Researching Corporate Acquisitions

Since writing about Google acquisitions a few months ago, and Yahoo Acquisitions, I’ve received more than a couple of requests from people asking about some strategies and methods for researching corporate acquisitions online.

There are a lot of potential sources of information that you can look at, but a few that you might want to start with first.

1. Web-based searches for reference sites, news articles, blog posts.

It’s possible to find lists of acquisitions on reference sites, on blog posts by people whose companies have been acquired, and through news stories about purchases. Search for things like “Google Acquired” (with the quotation marks) or “Google acquisitions” (again, with the quotation marks). Make a list of all of the companies that you can find that way, and then conduct searches for those companies to see if you can find out more about the acquisitions.

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Web Decay and Dead Links Can be Bad for Your Site

How harmful are dead links to search engine rankings? Or pages filled with outdated information? Can internal redirects on a site also hurt rankings? What about the redirects used on parked domains?

A new patent application published last week at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and assigned to IBM, Methods and apparatus for assessing web page decay, explores the topics of dead pages, web decay, soft 404 error messages, redirects on parked pages, and automated ways for search engines to look at these factors while ranking pages. I’ll explore a little of the patent application here, and provide some ideas on ways to avoid having decay harm the rankings of web sites.

The authors of the patent filing include:

Trying Out Open Source Content Management Systems

I’m not sure I remember who originally pointed this site out to me, but I’ve been recommending it to people for a good number of months.

OpenSourceCMS.com gives you the opportunity to try out different content managment systems of different types before you install them on your own server. It’s not easy seeing what a content management system might be like by looking at a site that uses it. It helps to see what the administrative side of the software does, too – how it is set up, how easy or difficult it may be to use, and so on.

At OpenSourceCMS, they include dozens of portals, blogs, ecommerce sites, groupware, forums, wikis, e-learning systems, and more. You can log in as an administrator, and make as many changes as you want while you are. Every four hours, they replace the software with a fresh version, and let people go back at it, testing the software out.

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a content management system, it’s worth spending some time at the site, and seeing what’s possible. There are also articles and forums, as well as user reviews of different CMS systems. If you’ve worked on web sites, but never used a content management system before, this is a nice place to learn about them.

Google’s Goldman Sachs Webcast

There’s still a little time to register, and watch along, as Google has a 12:55 pm (PST) presentation at the Goldman Sachs Seventh Annual Internet Conference.

As they note, you need to have RealPlayer or Windows Media Player installed on your computer, and it needs to be capable of playing sound.

I haven’t listened to one of these Goldman Sachs webcasts before, but I’ve read a few transcripts from other companies talking in previous settings to institutional investors.

Like this one from February – Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium – with Chris Liddell, Sr. VP and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft.

Update -

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The Value of Embedded Links

There’s something magical about having the right link in the right place at the right time on a page.

Most web pages that you visit these days will have some type of main navigation on their site to the major categories within the site. Often you will see another set of links pointing to things like a privacy policy, a contact page, or directions, or other information about the site, and the people or business behind the site.

Many sites also use secondary navigation on pages within sections of the site, to point to the main pages within that section. Go to a different section, and you may see a different set of links in the secondary navigation. This is pretty common in a site that has a tree like hierarchy, and it’s a practice that is helpful to visitors, and even to search engines. Seach engines will try to get an understanding of what a page is about by looking at the content of the text within links that point to pages.

These navigational structures often surround a content rich area on a page, filled with articles or information, or descriptions (and possibly pictures) of products or services. On pages describing products or services, it’s not unusual to have a link from that description to a page specifically about that product.

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Search Marketing Standard Arrives

I received my copy of the first magazine devoted to Search Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization on Monday.

Search Marketing Standard went out to more than 15,000 people over the last week or two. The first issue was on the slim side, but it had some well written articles and news coverage. Headlines on the front page include:

  • 15 of the Biggest Myths in Search Marketing Exposed
  • Measuirng SEO Success with Web Analytics
  • Targeting the Tail: How to get the Most out of Every Marketing Dollar

I think that they are off to an excellent start, and I hope to see them grow and evolve into a well known and highly respected part of the Search Marketing community.

The magazine is quarterly, and is aimed at owners of small to medium sized businesses, and search marketers. Their fall issue is expected at the end of August, and will take a closer look at “Search Engine Marketing and Web Site Usability.”

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What Technorati and the Associated Press Joining Forces Means to Bloggers

Does the future of newspapers mean that when you blog about a story appearing in your local paper, a snippet from your blog post could appear next to the story, with a link to it on the pages of the paper? Is this where citizen journalism will lead?

Maybe, and it could possibly happen fairly soon.

What might this mean to bloggers? One benefit they may see are new readers, and perhaps many visitors who really haven’t seen a blog before.

Technorati and Associated Press Teaming Up

An announcement on the Techorati Blog points to a joining of forces between Technorati and the Associated Press (AP) to bring access to blog posts about Associated Press stories to readers of more than 440 newspapers in the United States.

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Expanding Google Suggest in Legal Dispute

Google has had a new patent application published at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which provides an expanded view of how it may present real time suggestions for queries when someone is typing words into a search box. At the same time, Google has come under fire, and faces litigation, for their predictive suggestions.

This post takes a quick look at the litigation, the new patent application, some of the additional processes that it uses in filtering and collecting information about queries, and why all this might matter to people who are interested in having their web sites found through Google.

Litigation over Google Query Suggestions

A Belgian software company is pursuing legal proceedings against Google for toolbar suggestions which are pointing to illegal versions of the software that company offers, when someone searches for their name. The case was originally initiated back in February, and appears to be ready to go to trial. It raises some interesting issues involving what happens when a search engine provides suggestions in a tool like Google Suggest, or though a toolbar.

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