Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's The New Economy Again Stupid

Peripheral Visionary noted so very corretly...
Google at $620/shr; current valuation puts them above Wal-mart.

. . . because Google is where everyone goes to buy clothes, food, electronics and toys for the kids. But even if their retail arm suffers, they've still got wireless services, and their broadcasting and entertainment arm, and of course their full range of financial services. Why, it makes perfect sense that they're one of the biggest corporations in America by valuation!

GOOG, AAPL, RIMM. Mien Gott! The only questions remaining are how big the stock splits are going to be. It's like Mar 2000 never happened.

I'm scared enough to not have anything in the GOOG arena but isn't some 30% of their revenue RE and financials related internet advertising? I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable with Google. I wanted to buy some mondo grass spigs for the gardens so I did what 70% of the world does. I googled "mondo grass" and got dozens of hits. Now I'm not the average dawg and I don't just clic through the top hit. Instead I checked out a few discussion threads and discovered there is a website mondograss.com. Strangely they weren't in the google hits. Maybe it was just a compound word search error so I went back and googled "mondograss" as all one word. Hits number 8&9 and those were to the "about us" pages and such. Now the kicker. They are cheaper by far than any of the google associated top hits. I am distinctly uncomfortable with these trends. I am also noticing a crowding out of anything non-commercial from the results. I often search for transportation and urban data and the quality of the results is rapidly deteriorating in favor of tangentially related paid placement.

What say ye all? Am I being alarmist?


Jean ValJean said...


Seems only appropriate to bring the FF&M back now that Looser-Boy is back.

Unknown said...

Vas ist "mondo grass" ?

Sounds like the stuff we have locally - called guinea grass. Grows about an inch-and-a-half per day after cutting, and is damn near impossible to kill short of digging the clumps out of the ground and drying hhem out.

Nasty stuff.

serinitis said...

While I do not understand the valuations of Internet stocks, I think you are being a little alarmist. Google does bring up Wikipedia and other non profit websites early in the searches. The profit websites that show up high on Google do so capitalism in action is going to have profit seekers actively looking for ways to get their websites high on the page

Rob Dawg said...

No, mondo is a dense small mounding grass that propogates mostly by division not seeding. Guinea grass is just a clumping seed grass. Mondo is decorative for things like borders.

Rob Dawg said...

Isn't the near necessity of paying money to google for placement that a neutral search should provide as a matter of course a lot like payola?

Let me rephrase; Google's revenue model IS payola.

serinitis said...

I just did a search for foreclosure

1 foreclosure.com (their paid ad is 6th on the side)

2 wikipedia

3 hud.gov

4 associated press

5. foreclosurelistings.com (I do not see a paid ad)

6. national relocation (I do not see a paid ad)

7. realtytrac.com (Ad is in the top area)

8 - 10 (I do not see a paid ad for any of these)

Googles algorithms do include clicks, so a paid ad might increase your google rankings because of additional clicks, but I don't think it affects it that much.

Peripheral Visionary said...

Well, I'm on the same wavelength as Rob. When I want to buy something, I Google it . . . and then look for a discussion forum or reviews website, THEN, from THERE, go to commercial sites. So if I'm looking for nice clothes (my current project), I'll use Google to find a discussion forum, then from the clothes discussion forum go to the retailers.

Google placement doesn't help the retailers, because I'm using it to find reviews, then I use the reviews to locate the retailers. Advertisers on the review sites or on the discussion forums might get a click-through or two, however. But that's just me, not sure the general internet crowd is to that level of sophistication.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough question about search placement Rob. Since I have a lot of experience in this field, I'll chime in.

I've often wondered the same thing myself. In several prior jobs I was in the position of knowing my employer was spending 50k and 25k per month between Google and Yahoo. Despite that, organic SEO was still not easy and required effort and work to achieve placement.

