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Blogger "Tip" in Google SERPs

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
12 years ago8,831 views

It looks like Google can't get Blogger.com to be position #1 in their SERPs when searching for blog-related queries (it's currently pointing to Wikipedia's entry on "Blog") so they've resorted to buying AdWords *and* including a "Tip" with the Blogger icon:


ruscoe.net/blog/uploads/google ...



<< Tip: Want to share your life online with a blog? Try Blogger >>

google.com/search?q=blog

Is that really necessary?

I was wondering whether why they don't just do that for everything – like Calendar, Reader, etc.

And guess what.

<< Tip: Want to organize your schedule and share events with friends? Try Google Calendar >>

google.com/search?q=calendar

That must be pretty new, as it wasn't there when we were discussing this post: blogoscoped.com/archive/2006-1 ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I've also noticed that earlier today. But one of these things is redundant: the ad, the tip.

Sankar Anand [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

oops Tony i just posted the same ........

[Edit – merged with this thread now ;-) – Tony]

Sankar Anand [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[Moved from "tips from google search" – Tony]

go to google.com and in the search box
type "site:sankaranand.com/blog"

you can see a google tip at the top of search results


dropfiles.net/filez/3343/gsear ...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

<< But one of these things is redundant: the ad, the tip. >>

Maybe they're tracking which one is most successful and will just stick to one of them?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Picasa should be next:
www.google.com/images/picasa_tip.gif

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Ionut, having read your post [*] it's obvious that I'm getting different results to you, probably based on my location, as Blogger.com doesn't come first. Perhaps that's why they're doing this?

[*] googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006 ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Blogger.com is #1 for [blogger] and #2 for [blog].

Stephen Tordoff [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #


img132.imageshack.us/img132/35 ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It's also funny that they show the tip for keywords that look like: xxxblogxxx. That includes bloglines, radioblog.

google.com/search?hl=en&lr ...

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Interestingly not for BLOG though.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

This works great when searching for competition :)

yahoo blogging tools
outlook calendar

etc.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Do you think it's fair to promote on the homepage a news service that hand-picks sources, a video service that searches through user-uploaded content (and not the web)?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I think we need to judge Google on their own standards... at least to begin with! And they don't claim "the Google homepage is the result of a democratic approach..." etc., that "fully automated non-editorial" stance. They just claim these things for search results.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Here's another (older, icon-less) tip, by the way:


blogoscoped.com/files/tip-look ...



"Tip: Looking for pictures? Try Google Images"

Razvan Antonescu [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

Is not "fair" if you think that Google should be neutral in this isuue. But if you see this from a business perspective than is more than fair to promote your services on your services. Yahoo does the same thing with their shortcurts.
Google is a business not a charity organization and for all the free services we all enjoy, someone pays the bills.
As simple as that :)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes Razvan, but to begin with, let's judge Google by their own standards... and they don't claim "Search results are not neutral because Google is a business not a charity organization and for all the free services you all enjoy, someone pays the bills"....

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Google will say:

"Come on. That isn't a search result. It's just a tip. From Google."

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

They might say that. I'd argue the headline reads "results", so whatever's between the two blue bar thingies and not disclaimed as anything else can be rightfully perceived as a "result". The ads are disclaimed as "sponsored links", which makes them something else (and rightfully people complain when ads aren't disclosed as such in search result). The tip is not disclaimed as "sponsored link" but "tip". But I call it "tipvertisement" because it's not a neutral tip. But you're definitely right, Google may say this.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu said:

<< Picasa should be next: >>

Yep. Try searching for [photo sharing] and you'll get it:

<< Tip: Want to share pictures? Try Google's Picasa Web Albums >>

google.com/search?q=photo+shar ...

It looks like they definitely are just adding wildcards to each side of their keywords too, as [xxxxphoto sharingxxxx] generates the same tip.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

For reference:


blogoscoped.com/files/google-p ...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I would much reather see the little Tip: oneboxes than get an email every other week about a new service or upgraded service like Yahoo does. Yahoo sends me spam email hyping their service but you don't see a lot of blogs complaining about that.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I hate it when Hotmail does that, and it's one reason why I'm happy to not be using it anymore – all the Microsoft spam! – and I also complain about it to everyone who asks me :)

By the way, Yahoo also has these "tips", they call them Yahoo Shortcuts. Example: you enter "blog" and Yahoo shows this above the organic results:

"Start a blog on Yahoo! 360 (Beta)
Yahoo! Shortcut – About"

The "start a blog" link leads to Yahoo 360 and the "about" link to here:
tools.search.yahoo.com/shortcu ...

