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« On Barrons' Analysis of Google $500 | Main | Yahoo Shake-Up Good News; Decker Can Handle It »

November 29, 2006

Comments

Ryan

I don't know about what ultimately caused Google Answers to bomb. However, I think you might be right about the link on the homepage thing. I am an avid user of Yahoo Finance - and find it difficult to switch. I did add the Google Toolbar to IE, and I included the button for Google Finance. Since doing that, I do find myself heading to the site more often. If Google would include links for such services right on it's homepage I (and I am sure others) would drop Yahoo! and make Google my homepage. However, there is no need for me to do that since currently, Yahoo! has links right on the front page for me to navigate to immediately. I personally don't want to take the time to "search" for immediate consumable things like finance, real estate, etc... Until they do this, my homepage will stay Yahoo and if I remember to, I will search using the Google Toolbar - but that is new to me, and I am not sure how many folks do their searching with that???

fCh

I'm not sure what's what here, but isn't there a way you could build a customized Google page that's going to take you wherever you like? I am strongly of the opinion that Google.com should stay as clean as possible thus making it part of its long term brand strategy. On the other hand, from a usability perspective, yes they need to make it extremely easy for people to aggregate/personalize their Google experience--or suggest some layouts based on the user's activity.

Brin is clever when he says that "you will have to essentially search for our products before you can even use them." Being involved in several web-publishing projects myself, I can highly appreciate the ideas visitors indirectly lead you to by their searches.

Still Inside

They probably did the analysis and found that anything that distracts the user from the search engine causes them to lose money. Remember that those links might carry the user AWAY from those money-making paid search ads.

Just a guess. It could also be that they think it's ugly. Who is in charge there will depend on how the quarter is going.

SI

Josh

Sometimes it seems like the people that leave comments @ this blog don't use the internet!? Google has links to all their products...if u setup your Google personalized homepage. U can setup links to yahoo or google finance...

Neal S. Lachman

Josh,

You may be right about personalization, but 99% of all internet users are not that net-savvy to personalize stuff, and even if they are, they maybe do not want to. It is a matter of convenience. Don't we all remember the importance of "one-click" options on internet sites? That goes for e-commerce as well as for content sites.

Google homepage must be one of the most desired places of "Internet real estate". To keep this clean is part of their image, no matter how arrogant or wasteful it seems like. Hyperlinking would be a great optimization of this "real estate" but most likely GOOG corporate thinks it can and/or has to keep it this way. They may be rethinking this when/if their shares tank, but for now there is little to worry about for them.

To speak of this "clean" homepage... it reminds me of the headoffice built by J.P. Morgan in the most desirable piece of Manhattan. While it was the most expensive corner, and while it was surrounded by very tall buildings, JP Morgan chose to keep it just a few stories high. It was a touch of arrogance, but for him it basically to show that J.P. Morgan can afford to do it. It was a display of power and attitude.

I think GOOG should keep its homepage clean except to add one link or a tab "Google world" or "Google Portal" - their answer to Yahoo as a webportal.

Graham

This is a problem easily solved by software:

1, keep track of the features people use (they already do this);
2, always show them links to the features they regularly use;
3, randomly offer them links to some of the features they've not used recently;
4, always offer them new links as they are generated; and,
5, allow them to remove links they don't want.

It's a simple UI configuration problem and the most of the processing can be done on the client so it's cheap and fast to do. This could be done in a way that is subtle and doesn't clutter the front page, if they could bother.

Having said that, I no longer use Google because the searches suck, meaning that searches almost always seem to lead to retailers and not to information. (Type in "prostate cancer" and get links like "Looking for prostate cancer? Find exactly what you want today. www.ebay.com").

John M.

Why is it this blog only talks about Google? Sweet mercy, there are hundreds of other tech companies worth mention. This blog should be called Google Outsider, because you have ignored the rest of the internet.

pwb

Uhhmm...the "More" link??

Google Answers and Yahoo Answers are totally different. Yahoo went for high volume, low quality. Google went for lower volume, higher quality *AND*, questioners *pay* answerers.

shinkdew

Don't they make money by having people search "Finance" and then clicking on Google? They would lose the money from the three sponsored links on the right of the search results if they put links to Finance on the home page. Oddly enough when I search "finance", Yahoo Finance is the first result.

