Long blog post but a very valid position. Key paragraph excerpted in italics by me.
Technology & Marketing Law Blog: The Problems With Google House Ads
First, Google’s behavior lacks any auditability or verifiability; as outsiders, we have no idea what Google is doing under the hood. Second, Google has access to better information to optimize its bidding than any other bidder. That information may not be functionally available to individual employees placing auction bids, but because of the first point (lack of auditability/verifiability), we as outsiders don’t know that either. Third, because all Google bids just involve internal funds transfers and no out-of-pocket cash payments, Google can easily increase departmental budgets to enable more aggressive bidding—after all, if no cash changes hands, it’s just funny money anyway. Fourth, actual ad placement depends on ad quality scores, and Google has acknowledged that it has “exceptionally high Quality Scores” which should automatically give it a bidding advantage over everyone else. And, once again, no one else can audit or verify Google’s self-designated ad quality scores.
China’s censorship arms race escalates – Excellent coverage on Internet censorship in Mainland China by Rebecca Mackinnon.
Why and How Facebook should come to Southeast Asia – Bernard Leong’s excellent treatise on Facebook in SE Asia. If he wasn’t running his own SNS, Facebook should hire Bernard
Google Losing in China as New Users Go to Baidu – Google losing search market share in China.
Forbes: The Man Who’s Beating Google – Long portrait of Robin Li, Founder & CEO of Baidu.
Japan’s PPC ad market will reach $2 billion by 2013 – Decent, but it could/should be bigger.
E-Commerce Is Getting Chinese to Loosen Their Purse Strings – NYT on ecommerce trends in China. Ecommerce and the related Internet advertising to support ecommerce will be key to a more vibrant web in China.
South Korea Approves Sale of Apple’s iPhone – Channy has been waiting for this day for a long time
South Korea Clears Way for iPhone Sales – No one has still explained how S. Koreans are going to do anything on the iPhone that requires a secure transaction if no Korean web services support SSL.
Vietnam’s rebounding economy – V not yet for victory – Economist on Vietnam’s macroeconomic challenges.
Software piracy costs Vietnam $275 million every year – Vietnam has done well with open source software but could do a lot more.
Want to live like Commons people?
Joi Ito talks about Creative Commons, Twitter, and the White House – Guardian UK interviews Joi Ito.
As reported yesterday by Internet Watch (ja) and Broadband Watch (ja), Yahoo! Japan has renewed their software download center and is showcasing both a toolbar for Firefox (Yahoo!ツールバー Firefox版) as well as the Firefox for Yahoo! Japan (available for Mac or Win.) This is good news for all of the Yahoo! Japan users who also like to use Firefox.
Some interesting tidbits in this article (ICP license, localization freedom, quotes from Lee) but note the byline- “intern researcher.” I’d not quote this one verbatim.
Google.cn Shifts to Win from Survival Mode
This article isn’t news to anyone who reads this blog- basic information on why Naver has over 70% of the market in search in S. Korea.
NHN, which employs 27,000, is now the most profitable Internet company in South Korea. The company posted 299 billion won, or $325 million, in profit on 573 billion won in sales last year. It has a market value of more than $8 billion.
South Koreans Connect Through Search Engine