I had hoped that I wouldn't have to write another column on this topic, but Monday's big news is forcing my hand. Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land first broke the news that Google is now directing all users to its encrypted search engine. Now, all Google-referred organic traffic will report search queries as "not provided," making the process of search engine optimization (SEO) decidedly more difficult.
A friend's friend runs an acting studio focused on the Meisner technique. The morning after James Gandolfini's death, the actor friend shared an article on Facebook where Gandolfini discussed his study of the Meisner technique. Rather than following the style of Sanford Meisner, screaming "Hate this!" at the computer screen while punching it, my pal unfriended that narcissist.
At the K8 Summit last week, Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, gave a compelling keynote on what he calls "The Personal Revolution." Essentially, his thesis is that the transformation brought about by the acceleration of bandwidth, storage, and computation over the past 30 years is having a profound impact on an individual's ability to generate income.
Here's a controversial admission for an SEO: I don't believe in link building. In fact, I haven't done any explicit link building for more than five years. One of the key currencies of web authority, inbound hyperlinks can make or break a site's visibility across the search engine results pages (SERPs). But I'm perfectly content with letting the chips fall where they may. I'm happy when you to link to my content, but you won't catch me begging. I say this for two reasons: 1) pre-existing authority; and 2) spam. Let me explain.
"What's 'online'?" asked the elderly gentleman of his son. I was eavesdropping, and at first, I couldn't believe that anyone still alive didn't know what "online" was. Isn't that pretty much equivalent to oxygen or gravity now? But then, because in the big countdown of life, I'm also on the downhill slope, closer to the end than to the beginning, I started thinking about how wrenching technological change has become.
When a consumer searches for your brand name, clicks on your search ad and makes a purchase, who should get the credit for that? Did that purchase happen because of a specific marketing tactic on television? Radio? What about display or social media, or even the search ad itself? These questions cut to the essence of attribution, which is leading to major turf wars within marketing organizations.
Most testing of marketing is disproportionately biased towards the positive. We test to find winners. But in the process, we often cut losers off without a second glance. And this can be dangerously myopic
Google self-driving cars are pretty cool, but until last week's announcement that Google Ventures was putting almost $250M into Uber (a technology-driven limo service), it was unclear to me how Google planned to actually monetize these robot cars. But imagine a driverless car that picks you up (using Google Maps/Waze for navigation, of course). That could be a cheaper and more efficient taxi service than our current human-controlled ones.