Browsing articles tagged with " Google"

What are People’s feelings of Facebook today?

Sep 23, 2011   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Facebook, Google +  //  No Comments

Facebook has three-quarters of a billion users and shows no sign of slowing down. Just this week it introduced a very Twitter-like and Google+-like function — “Subscribe” — and it is the social destination for millions of Americans, many of whom still do not tweet and never had a MySpace page.

Yet there are whispers that Facebook’s best days are behind it, and that it could be the “next MySpace” (or Yahoo). As far back as 2010, there was talk of Facebook fatigue. Some teens said they would quit, though they didn’t know where else to go. Now some suggest that those who forgo Facebook may head over to Google+, once it’s out of its closed beta.

The reality, though, is that we often complain about the things we love and use most. No one in my house has requested a Google+ invite. This is not surprising; virtually none of their friends or family — except me — are on Google+.

The consensus: Facebook is running cool to lukewarm. Considering I asked the question in the echo-chamber that is Google+, this response is hardly surprising. But many of the comments hit upon what I see as Facebook’s key faults and hurdles it must jump over the next three to five years.

One commenter said Facebook, which has added a number of new features in recent weeks, is finally “stepping it up” in the face of growing competition from Google+.

Those who still think Facebook is hot did admit that the game may change when “Google+ opens up”. A few hedged their bets, saying that Facebook was lukewarm, but also “sitting at its peak of interest.” I guess they expect Facebook to topple from its perch at any moment.

There were, however, some who could see outside the Google+ bubble. Antonio Moro wrote: “[Facebook is ] still King of the hill, very hot, and since G+ started: hotter as it’s pushing new features faster than ever. I still prefer to use G+, but this doesn’t matter.”

There were other begrudging admissions of Facebook’s dominance. Allan Petersen wrote, “I wish I could say “Not” with a straight face. Unfortunately, it’s so much more intertwined with current online culture than MySpace was. And they’re continually pushing updates. I say ‘warm.’”

Many said that despite the encroachment of brands, fan pages and confusing updates, they will stick with Facebook because their friends show no interest in moving to another social platform. The decline of platforms like Friendster and MySpace suggest that what people say and what they actually do may not be totally aligned.

Some said the MySpace analogy is off — or at least years away from being reality. It’s not a matter of Facebook being Hot or Not as it is “a signal of evolution. Facebook can’t be the bright shiny thing all the time.”

They are right, of course: nothing remains in the spotlight forever. Facebook is simply not the hot, fresh new thing. But the lack of pure heat doesn’t mean Facebook is going away. Few of us get excited about Sears, but the retail store survives, even in the face of competition from online megastores like Amazon.com. A little less heat, and a lot more focus on what its users want, is probably what Facebook needs anyway.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

What are People’s feelings of Facebook today?

Sep 23, 2011   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Facebook, Google +  //  No Comments

Facebook has three-quarters of a billion users and shows no sign of slowing down. Just this week it introduced a very Twitter-like and Google+-like function — “Subscribe” — and it is the social destination for millions of Americans, many of whom still do not tweet and never had a MySpace page.

Yet there are whispers that Facebook’s best days are behind it, and that it could be the “next MySpace” (or Yahoo). As far back as 2010, there was talk of Facebook fatigue. Some teens said they would quit, though they didn’t know where else to go. Now some suggest that those who forgo Facebook may head over to Google+, once it’s out of its closed beta.

The reality, though, is that we often complain about the things we love and use most. No one in my house has requested a Google+ invite. This is not surprising; virtually none of their friends or family — except me — are on Google+.

The consensus: Facebook is running cool to lukewarm. Considering I asked the question in the echo-chamber that is Google+, this response is hardly surprising. But many of the comments hit upon what I see as Facebook’s key faults and hurdles it must jump over the next three to five years.

One commenter said Facebook, which has added a number of new features in recent weeks, is finally “stepping it up” in the face of growing competition from Google+.

Those who still think Facebook is hot did admit that the game may change when “Google+ opens up”. A few hedged their bets, saying that Facebook was lukewarm, but also “sitting at its peak of interest.” I guess they expect Facebook to topple from its perch at any moment.

There were, however, some who could see outside the Google+ bubble. Antonio Moro wrote: “[Facebook is ] still King of the hill, very hot, and since G+ started: hotter as it’s pushing new features faster than ever. I still prefer to use G+, but this doesn’t matter.”

There were other begrudging admissions of Facebook’s dominance. Allan Petersen wrote, “I wish I could say “Not” with a straight face. Unfortunately, it’s so much more intertwined with current online culture than MySpace was. And they’re continually pushing updates. I say ‘warm.’”

Many said that despite the encroachment of brands, fan pages and confusing updates, they will stick with Facebook because their friends show no interest in moving to another social platform. The decline of platforms like Friendster and MySpace suggest that what people say and what they actually do may not be totally aligned.

Some said the MySpace analogy is off — or at least years away from being reality. It’s not a matter of Facebook being Hot or Not as it is “a signal of evolution. Facebook can’t be the bright shiny thing all the time.”