When it comes to natural search results, it's all about the current algorithm. Keith at HP was complaining about Yahoo the other day, citing some conspiracy. I rarely get traffic from Y, but I noticed a big difference after their last algorithm change.

The fact is strategy, careful wording and SEO are required to be competitive in this space.

As an example, consider my little blogspot RE blog that Casey so cleverly mocked. In the vast sea of ultra competitive keywords, real estate related ones have to top the list. They are certainly some of the most expensive for PPC with some key phrases topping over $60 per click. Type "salt lake city mortgage broker" into your Google search and you'll find I occupy position 2. (Results may vary depending on the Google server your ISP accesses.) I don't do PPC, I don't privately email Matt Cutts. I simply SEO, carefully craft my writing and create backlinks.

As far as Goog's stock value, it scares the hell out of me. I thought it was expensive when it first reached $500. I should have bought when it receded to $460. I won't touch it, but it's fun to watch.

How will the RE fallout affect it? I think they'll do quite well. Online advertising is still in its infancy. Google yields accurate search results and their PPC model is unparalleled. When RE declines, the next big thing will take its place.

Funny Circus Bears said...

GOOG, AAPL, and RIMM calls (among others) have been enormously profitable recently. Enormously.

In that same market space, VCLK calls are making a nice move.

Full disclosure, I am long all of the above.

Rob Dawg said...

Along with altime highs the amount of insurance puts is also at alltime highs. No doubt if we melt up to 15k the bulls will claim they made out. If we correct the bulls will claim they covered with their puts.
Sadly the story of goldilocks and the three bears involve goldie eating the bears' lunch, wrecking their furniture taking over their home and ultimately getting away with it.

Peripheral Visionary said...

I don't buy the "web advertising still in its infancy" argument. Web advertising has been here for a while now, it's in its young adult years and needs to start showing some responsibility and getting some work done rather than being coddled like a baby.

At some point companies will wake up and start putting hard numbers on web advertising, asking how much traffic they're getting for the money they're putting down, rather than just throwing money at Google and Yahoo! and hoping for the best.

sk said...

I just typed in "mondo grass" ( no quotes) into www.google.com via a ad-filtering firefox browser and my hits are:

1. Wikipedia
2. mondograss.com
3. Monrovia.com
4. an edu side hgic.clemson.edu

Seems ok to me. Wonder why it was so different for you ?


Peripheral Visionary said...

And markets way up on hopes for another visit from The Magical Rate Cut Fairy, who leaves gifts under the pillows of good little investors while they sleep at night dreaming of their sweet™ passive income™.

But the market has a very serious problem: earnings. Earnings, unlike economic news and Fed mumblings, are not very prone to spin and reinterpretation. They're either good, bad, or ugly, and right now the leading indicators are pointing to bad (ugly comes in 2008.) There are no ridiculous "bad news for earnings is GOOD news for stocks!" arguments as there are for economic news.

The hopes for the rate cut will continue to ride high, but they will shortly be running into some serious headwind from very real, very quantifiable problems in earnings. How is a 25 or 50 bps rate cut going to justify a higher valuation for a corporation that is facing a 500, 1000, or 25000 bps cut in its return?

Rob Dawg said...

So right. Web ads are tracked in a dozen different ways and then subject to mathematical models written by people who would be getting Nobels if their work weren't proprietary.

It is like the "nofollow" rule. Come on. Who the f#ck is so f#cking stupid that they possibly imagine the all seeing all collecting googlebot sees that and doesn't look? GMAFB. The googlebot goes everywhere and uses that to collect information they can use, collect other peoples' information that has value as either product or competetion, collects information period. No little header is gonna stop the 'bot. Does anyone honestly think GOOG doesn't have several different levels of database with only the very most sanitized exposed to public access?

Web ads are hypermature technology. The only reason it is still considered new is because mature technologies are taxed.

Rob Dawg said...

