Category Archives: Search Engines

Google’s Chrome Web Store is really happening!

In the US, the worlds biggest Search Engine have taken the step (outside the mobile platform) to start selling applications. And not just any applications, web browser applications (apps)! Throught the newly opened  Google Chrome Web Store you have the ability to purchase web browser apps. At the moment its only available for in the US territory. People with mobile phones or other devices running Google’s own operating system Android have had access to apps before. But this is a new direction, but in line with their plan for their upcoming PC operating system to compete with Windows.

And among the first publishers to release games on the Web Store we find Electronic Arts, Zynga, Digital Chocolate, Jagex, Spryfox, Bigpoint and Namco. They will inially start with just over 200 games. But most of those partners are probably already signed thanks to the help of the Android Marketplace for Andriod Mobile decides. Here Google have sort of taken the position were Mircosoft could have been, having the dominant Mobile OS for none-Apple mobile phones. Microsoft’s answer is the new Windows Moblie 7, but the question is if it will be dead on arrival.

It will be interesting to see the potential of the games and other applications they will release going forward. Will it be yet another platform for games, similar to GamersGate and our competitors? It seems Googles focusing more on building platforms and offer services than its core business, search. Well, its all business right to expand and develop its portfolio. And looking at the success of both Apple’s iTunes and digital distribution stores for PC/Mac games, this is a very lucrative market. Owning the distribution channel and the customer. And customers, or rather users is key for Google. Knowing as much as possible to display better directed Ads, which generate more revenue. So taking the step into distribution is something else from their core business. But hey, its Google! Would could they possible fail? Oh wait… Google Wave. But stop! They still rethinking that project.

Then we have Apple, which is its own success story! Not only do they own and control their own distribution platform (iTunes), they are also hardware manufactures. So the Apps build for Apple product will ONLY work on Apple product. One manufacture, one platform. But its still it makes millions both for Apple and its third-party developer. And they have their own web browser as well! Wouldn’t surprise if they start selling Web browser Apps as well, through iTunes of cause.

They are truly trying to take over the internet, and at the moment they are also battling Facebook for the time, attention and clicks from the worlds billions web users. Facebook have done what Google did to Microsoft, “steeling” good workers/programmers. And to lock-in users as much as possible. Which is really good from a business perspective but not away’s from a customers/user perspective. For exmple this is happening in the PC/Mac games industry at the moment with our biggest competitor, Steam. They are locking in customers in their service and make developers and publishers reliant of them. Will write another post on this later.

But the battle of the web giant is about to begin.

Chrome Web Store

Google Chrome Web Store

Google help the fight against Piracy

One of the two biggest websites online (the ohter being Facebook), Google have joined the fight against piracy. With tons of torrent and other piracy sites, they will of cause be listed in Google. This will probably be (as with most businesses online) the main source of new customers/users. And if you cut this source of new user, you might hit the pirates just right. So Google now works at making it easier for content and copy rights owners  to “delist” piracy sites.  This will probably quite a mighty blow toward the pirates. But at the same time you could question the sort of Openness philosophy Google have about listing everything online.  The power of Google on the internet is needed to be discussed in details. So who better to make it harder than those guys? It will be interesting to follow up and see if it have made an effect.

But you can divide piracy into two categories, content ripping and distribution. Pirate Bay for example is only a distribution network enabling content rippers ( the ones who get hold of content to distribute). They don’t host or hold any files. Both categories are equally problems, but they enable each other. A simple concept. You have to have good content to attract more customers/users, but at the same time massive amounts of customers/users make it attractive to distribute into. You have to kill both content ripping and distribution to really crash piracy. Googles action will limit sending new users to the torrent/piracy sites. Not prevent the content from being ripped. But its a step in the right direction.

More details about the new changes go to the Google Public Policy Blog.

Now they compain!

First up, I’m definitely against monopoles (not the game 🙂 ), regardless of market and industry. Competition is important not just to push companies to develop their products and services, but its equally important with at healthy price control and work protection. And when we talk work protection I mean legislation to prohibit companies to fire people uncontrollably. I’m in the middle of reading the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein which may explain my view on the corporate world at this moment.

Google Yahoo Logos

Google Yahoo Logos

But usually their is always one company or actor who is the leader in one market. Apple on Mp3 player, Amazon for online shopping, Facebook on Social networks, and Google in Search! Yahoo! have long been in second place after Google, and Microsoft who missed out on the whole search business have recently tried to obtain Yahoo, and failed. Instead Yahoo! and Google have decided to work together. The deal basic meaning is that Googles search ads will be displayed on the Yahoo site, and probably their content network. The sum of this would mean that Google and Yahoo! “control” much of the Search ads network on the web.

This have sparkled some strong reactions from big companies, ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and the United States. Especially from the ANA who believe the deal will:

“likely diminish competition, increase concentration of market power, limit choices currently available and potentially raise prices to advertisers for high-quality, affordable search advertising.”

Undoubtedly this question have stirred up a thing or two. Like I said, I’m against monopoles, but those companies complaining should just shut up! If they could or were in the same situation they probably would have done the same decision. They just wish they were the ones to totally dominate the market and be the biggest. Every company have that function, to work towards being the biggest, gain more market shares and constantly increase profit. And now they complain when two actors join forces and dominate one market. Hell, if Wal-mart could dominate one market they wouldn’t complain!? Theres so much fucking hypocrisy from big multinational companies. And from my view, Google is one of the few “nice” companies out there. My faith in big companies is very limited, next to zero. I’m not afraid of Terrorist, I’m afraid of corrupted corporations and their evil peoples in suits!!

YouTube Preview Image

Please, take it easy with Flash!

There are endless things in the web which spawns moment of vexation for me. And for other people too. Annoying ads & banners, non-logical site structure and when sound clips begins to play in the background without the option to stop or mute. If your working with Search Engine Opimazation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), like me, one of the badguys sites often choose to use is Flash. Also for the web experience it can be a pain in the ass.

Flash ErrorDuring my university time me and my fellow classmates not only worked with Flash, but also liked the new technology. It opened up possebilites for “cooler” websites with better graphics and other nice features. One of our courses were focused on Usability, and we here learned to think more about the visitor, how to build a logical structured web hierarchy and use standard HTML texts and links. We students didn’t appreciate the usability philosophy. “It didn’t mentioned or favoured new cool technology and web designs!”.  What did I really know back then?

Yes, Flash can be cool and enhance the web experience, in some cases… Now to one of the most annyoing things online… Flash applications which make my browser crash and force me to shut down all of my browser windows. Especially when the Flash object is a Ad, beside the news I was about to read!!! Which tie in with my annoyance for Ads all together. Regular Ads, and especially Flash Ads slow down the loading time. For people with slow connection this can be a problem.

Not only the load time is affected. From a SEO standpoint Flash cause problems as well. The search engines can’t index flash files, so if a site is totally done in Flash, there will be problems if they want to appear in Google for example. But it looks like the companies behind the technology (first Micromedia and now Adobe) are working to fix the problem, to enable Flash files/sites to be indexed.

Still, nothing wrong with Flash. It made it easier to view videos, play games and other great features. But Don’t fill a site intented for say simple news reporting with so much Flash elements I destroys the user experience.

Will Google reshape the old TV ad-model?

I recently heard about Google Tv. I read about it and watch their introduction video how it works, and basically its Adwords, but for videos instead of text ads. The business model which copy their text-ads have been proven a success and to work well. I’ve been a fan of this model sense I learned about the concept. The users have the power and decide how relevant an ad is.

Now they mirror this concept to the TV medium, and I’m looking forward to follow if this will change the traditional tv-ad model.