Komodo Links: Widgets, Semantic Web, and Website Legal Liability

This week’s Komodo Links is all about variety. Everything from US law and websites to widgets and the semantic web. Check out the links and have a great weekend.

Greg Howlett wrote an interesting post over at Marketing Pilgrim about online retailer’s approach to social marketing and widgets. Take a look at the widgets we developed for Abrakadoodle.

Nick Berliner posted 5 tips for locally focused websites to connect to local customers. The five tips are basically 5 best practices that all locally focused websites should follow.

The CNET News Blog has a great post regarding some interesting legal cases and decisions that could have wide ranging affects on website operators’ broad legal shield from lawsuits.

“But a pair of recent rulings by federal district judges have chipped away at that protective shield. If those decisions are upheld on appeal, and if more judges follow suit, Web site operators and Internet service providers may find themselves compelled to police what their users post–or face the unsettling prospect of being held liable for the contents.”

The Economist has an informative article about some promising software services and initiatives to help online content publishers mark up their web pages for the semantic web.

Komodo Links: Google Universal Search, Robot Language, and EULAs

We’ve got a short edition of Komodo Links this week. Two posts from the Google Webmaster Central Blog and a humorous post from Techdirt regarding companies EULAs.

The Google Webmaster Central Blog had an interesting post from earlier this week about taking advantage of universal search. The post has some good tips for small businesses to make the most of local search, video search, image search, and personalized search basics.

Google Webmaster Central also launched a Robots.txt Generator available in Webmaster Tools. Read all about it at the Webmaster Central Blog.

Techdirt has a humorous post about how companies don’t even read their own EULAs. The post includes some funny examples.

Komodo Links: AdWords Demographic Bidding, Limiting Consumer Tracking on the Internet, Phorm Knows Everything About You

Today we have a short but very sweet edition of Komodo Links. This week’s edition is all about online consumer data, those who track and sell it, those who use it to target ads, and those who want to stop it. Read on and let us know what you think.

In January, Google invited AdWords advertisers to join a beta test of a new demographic bidding feature. Today demographic bidding is available for all AdWords advertisers. Demographic bidding is a feature that helps advertisers target ads to users of certain age groups, gender or a combination of both. Advertisers can use demographic bidding for both contextual and placement targeting and with CPC and CPM bidding. You can also use demographic bidding to refine your ad’s reach on certain sites in Google’s content network. Advertisers can also access demographic reports in the AdWords Report Center to see how well their ads are performing across different demographics.

Here is a perfect follow up to the AdWords demographic bidding announcement. The New York Times reported yesterday that New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has drafted a bill “that would make it a crime for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent.” Yahoo and Microsoft have already sent lobbyists to meet with Mr. Brodsky. The article covers some interesting issues that this bill raises.

Some interesting highlights from the article:

“A law like this essentially takes some of the gold away from marketers,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s the right thing to do. Consumers have no idea how much information is being collected about them, and the advertising industry should have to deal with that.”

“There has really been no harm shown by behavioral targeting or third-party advertising, so this rush to regulate the Internet is really unnecessary,” said Mike Zaneis, vice president for public policy for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry group that represents companies like Google and Yahoo.

Moreover, Mr. Zaneis said, the New York bill threatens to undercut the business model that supports the Web. “If you take the fuel out of this engine, you begin to see the free services and content dry up,” he said.

And to finish up, check out Janet Meiners’ post at Marketing Pilgrim about the British company Phorm. Apparently Phorm is using British ISPs to track every single action a British web surfer takes to be able to show them ads. The company claims they have access to the surfing habits of 70% of all British households that have broadband.

Komodo Links: Self Serving Reviews, FriendFeedFeed, an Open Letter to Google, and AOL Buys Bebo

We’ve got some interesting and humorous links from the past week for this installment of Komodo Links. So sit back and enjoy while you wait for the weekend to begin.

RealSelf.com, an independent site for consumers to discuss anti-aging treatments, has accused plastic surgery corporation, Lifestyle Lift, of breach of contract and computer fraud. Basically RealSelf.com claims that Lifestyle Lift agents posed as patients and posted positive reviews about Lifestyle Lift procedures. These charges were filed as a counterclaim to a Lifestyle Lift lawsuit filed against RealSelf.com for trademark infringement. MediaPost has more on this plastic surgery soap opera.

Here’s a funny post (and comments) about FriendFeedFeed. FriendFeedFeed, currently in “pre-beta,” aggregates all your social networking aggregator feeds into one aggregated feed of aggregator activity feeds. Definitely a quality piece of Web 2.0 satire.

On a more serious note, Danny Sullivan writes an open letter to Google. In the letter, Danny asks Google to divest itself of Performics, DoubleClick’s SEO firm. “Google’s in the SEO business now, …conflict of interest? You bet.”

And in an unexpected move, AOL buys social network Bebo for $850 million. In response, AOL users ask their grandchildren, “what’s a Bebo?”