Josh

Yahoo Finance should be the # 1 hit when searching for finance, but Google actually shouldn't be 2nd...there are serveral other finance sites that are more well known and linked to more frequently. I am not saying Google Finance is bad, I like it, but it shouldn't be the #2 hit when searching for Finance. Looks like Google is messing around with their results.

Bringing up another point that Shinkdew made...isn't funny that somehow Google has convinced companies to pay for advertising under a key word even when the company is the number one hit without it. Try typing in pontiac. So ridiculous. Anything that ridiculous surely has to come to an end...

Jason Grant

Haha!

I love the way you say Google should change their homepage to look like Yahoo.

Look at Google's success and look at Yahoo's essential waste of time approach to things (the share price tells its own story).

I think that Google could perhaps do with an odd extra link here and there, but Yahoo is way too 'over-junked'.

Google's approach to things is that 'if you need it you will have it presented to yourself' and it works - a bit like magic really.

Search is at the very core of what Google does, so soon you will probably be seeing Google bring out a whole load of stuff in their search results page - you might even have less links on the very home page, but rather find yourself being able to type in a search term and get back: books, links, images, news, etc. etc. - so your end result will be instant access to any number of customised homepages in a second!

Game over.

Thanks,

Jason Grant
www.flexewebs.com

walt

I don't have any probem saying it: google finance sucks. Might be why no one uses it! Ya think!!!!

"Game over."

It's far from over, bud. Google may dominate search, but clearly they aren't even a player in content. Google Finance is prime example. Google brings nothing to the content table. Google actually sends you to other content providers. Save time, skip a step and go directly to content providers. No one wants to paw through link after link in the hopes of finding what they are looking for.
I appreciate maximum content per page including max links. Go to MarketWatch to view little content value on the home page. Do they really think users will randomly dig through links just to find out what content there may or may be?
The Wall Street Journal puts their entire daily linked content of the journal on their home page. That's is how it should be.

Flippy

As "pwb" said, Google Finance can be found by going to the "More" link off the homepage. I'm one of those who prefers the tidy emptiness of the Google homepage. I use Yahoo for fantasy football and when I accidentally stumble onto their homepage, it hurts me, all that stuff thrown at my eyes. I don't know if I'm in the minority or the majority though.

Piyush Pant

Typical one sided opinion masquerading as reasoned analysis. Why should Google have links to Google Finance on its home page ? Whats the evidence it would improve its business ?

Google is a search company at its core and the focus is on a basic, clean and light homepage that gets people to their search results ASAP. Stuff like Google finance ( and others) are peripheral experiments that may or may not come off long term. It's just common sense for Google to focus on what makes them different in search rather than doing the duh-worthily obvious in plastering all sorts of links over their home page.

It's not as if this is a groundbreakingly original piece of insight that no one on google has ever thought of. It just doesn't make sense from them to do. Their core search product is based on efficiency, lack of bias ( thats why google finance appears where it does on their search result rankings) and speed. That's what makes them the most profitable company in the space ( by an order of magnitude). And you are suggesting they start messing with it to showcase some peripheral products that have no current business prospects ? It's crazy.

Moses

This discussion is meaningless. Google's methodology is to rigorously test proposed improvements in design / layout and measure their effects on search volume and CTR. I would be willing to bet that they have placed links on the homepage in very limited tests in order to gauge whether these have the potential to increase revenue and found that they do not.

Andy

Yahoo focus is stay on the top as a media company. Google's current mission is to organize the world data as a tech company. Google will have to totally change their approach if they would like to move from their search engine to a portal.

TallTroll

>> Why is it this blog only talks about Google?

What the hell else is there to talk about? Yahoo is shedding executives, and if Tim Mayer walks, they may as well just shut down the search function. MSN is pitiful, and has share almost solely due to the IE tie-in. Ask have never been marketed correctly. Whether the "AskCity" thing works or not remains to be seen, but IAC still don't have a clue (note to IAC execs - you could just about rule the WWW. You have the only collection of web based property capable of touching Google. Shame you aren't doing anything with it)

For the moment, Google are just about the only people doing anything WORTH talking about

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