may have been influenced by increased demand during the fourth quarter holiday marketing season, or it may have simply been organic price inflation as more advertisers enter the marketplace and increase their bids for top placements on search engines.

Trend: this is consistent with 1-800-Flowers.com's earnings miss yesterday likely due to higher PPC marketing expenses.

Posted by David Jackson on January 11, 2005 at 12:27 AM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 10, 2005

FLWS miss points to rising PPC ad prices

1-800-flowers.com missed numbers for the December quarter because of higher than expected marketing expenses. In its press release, the company stated:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 10, 2005 at 11:01 AM in ticker: FLWS, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

PriceGrabber adds travel

Comparison shopping engine PriceGrabber has expanded into travel.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 10, 2005 at 12:37 AM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: CD, ticker: CTRP, ticker: IACI, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TSG, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Technology Review highlights fragility of Google's competitive position

The January 2005 edition of the Technology Review contains a detailed article by Charles Ferguson called What's Next For Google? Ferguson argues that Google's competitive position is tenuous. In his words:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 7, 2005 at 12:10 AM in Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

New SideStep web site threatens online travel companies

Travel search engine company SideStep released a web-based version of its travel search covering flights, rental cars and hotels, at SideStep.com. (Story via ClickZ here.) SideStep plans to make money by selling ads next to search results. It has a pay-per-click (PPC) deal with Overture (owned by Yahoo!) and also plans to sell its own PPC and graphical cost-per-page-impression (CPM) ads.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 5, 2005 at 01:49 PM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: CD, ticker: CTRP, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IACI, ticker: PCLN, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IBM to enter the online ad market?

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo all recently filed new search-related patents. But so did IBM, Phillips and Xerox. Nathan Weinberg comments:

The most interesting one? Easily IBM’s filing for “System and method for dynamically optimizing a banner advertisement to counter competing advertisements“. What the system does is analyze a page and detect ads. Then it matches those ads against a database of the client’s competitor’s ads, and reformats the client’s ad to better compete against those ads. Brilliant!

He adds:

If IBM is planning on getting into the online ad game (and this patent is a big hint), this is exactly the million dollar idea any company needs to succeed.

Interesting. IBM's work on search was recently described in a NY Times article (free subscription required).

Posted by David Jackson on January 5, 2005 at 01:33 AM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: LOOK, ticker: MAMA, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Internet trends 2005: Mary Meeker gets Yahoo wrong

Morgan Stanley internet analyst Mary Meeker published an internet industry report (download the free PDF here) that's bullish on Yahoo!. Although issued in October, her comments are critical to the outlook for Yahoo! over the next year. Her key points:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 4, 2005 at 12:01 AM in ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Firefox good or bad for ad click rates?

German online advertising company Adtech reported that Firefox users click on fewer ads than Internet Explorer users. In aggregate, 0.11% of Firefox users clicked on ads, versus 0.5% of IE users. (Info via this CNET story.) This is potentially worrying for Internet advertising (including search) companies and their investors, because Firefox is taking market share from IE. So what's happening?

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 3, 2005 at 03:57 PM in ticker: AQNT, ticker: DCLK, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Goldman moves GOOG and YHOO, but should it?

Goldman analyst Anthony Noto raised his price targets today for Google and Yahoo. A Goldman report states:

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Posted by David Jackson on January 3, 2005 at 12:18 PM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rise in blog readership threatens online media stocks

A new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project claims that both supply and demand for blogs is rocketing. Key stats:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 3, 2005 at 10:38 AM in ticker: CNET, ticker: TSCM, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Briefs updates on search, with implications

- Robin Good estimates that non-Microsoft browsers now have 30% share of the browser market  (Firefox has 20%), and that by the end of '05 Internet Explorer will no longer be the browser of choice for the majority of Internet users.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on January 3, 2005 at 12:01 AM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: LOOK, ticker: MAMA, ticker: MSFT, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Five Internet danger signs to watch for in 2005

