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Good Point: Google's Not so Good at "Selling." Yet.

By - January 15, 2006

Gaynelle Grover, whose blog I’ve just begun to read, has a good point about Google Video Store and why folks are not so happy with it. In short, it’s because it’s called a store, but it doesn’t act like a store.

I agree. Stores have merchandising, special offers, architecture based on consumer flow. Stores are not driven by the principles of organic search. Stores are driven by the dollar, and so is search within stores. Consumers expect this, and put on a different lens when they know they are in a “store.” This is new to Google. But give the company time. I’d willing to bet it will figure this out, and quick.

UPDATE: This has also gotten me thinking about brand and product marketing, which is again, something Google does not really do (save B2B AdWords and a little B2B print). But if Google wants to play in music, books, video – all areas it is already playing in – it will have to market, and market well, the way that so far is has not had to.


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10 thoughts on “Good Point: Google's Not so Good at "Selling." Yet.

  1. buygoogle says:

    The reason people rip Google Video isn’t because they called it a store, it’s because they can’t find anything worth watching.

    People want a deep reservoir of content. Google Web Search seems limitless, while Google Video has 5 episodes of The Twilight Zone.

    As I’ve been arguing on my blog, these critics may be correct, but they’re missing the point. They’re not seeing the market for paid content that Google just invented.

    The content may be thin, but the marketplace had to come first. Search, copy protection, distribution, and payment is the plumbing that will support not just video but other paid content like books. When Google opens this up to independent producers, we should see the marketplace take off like a rocket.

    I can’t think of many organizations that could deliver a marketplace for paid content, and operate it at scale.

  2. Jeff says:

    Hi John,
    China’s search market will be real fun to watch in the future. Here’s an overview:
    http://china-netinvestor.blogspot.com/

    P.s: MSN China just launched a Beta version of their search engine and announced the creation of an “adLab” in Beijing.

  3. Tom says:

    buygoogle makes a great point in that it’s not deep in content for popular commercial products from partners (CBS, NBA etc.).

    This has the dual effect on the user experience that is probably expecting tons of content from these partners and others in the movie category for example, of frustrating or nonsensical looking SRPS giving the impression that either Google doesn’t understand how to present such a product or the user feels unable to use the product effectively when the real issue is just a lack of depth of content from these partners.

    A helpful adjustment I made to Google Video Store search and SRP presentation was to set the presentation of page results to the “List” format as opposed to the “Grid” format of the page. In the Grid format there is no brief description of the content thereby making the Grid view more laborious and time consuming in discovering what that particular video piece is about. The List view format is much more appealing and behaves much more like a “store” (truveo, youtube,DivX, NetFlix) in it’s presentation.

    Google Video should change the default SRP presentation from Grid view to List view.

    Additionally they make the drop-down category search bar that always appears on the Google Video home page stay with the user throughout the entire navigation experience.

    On the other hand Google is not acting so much like a store where it’s promoting and placing as you mention, Mr. Battelle. This I like in that it is more welcoming to possibilities for other content providers than the industry titans of old that want a place where they can use their marketing clout and cash to drive to the users what they should be watching.

    Tom

  4. Tom says:

    Google really could use “genre” search capability. I’ve never uploaded a video to Google so I’m not sure what options are given as descriptors or labels.

    Just as one is able to search Google Video by typing a search string like, “type: movie” or “in_title:water”, why doesn’t Google provide descriptor or label field when describing your content if it is a movie by genre and allow the content provider to enter a word or two there such as, genre: Action, Suspense

    This, should I think provide for someone to structure a search string like “genre”action suspense, so I may find content like this as I, nor most others have clue what someone may title their movie.

    Tom

  5. This is only the beginnings of the Wave of the Future…
    Many Producers may be waiting to iron out contracts or other technical details.

    Google Video is going to fill that void for instant gratification for non-commericial and commerical properties.

    Also, it will be invaluable for Research.

    It also allows independant or talented Student Producers to have an immediate outlet for their works to be appraised – globally.

    Imagine, an Independant or Student Producer submitting an interesting video highlight from an excellent low budget movie on Google –
    then, the Video creates a buzz by becoming “Popular”
    generating an interest in that Producer and ultimate requests for the complete work -
    then eventually generating a sizable interest that eventually results in Major outlets for this movie –
    a new era is beginning.

    In incoming years, many Televison shows and Old News Documentaries and well as Variey Specials etc… will participate – to bring about a Mosaic of Culture, Video History and Entertainment.

  6. I think Google is out of product. Without traffic all other products will fail. Google is not a group of marketers. They are college geeks. With a consumer used to single role products that just work, video does not work until they brad that it just works. I’m sure more will be done to confirm the handle over advance of the video search. With Anti-Microsoft Apple, Sun, and Google I think they should be offering similar competition.. I’m talking COLLUSION, Not dellusion.

  7. Jesse says:

    To me, the reason that the video store strikes such a weird note is because it is undemocratic compared to what we are used to from Google. It’s not search in the traditional sense, since it only searches what’s in its own database, not the web at large. The reason the image search is so effective is because it looks everywhere. I’m sure there are legal reasons for the video store restrictions, but still… to me, it sacrifices utility for a (very, very interesting) consumer-oriented product.

  8. Frank Daley says:

    Google’s search engine is an awesome professional and family friendly tool (at least it provides an option to filter out pornographic rubbish).

    However Google Video looks and feels like a collection of amateur home videos – and is certainly not a site that I consider family friendly. Unless Google makes a radical change to its approach it will soon find itself off-side with family groups around the world.

  9. kc weng says:

    I just read a simular story on Google video on their Pack stuff on Dirk Spiers’ Brandscribe.com Although it takes a different angle.

    But I agree with Gaynelle’s take. Their store front end sucks. It is difficult to see the difference between free and sale. It lacks context.

    Best

    KC W

  10. jm says:

    If it doesn’t give me a file in an industry standard format like mpg, then I don’t use the service. Plain and simple.