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Posts from the ‘Search Engine News’ Category

10
Jan

Google Adds Another New Favicon

The New, More Colorful Favicon from Google

Once again, Search Engine Roundtable got the jump on me.  But in case you haven’t been on Google today, they’ve created a new favicon:

google_new_favicon_2

It still uses the “sleek, curvy G”, but is now incorporating the Google colors.  Here are the other two:  the Favicon introduced in May of last year and the Original Favicon

google_old_favicon

For my money, I still think the original is the most prominent and recognizable.  What’s your opinion?

24
Nov

Microsoft Fail: Live Search Going to Kumo.com

Another Gigantic Fail for Microsoft Marketing Team: Kumo.com

Microsoft Possibly to Rebrand Live Search to Kumo.com?

Though it is only rumored, Search Engine Land‘s (SEL) column on this move offers some convincing evidence that this rebranding is in the works.

Why Kumo.com Will Fail As Rebranding:

Let’s start with the fact that Microsoft is trying too hard to be that nice, neat, and all-expansive buzz word: “Web 2.0″. Kumo supposedly can be translated to mean “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese.  So it’s likely they are thinking more along the vein of “spider” than “cloud”.

It’s just unique enough to completely forget.

Secondly, if the they don’t augment the search algorithm capability to, at the very least, match what Google and Yahoo are doing, then it won’t matter that it’s called Kumo.  It will still return the results that have made it a consistent #3 search engine, and still be equipped with the functionality that make a search disaster.

Lastly, the Microsoft Team has participated in far too many blunders.  Starting with Microsoft/Seinfeld Ads and then possibly using BrowseRank, then going back a year to the launch of Vista.  Microsoft’s reputation has taken too many blows to hide behind a simple name change.  They don’t have to start from scratch, but they certainly need to put much more thought into these branding messages.

My advice: time to find a new marketing team.  This is should be the final nail in the coffin for the completely inept, and non-tech folks they’ve got working these branding schemes now.

What Will Really Happen if Microsoft Goes Through with Kumo.com

Live Search to Kumo.com = FAIL

Live Search to Kumo.com = FAIL

If the speculative change happens, then Microsoft will see, overall, a lower share of the search market.  This is an attempt to reach out to a younger, possibly more tech-savvy audience, interested in social networking and “cool, unusual names”.  Microsoft must have looked at the numbers and seen that the majority of their users are non-tech and net-savvy Boomers and older.  Those users who use IE (Internet Explorer) like it’s going out of style.

And, the way Microsoft pushes out their branding pieces is so “in your face”, that it will be impossible to disassociate itself from Kumo.com if it does happen to tank miserably (which it will).  They’ll see an influx of users, much the way Kuil (Cool) did, and then slide into a slow and destitute oblivion, with very little hope of Live Search ever resurfacing and regaining back users.

They only way Microsoft has a chance if they launch Kumo as a somewhat independent engine, loosely associated to Microsoft Live Search.  In this manner, Kumo will be able to gather a user base organically. And if and when it chokes out, Live Search will still have a semi-strong brand backing and not have lost too many users.  But to completely switch the branding over to Kumo as the new Search Crown Jewel is brand-suicide.

UPDATE:

According to TopNews, “In the internal memo, Satya Nadella said, “Kumo.com exists only inside the corporate network, and in order to get enough feedback we will be redirecting internal live.com traffic over to the test site in the coming days. Kumo is the codename we have chosen for the internal test.

Update #2 From Search Engine Land

How about that brand name? Last year at SMX Advanced, then Microsoft online services president Kevin Johnson acknowledged that Microsoft had a search brand problem, one that he decisively said would be fixed, even if that meant getting a new brand. Since then, four contenders for the new brand name have emerged:

  • Kumo
  • Bing
  • Hook
  • Sift
13
Oct

The Woot Ads: A Step in the Right Direction

Congrats to Google For Allowing the Woot Ads

It’s a hot topic: The Woot Suicide Ads.  The ads sprung up in midst of the financial crisis (economic meltdown) and there are plenty of people up in arms about it. Why?  Believe it or not, the Woot ads are a step in the right direction, the place where PPC ads need to be headed. Check out the story that’s made it to Sphinn’s Hot Topics: “Google Allows Ads Mocking Suicide

The First Woot Ad Yanked

The Second Woot Ad Yanked

The Second Woot Ad Yanked

I hate to qualify answers, but in light of looking like a complete and utter heartless monster, this is a case where I must.  Do I find the ads distasteful?  Yes.  Do I think it’s a good thing to “joke” about suicide and encourage it?  No.  However, the ad, in itself, is brilliant.  The marketing behind it is brilliant.  And, before you start condemning Google (and Woot), think about what it means for PPC advertisers.

Why The Ads Work and Why Need More Like Them

1) Ads That Are More Like Ads

If you do any amount of searching on search engines, then you’ve read standard PPC ads; for example,

Standard PPC Ads

Standard PPC Ads

Exactly.  The same robotic tone, with the same robotic savings, deals, and calls to action.  It’s not that these ads don’t work; people still click on them. It’s that they aren’t conversational.  There’s nothing that sets them apart, nothing that makes them unique.  They all sound the same, and while the text indicates they offer different deals, they aren’t offering different deals.

The Woot Ads were unique, were conversational, and had a subconscious, subliminal language that was speaking to users on level that the “traditional” PPC ads cannot and never will achieve.  It gave the ad an edge over other ads.  More importantly, it give Woot an edge over other competitors vying for the same marketplace and consumer.  Finally, it was an ad that actually functioned like an “ad”.

2) Allowing Google To Become Big Brother

I’ve been in the search marketing game for a few years now.  And the love/hate relationship with Google is constant among us.  What the Smackdown! blog is doing is empowering Google to limit the creative freedom of advertisers.  When you boil it down, that’s exactly what it comes to.

While the entire theme of this blog is based solely on what Google is doing, and disecting and criticizing it, this post has done completely the opposite.  Here’s what it looks like when you search for “goog” today:

The Woot Ad is Gone

The Woot Ad is Gone

Business is about competitive edge and occupying space within a marketplace.  If all our PPC ads look alike, sound alike, and talk alike, then there’s no advantage.  Accordingly, (follow me on this) you feed into the Google money machine: you allow them to curb creative language that can lead to advantage within the marketplace, which in turn, sets the trap for Google to base ads displayed solely on bidding wars and their phantom AdWords algorithm.  They are going to do this anyway, but now you’ve given Google consent that this is how you want ads to look and sound.

I, for one, applaud Woot for having the courage and the creativity to break the mold.  It was genius.  Like it or not, it was.  And, now that people have made a big enough stink about it, you’ve allowed Google to become hyper-vigilant against anything that doesn’t fit the traditional standard.  I thought Google had finally loosened up the reigns a bit.  My mistake.  It was probably just a bunch of disgruntled employees who watched their friends get laid off because Google Stock fell through the floor.

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