The next few weeks will likely see a flurry of predictions for 2005, to the point where you'll be sick of reading them. So instead, I'm providing something which I hope will be more useful for investors in Internet stocks and managers of Internet companies: a checklist of danger signals for Internet investors to look out for next year. For each danger signal, I've specified which stocks will subsequently be at risk:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 30, 2004 at 11:03 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Content, Sub-sector: E-finance, Sub-sector: E-tailing, Sub-sector: Search, Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: AMZN, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: BFLY, ticker: CNET, ticker: CTRP, ticker: EBAY, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOLL, ticker: IACI, ticker: MSFT, ticker: NFLX, ticker: NILE, ticker: OSTK, ticker: PCLN, ticker: RATE, ticker: SHOP, ticker: TSCM, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (4)

S&P's top Internet stock picks are...

...Yahoo and Valueclick, according to this news release via Forbes. Rationale? S&P thinks both will gain market share, expand abroad, and benefit from acquisitions and growth in online advertising.

Incremental value to this call? Can't find much.

Posted by David Jackson on December 30, 2004 at 11:35 AM in ticker: VCLK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Home Depot entry to online appliance sales should help search and comparison shopping firms

Reuters reports that Home Depot has begun selling appliances online, with free shipping and a guarantee that prices will be the same as in its stores, with no regional variation. Home Depot has been slow to offer online sales of appliances. According to the Reuters story, Sears began offering appliances online in 1999 and Lowe's in 2000. Home Depot is now playing catch-up aggressively: its home page now features appliances, with the tag line "1,000s of Appliances - Now Available Online".

Of note to Internet investors:

  1. The purchase of high-priced appliances online will boost online retail numbers, but will likely come at the expense of purchases from physical stores.
  2. This is incrementally positive for search companies Google and Yahoo!, as demand for appliance-related key words (and probably their price) will rise as more companies enter the online market.
  3. The time and effort of comparison shopping makes greatest sense for large purchases. The expansion of the online appliance market is therefore incrementally positive for the comparison shopping businesses run by Google, Yahoo! and Shopping.com, as well as private companies Nextag, PriceGrabber and Shopzilla.

Full disclosure: at the time of writing I'm long SHOP.

Posted by David Jackson on December 29, 2004 at 02:18 PM in Sector Outlook, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: GOOG, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

PPC marketing costs to rise for online travel companies?

ClickZ reports that travel search engine Kayak.com is planning a large advertising campaign for early next year, in which it will purchase pay-per-click ads from Google and Overture.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 29, 2004 at 07:01 AM in Sub-sector: Travel, ticker: CD, ticker: GOOG, ticker: IACI, ticker: PCLN, ticker: TZOO, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Craigslist also threatens eBay, Monster and Yahoo!

A report by Bob Cauthorn for Classified Intelligence estimates that Craigslist, in which eBay recently purchased a minority stake, costs the Bay Area's traditional newspapers and their online divisions $50-65 million in lost revenue. He estimates that a job listing on Craigslist costs an employer $75, versus $700 for an average recruitment ad in a metro daily.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 29, 2004 at 01:32 AM in Sector Themes, ticker: EBAY, ticker: MNST, ticker: OSTK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Can you say "frothy"?

Barron's Mark Veverka has a short retrospective (subcription required) of what happened to tech stocks in 2004, which he sums up in one word: Google. "Why all the fuss?" about Google, he asks.

Answer: The return of the 50-plus price-earnings multiple. Recently, Google was trading at 183.75; Yahoo! at 36.66 and Ask Jeeves (which you could have bought at 2 in 2003) at 25.62. At those prices, each boasted a ludicrous price-earnings ratio, based on its expected next-fiscal-year earnings. For Google, it was 54, for Yahoo!, 73, and for Ask Jeeves, 19 . Do you know anybody who even visits Ask.com?

And he later summarizes his views of these stocks with one question: "Can you say "frothy"?"

Posted by David Jackson on December 28, 2004 at 12:12 AM in Sector Outlook, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: GOOG, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Were holiday online sales THAT good?