You are correct. Amazing isn't it? Within hours of a blogspot post (owned by google) that used GOOG and google many times over complaining about how google searches are suspect the very search result changes radically to reflect the obvious natural world expected results.

BTW, zillow does exactly the same thing. When the issue came up that my primary residence was going down precipitously in the zestimate their blog guy David promised to invesitgate and my zestimate went up for a while.

Back to google. I'm not surprised at the change. This post probably did three things. Got google's attention, got mondograss.com a huge hit bump, and got google a probable new customer in mondograss.com by showing them the value of google ranking.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy the "web advertising still in its infancy" argument. Web advertising has been here for a while now, it's in its young adult years and needs to start showing some responsibility and getting some work done rather than being coddled like a baby.

The models are out there and yes they have matured a little. However, adoption of web marketing has been slow. Everyone sees great promise, but they haven't moved to the next level. Yes, they have a website, but that's it. Real estate is actually a great example of an industry that is slow to change simply because the powers that be won't embrace technology.

At some point companies will wake up and start putting hard numbers on web advertising, asking how much traffic they're getting for the money they're putting down, rather than just throwing money at Google and Yahoo! and hoping for the best.

That's the beauty of web advertising...you can see where your dollars go and if they perform...down to the very search term a customer uses. The advertisers in trouble are those that can't provide the numbers. Think newspaper, TV and print magazines. Those CPM models will eventually evolve once more companies start web marketing.

serinitis said...

I would be very supprised if companies were not looking at hard numbers around their google advertising. Web advertising generates outstanding statistics for calculating with. I know we were when we were running Google ads. And Google was a good deal for us.

What Google knows about us is far scarier than any minor payola scheme.

Lost Cause said...

Google re-did Yahoo, who re-did Alta Vista, who re-did gopher...who is going to re-do Google?

Rob Dawg said...

It would take a Web 2.1 environment to find a chink in the google armor. Nobody could invent and deploy fast enough to outflank google once they discover your plan of attack. That's their model. That's why they are $630. That's why they buy any potential threat at 20x market value rather than fight. Think England and their greater British Island policies in feudal Europe.

Oh, Nota Bene: Google, hire me, shut me up. ;-) As a minor lord in the empire I can be useful in protecting the frontier.

TK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TK said...

Anybody see that Fred Thompson video where he's trying to lie about the economy and about 3/4 of the way through his voice trails off and he kind of gets this tone in his voice like "aw fuck it were screwed America!"


Rule #1 for aspiring presidential candidates: if you're a sucky liar, don't talk about the economy.

Lost Cause said...

My God the little flipper is back. Sick, sick, sick. This time, I cannot watch. When his first act is to sit on a couch with Dr. Phil, that it just way too much ugliness for me to watch.

Property Flopper said...

Nobody should be surprised that CS returned - was ANYONE here willing to be he wouldn't return?

Of course, he went and did it his way... the TRUELY STUPID WAY.

CS faced a choice - lose the website and all the publicity he had carefully built or lose his wife / family / etc. It also helped that he wanted a lower profile with law enforcement starting to poke around.

Why choose when he could lose BOTH! Yes, it's MORE stupid to lose both. He sold the website and still lost the wife. Now he'll return, but will have to rebuild everything. The story is over though - he won't be able to. He'll hover on the fringes as an internet joke. Only real chance for an interesting story is to blog about the legal troubles - this would top even his previous stupidity though... so I'm expecting he'll jump right on it.

Property Flopper said...

GACK - spelling, grammar... hey, it's late in the day.

Rob Dawg said...

"dr." Phil will never live it down if he goes with this.

TK said...

"Dr." Phil has no shame. He is an opportunist. He has sold Casey the idea that he's doing a show on the housing meltdown and the stress it causes those who got over leveraged. What Dr. Phil's producers know is how to get to the heart of the matter and make good TV. If he doesn't rip KC apart, and get some waterworks, it'll never make air. Nor will any plugs for Casey and his new more-heavily-debted partner's new "book"

Lou Minatti said...

