Last month I published a small post about the launch of Google instant and the possible effects it might have for paid search. But yesterday I read an amazing article by Danny Sullivan of Search Engineland about some bizarre results that Google presents to people on via it’s Images search function.
If you are of a delicate disposition or easily offended, PLEASE stop reading now!
I’ve added my screen grabs so that you can see he didn’t make this up. But try it yourself!
If you type ‘G’ into Google Images the top suggested search results are:
girls without dress
girls breast feeding each other
And another step through the alphabet to ‘H’ produces these results:
So images of girls, girls without dresses and hot girls top the lists for Google Image search.
Of course, we shouldn’t really be surprised by this. And Danny Sullivan gives some expert insight into how users can change their settings to protect themselves and others from these results. That’s not the purpose of this post.
The point of this article, (apart from being astonished at these results) is that it serves as a warning to businesses generally against over automating its processes.
OK, so this is an extreme example, I’m not suggesting Google employ millions of people to tailor search results for its users; its algorithms stand by each of us every day with no complaints whatsoever. But for those of you who have an FAQ’s section on your website, or a CRM system with 4 options – none of which answer my question – beware! What people really crave when interacting with a company or organisation is a human reaction and the bar has been raised!
Fall beneath this bar at your peril.
This week Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be joining forces with Bing, by adding a ‘Bing Social’ search facility providing links to topics being discussed on Facebook.
This new collaboration with Microsoft puts Facebook in further competition with online search giant Google Inc. But Zuckerberg called Microsoft, the “underdog” in search.
“I couldn’t think of anyone better to work with on the next generation of search,” Zuckerberg said.
So recommendations for restaurants or movies will now appear as a result of Facebook discussions and ‘social search’ will be a powerful element in making word of mouth truly the greatest channel that marketers will need to address.
But the adage “You are what Google (or Bing in this case) says you are” will be never more true!
So be careful when updating your status. If you wouldn’t say it to your Granny, then it’s probably best not to say it – it will be there forever!
For as the even truer adage goes, “You can’t take pi$$ out of a swimming pool!”
Here’s a fascinating article by Tom Foremski on Google’s own eye tracking results from trials of its new ‘Google Instant’ search product.
Essentially, after just a couple of characters are entered, some suggested results are presented. The overall aim is to shorten the time people have to search for the sites they want. A glorified and more intelligent ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button.
Unsurprisingly, the results suggest that very little of the ‘heat’ generated by eye movements went to the traditional paid search ads on the right hand side of the page while automated suggestions are presented to the viewer.
With two thirds of it’s overall revenue generated by these ads, what will be the implications of people spending less time seeing and clicking these ads in the future?
Are Google prepared to kill the goose that laid the golden egg?
Or do they have plans to replace this revenue through other paid search models up their sleeves?