Can fewer clicks on its search ads lead to more revenue for Google? That is the question investors, analysts, and the company itself are trying to answer. The debate was launched after a Mar. 26 report from researcher comScore (SCOR) showed a decline in the number of clicks from the prior month on Google’s search-related ads. According to the research firm, clicks on ads declined 3% in February from the prior month and were up just 3% compared to last year. Some analysts cautioned investors against buying additional Google (GOOG) shares; Google’s stock declined 3% on Mar. 27, to $444.
Mashups–online applications that combine data and tools from different websites–are becoming increasingly useful. Although they started out as simple consumer programs, such as a tool that placed housing listings from Craigslist onto Google Maps, mashups have grown in complexity and are becoming popular with corporations, too. As a growing number of tools are released to help people easily build mashups, experts are also taking a look at how to head off the security risks.
I am a big fan of Skype. I have been using it for about 6 months now, and it has basically replaced all of my other instant messenger programs. I enjoy the fact that Skype doesn’t pollute their tool with a bunch of advertising, and I love the combined functionality of chat, phone, and conference calls. Honestly, it is head and shoulders better than all of the other chat/talk tools in my humble. I just wish it were a little more mainstream, so that more of my family and friends would feel comfortable switching as well.
This week, Skype rolled out an upgraded version of their software. Skype 2.0 is still in Beta, but it looks exciting. They have wrapped video into the software, so that you can now make video phone calls.
I haven’t upgraded my version of Skype yet, but I plan to this weekend. Once I do, I will report back with my thoughts.
Also, in another post, I will give you my thoughts on what I think about Skype and eBay. There are lots of strong opinions on the wisdom of eBay’s big investment, and I can’t help but weigh in with my own. 🙂