Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Collaborative Software As A Green Initiative

Google is supporting electric cars: Plug-ins converge on Washington.

Commuting by car, whether by a gas-guzzler or an electric vehicle, consumes energy and wastes scads of time.

A different way to reduce our dependency on oil is to enable telecommuting for jobs that are primarily computer-based. 

However, remote connections offer a lack of transparency and a less than robust environment for face-to-face meetings and other serendipitous interactions.

Isn't it a touch more Googley to put some more zing into social collaboration apps than to promote the use of electric vehicles?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Relevance: SERPs and Related Searches

Google R&D discusses an enhancement to its related search links in an article: Fresher related search suggestions.

Let’s try to search for the animal: cat.

If you enter into Google search the keyword cat, the following links to relevant SERPs display down the page:

  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Cat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Centre for Alternative Technology Home Page
  • Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats

The following related search links are displayed at the top of the page:

  • cat deeley
  • cat stevens
  • cat unix
  • cat exam

Why is there such a divergence between the concept of “relevance” for SERP links and for related searches links?

If Cat Deeley, a DJ, is relevant to related searches, why doesn’t she appear as a SERP link?
If the Unix command cat is relevant to related searches, why isn’t it listed as a SERP link?
Similarly, if Caterpillar Inc. is a relevant SERP link, why isn't there a related search link to building equipment?

In my opinion, applying two widely divergent standards for “relevance” to SERPs and to related search links introduces the risk of reducing the coherence of the Google page rank algorithm.

Relevance to a keyword/s such as cat means one thing across the top of a page, and something else down the page.

btw check out my original SETI research

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Does Google Trends Data Equate To Consumer Interest?

Google labs is as passionate about providing cool apps as I am about using them. Thus said, a new post by Google Trends A new flavor of Google Trends draws, in my opinion, a clearly incorrect conclusion. 

The post tries to relate search volume to consumer interest. According to the post, ice cream shops and supermarkets should be sure to stock up on chocolate ice cream:

"Google Trends is not only a fun tool; it also offers some practical uses as well. Suppose you own an ice cream shop and don't know which flavors to serve, or suppose you're responsible for stocking supermarkets across the country; Trends can help you explore the popularity and seasonality of your products."

"As the numbers on the top of the graph indicate, vanilla ice cream has about 30 percent less search traffic than chocolate ice cream."

However, if you perform a Google search for ice cream popular flavors and drill down to a sampling of articles, you will be able to easily see that vanilla ice cream is between 2 and 3 times globally more popular among consumers than chocolate ice cream.