E-commerce stocks are up sharply today on the comScore prediction that holiday online sales will grow 28% year over year. Earlier, comScore and others were predicting online sales growth of 22-25%. So the stocks are moving:

  • Amazon up over 8%
  • Bluefly up 11%
  • Drugstore.com up 4%
  • Ecost up 9%
  • Overstock up 2%
  • Shopping.com up 6%

Yahoo!, eBay and Blue Nile aren't participating in this rally. But I wonder whether three percentage points of upside to the aggregate growth number (28% from 25%) is enough to justify the moves in the pure-play e-commerce stocks. After all, 28% growth is still below last year's growth rate of 30%, and offline retailers like Wal-Mart are taking market share online.

Full disclosure: at the time of writing I'm long SHOP.

Posted by David Jackson on December 27, 2004 at 01:40 PM in Sector Outlook, Sub-sector: E-tailing, ticker: AMZN, ticker: BFLY, ticker: DSCM, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: NILE, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yahoo!'s provision of traffic conditions is about local advertising

Yahoo! said that it will begin providing real-time information about road traffic conditions. According to the press release, Yahoo! will provide information about construction, road conditions (including weather), and traffic speeds.

What does Yahoo! gain from this? Yahoo! will offer another highly useful service that will ultimately integrate nicely with Mapquest. And that will provide an excellent context for local advertising. The challenge will be to get local advertisers online. Yahoo!'s Mapquest service, meanwhile, seems to have greater mind share than map services from Google and MSN.

Posted by David Jackson on December 27, 2004 at 01:07 AM in ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Three lessons from the Google Zeitgeist

Google's press center just published its Zeitgeist 2004, a summary of the most popular searches in 2004. This is important reading, despite the fact that's it's backward-looking. Here are three key points from the Google data:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 25, 2004 at 11:44 PM in Sector Themes, Sub-sector: Search, ticker: AMZN, ticker: ASKJ, ticker: EBAY, ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: HOLL, ticker: LOOK, ticker: OSTK, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Friday, December 24, 2004

Is Amazon being hurt by comparison shopping?

Since comparison shopping sites make it easy to find the best prices on a product, they'll drive traffic to the cheapest stores with the best service and reputations. Traffic to the comparison shopping sites is up sharply this year: Nextag reported a 70% increase in year over year traffic, Shopping.com announced that it expects revenues to rise by over 30% this quarter, and traffic to Yahoo! Shopping and Froogle are also strong.

So owners of Amazon stock need to know whether Amazon is benefitting or losing from this trend, particularly since comparison shopping is growing in popularity.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 24, 2004 at 01:58 AM in ticker: AMZN, ticker: ECST, ticker: GOOG, ticker: OSTK, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Web email battle heats up as AOL enters

Newsfactor reports that AOL plans to introduce free web email in 2005. According to the story, an AOL spokesperson has confirmed that it has already started "beta testing the new version of AOL Mail on the Web for a select number of members". But the big news is that in 2005 AOL Mail will be offered to non-AOL subscribers too.

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 23, 2004 at 05:53 PM in ticker: GOOG, ticker: MSFT, ticker: TWX, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

DoubleClick/Nielsen survey may imply comparison shopping surprise

DoubleClick released the results of a survey it commissioned from Nielsen / NetRatings. Yup, yet another online holiday shopping survey. So instead of summarizing the unsurprising results (online shopping is growing faster than offline shopping - dah!), here's the more interesting part:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on December 21, 2004 at 11:19 AM in ticker: ASKJ, ticker: DCLK, ticker: FWHT, ticker: GOOG, ticker: MAMA, ticker: SHOP, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The gulf between Yahoo! and Intel

Look at the difference between Yahoo's Q3 results and Intel's.  They just re-inforce the view that companies that consume technology and leverage it will outperform companies that supply technology.

It's particularly remarkable that Intel projected revenue growth of only 2% year over year in Q4.  That's for a period when accelerated depreciation allowances (which expire at the end of this year) should be boosting corporate spending on IT.

Posted by David Jackson on October 13, 2004 at 12:18 PM in ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Quotes from Yahoo!'s (YHOO) 3Q04 conference call

Here are 200 words from Yahoo's Q3 earnings conference call:

Continue reading...

Posted by David Jackson on October 12, 2004 at 12:19 PM in Conf call quotes, Sub-sector: Content, ticker: YHOO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)