I am surprised that no one mentioned Microsoft pushing their search with Vista. This is one of Microsoft's most important goals, and so far they are failing miserably... even though their search is built in and set as the default.

As Nigel pointed out, Google relies heavily on RE advertising in AdWords. They are about to lose a big chunk of ad revenue.

I have an AdWords account for the my co. Let me use the Keyword tool to check to see how much it will cost for the #1 position...

Mortgage - $15.89/click
Refinancing - $36.83/click
Refinance Loans - $29.65/click

Hmmm. I'd be nervous.

Google will attempt to make up for it by finally monetizing their other properties like YouTube. Get ready to see ads rolling before every video clip. They'll also dump properties that are cool but money pits, like Google Spreadsheets.

Lou Minatti said...

Going back to what SK said, I think Wikipedia represents a bigger threat to Google than Yahoo or MSN. I find myself using Wikipedia to look stuff up more often. If I am looking for a restaurant, sure, I'll use Google. But if I am looking for the definition of a widget, or the latest information on a widget I am interested in, it's Wikipedia for me.

Rob Dawg said...

"Welcome to the lowest rated mortgage refinance webbsite on the internet. Rather than pat $30 for every Ad-Words referal and pass that cost on to you we prefer to save you money. Yadda, yadda...."

Soon it might become hip to not be webinated.

Lost Cause said...

So Casey said he is working/consulting, but someone mentioned this is for a scaminar outfit. He is in Phoenix, so is he working for NRU? If so, some people never learn...no wonder his wife left him.

PS -- Dr Phil put Casey up in Hollywood, and he is looking for company. He should walk downstairs and pick up some hookers. He has a $50 eating expense.

JohnDiddler said...

recently while employed at amazon, i overheard how they deliver one billion dollars to google each year. maybe they're idiots at amazon.

you keep pulling into parking lots and seeing value. lay some more roads so Manuel Labor can drive into your town. beats building a home for him here! roads are always a good idea! more roads! more wal*mart! box stores beat micropayments! and look at the landfills we can fill! software never sold anything. 1,244,449,601 internet users. one point two billion. any market there? maybe, but not a box store's potential.

Lost Cause said...

PS -- Casey didn't post my comment:

So what kind of social cripple do you have to be to appear on Dr Phil? Maybe you should get Judge Judy to do you divorce.

Is the think skin becoming as thin as his lips? Do these comments sound too harsh?

Rob Dawg said...

This is Casey Two Point Oh. He's made all his mistakes and has dumped all the hindering baggage and is ready to fly. Your negative comments just don't exist in Caseyworld™ 2.0

serinitis said...

Casey is working for Damion Lupo "Author of Maverick Mistakes in Real Estate Investing". If one is to believe Casey hints, Damion is even deeper in debt than Casey.

sk said...

I really should not starting talking about that miserable git - but I will.

I see he has resurfaced in http://foreclosurehelpbook.com/ . But surely he'd have had to have sign a non-compete or some such when he sold his other blog and if so shouldn't he get sued ? And of course if he wasn't made to sign a non-compete then the buyer was quite a fool, no ? Mind you,given his record, non-compete or not, anybody having business dealings with that miserable character must be pretty miserable characters themselves.

And that's going to be my last word on this subject. Ya think ?


Akubi said...

Sweet Ida Lupino,i.e. Idle loopAss KC porn with fishnets, milk baths and octopi!
Love those endless Loops like Froot!

TK said...

In Caseyworld 2.0, hate doesn't exist.This is clean slate Casey. All of that "other stuff" is behind him now. "Edginess" is OK though. Whatever that means. So you can kinda bash him but bringing up ex-wives, bus victims and indictments is off-limits.

How long until 13 comment threads just don't fit into his idea of helping hundreds of thousands of people? The World's most Hated Blogger is the guy he needs to be to "sell it" and that ship has sailed. Still fun to point out his mistakes though.

