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2/13/2006
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Google's Long Shadow

Google wasn't there, but it was everywhere last week at Demo 2006, a showcase for emerging technology. About a third of more than 30 startups on the first day positioned Google as the problem, and their products as the solution.

For search startup Gravee, the trouble is Google's inequitable business model. Co-founder Erik Rannala suggests search engines leech value from Web sites without enough return. His answer: AdShare, a service that shares ad revenue with those listed in search results when an ad is clicked. It's an interesting idea with a long way to go out in the market.

For BiggerBoat, another search startup, Google falls short for entertainment content. BiggerBoat's search engine is geared toward finding media content and selling it. It may well appeal to Hollywood studios and retail film and video stores that want their content to rise above the noise of the wider Net.

Kaboodle offers community-based product recommendations and online shopping beyond what Google or Froogle can provide. It's a fair boast. Keep an eye on this one, even though it's got one of those silly names that still seems to be required of Web startups.

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