They are right, of course: nothing remains in the spotlight forever. Facebook is simply not the hot, fresh new thing. But the lack of pure heat doesn’t mean Facebook is going away. Few of us get excited about Sears, but the retail store survives, even in the face of competition from online megastores like Amazon.com. A little less heat, and a lot more focus on what its users want, is probably what Facebook needs anyway.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Google is Skynet. Search Suggest Opinions

Apr 21, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing  //  No Comments

To know what the world is searching for must be amazing. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are in that position but they’re not exactly sharing those insights. Well, except if you do a little guess work and leverage their keyword research or keyword suggest tools. For example, the suggest-as-you-type features that all the major search engines now offer can provide some interesting insight “on the fly” into what people are searching for.

For quick keyword research, Aaron Wall has a Google Suggest tool for keyword suggestions that adds more options and insight.

There’s some entertainment value to this as well of course. Start typing in “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend” and you’ll see what I mean. Along those lines, let’s see some examples for each major search engine using the syntax, “Google is “:

Google is ...

And what about Yahoo?

Yahoo is ...

Or Bing?

Bing is ...

So, we have “Google is Skynet”, “Yahoo is better than Google” and “Bing is not Google”.   It’s amusing and insightful at the same time. As the clear market dominator, Google queries offer a peek into searchers’ perception of Google as a powerful force that can incite polarizing opinions.  Yahoo as a long standing second in the market brings about more functional phrases and just one indication of passion for the brand. While Bing shows some negativity, the good news is that they are inciting reactions from people. Better to make friends and enemies than for no one to notice you at all.

By the way, Google recently announced the addition of localized search suggest and spelling correction to the suggest features that searchers might find handy.


© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
Google is Skynet. Search Suggest Opinions |
No comment | http://www.toprankblog.com

New Google Design & Not Entirely Unlike Jeremiah Owyang

Apr 3, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing  //  No Comments

No this is not linkbait using Jeremiah’s name. Read on to find out what this “not entirely unlike” business from Google is all about and what it has to do with him.

A while back I wrote about the new design Google is testing (which I like a lot) that adds a third column to search results along the left side.  It’s come and gone a few times since then as I move about the country and as Google reveals it for testing.

As of this morning, Google is delivering the new design to me again and I noticed something different after doing a search on my name. (Admit it, you Google your own name too!) At the bottom of the new column it shows an unconventionally named, “Not entirely unlike” result.  What kind of label is that? It reminds me of the slang phrase, “it doesn’t suck”.

With the addition of Google Profiles and real-time search as well as many other sources, it’s interesting that Google is making such a distinction at the individual level. However, it’s not just people being referenced as “Not Entirely Unlike”.

Jeremiah Owyang SERP - New Google Design

Here are an interesting set of connections that came up:

  • Lee Odden > Not entirely unlike:  Jeremiah Owyang
  • Jeremiah Owyang > Not entirely unlike: chris brogan, robert scoble, charlene li, om malik, john battelle
  • John Battelle > Not entirely unlike: guy kawasaki, david weinberger, seth godin, robert scoble, om malik
  • Om Malik > Not entirely unlike: marshall kirkpatrick, walt mossberg, kara swisher, robert scoble, john battelle
  • Robert Scoble > Not entirely unlike: dave winer, jason calacanis, jeremiah owyang, steve rubel, guy kawasaki
  • Guy Kawasaki > Not entirely unlike: seth godin, john battelle, robert scoble, clay shirky, lawrence lessig

And on and on it goes with circular references (except for me, since I hardly belong in a list with these people). The notion that many public figures on the web frequently reference each other or at least cite common concepts and resources may very well be supported by the connections listed above.  Also I would note this is not the same as the “Related searches” that often show at the bottom of the search results.

Is there anything useful in the “Not entirely unlike” feature for marketers? I’d say it’s about as useful as the Wonder Wheel if you were to use it for keyword brainstorming or research. Besides certain people’s names, it does come up for certain, general phrases too:

  • Internet marketing > Not entirely unlike:  search engine optimization, online marketing, affiliate marketing
  • CRM software >customer relationship management, erp, financial software, crm solution, business software
  • Coffee >espresso, cocoa, orange juice, banana, chocolate

iPad - New Google Design

Interestingly, it doesn’t fire for phrases like, “iPad”, “iPhone” or “Apple” but does for “smart phone” and “google phone”.  To test this yourself, Google must have chosen to display the new Google design to you. It doesn’t work with the current form of Google.

Are you getting the new Google design? What do you think of it? Are there other features you’ve seen that are interesting?

