Archive for Online Content

+1 and Postrank further Google’s social strategy

On May 31st at the AllThingsD conference, Chairman Eric Schmidt publicly took responsibility for having failed to move faster with Google’s social media strategy when he was still the company’s CEO.

Two days later Google announced two social media developments: the full availability of the Google +1 button , including on WordPress ;-), and the acquisition of social media analytics company Postrank.

LinkedIn’s share of life

Last week, the share price of social network LinkedIn soared on its first day of IPO – up to over $90 from $45 – bringing the company value to over $10 billion. LinkedIn has captured a large “share of life” of its 100 million users – a community larger than Japan. Extracting value from such a big share of life is hard work, and even harder is to sustain and grow this value. eCommerce sites can learn from LinkedIn how to focus on a share of life of their users they can chew, meaning: turn it into valuable information for their users and themselves.

Network effects of social media are overestimated

LinkedIns Freemium Model

LinkedIn's Revenue : A Freemium Model

With 100 million members, LinkedIn is one of the largest social networks in the world and claims to be adding 1 million new members each week.

Those who invested in LinkedIn may have based their share price estimate on Metcalfe’s law of network effects which says that the value of a network grows proportionally to the square of its size, meaning very fast.

But Metcalfe’s Law does not directly apply to social networks because they are not pure communication networks but rather social media.  As a social media, LinkedIn’ value depends on the value of its content. LinkedIn derives its revenue from subscriptions and advertising. Currently 41% of its revenue comes from hiring solutions — essentially premium database access sold to employers, 27% from premium subscriptions to employees and 32% from advertising.

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Google as the arbiter of good taste

When I was working at Forrester Research, each publication had a designated content editor whom we jokingly referred to as “the ultimate arbiter of good taste“: he or she had the final word on what deserved publishing and what did not.

I was reminded of this by Google’s “More guidance on building high-quality sites” published on 6 May 2011 by Amit Singhal, head of search quality, on Google Webmaster Central Blog. Read more

SERPs: battle for the top unlikely to abate

The Web’s unlimited shelf space is a myth. In reality (argh!), the Web is a battlefield and companies fiercely compete for scarce premium positions in organic search results because consumers have neither the time nor the patience to explore the millions of other choices. That’s why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still obsessed with the first page (i.e. top 10 search results) among Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Research shows that this won’t change better soon.

Optify Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR) by Search Results Position Curve

Optify Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR) by Search Results Position Curve

Research from Optify, cited by Le Journal du Net shows that the top 3 results on Google’s first page still concentrate nearly 60% of average Click-Through-Rates (CTRs), with 37,2% on the first position alone. The average CTR on the first page is more than six times higher than the average CTR on the second page. The data is US-only and pre-Panda.
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The fallacy of unlimited shelf space

Fast Company‘s Austin Carr found a huge discrepancy between the number of search results announced by Google and Bing and the number of results that can actually be found through these search engines.
Fast Company Bing Google Pissing Contest

Fast Company Presents Bing and Google as in a Pissing Contest

To answer the question Do Google And Bing Actually Return Billions Of Search Results?, he searched for “New York Times” and counted the number of search results and result pages. Here is what he found:

– Bing: 491,000,000 results announced, only 223 available on 23 pages
– Google: 126,000,000 results announced, only 468 available on 47 pages
Harsh reality. No matter how many trillion pages a search engine can index, nobody is going to click on a page further than page 10. In fact, the majority of users will click on the first results of the first page. Why bother displaying more?
The myth of the Web’s unlimited shelf space is busted. The Web was hoped to offer equal opportunities and unlimited exposure to every product and every company, from the Bavarian Dirndl tailor to America’s largest corporation. Instead, it’s a cut-throat global competition for limited premium placement. Not much different from the fight for aisle-end display in physical stores.

Being Content

Not so long ago, I used to be Content VP (or VP Content). I really enjoyed it.

Firstly because I believe that trying to create good online content — content that informs, entertains, moves and helps people in every aspect of their life — is a motivating purpose.

But also because I love the double meaning of the word “content”. “What does it mean VP Content?” Asked my mom. “It means that I’m content with what I do” I replied.

She was content with the answer.