Bing Lights A Fire Under Google
There’s no secret that Microsoft is trying everything they can to reach Google’s level when it comes to search, while Google is trying everything they can to reach Microsoft’s level in everything else. I don’t think either have come close to taking over the others areas of expertise.
Microsoft’s new “decision engine”, BING, is their latest attempt to attract more search users and hopefully some of the advertising that comes with it. The results, to me, seem almost just like Google’s results, just with a bit more fluff involved.
Usually when Microsoft launches these new attempts, it seems Google doesn’t do much to react…except this time. According to the New York Post, Sergey has jumped in to run a team of the top cats to improve their search engine.
Since I read this story, I’ve been paying closer attention to the Google feed and they are having a lot of “improvements” popping out faster than normal.
- Page Speed
- SEO Starter Guide in 40 Languages (trying to keep the SEO people on their side..smart)
- Message Forwarding
- Complete Overhaul of Webmaster Tools Dash
- Update to Sitemaps
Then today I was doing a search and noticed they are labeling listings in their SERP’s that are forums. They are giving the total number of “posts” and total number of “authors“. I actually kind of like this because if you’re looking for help with something like a computer issue, I usually look for forum url’s but you never know what you’ll get until you open it. Now I can find the listings that are busier with the expectation of finding a solution. Here’s a screen shot:
The one thing I haven’t tested yet is when they show a listing that might be page 10 of 200 within a thread. Does it count the number of authors for the entire thread? Or is it just page specific?
Have you tried BING yet? I have to admit it’s kind of nice. Catchy name, results are very similar to Google and while they still have some kinks to work out, I think it has some advantages over Google.
Whether BING does well or not, at least they’re keeping Google from becoming complacent with their search product.
PowerMeter – Google Can Track Energy Use
All you need is a “smart meter” that allows Google to tap into your energy usage and they’ll tell you where you can save money based on consumption.
I have to give it to Google…they sure do have some smart people that come up with unique ideas. Go read more about PowerMeter over at their .org site.
Next on the invention table? Keyboards for your computer that read your fingerprints so online billing information is no longer needed. You go to a shopping cart and they know who you are already. The project will then turn into small electrical currents that are sent through the keys into the human body where they can read your brain and index your entire life.
Larry Page – Sergey Brin and Hubert Chang?
A new video has surfaced from a guy named Hubert Chang, who is claiming he was the 3rd founder of Google. He says that “PageRank” was his idea he gave to Larry & Sergey.
It will be interesting to see what is dug up because you know people are already scrambling to investigate his claims. He has a NYU page, but has very little information there.
He does mention:
Google truth: The truth of Google’s birth. Google was designed in 1997 Feb by me(Hubert), Sergey, and Larry. What happened between Sergey, Larry, and me in 1997.
He then links to his youtube video that explains his involvement.
Evolution of Knol dot com
I’m not sure why I didn’t look at the dot com while researching my last blog about Knol, but something made me think of it today. Pretty interesting move by using the name “Knol”, since someone named “H Knol”, from the Netherlands, has owned and operated Knol dot com since November of 2002. (whois source)
After translating this page correctly (Yahoo absolutely sucked at it!), presumably ‘Knol’ him/herself, discussed the recent launch of Google’s Knol,
Google is working on “Knol”
UPDATE 24-7-2008 UPDATE 24-7-2008
On various Web sites (including nu.nl, Google Blog, Blog Hosting 040) is now officially read that Google now has its own wikipedia started with the name Knol. There are articles by professionals and put these can be appreciated by readers.
And that we move google can appreciate Clearly, the focus on, especially our domain, is again grown considerably.
It needs no explanation that we are not here to follow up, as in december.
NOTE: We sell steam cleaning equipment and don’t sell our domain !!
Friday 14 december:
On a blog from Google published an article which reported that Google was working on Knol. This is a kind of combination of Wikipedia and Encyclopedia personal paginabouwer Squidoo. Advertising revenue goes to the Internet to share with the authors.
