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Thoughts On Google Press Day

By - May 11, 2006

Goog Prss DayA few things that strike me as we digest all the news yesterday (webcast). (PS, Google’s shareholder meeting is going on now…)

1. A renewed focus on search (yes, we are still about search, says Marissa in a new blog post). This was a clear message: We differentiate on search, we lead in search, we live by search. Clearly, the competitive differentiation was important to get across.

2. An expansion of what search means. With Trends, Google is finally starting to mine the Database of Intentions for the obvious value it contains. With Co-Op, it’s starting to mine intentional clickstream. These two signals are critical to advances in search.

3. An attempt to remind an increasingly querlous press corps of what makes Google special. The corny video, the explanation of how Google works, the reminders about the founder’s letter, the homey anecdotes about innovation in omlette preparation – all designed to strengthen the company’s image as unique in the field.

4. A clear nod toward increased competition and a move into the messy world of people over machines. Mainstream press coverage of the announcements focused on Schmidt’s claim that the market is not a winner take all world (and I heard the same from Jonathan Miller of AOL yesterday when we met). But the fact is, Google must play where the others play, and more “web 2.0″ apps like social search (Co Op), bookmarking (Notebook) and user generated content (Co Op, Base, Finance, and Notebook) are clear moves into worlds where Yahoo, Ebay and Amazon have stronger plays. (Gary calls Co-Op “Google Base for Web Pages” – a nice observation.)

5. Overall, the stuff Google showed was interesting, but not particularly unique. Neat hacks, pointers to future directions, but not…major. But is that required for a press event? Nah.

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts On Google Press Day

  1. King Troll says:

    First Again! Why delete my post bro?

  2. > Tt is very hard to believe that 50% of all Web pages are duplicates…
    Alan Eustace, appears to have little empathy or understanding of the conflicts faced by Small Commercial sites in getting respectable organic rankings in Google.

    If sites resort to Link buying or establishing their link netorks, it is because of the pervasive inherent problems that are only getting worse.

    He disapproves of their SEO tactics – but what alternatives are there? To eternally buy ADWORDS for the rest of their company’a existence?

    One analogy he gave was the presumption that when seachers search for VIAGRA – they looking for infomational sites not sales sites, and when they were searching for CREDIT CARDS – they were seeking Master or VISA or AMEX – not a directory of card business.

    What is wrong with his argument, is that he is making an extreme generalization about CASUAL searchers. Searchers who use a one word of simple search terms, can NOT be generalized like that. They are potentially as varied as any consumer could possibly be. Only personalization could indicate what direction they might be leaning towards.

    The ultimate irony is that a site that markets itself very aggressively for a keyword – is in fact illustrating that it is VALID for that keyword. It is expensive and time consuming to market, would any reasonable firm do it for non valid terms.
    Webmasters are doing that because they have NO OTHER CHOICE. If a small commercial site waited around until a quality site volunterily added a one way link to them….well….

    The problem with the Google decision makers is that they are too removed from everyday harsh realities – and probably surrond themselves by others would would not want to stir the pot with controversy.

    What percentage would it be to be an advocate for the commercial nobody trying to get rankings ….LET THEM BUY ADWORDS!!!!!

    =====================================
    It is intereting to compare the Video portion of the interview of Google’s CEO with the just release Video of Yahoo’ CEO – so similar in many ways

    newyorker.com/videos/060511onvi_video_semel

  3. Nice round up. I have just completed an analysis on Google for my class on Internet Business Models, and our conclusion was that Google seemed to be diversifying too much and not focussing on a single area for sustained competitive advantage. Their recent announcements seem to show that they are in fact strategically aligned, and not just a bunch of guys roaming around inventing whatever they think is fun – an image they like to project to make them seem less corporate and less dangerous to competitors.

    Their moves into social networking are also a sound move, they need to have a grasp on where that area of the internet is moving. I would imagine in coming months we will see a rival to Flickr – one of the main areas they still don’t compete in.

  4. Leonid says:

    I think that more then 50% of all Web pages are duplicates!

  5. John, just started reading your book – interesting compilation of thoughts and research. Given Google’s public announcements and your knowledge of the “search” market, what do you think Google’s top 3 goals are over the course of the next year?

  6. bob says:

    “An expansion of what search means. With Trends, Google is finally starting to mine the Database of Intentions for the obvious value it contains. With Co-Op, it’s starting to mine intentional clickstream. These two signals are critical to advances in search.”

    What exactly does all this jargon mean?

  7. JG says:

    SE Web wrote: He disapproves of their SEO tactics – but what alternatives are there? To eternally buy ADWORDS for the rest of their company’a existence?

    I’ve been saying something very similar for years. Google likes to talk about how the organic and the paid listings are “independent”. However, this just ain’t true. While they might not mix any actual links, the one side exerts not-to-subtle pressure on the other side, and vice versa. What happens on one side definitely affects what happens on the other.

    Andrew Orlowski has a great piece, aptly entitled The worse Google gets, the more money it makes? (See page 2 for the meat of the argument.) You could see this coming from the day Google sold its first ad.