Google Glass Revolution

I have to admit that I finally saw this promo video today, but it now appears that Google Glass will cost less than $1,500, so expect to see these things everywhere. It’s a pretty fair price for what looks like a revolutionary gadget. I think Steve Jobs would be proud, and of course pissed that Apple didn’t come up with this.

Google shares plunge on earnings miss

Google shares got rocked today when poor earnings numbers were prematurely released. Trading had to be halted but the bloodbath would have happened regardless, though many investors were caught off guard of course.

I have no idea why Google missed earnings numbers, but I can say that they need a serious lesson in customer service. Google has treated its Adsense partners with contempt, and if Microsoft wasn’t incompetent, Google would be losing even more business.

Google+ still has work to do

I went to my Google Plus account today and noticed that they’ve made some changes to the layout. I haven’t explored all the new functions yet, but the service still has serious problems regarding how users post links. It’s still not as user friendly as Facebook, where you can edit the photo that appears and edit the text as well. Google+ still seems archaic in that area, and it’s another reason why it’s lagging so much in popularity.

Google keeps getting worse

Has Google Search been going downhill? That’s the argument in this article on TPM.

Google’s flaws lead to Huffington’s huge payday and Demand Media’s IPO

The Huffington Post sold for $315 to AOL this week, and Demand Media recently completed an IPO. In many ways, these events validate the strategy of gaming the system. Google is a beast that can be gamed, and both these operations did it very well.

HuffPo is notorious for hysterical headlines and their lefty slant, but they were also very well organized and filled a void in the marketplace. In many ways they deserve their success. But, a big part of their success has to do with gaming Google’s search results. Their editors find interesting stories, do a post on it with a link back, but HuffPo usually gets all the search traffic. The other sites usually don’t complain, because links from HuffPo provide really good traffic as well.

Demand Media also fills a void, as they use their own algorithm to find potential search results that need to be filled with content. Then they pay know-nothing writers (well, I guess some of them know what they are writing about) to create a short article covering the topic. AOL is even trying to copy the strategy. Many now refer to sites like Demand Media as content mills, and Google might be addressing the issue, but Demand Media has already scored their IPO and Google’s search results are littered with lame content at the top.

Gaming the system pays.

Google and the content farms

A recent blog post from Google discusses renewed efforts to take on spam in the search results, but also goes on to say that Google will try to address the issue of content farms.

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content. We take pride in Google search and strive to make each and every search perfect. The fact is that we’re not perfect, and combined with users’ skyrocketing expectations of Google, these imperfections get magnified in perception. However, we can and should do better.

The issue of content farms has been in the news even more lately as Demand Media expands its growth and tries to complete an IPO. There are scores of articles covering the strategy, and you can start with this article on TechCrunch from Ashkan Karbasfrooshan from WatchMojo.com as he addresses the quality and cost issues of online content. We also addressed the issue back in 2009 when we addressed AOL’s strategy to emulate Demand Media.

Hopefully, Google is serious about this. There’s no reason a short article on a subject written by an unknown teenager for $10 should be #1 in Google ranking just because it’s posted on a URL owned by AOL or Demand Media.

Why Groupon balked

I thought the folks at Groupon were nuts to turn down Google’s offer of $6 billion, but Henry Blodget explains why. The article makes sense and it was frankly an eye-opener.

Google vs. Facebook

The battle between Google and Facebook is heating up. Google is working on “Google Me” – a social network alternative to Facebook. This article explains some of the perceived threats. It really boils down to a battle between two of the biggest titans on the web, and the decisions of these two companies will have huge implications on how we use it going forward.

Google has already had a dud with Google Buzz, and it seems clear that they don’t understand the concept of social networking. They understand math and algorithms, but they seem to have little understanding of how humans interact with one another. They seem to avoid human input at all costs, always trying to solve problems with an algorithm.

We’ve seen this with some of the heavy-handed tactics used by Google with users of services like Google Adsense. If Google perceives a problem with an account, that account is shut down automatically, and the user is forced to endure a bureaucratic as they implore Google to restore their account.

If Google wants to compete in the social network space, they will need a team that understands this very different environment.

Meanwhile, Facebook is reportedly on “lockdown” as Zuckerberg rallies his team to deal with the coming threat.

Google will phase out Windows

The Financial Times is reporting that Google is phasing out Windows from Microsoft due to security concerns. Of course it’s not lost on all of us that this can be seen as a significant blow to Google’s biggest competitor.

That said, Windows has had significant problems for years, though it remains a cash cow for Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how many more companies follow suit.

Google search tips

I found some good tips on this list. Get more Google search tips here and here.

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