That’s TWO Ads On Google’s Homepage

I remember the time when Sergey and Larry swore they'd never have ads on the homepage of Google. Last month I noted a big one for Chrome. Today there's an additional one. Now that's TWO ads! Google has its own products to market now, and it's using it's biggest…

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I remember the time when Sergey and Larry swore they’d never have ads on the homepage of Google. Last month I noted a big one for Chrome. Today there’s an additional one. Now that’s TWO ads! Google has its own products to market now, and it’s using it’s biggest firehose of attention to tell folks about them. Both are major new fronts in very large wars: Mobile and OS/Browser.    

How do you think this will effect its core brand?

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Fast Flipping Off Amazon’s Kindle

Everyone knows Kindle is a closed development platform (IE, there's not an app environment that lets developers make the Kindle platform better). Today I saw the news that Google has doubled the number of publishing partners who are now leveraging the company's "Fast Flip" e-reader software, and it got…

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Everyone knows Kindle is a closed development platform (IE, there’s not an app environment that lets developers make the Kindle platform better). Today I saw the news that Google has doubled the number of publishing partners who are now leveraging the company’s “Fast Flip” e-reader software, and it got me to thinking.  

First, Fast Flip is software that runs anywhere the web runs, including mobile apps. It has an Android and iPhone version, and I’m sure there will be a RIM version soon. And when Apple’s tablet comes out, and any other ebook/netbook competitor to Kindle, I’m sure Fast Flip will be there. Fast Flip is a web native app, and it plays nice with the web, from what I can see. And Google is clearly interested, as a company, in fostering developers to build out on its various platforms, from Android to Chrome to Google’s App Engine.

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What’s Up?

Of course, BingTweets was the first real time mashup from a major player in search (and Microsoft has already announced its intentions to go further ), but we're just at the start of where real time search might go. … We've seen a fair amount of innovation in search interfaces lately (here's more on Pivot , for example), but real time data presents a significant challenge.

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(This piece was written for the BingTweets blog and is part of an ongoing exploration of search underwritten by Microsoft. See my series on the interplay of search and decisions here, here, and here. I wrote the piece below before today’s web-wide conversation about content farms, but I think it’s related. We need new frameworks for search, and real time points us toward one potential path.)

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Google Is Failing More

Paul points it out as a failed dishwasher search. Mike complains about automated content as does RWW. And we all have experienced it: The Google ecosystem is failing more – failing to get us what we think we want. Failing to not frustrate us. Failing at the more complicated queries…

Paul points it out as a failed dishwasher search. Mike complains about automated content as does RWW. And we all have experienced it: The Google ecosystem is failing more – failing to get us what we think we want. Failing to not frustrate us. Failing at the more complicated queries we are throwing at it. Failing to be the Google that we came to love back when the web was small and Facebook was a way for Harvard geeks to try to get laid.

Now, Google’s ecosystem is ripe for a quick buck – “content farms” that build article pages cheaply to make a quick buck off AdWords. But these articles, at least for a portion of us, don’t really provide the answers we are looking for. (thanks @thejames for the pointers.)

As Paul puts it in bemoaning his fruitless attempt to use Google for a researching a dishwasher purchase:

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Google’s Real Time Rolling Out

Google's real time search integration, announced at Web 2 in October, is rolling out (good coverage from SEL). It'll be integrated as "Latest results." I'll be watching how this effects the traffic referral ecosystem across the web – that's the key. Will Twitter grow? Will Google start to obviate…

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Google’s real time search integration, announced at Web 2 in October, is rolling out (good coverage from SEL). It’ll be integrated as “Latest results.” I’ll be watching how this effects the traffic referral ecosystem across the web – that’s the key. Will Twitter grow? Will Google start to obviate some refers it’s now sending to Facebook? Or will the opposite occur?

Google’s announcement is here. NYT coverage is here.

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Google Wants Your Small Biz To Barcode Itself

Google has launched a "Favorite Places" program to jumpstart its local search business. I like the moxy, but the ecosystem is lacking a clear dose of "Why Should I Do This," at least from the point of view of the business. Or the customer, for that matter. The program…

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Google has launched a “Favorite Places” program to jumpstart its local search business. I like the moxy, but the ecosystem is lacking a clear dose of “Why Should I Do This,” at least from the point of view of the business. Or the customer, for that matter. The program has the same “Church lady dancing to rap” feeling that marks nearly all of Google’s socially-driven products.  

If Google is serious about this space, they best buy Foursquare, pronto, and let the folks there take over.

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What Are The Conversion Rates for Google’s “First Click Free”?

Google today announced a new policy in its ongoing attempt to reach detente with an increasingly querulous publishing industry. (For background, read Mashable’s piece).   A key piece of the new policy has to do with changes to Google’s “First Click Free” program. From Google’s announcement: One way we overcome…

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Google today announced a new policy in its ongoing attempt to reach detente with an increasingly querulous publishing industry. (For background, read Mashable’s piece).  

A key piece of the new policy has to do with changes to Google’s “First Click Free” program. From Google’s announcement:

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Help Grok Pivot, A Novel Approach to Search Interface

Microsoft has been kind enough to give me a limited number of invitations for readers of Searchblog to grok Pivot, which I wrote about here last week.   In that post I promised to grok Pivot, then report back more here. Alas, Pivot is currently Windows only, and – alas…

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Microsoft has been kind enough to give me a limited number of invitations for readers of Searchblog to grok Pivot, which I wrote about here last week.  

In that post I promised to grok Pivot, then report back more here. Alas, Pivot is currently Windows only, and – alas – I am currently Mac only. I do have a couple of PCs in my house, but they are owned by my son and my wife, and it’s fair to say I’m not eager to to use them for experimental installs. My son in particular will kill me if I touch his machine (though I’m pretty sure he’s going to download Pivot before I ever do).

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Can Someone Please Do Annual Search Lists on Jan 1?

I never did understand why everyone releases the "top Searches of 2009" with one month yet to go. It's as if nothing happens in December. Anyway, here are the sites: Bing. Yahoo. Google….

I never did understand why everyone releases the “top Searches of 2009” with one month yet to go. It’s as if nothing happens in December. Anyway, here are the sites:

Bing.

Yahoo.

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Just Give Me One Modal Dialog ….

Back when I was reporting the book, I remember a meeting I had with Gary Flake, then the lead technologist at Overture, now a Fellow at Microsoft running Live Labs, responsible for stuff like Seadragon, Photosynth, and now, Pivot, an experimental approach to large datasets that attempts to rethink…

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Back when I was reporting the book, I remember a meeting I had with Gary Flake, then the lead technologist at Overture, now a Fellow at Microsoft running Live Labs, responsible for stuff like Seadragon, Photosynth, and now, Pivot, an experimental approach to large datasets that attempts to rethink some fundamental approaches to what we understand search to be today.  

Back in 2004, I asked him why we couldn’t move forward in search interface, which struck me as a major issue (and still does). Gary looked at me ruefully and said something I’ve never forgotten: “If only I had just one modal dialog box…”

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