My columns lately have focused on the fundamental shifts going on within the world of search. It's hard to get the pulse of these changes and so I find myself focused on one major change: the death of search. The dog days of summer may have brought this on, but the string of sentimental search columns as of late solidified my thinking. Why all this nostalgia? For me it serves as a harbinger of doom for search as we know it. To fully understand the challenges we face as an industry, all jokes aside, we need to step back and …
The elevator speech. It's one of the prerequisites of business development. In the time you can spend with someone on a 30-second ride, how do you describe your business? For established brands, the elevator speech is not so much a speech but a word. For brands like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you can quickly get from brand name to association in a word. Let's play the game together, in your head or on paper. Google? Microsoft? Apple? Got your word?
This summer, we had fires in the town I live in. I was sitting on the back deck, watching the progress of the fire through binoculars and monitoring Twitter on my laptop. My wife was inside the house, listening on the radio and watching on TV. Because I had an eyewitness perspective, I was able to judge the timeliness of our news channels and gained a new appreciation for the speed of social networks.
Last month I shared what search taught me about running a business. Today, I'd like to list 10 lessons Google taught me -- and the rest of the world, for that matter -- about marketing.
After watching the much-anticipated season opener of AMC's "Mad Men" last week, I found myself at work each day wondering if the stuff of search advertising and marketing would warrant a critically acclaimed TV show in 45 years' time.
Google recently gave the world a preview of what it calls its "next-generation infrastructure," code-named Caffeine. Over the past few days, I've A/B tested Caffeine vs. Google's current production engine. Here are some findings, some commentary on what I think Google's trying to achieve with its latest changes, and some tactical tips for webmasters seeking to maximize visibility on the new system.
I believe that what makes good search people good has to do with their personality. We are highly motivated, overachievers and like our work and ourselves to be recognized. We are comfortable on a pedestal. In fact, that is where we prefer to be. So with that said, I am going back to 1984. The Summer Olympics were in Los Angeles that year, and I was absolutely captivated by an American gymnast from Fairmont, W.V....
Robin Williams' movie "RV" may not have gathered much critical acclaim, but one scene at least hit a comedic home run with me. Williams has to get a presentation back to the home office during a camping trip with his family. After his laptop goes AWOL, he uses his BlackBerry to retype the presentation and then tries to get a signal strong enough to let him email the presentation to his boss. He scales the top of his rented motor home, holding his BlackBerry heavenward trying to get a signal. This is an episode directly out of my life.
Last week Google informally gave a heads-up that we should all be expecting a change in its main Web search results, based on a new update to search technology that mostly affects its indexing process. Dubbed Google Caffeine, it is a "secret project" considered to be next-generation architecture for Google Web search. And in addition to shaking up the results a bit, it may also pave new roads toward the goal of real-time search results.
I had the privilege of hearing Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist, speak last March. He wasn't dramatic or flamboyant, just refreshingly straight-shooting. At the time, I particularly appreciated that his flavor of economics included observations about human behavior. He pointed out, for example, that most people aren't really concerned about privacy when it comes to intended use of their data ("We will use this data to make our search engine better"), but we are concerned about unintended use of our data ("Oops! Did I just reveal that you've got questionable taste in lingerie?"). The issue, therefore, is not one of …