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Will Context Fell Google?

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#1 iamlost


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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

I was reminded today how long I've been deliberately working to get my traffic eggs out of one basket - in my case that was the SE basket, as I had already been years at nurturing multiple SE traffic streams. I had the 'revelation' courtesy of a SERoundtable article Local Search Marketing Tactics by Kim (aka cre8pc), 05-December-2006.
Note: This also was the catalyst that got me out of lurking and registering here. :)

The article is about a 2006 SES session titled Local Search Marketing Tactics. Given my generalist evergreen content business model local search space discussion might not be seen as anything but a potential obstacle :) however, I had an extrapolation experience caused by:

...Local search has birthed the savvy local consumer. We use LS to compare and contrast. Its changing our consumption patterns. Approx 30% of all queries are LS. 90% of Internet conversions take place offline. 70 % local consumers use the Internet to find products online. The implications are far reaching. Search online to buy offline, locally. Internet mimics our normal behavior. We try to make life easier this way. Marketing dollars follow eyeballs.

Need to think beyond traditional seo like landing pages. 'There is no single landing page for a business anymore. It's not about a website. It's about business information online. It's a different way of thinking. We must cleanse, enrich and optimize content. Think: Atomization - separate and spread.
Social marketing gathers it too and that searched. This has nothing to do with your website.It has everything to do with controlling and enhancing the existing and new data put out about your or your clients business.

There is no single landing page for a business anymore. It's not about a website. It's about business information online. It's a different way of thinking. We must cleanse, enrich and optimize content. Think: Atomization - separate and spread.
---Justin Sanger

On the basis of the above I reviewed my entire business plan including: site architecture, traffic acquisition efforts, direct advertising content and marketing, etc. And it initiated my research into:
* 'a user-centred theory of the
built environment' to borrow Jacqueline Vischer's 2008 paper title and her stressors of the physical environment and the social context at a given time.
* 'the design, theory, and analysis of persuasive technologies, an area called captology.' as formulated by BJ Fogg and promulgated by DCrx - an unexpected benefit from joining Cre8 :)
The above were instrumental, though not alone, in bringing me to better appreciate and leverage progressive enhancement, elastic design -> responsive design, future ready content et al.

I believe the defining word of the coming decade for the web is context: context of the user, context of the available information, context of the delivery structure... one size fits all is on it's way out. I believe that the Luddites holding back the spreading power of context are the Search Engines, especially Google: thou shalt not deliver unto him other than what you deliver unto GoogleBot... Sorry, but that is not the future of information delivery.

#2 glyn


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

The context for your post is insanity.




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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

When I go to google and search for something I don't know what context they are going to toss back at me.... and they don't inform me of the context.

I think its kind of arrogant of them.

<sergeant voice>We are serving you chocolate crap and you are going to like it!</sergeant voice>

Their SERPs could be tainted by my location, my previous queries, people in my circles, hot stuff in the news, or a blend of these things and more.

The problem... google assumes the context.

They don't have a freeking idea of what I am searching for or even my butt is the one in the chair at this moment.

I would like to see the google search engines have an options bar across the top that is based upon context.

They have an options bar across the top now but it is "google product centered" rather than context centered.

I want a bar up there that has options like these.... Info sites..... biz sites (all, brands, boutiques, near me dropdowns)..... recent (24 hour, this week, this month, this year dropdowns)..... .gov...... .edu..... images..... in the news..... bloggers.... friends..... Vanilla.... EGOL

I would use "vanilla" most of the time.... but I would all of the others depending upon my needs.

I think that google has "lost it"... they are too assuming.... they have too much of a "google product" focus.... they have become too arrogant....

"Don't be arrogant" should be the new google slogan.

Edited by EGOL, 10 May 2012 - 11:28 AM.

#4 iamlost


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:26 AM

glyn: to reiterate: iamlost not iaminsane. The line may be fine, even quantum in nature, but it does exist. I think. There for iam.

I should like to share a serendipitous article that makes a similar point: What's HBO Go's Problem? by Gabriel Rossman, The Atlantic, 09-May-2012. While the specifics are contempoary the problem is but history repeating itself complete with explanation.
Note: that he uses an oatmeal cartoon for lede illustrative purposes is just icing on the cake. :)

This cartoon is probably the best ever expression of the "piracy is a customer service issue" thesis.


Basically, economic theory (and some reasonable assumptions about the structure of demand) suggests that an a la carte video market could not make as much money as a bundled video market.

So, that's why the cable companies don't want you to buy a la carte HBO Go, but why is that HBO's problem? Let's contrast it with the NFL. The NFL offers standalone access because the credible threat of a streaming business model gives them more leverage to negotiate with the MSOs. In contrast, HBO doesn't want leverage because most of its sister companies are part of the basic cable ecosystem.


Time Warner more or less acknowledges in their investor report that disruptive innovation could screw them: "Furthermore, advances in technology or changes in competitors' product and service offerings may require the Company to make additional research and development expenditures or offer products or services in a digital format without charge or at a lower price than offered in other formats." This is on the first page of the "risk factors" section of the report, whereas piracy doesn't come up until the third.


Most people were still buying CDs when the record labels agreed to a legal digital singles market that would eventually destroy the CD market. They did so in order to transition consumers to a new model before most of us had fully committed to piracy. It's a lot easier to get someone to buy singles for $1 if they're used to buying CDs for $15 than if they're used to pirating singles for nothing.

Now, my (ideas are for everyone :)) concept of contextual information delivery is not identical to the above but the a la carte disruption potential is quite similar.

I have one site that already has almost half the content blocked from SEs and I'm going to use it to test some hypotheses - will be interesting to see how the SEs, especially Google, react. Everything will remain accessible and available and reachable to (human) visitors but what is initially delivered will be dynamically decided based on a number of contextual variables.

Should be fun. :)

#5 jonbey


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:57 PM

Yeah, I had this with a search only yesterday. I was looking up something, probably sheds, and I thought to myself "am I seeing these results because I have been looking at shed websites for the last 3 weeks, or are they really the best ones Google can offer?".
Very annoying.

This is what you are talking about isn't it?

#6 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:02 PM

As usual, we are never real sure what iamlost is talking about. I know I am lost. :)

Here's my guess - probably wrong: Ubiquitous information retrieval...it's everywhere and wherever we are and need it to be. We won't go to a search engine. We won't necessarily even get info from a site. We'll have the ability to find info wherever we are, on whatever device we have on hand, and from whatever source has the info (which may not be a website). We'll get all this info we need "in context" - sorta like local results are "in context" to where we are at the moment. But this "in context" info will go far beyond place. So, yeah, jon, in a way, you're right. The info Google has been giving you was "in context" to what you've been interested in lately. But I assume iamlost is referring to a much bigger picture. I'm probably assuming incorrectly, however. :)

#7 bobbb


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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:56 AM

am I seeing these results because I have been looking at shed websites for the last 3 weeks, or are they really the best ones Google can offer?

Delete your G cookies and history. Prevent them from following you (as much as you can).

"Don't be arrogant" should be the new google slogan.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely... John Dalberg-Acton

In this case "power" is the monopoly of the ONE that possesses too much information about everything and everyone. Maybe they have become too arrogant to realise they are arrogant.

Edited by bobbb, 11 May 2012 - 11:17 AM.

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