Knol is an abbreviation for “knowledge”, speaking of “nol”
Now you will think what that has to do with Tuberous Stoomreinigings Systemen?
Well, from that Friday there is immediately a true run in areas that had the word “Knol” in itself, as also the domain knol.com.
This has resulted in tens of thousands of visitors who came to take a look at the website of Knol.com! In a short time we had received visitors from more than 130 countries from around the world.
Fortunately, the website was able to be able strongholds and the site remained in the air.
But that was not in, we were also alleman by Jan and asked if we wanted to sell the domain. Unfortunately, we have to disappoint everyone, how beautiful their offerings sometimes has been.
In short, it was a special experience …
So imagine that. You sell steam cleaning products in the Netherlands operating under your last name, then one of the world’s wealthiest companies comes along and chooses your name to run one of its future products under. Would you sell? Or would you remain as is and constantly have huge bandwidth bills due to Googler’s constantly hitting the wrong site?
I checked to see what trademarks there were listed at the USPTO.gov and the only thing that came up with Google’s registration in December of 2007. I dealt with a trademark dispute many years ago in another business and can see where the original Knol owner wouldn’t have much of a dispute, other than keeping Google out of the geographic region where Knol products are sold. But how likely is that!
There are also a couple of previous owners of knol dot com that might be kicking themselves in the rears for letting the name go. Looking on Archive.org for knol dot com, it would appear a company named Knoll and Company, Inc had ownership back in 1999 & 2000, then another company called the KnollGroup ran the domain for 2001 and most of 2002. Think they wish they had a do-over? There are also 72 Whois changes for the domain, so I’m sure there are probably more.
Just a little further insight into Google’s new Knol.
For some reason, the name reminds me of the old “Gary Gnu Show”. “No Gnews is Good Gnews!”
Google Launches Knol
As defined on the front page of Knol:
A knol is an authoritative article about a specific topic.
Of course, if you look at the top left of the page, where the logo is, it defines it as:
A unit of knowledge
Maybe the 2nd one is their slogan and the 1st is the actual definition. Just to make sure I understood it completely, I do what I always do and went to my trusty online dictionary and did a quick search to define knol. There is only 1 result, but it links to some acronym finder site and this is what it tells me:
Knoll (postal suffix)
😐 . . . I’m confused now.
I have always thought ‘Google’ was a very creative and clever name. The story of how they came to the spelling of their name is a fun read, but armed with this knowledge it makes me wonder where ‘Knol’ came from. Maybe someone has some insight to this and can enlighten us.
Anyhow, Knol is going to be the new wikipedia. You submit articles about a topic and I’m sure that after a few years, it will be the predominant top listings in their search results. The only problem I have with Wikipedia and possibly Knol is the fact it can be slanted towards whoever controls it. For example, in Wikipedia there are people who govern different categories and ultimately have control over what is allowed and what is not. I see so many times where a business about “Widgets” is listed as a resource, but if another business about “Widgets” tries to provide a link to their site, it’s rejected. If the person rejecting has ties to the first business, is it really fair to the second business trying to add their link? There are good editors, but all it takes is one bad apple to ruin the whole thing.
What does this all mean? Go to Knol right now and start adding good info about your site while the service is still new.
Market For Google – Search Somewhere Else
If you want your online business to be worth a flip these days, you have to market for Google results. They’re pushing 75% of all online searches these days and just to put this into perspective, I’ll plug in a few numbers to illustrate how important Google is to an online business.
An average conversion rate for internet sales probably falls around 2-3% of traffic you receive, we’ll use 3% for this example. Your site receives 10k visitors per month and the average sale price of what you offer is $100. Let’s see what Google means to your business:
Need I say more?
But why do I say “Search Somewhere Else”?
It seems like Google is getting into everything we do now. They keep track of every step you take if you’re using any of their products. If you’re marketing for Google, then you’re more than likely using some of their products. Any of their products will place cookies on your computer and they log everything you’re doing. Since they came out and said they track our IP and cookie search logs, if you do anything remotely questionable (which everything will be questionable at some point with them), then why give them any sort of insight?
