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Pump your Gas and Google

Ever find yourself at a gas station looking for directions?   When I was younger, my family pulled into a gas station in the Bronx, New York looking for directions out of the Bronx.   My dad asked the station clerk for directions, and she replied, “fill up your tank and I can help you.”   My dad filled up the tank and went back for the instructions, to which the woman replied “sorry, no hablo English.”

Soon, you won’t have to rely on the gas station service clerks for directions.   According to a CNN article  and the Gilbarco Veeder-Root website, Google has formed a partnership with gas station pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which just introduced their Applause Media System.    Gilbarco’s  pumps will  now include an Internet connection displaying Google’s mapping service on a small screen.

At first, pumpers will be asked to find their location by scrolling through many popular categories, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals selected by the gas station’s owner.   Once a destination is selected, the pump will print out directions.

This is another way Google is becoming involved in the search business.   Some of the other non-traditional search engine searching you can do include:

  • Dialing 1-800-GOOG-411  for free phone number services.
  • Texting “GOOGL” along with a business and city, and Google will send you the address and phone number.
  • Searching using  a Blackberry or other handheld device – Google.mobi

Someone asked me what I thought the % of people who would use the Google  pump maps  vs. in-car GPS systems.   That got me thinking, why doesn’t Google  develop an inexpensive  Google Maps branded GPS system?   Better yet, why not develop an in-car computer system to allow motorists to connect to the Internet using Google’s technologies?

My Introduction to Google Books

I was browsing Google today and noticed they added a feature at the top of the search results. In addition to the “Web” and “Video” links, they also added a “Books” link. When you do a Google search for a person, Seth Godin for example, you are given the standard results and an opportunity to click on the “Books” link, taking you to a page with all of the books that  author penned.

When you click on  one of the author’s books  “Permission Marketing” as an example (a book I read in graduate school) you are taken to a page that offers reviews, images and content from the book. There is also a box to the right where you can click on your favorite bookseller to buy the book.

This  is a HUGE revenue opportunity in my opinion. I receive 4% commission on certain products as an Amazon affiliate, and I am sure Google has a nice deal worked out with these book industry goliaths. I did encounter a problem when I clicked through on the Amazon.com link for this book – a 404 error page.

Who Googles What?

Sex, Nazi, burrito and Viagra: Who Googles what?

Reuters had an article today identifying the top 3 countries of searchers for some common Google searches including “sex,” “Tom Cruise,” and “Iraq” among other things. I did my own search regarding a few domain-related terms and here are some surprising results I found courtesy of Google’s Trend Tool:

“Domain Names”
1. New Zealand
2. United Kingdom
3. Australia

“Domain Sales”
1. Australia
2. India
3. United Kingdom

“Domain Parking”
1. Indonesia
2. Australia
3. Malaysia

“Web Development”
1. Pakistan
2. India
3. South Africa

Incidentally, it appears that all of these searches are trending down since inception.

Adwords: Buying A Competitor’s Domain Name

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In August, I blogged about American Airlines suing Google for allowing other companies to buy their trademarked terms such as “American Airlines.”    I argued that Google should win this case because it was my opinion that another company should be able to buy generic keywords, like “American airlines,” since it isn’t necessarily associated with American Airlines.    Had it been a company with a more distinctive trademark, I would have argued that it was unethical to buy those keywords.    I have no legal background, so I couldn’t weigh in with a legal opinion.

That brings me to a post I just read on a forum about a company I do business with that is buying not only a keyword with the name of a competitor in it, but the actual domain name of the competitor.    I was surprised to see that when you type Sedo.com into Google, obviously searching for Sedo, there is a BuyDomains.com paid advertisement.    I don’t think this should be permitted by Google.    It’s one thing to buy keywords such as “Domain Brokers” or “Domain Sales,” but I don’t think it’s right to buy the exact keyword domain name of a competitor.

I am sure companies across a wide variety of industries are utilizing this practice, but that doesn’t make it right.

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Tool to View Unreleased Information

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It may be possible to see what projects a company has planned by using the Reverse IP tool, found at DomainTools. In case you weren’t aware, you can see what domain names reside on different servers by using this tool. By seeing the domain names registered by a particular company, you may be able to learn unreleased information about what projects (or type of projects) the registrant has in the works.

Unfortunately, this tool isn’t free, but is a part of your Domaintools membership, which I highly recommend. Other member tools such as the Whois History check are invaluable and can help determine a domain’s provenance when considering a purchase.

As reported on WebProNews.com this morning via another post on ResourceShelf.com, Google registered CouponGoogle.com on 9/13, and it is pointed to Google nameservers. It would only be speculation to predict what Google intends to do with the domain name, but speculation is half of the fun!

Add Me to Your Google Reader

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I recently changed the server for my blog. Instead of being located on TopNotchDomains.com/Blog, it is now located on ElliotsBlog.com. If you would like to add me to your Google RSS feeder, please use this link:

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