Skip to content

Three Google Soundbites

Sometimes we need little soundbites to focus our conversations or get someone in our user or executive groups to think twice.
Soundbite number one:
Why would we follow the Google model on our website, portal or intranet? Google is very very successful at selling ads but that’s not the primary business of most libraries and librarians. We’re more interested in looking atm those sites that attract attention and users in the context of information, decisionmaking and learning. Sheesh – Yahoo! gets more hits than Google, over twice as many. They just aren’t as good at ad sales.
Soundbite Number two:
I heard of a neat study recently. If anyone knows the actual reference send me a comment.
Anyway, we heard this week that Google is the most powerful brandname in the world. Number one. How powerful is it? Well, someone put the Google identity on top of the search results from the other search engines (MSN, Yahoo!, Ask, etc.) and focus groups always preferred the Google results whether they were Google results or not! Hmmmm. So much for the informed end user!
I wonder what would happen if they saw better results diplays such as those in Exalead, Clusty, KatOO, etc. in a Google brand? Would they notice the improvement? Is the brand so strong that users have stopped thinking. Will we need Coke vs Pepsi taste tests to proive the differences?
Sound Bite Number 3:
Google finally passed One Billion dollars in profit for the last quarter! Hmmm – libraries don’t pay much of that but some deliver up their users. Are we being clear enough on the power to manipulate Google search results? No one is paying US$ Billions to be on page 100. When the Pew research showed that a very small minority of users went past the first page of hits or could even identify an ad on the results page, I worry. Sponsored Links!? Sponsors bring us NPR, PBS, Hallmark hall of Fame and the better content. Hmmm. The entire Search Engine Optimoization industry (SEO) is doing very well ensuring that their clients stuff shows up on the first pages of links in the search engines and in particular Google. So, how many libraries serve up their OPAC and database search results to special interest groups, politicans and advertisers to manipulate? Would we even been comfortable with white hat (vs back hat) SEO?\
Is everyone differentiating the library strateies from the ad based world of search? Are we teaching it to our users? What component is it in our marketing mix?
Just asking,

Posted on: April 26, 2007, 1:42 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Hi Stephen,
    The reference you’re looking for regarding Google being the most powerful brand name, is the Millward Brown TOP 100 most powerful brandz. You can see the report at this adress:

  2. michelle said

    Thank you for thinking critically about Google…it seems like practically everyone thinks and says that Google can do no wrong, Google is my best friend, etc. It is a handy tool, but it’s not the ultimate and only tool.

  3. Anthony Mcmullen said

    I think the “Google Brand” study you refer to in sound bite #2 is one conducted by Keynote Systems. I was unable to locate the study on the Keynote website, but do have a link to a page that refers to the study. Here it is: .
    I bookmarked it a while back and then promptly forgot about it…. Thanks for refreshing my memory. And thanks for all of you other interesting posts too!