But I won't judge Google by Yahoo's standards. Google entered the search world with a lot of promises back then. Here we check if they keep 'em as this blog's on Google. Yahoo is *a lot* more "sneaky" (and partly evil, especially with what they do in China). Now, if you ask who's more hypocrite, that's a different question...

Sohil [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yahoo does the same thing.

search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF ...

search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A ...

Danny Sullivan [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

I see nothing wrong with Google (or Yahoo or Microsoft etc) mentioning their own products on their own sites in this way. It's small, unintrusive and why not. It's their site. I don't interpret this as part of the regular web search results. They aren't seeming to tamper with those. If they'd just kill putting their products in the ads, I think that would level the playing field more for the advertisers.

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

As others have said, Google is a business. Although may of its customers (I'm including myself in this category) see the anti-evil aspect of Google as a primary draw, it is motivated by profit, not by altruistic good. That being said, kudos to Google for not tweaking their own domain's page ranks. Its not like they are rating their results higher; the tips are clearly delineated from the standard search results. The only thing which may confuse is the redundancy of the ad and the tip together.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Eytan, Microsoft was also motivated by business, but it turned out their business tactics were partly illegal, and that's when it backfires... business-wise. And then there's the issue of user trust in neutrality, which is *also* a big business bonus. I don't think Google is anywhere near that point yet where they're either a Microsoft-in-the-90s-kind-of monopoly, or losing user trust in big ways, but I'm just saying that's where cross-integration of near monopolies can get you... which is bad even when it's just about business.

Sergey Brin once told Playboy:
<<One thing that’s important to us is the distinction between advertising and pure search results. We make it clear when something is paid for. Our advertising is off to the side and in a couple of slots across the top. Ads are clearly marked. There’s a clear, large wall between the objective search results and the ads, which have commercial influence. Other search engines don’t necessarily distinguish. Beyond ads, with other search engines, payment affects the results. We think that’s a slippery slope. At Google, the search results cannot be bought or paid for.>>

Larry Page followed up by saying:
<<People use Google because they trust us.>>

google-watch.org/playboy.html

Whether or not these tips are actualy Google advertising itself I leave to everyone to decide on their own. But it's clear that Google's founders made a lot of high and mighty claims in the past which other search service founders didn't, and they will be held responsible for their words.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp, let's say you are Larry Page, you have a product called Picasa Web Albums, with a market share of 0.04%, and you want more users. What would you do?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I'm billionaire then, right? So I'd probably take a loong vacation first. :)
Seriously, I would:
- rename Picasa Web Albums to Google Pictures (or Google Photos)
- move it to pics.google.com
- make it possible to upload PNGs, BMP, TIFF, PCX, etc., which will all convert to JPG, PNG or GIF for display (but the original version will keep intact)
- put some unobtrusive AdSense in the application
- offer the option to have real password-protection/ invitation system for private pictures
- easily allow people to add a Creative Commons license to their pictures
- advertise on Flickr by buying Flickr ads (if Flickr allows this)
- advertise on blogs using the various ad networks/ AdWords-AdSense
- put a link to Google Pictures onto the Google homepage for a couple of days, to see how people react (the spot below the search box)
- potentially, put Google Pictures in the homepage's "more box"
- create a clearer navigation for Google Pics because the current one is partly confusing
- make it easier to understand what others visiting your URL will see; this is completely confusing right now
- add some killer features to Google Pics, like pattern matching search algos, that will draw many people to the site and increase word-of-mouth propaganda among tech-savvy people (who will then evangelize the not-so-savvy crowd)
- create a Google Pics-wide search engine for all photos, not just favorited albums
- allow much more storage; beat competition like Gmail storage beat competition when it was released
- create an online photo retouching tool using the latest technologies; integrate this with Google Pics
- additionally, buy Corel PhotoPaint, fix the bugs, and release it for free – and add an upload functionality to Google Pics
- integrate Hello functionality, kill Hello (but announce this in a blog post first giving transparent reasons)

In other words, I'd do what every other competitor with an image app will have to do to gain market share: improve the product. Only monopolies stop improving the product, which in the end, is bad for the user.

