May 7th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
I was quoted in the Seattle Times over the weekend in reference to a piece they did on upgrades Costco plans to perform on their online site.
While it might seem I was picking on Costco in the article, there wasn’t room in it for the reporter to really include all the information I provided. Costco really isn’t alone in performing less-than-optimal optimization for search engines — a great many online retail catalog sites are in the same boat.
I go into this in more detail over on Argent Media’s blog: Costco.com SEO Lacking, But They’re One Of Many.
April 11th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
Playroom at Google offices in Dallas area, 2007
The Dallas Business Journal reports that Google opened a new office in Frisco for around 50 employees in March.
The DBJ writer states that this is Google’s “first office in North Texas”, which is unfortunately incorrect. Google Audio, their radio ads project, had earlier opened offices back in 2007 next to the facility I worked at in Coppell, as I reported on Natural Search Blog, and as Search Engine Land mentioned.
Google also previously had an office in Dallas, as Bill Hartzer has mentioned, and I recall that they had previously had an office in Irving which was devoted to PPC ad optimization specialists.
In fact, Google has opened and closed offices with such frequency here in the DFW Area over the past handful of years that one now can’t help but wonder if they’re really serious, or is this to be an extenuation of the schizophrenic office-opening exercises they seem intent upon doing?
Here’s the office location:
View Google's Dallas Area Offices in a larger map
Read the rest of this entry »
April 11th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
AT&T has decided to sell a 53% stake in its Yellow Pages unit to Cerberus Capital Management for $950 million.
Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst with Wells Fargo, referred to the valuation as “sensible” at roughly 2.1 times an estimate for EBITDA, “given that the directory business is declining fairly quickly.”
Beyond “sensible”, AT&T may have well decided that they would incur undue risk of intervention from state and federal regulation authorities if they had pushed for a much higher valuation. I had earlier suggested it would be grossly irresponsible if AT&T overvalued their Yellow Pages, and, after Verizon’s divestment of Idearc/SuperMedia, I’m not sure another company could get away with an unreasonably high price tag. Read the rest of this entry »
February 27th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
A class-action lawsuit brought by stockholders against the former R.H. Donnelley Yellow Pages company and some of its executives was settled earlier this month for $25 Million.
The stockholders in the suit (“Local 731 I.B. of T. Excavators and Pavers Pension Trust Fund et al. v. Swanson et al“) had said that executives had made false claims during the period, stating that print Yellow Pages were not becoming obsolete, among other things, and that they had made false assurances about the financial condition of the business.
RHD had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2009, and later emerged from bankruptcy under the new name, Dex One Corporation, in 2010.
Aside from the claims around the company’s finances, the issue of whether print Yellow Pages are becoming obsolete or not has been a controversial one in the past. Read the rest of this entry »
February 24th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
AT&T (NYSE: T) appears to’ve obliquely referred to their YP unit as a “low-performing” “non-strategic asset”, and signaled that they might sell it off.
If this sequence of events sounds familiar, it is — because Verizon did this when they spun off their Yellow Pages to form Idearc.
It’s a little disappointing to see AT&T likely planning to divest itself of Yellowpages.com and their print directories, because only in January of last year it had seemed possible that they might have toyed with the idea Read the rest of this entry »
January 11th, 2012 by Chris Silver Smith
I thought the Google logo commemorating the birthday of Nicolas Steno, popularly known as “The Father of Geology”, was a particularly effective logo treatment:
The 3-D letters which are made to communicate the concept of cut-away views of earth sections to show layers of rock and sediment were effortless-seeming in their execution. This is a really great example of typography and graphic art — it’s very nearly an infographic — and, it does all this without losing the recognizability of the Google name (which some of their special logos have done).