Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoogle–Bookmark This! (Warning: BoomTown Was Fake-Blurbed by Google!)

It must have been the space cakes here in Amsterdam–otherwise how could we miss mentioning a new Web site that Google has put up about its controversial search advertising outsourcing deal?

Even as the Justice Department drills down on the deal (along with Canada now), a very helpful Google PR guy wrote to BoomTown in an email:

“The site attempts to answer questions that people have raised about the deal, address the agreement’s impact on advertisers and on competition, and serve as an information clearinghouse for journalists as well. … We’ll be updating the site regularly too, so you can use it as a one-stop shop for information about the agreement.”


I, for one, am glad to learn that the outsourcing deal is NOT a merger (page 10) and that Toyota provides hybrid engine technology for Ford (Page 11).

But, curiously, the site touts the deal by using a woefully-out-of-context quote from a piece I did last week.

While I have been very much against the deal since it was announced, I did a post last week–in the interests of fairness–in which I featured the best arguments (not mine!) as to why the deal would probably not get blocked by the Justice Department.

Google used a quote from the piece on its site, but it is misleading (see the quote on the page below; click on the image to make it larger). [UPDATE: Google has thankfully removed my fake blurb, as seen below.]

I did write in a post on Sept. 18:

Thus, there’s not a whole lot for the Justice Department to hang a case on, in contrast to its case against Microsoft, which landed in court because of bullying behavior that actually took place before the case was waged.”

But, in the piece, I was clearly paraphrasing the reasoning of Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) and in no way was it my opinion of the deal.

Saying there’s a chance Yahoogle will not get stopped by regulators is a bit different from saying I think this is a good thing.

I do NOT think it is a good thing.

In fact, here’s what I said in a piece the day before:

Thus, BoomTown is both gobsmacked and a bit in awe that [Google CEO Eric] Schmidt–now sitting atop the high-tech pig pile as CEO of the powerful search giant, Google–can, with a straight face, make the argument that everyone is wrong to be nervous about its deal with Yahoo to serve some of its search and text advertising, even though the pair control more than 80 percent of the search market.

Because while Google displays none of the bullying tactics of Microsoft (MSFT) in its glory days–think of it more like a giant that could accidentally squash all us little people with its big dumb feet–the worries about it amassing too much power are well-founded.”

And here’s what I wrote back in April:

Still, you have to almost admire the chutzpah of the search giant in making this move, if the sheer and unadulterated arrogance of it wasn’t so distracting.

Because, while Google has almost none of the obvious menacing aggression that characterized Microsoft when it thoroughly dominated tech (although all those beach bikes on its campus inexplicably creep me out a little bit), the company still cannot be allowed to have a monopolistic share of the market.

It is bad for advertisers, it is bad for consumers, it is bad for innovation, no matter how well-intentioned Google is.”

Somehow, neither of these two-thumbs-down quotes made it onto the Yahoogle-rocks site.

I feel like one of those misquoted movie critics in newspaper ads! (&#8220Go…see…it…quick!!!,” when the entire quote was “Go home before you see even a second of it or you will be sick quick!!!”)

In any case, here are the 17 pages of slides from the Yahoogle site, embedded below:

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post