What Would You Do?

Dec 14, 2004 - 8:31 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2004


This room is very empty, I am surprised.

GooHoo! is our fictional search engine, Google and Yahoo! merged to form GooHoo. Greg Boser VP of editorial quality, Andrew Goodman VP of advertising and programs, Dana Todd VP of Revenue enhancements and Noel McMichael VP of content acquisition. Working the audience is Jeffery Rohrs. The modo of the company is "don't be too evil".

Statement: You got a religious organization and you send a cease and desist order and they want you to stop allowing your competitors from bidding on your trademark name. Response: Andrew Goodman said they started to build technology to automate this decision. We are concerned about GooHoo's rights to publish what they wish. GooHoo opts to fight it in court between the parties. Trademark cases are led to the courts unless their lawyers say that if its illegal, they will be proactive to remove it.

Statement: Danny says he was doing a search the other day for toys and a bunch of sex toys came up. Also, he found results leading to illegal items where he can buy. Response: Dana said if your doing a competitive analysis you want to be able to type in a company name and see the competitive sphere. Greg said he would look how and why is that site ranking well organically, and if they are doing something outside of the TOS then they would pull it. If it was whitehat, then it would leave it.

Statement: What would get you pulled. Response: Greg would pull out all blog spammers and Google bombers from the engine. It would be largely human based de-listings.


Statement: One company was going to pull offensive listings and the other was going to leave it. Now that you merged, which way will you go? Response: Dana said they would explore that culture and if it does not impact revenue too greatly, then they would comply.

Statement: Will you keep PFI? Response: Noel said that they will keep PFI, because it is there, people are buying it, so why not keep it. It is making money, so why not keep it. Noel explains that people are looking to only buy something not learn about something when using a search engine. Greg has a very small office not even with a window. The real money is in Andrew's division. Greg wants to show the PFI symbol in the organic results. Dana explains the pricing model is a CPC model. Dana explains that if they call them out as PFI results, it will generated more clicks. They are also thinking about a toolbar that only shows all ads, all the time. They explain they are labeled because the PFI results go through extensive, extensive, extensive editorial review by Greg and his children.

Statement: Clickfraud, how are you going to handle it. He said that Dana calls click fraud as "non converting clicks". Response: Dana said that "We have very sophisticated technology, I cant talk about the technology publicly but its very advanced." They have not really issued any refunds but when they looked into them it was never due to click fraud.

Statement: What percentage of your resources are you investing in organic? Response: Greg says he feels he is the least important person here. He feels that he finds it very frustrating to not bring in money. He said there is this ongoing conflict about building better organic search software versus revenue generating programs.

Statement: Mikkel asks if GooHoo would like to partner with his undetectable click bot software. Response: Greg said to combat click fraud they would like to move to a CPA model, after Andrew said a CPM model. Dana was prompted to respond to the CPA model, she said it is a much more time consuming model to operate. There is just too much risk and time put into CPA models, they will be investigating it but they will be splitting their network into two networks. One will remain at the CPC and the good portion will go at CPM. They want to leverage the graphic ad network, because that made more money in the old days.

Statement: Do the Non Converting Clicks (NCC) come from a bot or a Indian people? Response: Greg says most is software driven.

Statement: Cloaking... Response: Noel says if you use his patented XML cloaking technology (i.e. PFI) you will be included. Greg says its all about user experience. We wont say that cloaking it allowed, but if we find a case that does it for a good reason, then it will probably be ok. They monitor high volume keywords and highly hyphenated domain names. Greg adds they are ditching the spam report page. Dana said they are building a new tool to really "personalize" your results based on "behavior patterns".

Statement: Are you doing hand selected search result pages? Response: Greg said that "hand jobs are part of the business." He said in certain areas it makes sense.

Tim Mayer from Yahoo! just walked in.

Statement: Will the GooHoo Directory be around? Response: Noel said it will be gone shortly.

Statement: If I took the advertising certification programmer, will that flag me as a spammer? Response: Dana said that there is a chinese curtain between the ad and organic department. They might go to your clients directly, if they have big budgets. In addition that advertising certification programmers they use this as a method to study you and your customers.

By not have a CPA model, it encourages the web site owner to make sure their sites are good for their users. If they adopted a CPA model it would make the advertisers lazy.

Statement: Put on your thinking caps, what is the one change you make to make GooHoo better. Response: Greg said pure artificial intelligence to know what you are thinking even with one word searches. They can use the toolbar data, cookie data, history, refinement searches. Andrew said lets look 5 years to where we are headed. He said right now we are relatively small in revenue dollars. He said if you look at a billboard, GooHoo will run that ad, TV ads will be run by GooHoo's bid network, most of traditional ads will move to GooHoo. Noel said besides for the paid inclusion disclosure, he would like to get the GooHoo search appliance more exposure by slashing the price. That same appliance can "phone home" to the main index to increase exposure. Dana said she would like to embed GooHoo in your hand, sell it to the end user as an optional implant. It will change your life for ever. if they can possibly send out small electric shocks, it can stimulate certain brand awareness that will be positive to GooHoo.

Statement: How do you protect your user's privacy? Response: They have a motto "dont be too evil". Advertisers and searches dont need to use us, they can go somewhere else. So its a give and take. Greg says you can search anonymously but you need cookies and you need to login.

Statement: Tim Mayer from Yahoo was put on the spot to make a statement. He said, he submits to GooHoo Shopping and GooHoo Local, what would be a good way to drive traffic to those other areas of the GooHoo engine? Response: Andrew said that it used to be word of mouth, they still believe in limited marketing. Dana added its a matter of trust. Greg said its about choice, we cant force people to click on it. Its a learned behavior.


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