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Category Archives: Google

Google’s playable Pacman logo

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Call me a total geek if you will but one of the many things I love about Google is their habit of creating custom homepage logos to mark anniversaries of historic occasions. Today, they have gone a step further.

To mark the 30 anniversary of the classic arcade game Pac Man, Google have developed a fully playable version of the game and used used it as their logo. The brilliant playable logo is developed entirely in HTML5. No flash required.

It’s interesting timing, considering the recent spat between Apple and flash purveyors Adobe. Are Google subtly taking a stance?

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, it’s likely the case that Google, as they always do, wanted to do something cool for no particular reason other than to be cool.

I particularly like the fact that the phrase “I’m feeling lucky” has been replaced with “Insert Coin”. Nice touch

Battleground Google: Labour vs. The Sun

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Today’s announcement that The Sun will be supporting the Tories in the next election has effectively marked the beginning of what will be a lengthy election press campaign. But, unlike ‘79 and ‘97, this battle will be won and lost not in the printed press, but on the web.

Google-bullet

The Sun has drawn first blood with the sensational headline “Labour’s lost it”. The online version of this article is juicy enough link-bait to already hit the first page of Google for the search term “labour”.

Search returns for "labour"

There it is, at the time of writing, in fifth position (not counting news results). Ouch.

As well as associated articles, dossiers and microsites also to be found on the sun website, they are also using PPC as part of their attack strategy.

The terms labour, labour party and labour conference all bring up one of the following ads linking to the topic dedicated Feeling Blue section of their site.

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And they seem to be pre-empting a response by buying up their own name.

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It’s not been all one way traffic, though. Labour were pretty quick to respond with their own ad that plays on a pretty emotive anti-sun topic: Hillsborough. I took this screenshot this morning:

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The gloves are off.

However, Labour don’t seem to be buying as many or as broad search terms. If they want to compete, they should be buying up all the search terms the Sun is and directly attacking the paper on its own turf. That could require some deep PPC pockets. In fact, as I check now the ad isn’t showing. Has the budget dried up already?

The US presidential election digital campaigns demonstrated the importance of rapid response to on and offline trending topics. In particular the paid search campaigns for both camps had to respond quickly and effectively to online buzz and breaking news. Eric Frenchman, the guy in charge of John McCain’s PPC has blogged about using search for political or news rapid response.

So now it’s the UK’s turn and although I hope the tactics might not get quite as… dubious as in the American election, I think Search and social media will be two areas where the battle will be viciously fought.

Interesting times lie ahead.

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Update: It seems Labour didn’t have anything directly to do with the Hillsborough ads, the Telegraph reports. The ads stopped showing around 2 the afternoon. Either there was a very small budget allocated or they were pulled. Over enthusiastic supporters or plausible deniability? Either way it’s a shame, I’d have liked to see a real scrap!

Your personality is CRAP! (Google told me)

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This has been doing the rounds on twitter and emails today so apologies if you have already seen it.

Comedy value aside, I think this guy has more to worry about than his business cards.

His name is Joel Bauer; he’s apparently a hugely successful motivational speaker and I’m not about to knock him for that. Although, am I the only one who is a little scared of anyone describing themselves as a ‘motivational speaker’?

Maybe that’s why on his equally hilarious and disturbing website Joel chooses to describe himself as an Infotainer.

For those who don’t quite believe what you have just read, once more with feeling: an INFOTAINER.

Srsly…

Although I subscribe to Seth Godin‘s Purple Cow theory that it pays to be remarkable, I’m pretty sure it’s meant to apply to a business as a whole – not just a business card.

In any case, I don’t care how remarkable your business card is, if you convey yourself as having the blended personalities of Patrick Bateman and David Brent – the two most abhorrent characters in the history of fictional businessmen – you’re not going to appeal to me.

By putting so much stock in the business card, that most anachronistic 80s hangover of business tools, Joel has neglected the fact that his website and all his available online video content are conspiring to portray him as a complete arse.

If people want to know about someone they have met, they aren’t going to revisit the ludicrous card they have wedge in their pocket, they’ll Google him. And the returns for Joel Bauer, especially the video returns, make him look ridiculous.

Maybe he can spend the next 25 years picking up the pieces and repairing his online personal brand.

Oh and a usability point: if a card doesn’t go with all the other cards, it goes in the bin.

[Just trying out something sneaky with these links: Tom Knowles Joel Bauer Joel Bauer Joel Bauer Joel Bauer]

I’m the king of the internets!

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In my last post I was ranting and raving about the policies of Wandsworth Police with regards to Section 44 of the Terrorism act. I jokingly linked to the profile page of the Borough Commander Stewart Low with the phrase “useless bureaucrat” as a half-hearted attempt at a Google bomb. I wasn’t really serious and I didn’t expect it to work. 

Well guess what? It only bloody worked! Check it out.

Putting aside my slightly petulant motive, I think the fact that I have managed to single-handedly divert Google this way is quite interesting. Since the famous Bush Googlebomb a few years ago, it was reported that Google made it harder to do this type of thing.

A new, positive Google bomb was brought in for Obama (“Cheerful Acheivement” was the phrase) but that was helped along by numerous blogs and web sites with huge Google authority. I didn’t have a squad of bloggers at my disposal to help out,  I only posted the link twice: here and on GrammarBlog. It just goes to show that inbound links and the link text used are still as important as ever for natural SEO.

To have any real value in terms of SEO, the trick is finding a term that people will actually search for (unlike “useless bureaucrat“) and for which there is little competition. I doubt I would be successful with the term “great value” or “best car”. But the thing is with Google, you never actually know for sure.

*Update* If the Obama positive google bomb is anything to go by, I’m probably undoing my success by posting about it. Google’s bomb defusion algorithm works by making the reports on the googlebomb replace the googlebomb itself in Google’s top results. So if any Google spiders are reading this: move along, nothing to report here.

Google Earth goes underwater and back in time

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As if Google Earth wasn’t amazing enough, they have now added the ability to see the ocean floor and back in time.

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