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
New Google Design & Not Entirely Unlike Jeremiah Owyang |
No comment | http://www.toprankblog.com

Google: The Social Media Company

Mar 19, 2010   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Corporate Blogging, Industry News, Mashable News, Online Marketing, Social Media, Twitter  //  No Comments

Over the last few years, the popularity of social channels – for professionals, teens, grandmas and everyone in between – has skyrocketed. Consider the recent numbers:

  • Twitter experienced an annual growth in 2009 of 1,382%
  • Facebook now boasts 400 million active users
  • Every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube

Between blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets, videos and every other piece of social content published, there’s a whole lot of information floating around out there.

Enter the latest social media player, Google.

Google’s latest activities, acquisitions and features all point to the fact that the search giant no longer has a close eye on web 2.0; it’s already there.

Here are 5 ways Google is now becoming a dominant social media player:

1. Google Social Search

Google Social Search results

Until now all of the social content in channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, hasn’t been easy to find in a central place – including through Google search.  Until now, that is.

That’s where Google Social Search comes in. It’s still in the experimental stages, but this new feature combines users’ social connections with organic searches. For example, if you were to search for “New Zealand,” social search results would appear beneath the organic search results. The tool scans your social connections’ content (based on the social accounts included in your Google profile) to create these results.

2. Google Buzz

Google Buzz

These days, it seems the social world is abuzz with talk of Google Buzz. This new product is built into Gmail and essentially turns users’ inboxes into social networks. A mobile version of Google Buzz is also available.

Here’s how it works: Google Buzz leverages current email contacts and connects you with their social profiles. Through Gmail, you can share status updates and photos, and start conversations, all through from your email.

What does this mean for your brand? You may want to consider adding Gmail to your social media marketing mix.

3. Twitter and Facebook Feeds in Search Results

Imagine the tweets highlighting your latest blog post or a new product launch getting found in organic searches. These days, that’s a reality.

At the end of February, Google happily announced on Twitter that public status updates from Facebook fan pages would now be included in real-time search. Facebook joins a long list of other social content appearing in search results including:

  • Twitter tweets
  • FriendFeed updates
  • Google Buzz posts
  • MySpace updates

Twitter and Facebook marketing efforts, then, take on new importance and new meaning. It’s now essential that all social content be optimized just as other online content is optimized.

4. Google’s Social Acquisitions

Still not convinced that Google’s sights are set on social? Just check out the list of its acquisitions over the last nine years, and count the social platforms.

In terms of sites owned by Google, the search giant has the gamut covered:

5. Google Wave

Google Wave

Google Wave

Essentially, Google Wave is 21st century email. The tool enables real-time communication and collaboration – i.e., share images, post videos, discuss ideas. Within Google Wave, you can create a message, invite other users to take part in the discussion, and add files, images, videos, you name it.

The coolest part about the tool is conversations are live, but you can rewind the wave at any time to see a previous comment.

It’s only available in limited preview right now, and you need an invitation from Google to join. Unfortunately, I’m not one of the lucky ones. Google, if you’re out there, can you hear me?

There’s no doubt about it: Google’s gone social. What’s up in the air is where it will go next. What do you think will be the next Google social media tools or applications?

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© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
Google: The Social Media Company |
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Google Caffine Update – What does it mean to You?

Nov 20, 2009   //   by Erik Olson   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

I have been reading a lot about the “Google Caffeine” update that will be taking place soon after the holiday season. We receive a majority of our traffic from Google so I have been reading up on this and what is going to be changing in the “Search Algorithm”. It sounds like the interface will not be changing, this update is primarily under the hood: Google is rewriting the foundation of some of its infrastructure. If this pans out well, it is intended to replace Google as we know it today. It seems like Google’s goal is to be more thorough and comprehensive in their crawling of the web. Vanessa Fox reported the following, over at SearchEngineLand: “The newest infrastructure may include ways of crawling the web more comprehensively, determining reputation and authority (possibly beyond the link graph and what’s typically thought of as PageRank), and returning more relevant results more quickly, although Google’s Matt Cutts told me that the changes are “primarily in how we index”.

Impact on keywords:  “SEO professionals, your job just got a lot harder. The algorithm’s definitely different. It has more reliance on keyword strings to produce better results.” Quote from Ben Parr over at mashable.com.

What It Means To You:

  • Google will be crawling and indexing more pages – make sure your site is well optimized so you can
    benefit from this.
  • They are focusing on accuracy – which means the sites that get ranked on top will be the ones that best
    match the searchers query (which means you need to do comprehensive keyword research and make
    sure your site is well optimized for your important phrases that searchers will use).
  • Google indicates they will be looking at not only what sites people click on from the SERPs but also how
    they interact with the site after they land on it. Making sure your site has a lot of relevant content will be more important than ever.
  • Organization of your site and clean code structure will also become more crucial than ever.
  • Content appears to remain king and Google Caffeine seems to favor larger sites with more meaty
    content.
  • Quality continues to become more important, especially when it comes to links. Quality over quantity. So
    many people have lots of links that are just their URL hyperlinked – those are thought to be devalued.
  • Getting a higher quality link from a Blog post, article or social media site that actually uses keywords from within body text to link to your site will be valued higher and fewer high quality links will likely win out over more lower quality links.