Unknown said...

iamfacingforeclosure.com has been mostly a blank page since the sale. Non-compete agreement with what - a blank page? And what was the $50K for exactly? Certainly not a contractual agreement, since everyone knows Casey will never abide by a contract. Aaron Krowne must be as dumb as Casey.

The new Casey site will be heavily censored. There is no way he will allow control of his story to be lost this time around.

Sac RE Agent said...

Dad, he's already lost control of his story. Out of the box he's talking about going on Dr. Phil. How about some baby steps first?

hitfan said...

Since I don't have access to CH.C, I thought I'd announce here that I'll be hosting a hatercast:


hitfan said...

Hatercast is on tomorrow at 5:00 PM EST (Oct 11)


Anonymous said...

How about some baby steps first?

Sac - This is one of Casey's problems. He equates all media exposure as being good regardless of the actual story presented. He'd be a great Daily Show or Borat subject because of this. He's going on Dr. Phil simply because he was asked.

You're right, he has no control of his story.

Sac RE Agent said...

Nigel, you're right when you say that he equates all media exposure as good.

How terrific could it be if he was to put together a business plan and start accomplishing some of the goals in that plan, before he goes on a nationally syndicated show? Or maybe if he wrote his foreclosure book (with a good message inside) and then went on tv?

But it's all good as it's his life and we just get to watch.

Anonymous said...

How terrific could it be if he was to put together a business plan and start accomplishing some of the goals in that plan, before he goes on a nationally syndicated show? Or maybe if he wrote his foreclosure book (with a good message inside) and then went on tv?

That would make sense, after all it's what successful people do, but it would be boring. Casey's audience likes watching the flailing. Every once in a while a golden idea pays off and then gets destroyed. That's Casey's audience and somehow I think he realizes it.

The waffling and lying is too contrived for me to believe it's real any more. Knowing how he manipulated his Flickr account in the past I know he has the brains to keep this up. I'm just amazed it keeps working. I've fallen for it too.

He's a showman and this show is a train wreck. All aboard!

TK said...

Salt Lake Mortgage Guy why are you feeding the Casey Monster? It sounds like you've decided to do the interview, and filing this under "second chances" doesn't seem right. You're giving him link-love and looking for some of your own. This same old Nigel that got you hated before. The story wouldn't have legs if you weren't shining up a brand new pair of prosthetics for him.

Anonymous said...

TK - That's not really fair of you to say. If I don't do the story, Keith at HP does it. If Keith doesn't do it, Rob Dawg does.

I didn't make Casey come back. I didn't even encourage him to. He did it on his own.

Sure I'm trying to build an audience for my new site. Why shouldn't I benefit some? Rob has benefitted as well as Keith and every other major player in reporting the Casey story.

I won't however make the mistake of trying to do business with him again.

TK said...

I think it's fair for you to try and drive traffic to your new site...

But Casey is now back at square numero uno. He should NOT be encouraged because he hurts people by being an "internet personality". So while I understand your motivation to make a buck off the guy "passively", I also think that justifying it by saying if you didn't do it somebody else would doesn't wash. It's an ethical "gray area"

Anonymous said...

TK -

Let's use Casey's little email last week as an example. He sends his plans for an interview with Keith out to all his "key" contacts.

I receive it and face a dilemma - ruin Keith's story by blabbing on a follow up I know people are interested in or ignore it. I come to a compromise with myself and publish parts of it, telling readers to go to Keith for the full story that I know he'll eventually have. Because Keith is on a different continent, he doesn't publish until 8 hours after I received the email. In the mean time, Duane has divulged the entire email over here and Rob makes a top level post a full four hours before Keith. No matter what I did, that story was going to get out.

The same applies to his new blog announcement. By the time I posted about it at DHC, Lou Minatti already had a top level post about it, plus there were numerous links to it here.

