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LISTEN WHEN INTUIT'S SMITH SPEAKS

brad smithIntuit's CEO Brad Smith has been very clear in his statements this year. He praises companies. He buys them. It's happened twice in conference calls, which may simply have revealed a course that was already well underway. But after he discussed how clients were saying how they wished Intuit's online payroll had PayCycle's feature, Intuit bought PayCycle. And after praising Mint.com for revitalizing the personal financial market space, Intuit has said it will spend $170 million in cash to pick up that company.

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SEO: TIME FOR THE RULES OF THE GAME

Tennis imageImagine it's the semi-finals of the U.S. Open and Roger Federer hits a ball that lands near the base line. "Is it in or out?" the world's No. 1 player asks the linesman, who shrugs and then the chair umpire. The umpire responds, "I can't tell you. But we'll let you know when we total up the score."

That's the way the rules for search engine rankings seem to work in the world of the major players, Microsoft and Google.  We know there are rules and we can deduce some of them when we see how well articles on our Web sites do in appearing in searches.

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VARs: CAN THE BIG THRIVE?

elephantThere's a question in the midmarket accounting reselling market not only about whether big is better, but whether big has any advantage. Or does a VAR have to become something else when it grows past a certain point?

Years ago, Taylor Macdonald pointed out what he thought was the problem with TexSys RD, now ePartners, when it was rolling up other resellers to create a national organization. Macdonald said when the dealers, who had become shareholders in the larger organization, looked around the table at their corporate home; the people they saw looked just like them. His point was that they had the same skills and there weren't people with complementary skills to fill in any gaps.

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