This week we are going to be exhibiting at shop.org First Look in Gaylord Palms resort, Orlando, Florida. If you’d like to meet us in person we would love to see you.
I’m not happy with Yahoo. This morning Yahoo Messenger asked me if I would like to upgrade. I agreed because the old version used to crash lots. As part of the upgrade it installed the Yahoo toolbar, changed my homepage to Yahoo and changed the default search on IE7 to Yahoo. At no stage was I asked if I would like any of this. Now I’m angry at Yahoo.
I would expect this type of aggressive behavior from some dodgy screen saver software but not from a trusted company like Yahoo. The tactic will probably work and Yahoo will probably see a small bump in the number of searches it serves. However I hope this doesn’t lower the whole playing field so anytime we install anything from Microsoft or Google they change our defaults without asking us.
I noticed that Google are experimenting more with related search and someone had spotted an ad where MSN was touting their related search (sorry, I can’t find the link to this). This is good for users and for the search engine’s bank balance.
It’s good for the users because related search is useful and really easy to use. They help people form longer, more refined queries and the net result is that people are more likely to find what they are looking for. I’m pleased to see that Google’s related searches are not necessarily lexically related. For example they suggest crafts for hobbies. This is in contrast to Yahoo’s related searches (labelled “Also Try”) – which are lame because they always contain the original search term. Google’s related searches look less lame than Yahoo’s. I’m not one of the random users that is seeing them – so I haven’t had a chance to test them out yet.
It’s good to show the related searches at the bottom of the page. If a user reaches the bottom of the page then the search results haven’t satisfied them and the related searches provide an easy way to try and find some more relevant results. We do this on all of our site searches. However related searches are so useful they should also be somewhere at the top of the page. Either above the search results (like Yahoo) or at the side (like Ask). I think right at the top is best.
Related searches will help Google’s bank balance because related searches help people find what they are looking for – be it organic or paid results. Search Engines who use our related search have reported 10-15% jump in revenue from paid search. This is one of those nice situations where you improve the user experience and it helps the bottom line.
The Google jet was reported to have been in New Zealand over the holidays. First they thought it was Larry and Sergey, now they think it was Eric Schmidt. The day after the story first appeared a reporter rang my brother, Grant and asked if they were in the country to buy Eurekster and if he could confirm that the Google founders were in the Christchurch. Grant told them all he knew was what he’d read in the paper that day. This was reported as Grant Ryan confirming that they were in the country.
I can confirm that because of the situation Grant was in his room all day working on some numbers…. But the situation was it was raining while we were on holiday and he was doing sudoku :-).
This just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read in the paper. The only thing we really know is that an unidentified plane landed in Christchurch during a slow news period.
As an aside – my father thought he might have met Larry and Sergey in a pub in Arrowtown on new year’s eve. On closer questioning he might have met someone called Larry – or something like that. Things are never that clear the morning after a visit to an Arrowtown pub.
Apple is one of the most visited ecommerce sites. They have an image of being slick and user friendly. I had high expectations of their website – which they meet for the most part: their product pages show off their products wonderfully and it is easy to shop. However their search is terrible. I was searching for the technical specs of the iPhone, typed in “ipone” and got no results. They don’t have any spelling correction.
I then typed it in correctly and was gobsmacked when I saw no results.
Finally I got some results when I searched for phone:
Even when I searched for an old product the search results were disappointing. The top two results are press releases (one from New Zealand of all places). They don’t have any images, prices, sort options, and only very limited filtering options. This is not what you’d expect from one of the top Internet retailers.