Google News - 6/11 - Digital Marketing Agency

New Google Interface

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Lots of big changes with Google this week. I already spoke about the Google +1 email I got r.e. the Adwords rollout. I won’t comment yet on Google Plus, as I haven’t yet grabbed an invitation, but I will comment on the new interface.

The new colour scheme is a radical, if simple, change because Google rarely makes changes to it’s interface.

Google Interface black

The black top bar, and the black and red font in the left, are a departure from the usual Blue, and jar very slightly with the blue results.

There are other slight differences including these highlighted below. The first two relate to whether or not you have already viewed the page, the second two relate to your location.

Google visited pages and not visited pages

And the ability to get results close to your location via postcode (not in Oz);

Google location search

However, I was very upset to see that The Wonder Wheel is now gone from the sidebar, and I can’t seem to find a link to it anywhere anymore.

Google Plus 1 – They're Not Selling It To Me

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The following is an email I received from Google regarding the addition of the Plus 1 functionality to a Google Adwords account;

Here’s how the +1 button works:
Let’s say you own a hotel in Madrid. Brian had a lovely stay at your hotel last summer. When Brian starts researching accommodations for his next trip to Spain, he searches on Google while signed into his Google account, and sees your ad. He clicks the +1 button on the ad to recommend it to his contacts.

When Brian’s friend Ann plans her trip to Spain, she signs in to her Google account, searches, and also sees your ad – plus the personalized annotation that Brian +1’d it. Knowing that Brian recommends your hotel helps Ann decide where to stay during her travels.

Think of the +1 button as a way for fans of your business to recommend what you offer, for all their friends and contacts to see. By helping searchers see more personal, relevant ads, we believe you’ll see more qualified traffic. You can also add the +1 button to your site to give your customers the opportunity to +1 your site after visiting it.

Now, before I read this email I was sceptical about the value of Google Plus 1, and now after reading it – I am even more so. I am not sure if this is a particularly terrible example to use in a promotional email, or if Google Plus 1 is just terrible. Just naming a few of the problems with this example

  • Brian isn’t going to recommend the hotel until he plans his next Spain trip. For most people, this could be no sooner than a year, and for many, it might be never!
  • This relies on him seeing the ad for that same exact hotel – i.e. that he is searching for very similar results to the last time he searched, and they are still bidding
  • It relies on both Brian and Anne to be logged in to Google while searching
  • I don’t know if this is me being old fashioned – but for this particular example – a holiday to Spain – I would have thought to ask my friend in person where he stayed. Surely you know if a friend of yours has been to Spain before.

This promotional email did not endear me to Google +1.




Google Plus 1 – Why I'm Not Too Excited

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Last week across the web, search marketers were in a flurry, care of a new Google innovation. Google has introduced the concept of “+1″ to their search results, allowing you to +1 a site in the search results if you like it.

Which begs the question – who is going to ‘like’ a site, before they have even clicked on a link? Surely you won’t know you like the site, or won’t know it is relevant to your search until you have been to the page. And if you are already off the search results onto the site, will you be bothered clicking back to the search results and re-doing it all, just for a +1?

It doesn’t seem to fit in well with people’s search habits.

The Usability of it seems all off to me. It seems like Google should have first allowed a button to be added to a web page for +1, and shown those votes in the search results (which obviously has a whole other raft of problems).

The aim of +1 seems kind of good – letting your search results be influenced by people in your social network, ostensibly a group of people you trust. Which might beg this question; which social network? Cause they sure aren’t talking about Facebook. They are talking about your Google Account, and from what I have seen today, potentially an influence from Twitter.

My problem with the ‘social’ aspect of it is that limited social connections of mine are joined to me through Google (poor Google). The people that I am joined to through Google are mostly work colleagues, suppliers, providers, etc. Google Wave and Buzz just did not take off in my circles, and I doubt any one of my friends is going to join up to Google accounts to try +1.

Not enough of my network have a Google account.

And for those that do, e.g. the professional and business connections, Do you like what they like? Do you value the same things?

Do you trust these people to influence your search results?

I think a social network is useful for finding things out – I ask things on Facebook, Twitter and forums – I am just not sure I want people influencing my decisions before I even have a chance to ask them.

Finally, while there has been much support for +1, and saying how it will be very difficult to game – people are still going to try, and to maintain integrity, Google is going to have to ‘police’ it. Which will take up resources.

I would rather Google concentrate on fighting spam in results than fighting +1 scams.

Over the last couple of years, Google has been trying to break into social (of course they want to, it is massive), with Wave, Buzz and now +1. Meanwhile, I have been hearing more and more complaints about Google’s search results getting more and more full of Spam.

While this innovation is ostensibly a search innovation, it is touted as being ‘social’. I think Google needs to back up and concentrate on search again for a while.


Google's Australia Day

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Not uniquely Australian, just summer-y, but when you are working on Australia Day in search marketing, it brings a tiny bit of cheer

I clicked the logo, then switched to image search, to see whether I could get some slightly more Aussie images.

This is an awesome shot, (note the actual website is down, but it is still number two in image search, interesting). Apparently this photo is from John White.

Then there is this from

And finally, this, the most delicous of all Australian-ness

Happy Australia Day!

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