Would I advertise the product as a "tip" in search results? Only if that wouldn't go against what I previously told people. Only if that wouldn't go against core beliefs previously stated. Whether or not the current tip does that, again, everyone can make up their mind about. I consider it a tipvertisement, so it's neither a clear advertisement nor a clear tip.

or [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Hmm, Phillip, this is not new. Google has been giving random tips for their products since 2004. A common one that I used to see alot is Google Answers, but I also remember one's for Google Phone

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Here's what I'd do.

- Integration with Gmail. You can save photo attachments to Picasa Web and send photos from Picasa Web.

- Integration with Image Search. Everytime you perform a search, you can see search results from your photos / your contacts' photos.

- Move Picasa online. Photo editing, effects, collages.

- Create an extension for Firefox to upload photos faster.

- Upload / view photos on mobile phones.

- 5 GB space storage for free.

- Add NevenVision technology for object recognition, face recognition.

- Every photo you upload to Google in each and every service (Blogger,Docs) should also be saved in Picasa Web.

- Easy geo-tagging, integration with Google Maps.

- How to make money:
* backup CDs
* high-quality prints
* find people from your photos in other public photos

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I think Google are smarter in this sector than we think they are. They'll have this covered – whether it's an "all-in-one-take-over-the-world" package, or a more publicised version of the product, they'll get there eventually.

On the other hand, they might not be trying because they're scared.

Who knows... but I think we'll see some change once they get bored with Web Search.

Personally, I see "Google 2" as more of a product that will make us think "oh my god, so you actually had to type in what you wanted?!" (a product that automatically recognises what you think). That would be a lot more interesting than a Google 2 that did "photos, tagging, shiny logos and stuff".

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

check this one out..
(i know its a bit off topic.. but ill post it anyway..)

when you search for "search" on Google you get:
google.com/search?q=search& ...

MSN Search before Google Search? on Google?
now thats realllyyy weird!

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Not that weird. MSN Search site contains "search" in the title, URL and the name of the product. Google doesn't.

Tim [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

No, it's kinda wierd. Or at least as wierd as doing the same thing at MSN. Go to search.live.com (MSN Search), and type "search". Google comes up three times on the first page. MSN Search does not come up at all.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"- Add NevenVision technology for object recognition, face recognition."
>> the best one ;-)
I'm sure they are working on that

Bertil [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I don't think the "search" result are weird. Actually, from here I get search.ch, a Swiss service first: it has the name in the URL, but in a more proeminent position. This pleads in favor of Google, I'd say.

I think we can all argue that the "Tip:" has to be in a place clearly distinct from the search results to all users, particurlarly the (numerous) most challenged users (e. g. above the blue line) as it is a different service.

Given the intensity of Google User-interface team, I'd say this will stay only if panel considers it optimal. Question is: optimal for Clickthrough-rate or users?

Sankar Anand [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

here what i will do ,

i will sell to ionut and philip so that they can do whatever they want... :-)

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

the " Try Blogger " suggestion also woks for Blogoscoped ;
google.com/search?q=blogoscope ...

he he :)

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Forget 5 GB of storage for free. That sucks. Yahoo Photos give unlimited. Flickr give unlimited for $25 a year. I want Google to give unlimited for free. The current storage amount sucks.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google dropped the AdWords ads for Blogger and Calendar. Interesting.

google.com/search?q=blog&g ...
google.com/search?q=calendar&a ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Google dropped the AdWords ads
> for Blogger and Calendar.

Why pay if you can get it for free? :)

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

<< Blake Ross the man whose scratched itch became the Firefox browser explains on his blog why he has a problem with Google's policy of promoting their own products over competitors' in search results. His main gripe is that the tips (e.g. "Want to share pictures? Try Google Picasa") result in an inability for other products (perhaps even Parakey?) to compete for the top slot on Google. >>

yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?si ...

[ Moved from "Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google"]

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

No more tips!

google.com/search?q=blog

Garett Rogers [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I personally didn't have a problem with the tips – but it would have been better if they only displayed the tips for very relevant searches – for example "free blogging service" rather than simply the word "blog" anywhere in a search string.

If they *know* I'm looking for something they offer, I don't have a problem with them doing some cross promotion.

John Honeck [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

According to Matt Cutts, they are going to be all gone soon, just have to wait for the data push, I hope it's not a bad-data-push. :)

blakeross.com/2007/01/03/googl ...

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