TK, if you could get every blogger and media person to sign a contract to never cover Casey Serin again, I would agree to it. But until then, I don't feel it's my responsibility to try and stop Casey from being on the web.

Sac RE Agent said...

Nigel, I really could care less if you wish to hang something on Casey's coattails or not. Or if someone else wishes to. Why someone would wish to do is perplexing to me. I don't see the positive in it for you. Increased traffic? But who is the traffic from? I don't see 'positive' traffic from ANYTHING related to Casey.

If I was in your shoes, I think I would ask myself what traffic and actual business did I derive from my 'association' with Casey the last time around.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

TK said...

Nigel, I'm not going to tell you how to run your business. It's a free country. Casey can try to clean up his image, but the traffic will always be predominantly negative. It's what made it a compelling story before, and perhaps once again. Just watch you don't get caught under the wheels of the Casey bus!

Anonymous said...

TK - Yes, I certainly don't want to get thrown under again. At least I know what to look for now. It's big, it's black and it's round...

Sac RE Agent said...

Nigel, did Casey get a new ball to sit on?

Anonymous said...

Nigel, did Casey get a new ball to sit on?

I'm pretty sure he currently has two blue balls.

Rob Dawg said...

I'm currently inclined to use Casey's "comeback" to shame law enforcement into action.

"Crime pays and the District Attorney approves."

"Casey robbed us all and the FBI knew."

"$2.2m defaults, 17 loans, 8 houses, 4 states, 2 countries, 0 prosecutions."

TK said...


Why start now. They never did anything before. Nightline exposed his misdeeds and nothing happened ferchrissakes. Somebody may just need to lay a beatdown on him.

Speaking of which, do you think that in high school Casey was a magnet for the disaffected or was he harrassed by the jocks?

BJ said...

Casey Serin -> Here we go again!! Narcissistic Personality Disorder strikes again! RealityDistortionField™ firing up again! S.O.S. (no, not Save Our Ship.. more like Same Old Shit).

Lets see.. From Sep 06 to now,
Casey down by $500k, one wife, his reputation, FBI looking at his background. but no prosecution.

Myself: personal Net Worth up more than $250k(no R.E.), salary increase puts wage above $120k not including investment returns... smiling every time I look at the brokerage and bank statements. No problems with law enforcement..

Why should I waste a dime looking at, or reading the postings of the corroded penny that is Casey Serin?

How Galina is doing might be interesting(how is she doing getting out from under the CaseyCrap™), seeing Casey behind bars would be definitely interesting(CourtTV™).. but continued CaseyRambling™ and Casey RealityDistortionField™,.. no thanks. I'm not hating.. because there is nothing there to hate.. nothing at all.. Casey is nothing!

Unknown said...

The problem is that GW Bush has the IQ of a turnip and now all the 'turnipIQd' people like Casey think they can be president or rich and famous.

Time to put them all back on the short bus I say! A good recession should do the trick.

Hey is blogspot owned by GOOG? I'm sure Dawg is paying a huge amount for this wonderful service they provide.....

Akubi said...

That is so completely unfair to turnips!
Yes, W shares their IQ, but he is far more ethically challenged too.
In other news Zillow Book has continued the algae-free pool series for Serin's sake.

Unknown said...

Casey deserves a lot of credit guys!

He was in foreclosure before it was cool!

He was defaulting on his house payments when other people were still making theirs. California Casey the trendsetting out of state investor fix n flipper divorcee.

Casey should be on the CA flag next to the bear (is it a housing bear? i think so!).

Sure now 'everyone' is trying get the bank to short sale this or workout that, but Serin - man he was a groundbreaker.

He's a "Foreclosure Oh Sixer" like the "Miner Forty Niner" of yore....

and dont bother me about his actual dates of foreclosure, he got NOD's in 06 and THAT is what counts.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

@ all,
Hey, it's just ike he old days over here this morning, except the Nigel posts. That is a twist, imo.
Have a nice day.