Google Press Announcement 9/08/2010 –LiveBlog

This is eVisibility’s liveblog for the Google Announcement on 9/08/2010. Coverage officially starts at 9:30 AM PT.  Please follow this feed as we continue to update prior to the event and during the coverage.

As reported in yesterday’s Google Press Release post, the announcement has been made that there will be an announcement today.  All of the constituents of Google-ville have been left to wonder.  Will it be a major update with real-time search, Google TV, HTML5 or perhaps a curve ball from left field?

9:24 AM Currently the live feed has a repeating video that resembles the takeoff pattern from the Space Mountain at Disneyland.  Maybe this is a foreshadow to the launch of a fiber optic solution for Google TV.   It is wishful thinking as I could certainly use that service.

9:28 AM There was a lot to be said about the interesting Google logo patterns over the last few days.   Some have wondered if this is a clue that HTML 5 will play a major role in the ‘new’ Google.  Then again, it could be just a fanciful way to hearken that a major announcement is imminent.  I joke with coworkers that with the liquidity that Google has, they should buy an island and start a country.   It’s the most profitable endeavor on the grandest scale you could ever partake in.

9:30 AM It looks like we are just about to begin, the feed is working really hard to connect.  If you would like to also listen in you can catch the Google feed at http://www.youtube.com/google

9:33 AM I’ve just been sent a link by a cohort with a description of a product called ‘Google Instant’ which claims to substantially reduce the time it takes to perform a search.  I hope he didn’t just send me the end of the movie Pelican Brief right as I sat down with my popcorn.

9:38 AM We’re still awaiting the feed from Google, but in the meantime I’ve been picking at the Google Instant demo.  It certainly makes for a speedy retrieval of results.   The issue with reducing the speed of result retrieval maybe that consumers will be further trained to engage the organic listings rather than Paid.  I’m sure that Google has done it’s homework.

Google Editorial, SEO No Comments

Google Me This, Google Me That: Facebook vs Google, Should I bring a Bat?

It’s not Pacquiao vs Mayweather, but its the still the fight everyone is begging to see.

google facebook fight

For being the most dominant web heavyweight over the past ten years, few companies have as many resounding failures as Google.  With every success the company’s experimentation friendly environment (many engineers are given one day out of the work week to dedicate to individual development projects) has created have come equally brutal misfires.  This is the very reason behind the cautious skepticism regarding the explosive rumors that Google is once again making a push into social media..  But this time, allegedly, they mean it.  Rather than simply developing a social media side project a la Orkut of Buzz, word is that “Google Me” (a name that will surely change once Google actually acknowledges the project) is receiving engineering priority.

The hype for this struggle writes itself: One a grizzled veteran with title belts but its fair share of defeats.  The other a much hyped star coming off a improbable string of victories, and lately showing signs of weakness. But now that Google is apparently getting serious about this street fight with Facebook where will they draw the battle lines, and what can those outside of social media learn about positioning themselves on the web?  Will any holds be barred?

The immediate obstacle, one Google must be painfully aware of, is that people don’t just move social networks for quips and giggles.  Facebook is for your personal life.  LinkedIn for your professional.  Twitter is for trends and networking.  MySpace is for, in theory, Music and Movies.  Where exactly is Google expecting to fit in?  If we look at the decline of social media platforms past the reason for each exodus were pretty obvious.  Friendster: didn’t allow for the voyeurism/creeping anonymity people needed to really invest their time on other people’s profiles.  When users know who is viewing their page, shame leads to users that are less likely to explore others.  MySpace: users were given too much freedom regarding the layout of their pages leading to rampant lacks of continuity, site instability, and a generally seedy experience.  The MySpace experience quickly turned into the equivalent of clubbing in Tijuana during Spring Break. Although Facebook has a history of making seemingly unpopular updates to their policies and UI they seem to have in retrospect gone on a long streak of making all the right calls.  They have done this by both staying nimble to users needs while also knowing when to listen to their users needs.

