A Small Grocery Store Competing with Wal-Mart

Hmmmm.

Wal-Mart is such a dominating force that when it enters a market, few rivals are left unscathed. But in the tiny town of Emo, Ont. – population, 1,186 – grocers Dan and Mark Loney found a formula for their store to take on the discount titan.

And they’re doing it with Wal-Mart’s own products.

A few years ago, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. set up shop in nearby Fort Frances, Ont., forcing the brothers to come up with a new game plan. Emo sits on the U.S. border, so they began crossing regularly to pick up bargain-priced merchandise to stock in their store. They do most of their U.S. bulk buying at Sam’s Club, the warehouse chain owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

They don’t stop at that. They post signs on the shelves of their Cloverleaf Grocery touting their prices as lower than Wal-Mart’s.

But the Loneys’ aggressive resourcefulness has hit a nerve. On Monday, they received a letter from a lawyer for Wal-Mart, telling them to stop using Wal-Mart’s trademarks in their advertising. Otherwise they risked a legal spat.

(via Kottke)

Condemned To Google Hell

From Forbes:

Don’t anger the Google gods.

That’s the lesson Paul Sanar learned–too late–last year. Up until last fall, the 21-year-old New Yorker depended solely on the search engine to keep traffic flowing to Skyfacet.com, his online diamond business; Sanar says he sold $3 million dollars worth of jewelry a year. Then, he says, Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) turned its back on Skyfacet.com, condemning the site to Internet obscurity…


What happened? Sanar isn’t completely sure. But he does know that his site has been condemned to the supplemental index, a dreaded backwater region of Google search results that goes by another name in online marketing circles: Google Hell.

Google Hell is the worst fear of the untold numbers of companies that depend on search results to keep their business visible online. Getting stuck there means most users will never see the site, or at least many of the site’s pages, when they enter certain keywords. And getting out can be next to impossible–because site operators often don’t know what they did to get placed there.

Google’s programmers appear to have created the supplemental index with the best intentions. It’s designed to lighten the workload of Google’s “spider,” the algorithm that constantly combs and categorizes the Web’s pages. Google uses the index as a holding pen for pages it deems to be of low quality or designed to appear artificially high in search results.

Those pages are scanned far less frequently than those in the main index, meaning that once a page is marked for Google Hell, it can languish there for as long as a year before Google even deigns it worthy of a reappraisal. And as Google tries to manage an explosively growing Web, more and more sites are finding themselves thrown into the search engine’s digital dungeon.

Google – The Ultimate Money Making Machine

From ReadWriteWeb.com:

Despite Amazon’s success, the very nature of its business model limits its potential revenue – because it is a web site. A web site is an online geography. Granted, it is not hard to find Amazon, but that is different from saying Amazon follows you everywhere when you are online. Amazon does not, but Google does!

In addition to being one of the top three online destinations, Google – through its text ads strategy – has managed to weave itself into the very fabric of the Web. In doing this, the company freed itself from even Internet geography and became ubiquitous. By empowering companies and individuals to publish Google ads on their sites, Google solved the unlimited supply and demand problem in one fell swoop.

Car Karma

An insurance expert crunches the numbers and discovers your star sign might account for your dismal driving record. It seems Leos are the best drivers and Libras are the worst.

Watch the insurance number crunchers looking for ways to charge more : Link

I’m #3 down the list of best drivers. What number are you?

Blockbuster, CEO at odds over bonus; Wanted $7.6 Million and only got $2.3

Everybody altogether now…. Awwwwwwww:

Blockbuster Inc. says it is in discussions with its chief executive over his 2006 bonus, as it reported a 28 percent drop in its fourth-quarter profit, which took a hit on store closures.

Blockbuster’s board said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it awarded CEO John Antioco a $2.28 million bonus in January, in addition to his 2006 salary and deferred compensation of $2.5 million. However, Antioco said that based on the company’s 2006 senior bonus plan and performance goals, he is entitled to a $7.65 million bonus.

The company said it will reserve $4.5 million to deal with the discrepancy over the payout.

Google Acquires YouTube for $1.65 Billion

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., October 9, 2006 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has agreed to acquire YouTube, the consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos through a Web experience, for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. Following the acquisition, YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand and passionate community.

The acquisition combines one of the largest and fastest growing online video entertainment communities with Google’s expertise in organizing information and creating new models for advertising on the Internet. The combined companies will focus on providing a better, more comprehensive experience for users interested in uploading, watching and sharing videos, and will offer new opportunities for professional content owners to distribute their work to reach a vast new audience.

(via Kottke)