Using your customer data to improve things is a common thing these days. The problem I have is how Google uses this information to possibly hurt businesses and people’s livelihoods. So many stories pop up where a website disappears from Google and they have no idea why. Sometimes it’s warranted, sometimes it’s not. Unless you know where to go or who to speak to, being dropped from Google can literally shut a business down. This all sounds very similar to what people had to say about Microsoft back in the day and it doesn’t make sense that someone should have that much power over so many people.
With this in mind, if you do any marketing on Google, it would probably be a wise move to limit your use of Google services and/or products, but when you do, make sure you do what you can to limit their visibility. When you want to search, use one of the other search engines like Yahoo, Live or Ask.
Has Google Gurgled?
For those of you that follow the search engines and their cockiness that flies first class wherever they go, you should be very familiar with Google and their ‘unbeatable search algorithm’. The Google algo has probably been one of the most talked about, targeted, studied, tested, learned and contested of any other search algo in the history of search engines. Here are a few points that would put them in this position:
- They own between 60%–70% of the search market/queries, so why not target the big dawg?
- They proclaim to have the most detailed and steel proof equations of any out there.
- They claim to know of all webspam and can stop most of it with their algorithms.
- They have attracted some of the smartest people in the world to work for them.
With this knowledge at hand, how would you feel to know the ‘smartest algorithm’ in the world has had to resort to human editing to better their search engine results?
Well it is happening and the once untainted results will now be at the mercy of a Wikipedia type editor, which is paid by the hour and will undoubtedly be in bed with the market they govern, somehow. If not when they sign up, definitely once they have the power. Google is offering to pay $25/hr and that is great money, but who wouldn’t take side payments for doing whatever? “Hey Joe Blow, I’ll give you $50k to make site A vital and site’s B, C, D, E, F and so on non-relevant.” Would you take the bribe? I think most people that will be doing this would.
Here is the posting on Craigslist found recently:
Search engine results rating:
We need individuals who can work from home to perform search engine results ratings. The work is straight-forward; you log into a Website and then look at predetermined web pages or other similar material and rank them based on how relevant they appear for a given search query. The workload could be anywhere from a few hours a month to a few hours a week. You will need to have a PayPal account as that is how you will be paid.
When you perform this testing you must have the ability to sit down at a computer uninterrupted for 1 hour periods. Also, we will check the data. If the data is inconsistent or done with little regard for quality, you will lose your opportunity to do this in the future.
If you’re interested, here are a few more details:
-You must be willing to be interviewed for approximately 15 minutes on the phone.
-You must be totally and completely fluent in English.
-Please have a college degree, or an AA degree at a minimum.
-Please send your resume along with a brief paragraph about yourself, and also tell us how long you have been using the Internet, how many hours a day/week you use the Internet, and what you typically do on the Internet.
The pay is approximately $25 per hour.
It may take us up to a week to get back to you so please be patient.
And here are the guidelines handed out.
Maybe the business of the future will be to load up a building full of employees, who all apply for the ‘human search project’, and then they become the online service who can apply spam, Non Relevant or Off-Topic tags on the competition listings and then tag the customer sites with the vital mark. Google will basically pay for your entire workforce salaries, maybe you make money off of the newer employees, then give the veterans the full $25/hr plus a little compensation from sales you earn for the service provided to individual companies, seo agencies and other search related marketing firms. The great part is getting off the ground would require very minimal costs, since salaries are usually the biggest cost.
The underlying point here is after all that we’ve heard from Google about having the smartest search algorithms out there, no matter what they do, people will always be smarter than machines. However, once you start inserting humans into the mix, the chances of corruption goes through the roof, as my example company above illustrates.
Google, don’t become Mahalo! They suck for a reason.
PS. (If someone takes my business model idea, at least give me a thank you!)