If Facebook has a weakness right now it is obviously user privacy.  Nasty letters from the ACLU don’t usually make it on to most people’s refrigerators.  That said, privacy is probably the issue that Google is least trusted to deliver.  The issue of mobility between networks though is another area that Google could exploit. As Wired’s Ryan Singel suggested an approach that would allow users to “weave” their social network activity and data through open standards may be their gateway.  Think of HootSuite on steroids, lots of steroids.  The approach makes a lot of sense; rather than trying to approach from their weakness, they’d in theory approach from their strengths: integration.

One of the keys to Facebook’s early success was its use of previously existing, very strong networks as part of its launch.  By using universities they were able to immediately grab a very large body of computer using, young, upwardly mobile members.  Google will not have that advantage.  What they will have though is a large body of user information and a general web population who are familiar with what social media is.  For Google they have the tools to know where the networks exist, but will have to pool them together in a manner that feels as organic as possible.

The web has been absolutely abuzz with recommendations for Google Me.  Some have called for a near exact replication of Facebook. Others have warned against throwing all of Google’s others tools into the interface (Wave, Docs, etc…).  What may be the most difficult, yet also most important, operative goal is to just keep it simple.  Google’s recent projects have become so complex that they are difficult to even describe what they offer.  Its about time that Google got in touch with its inner start-up, to that simplicity that makes projects attractive to VCs.  If Google Me’s launch comes with a flurry of long winded and vague explanation videos it will surely fail. If it can be described clearly and succinctly in 30 seconds or less, it may just be a success.

Facebook Editorial, Google Editorial, Social Media No Comments

Google Caffeine: Another Piece In A More Complicated SEO Puzzle

googlecaffeien
Long anticipated and much hypothesized, Google Caffeine officially went live Tuesday evening.  While not an algorithmic change of the Mayday caliber, Caffeine offers significant changes to the user experience with claims that the engine now offers 50% fresher results.  Tweaks in search occur constantly and across all engines with varying SEO implications.  With Caffeine being Google’s most significant indexing change in years, dialog surrounding its impact has rapidly expanded over the past 72 hours.  This change does not come as a surprise to many industry professionals but can be seen as a crucial step in the major search infrastructure overhaul Google has been engaged in over the past year.
Early consensus maintains that Caffeine itself will have very little impact on SEO practices and results.  At its most basic level Caffeine is simply a more efficient crawl to index process in which indexes are updated closer to real-time from the moment they are crawled.  Yes, by itself faster indexing holds almost zero SEO implications, but this would be like saying lettuce has no impact on the experience of devouring a delicious BLT.  While Google’s Matt Cuts claims that the Mayday algorithmic change has nothing to do with Caffeine, it is important to note the impact these two independent updates (or ingredients) create when placed together.  One could consider the Mayday update as an engine modification for more specialized, high end performance and Caffeine as a significantly elevated octane fuel needed to power this engine modification to its highest potential.  As our own Ricardo Figueiredo describes, Caffeine is the means by which Google can effectively implement the changes in long-tail search brought on by the Mayday update.
As search gets faster and more efficient, in particular long-tail search, it naturally then magnifies the importance of every SEO practice.  Site load speed, meta title and tag descriptions, crawl rate, freshness of content– elements that in the past could have evaded the attention they deserve– now hold greater  weight.  In turn we should begin to see faster results from SEO campaigns, but these faster results only mean that maintaining campaigns and desired SERPs over the long term will be even more difficult.  A faster and more responsive search leads to significant complexities in keyword analysis and positioning as #1 rankings may have a higher propensity to change.  For many these changes have already created a notable impact over the past two months.  ”We are seeing a shift to where three or four word keywords are now the new generic keywords” Figueirdo notes.
longertail
For businesses looking to embark on an SEO campaign these changes increase the importance of selecting a team that not just stays on top of changes in search, but looks at them with enthusiasm and actively accepts the challenges brought on by an ever-changing landscape.  Faster search, real time indexing, and long-tail search efficiency mean that staying literally on top of the game now, more than ever, requires an SEO strategy that is dynamic and ongoing.  Short term pushes will see that short term shorten.  In the end Google’s evolving search still maintains the same goal of connecting users to their desired content quickly and efficiently, so it is important embrace these changes as a more effective means to connect consumers to vendors.  If anything Google’s recent changes will separate professionals who are serious about their craft from those who have just been pretending.
Google Editorial, SEO 3 Comments