Last week I had a very interesting phone call with the Department of Justice and the Washington State Attorney General's office. It was all part of the ongoing investigation into the pending Yahoo/Microsoft deal. For about 90 minutes a handful of lawyers asked me what I thought of the deal and how SEO worked from the agency side and from the client side. It was a very intense 90 minutes that forced me to really think through this whole deal for several days prior to the call. I think it's a terrible idea that will be really bad for everybody …
A few years ago, I interviewed usability expert Jakob Nielsen about where search might go in the future. He shared an interesting insight:"I think there is a tendency now for a lot of not very useful results to be dredged up that happen to be very popular, like Wikipedia and various blogs. They're not going to be very useful or substantial to people who are trying to solve problems."
Last week, both Bing and Google announced that they have made deals with Twitter to access and utilize data in their mainstream results. These deals are significant events, in the sense that a real human social layer is now in play with crawler-based algorithms. So in addition to my long string of recent blog posts about real-time social search, here are some additional thoughts on what these deals mean to searchers, marketers, and the advancement of search and social as a whole.
We've all been there. You go to a party at someone's house. The owner of the home has lovingly arranged the living room, dusting off all her old folding chairs and setting up a variety of cozy nooks to foster heart-to-heart chats. And yet, for some reason, nobody wants to hang out there. Instead, they're all in the kitchen: close to the beer, the sink, and the top-up of guacamole.
This was surprising to me: when I picked up the new Dan Brown book (well, actually, downloaded it to the Kindle app on my iPhone), and began reading, a central plot point emerged involving a keyword search. A keyword search.
If you walked out of your home to find graffiti on the outside, what would you do? If you got to your office building to find more of the same, but from different "artists," how would you react? Regardless of the quality or spirit of the message, your initial reaction would likely be violent to find your personal property defiled, your professional workplace violated. Now, imagine if the suggested course of response was to not cover it up, but rather to add your own graffiti to the wall. Your emotions would then be of outrage, right? Well, let me introduce …
Last week, I shared 11 titles that explore the intersection between marketing, psychology and neurology. But in retrospect, I think I approached this backwards. While the titles I discussed are all interesting (and fairly easy reads), they are somewhat dependent on a fundamental understanding of why humans do what we do. So this week, I'll share a good starting library of human behavior, which can then be applied more generally.
And the beat goes on. What started off as 10 simple marketing lessons learned from Google blossomed into fiften and then twenty before seeding a full-fledged book (in-progress). From there, I dove into lessons from Google about product development. Today, I'd like to bring it up a level to what Google can teach us about general business practices. For my next topic, I think I'll lighten the mood with we can learn from Google about dating -- so start tweeting your suggestions now!
This morning, I watched a man on television tell business owners not to use Twitter unless they were focusing on females 18-34, the most dominant demographic group on the microblogging site. "Dominant demographic" is a carryover from traditional media, in which a commercial message had to be broadcast to the entirety of a channel's audience. But online advertising is not a homogeneous channel. Twitter is not a homogeneous channel. Google is not a homogeneous channel.