Friday, December 9, 2011

Email - Productivity tool or time waster?

A French company recently announced it was banning internal email and in typical French fashion, without a trace of irony, it is an IT company.

It an interesting experiment. Sure there is a certain amount of correspondence that needs to be documented [in our industry rate agreements, approvals, amendments], but the majority of these are external and even then probably don't account for more than a small fraction of the daily deluge.

Actual conversations are so important in an industry built on relationships. And unless you are a secretary on Mad Men, talking is immeasurably faster than typing.

So, before you send that email, pick up the phone, or go for a stroll. Have a chat and let serendipity take its course. Some of the best ideas come from an idle chat around the photocopier...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Move Over Justin Bieber!

Google have today released the 2011 Zeitgeist listing the hottest search terms Kiwi’s searched for this year.

It is of no surprise that the Rugby World Cup made the top of the list as the fastest rising search term of 2011. A much bigger upset though would be that of Sonny Bill Williams trumping Justin Bieber off the number 1 spot as the most searched for image on - and it doesn’t end there. SBW also made the top 10 in the News search, Newsmakers and Fastest Rising People categories!

Besides rugby, Kiwis were also searching for information on the Japanese earthquake, the notorious, bunless Double Down burger and the Nek Minute video on Youtube.

The global search list is set to be released next week. Check out the top search terms in New Zealand here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Evolution of Google

Google has come a long, long way since 1996 – from the research project it was then, to the search engine power house it is today. The search giant recently released a 6 minute video encapsulating 15 years of evolution, highlighting its key milestones and possibilities for the future.

The video comes as a follow-up to one Google posted in August this year, shedding some light into the “methodology” behind search ranking and evaluation.

Underpinning Google’s efforts to revolutionise search is their goal to “get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. That means you don’t generally need to know about the latest search feature in order to take advantage of it.” (Ben Gomes, Google Fellow)

As part of this release, Google also created a timeline of search features.

In our opinion, the most significant changes to Google AdWords came by way of enhancements to their standard paid search ad format with the inclusion of the advertisers domain name, or description line as part of the ad title and more recently, the shift from displaying ads on to the right of Google’s organic search results to below the last organic listing.

Other improvements worthy of mention include the introduction of Image Search ads which resulted in ads similar to paid search ads, but including an image thumbnail displayed above of search results. Also, the inclusion of Google Local resulted in Location Extensions; which provided advertisers with the ability to feed store information, Click to Call functionality and Maps integration within their ads.

Perhaps the most exciting development was the introduction of ‘blended search’, whereby a combination of the above ad formats as well as video content from websites such as YouTube was offered to searchers, providing a more comprehensive and interesting search results page.

Who knows what Google will come up with next?!