Yesterday’s media buzz story of the day was all things Google, with focus on Eric Schmidt’s stepping down as CEO and replacement by Larry Page. Quora was all abuzz with suggested posts form the digerati about what Larry Page should focus on as he takes the reins of this digital behmoth in April of this year.
I like many in the industry have a biased opinion about what Google is and is not doing. My perspective is shaped by years of experience, working with clients across all industries, ranging from raw startups to large corporations.
For better or worse, as we all know, what Google does moving forward has a big impact on your brand’s success. Especially if you are dependent on web site traffic. And, who isn’t in this digital age? Some issues that I would like to see Google tackle as we move forward this year:
1) Textual search results haven’t really changed in years. You get the same results from multiple search engines and none of them (to a certain extent) factor in contextual elements.
Meaning, search is not contextual - Google and other search engines (Yahoo and Bing) don’t recognize who is searching, what kind of a device you are using and where you are. Incorporating these elements into search would be good for consumers, advertisers, brands and search engines.
2) Cleaning out search results to get rid of content farms that are pushing out content on the web that is not high quality, only meant to generate advertising dollars and doesn’t really educate or inform the public. I get sick of seeing page after page of search results with no tangible value!
3) Realizing that SMBs (Small to Medium Sized Businesses) and SMEs need help and virtual hand holding when trying to set up even a basic Ad Words accounts. Sure, they can hire marketing execs, agencies and others to help them - but, it’s in everyone’s best interest for Google to actively work with these businesses.
Especially now that local search is rapidly becoming so important for small businesses around the world. The days of pushing a FAQ out to you as a small business and expecting you to grok how to work with Google are long gone, unless your a PHD graduate from Stanford/pick your university of choice.
4) Improve the interoperability of Google’s product and services; i.e. Maps, Ad Words, Gmail, Analytics, Google Docs, Calendar, etc. work seamlessly together and more importantly, enable the business user to disconnect from parts of the whole that they don’t want to use.
Myself and team have spent hundreds of hours trying to get these disparate Google Products and Services to mesh together properly. And, for you as a client, the real challenge is trying to reach someone when an FAQ or Forum does not give you the type of information that is needed to address your customer service issues.
5) Make Google a flatter organization to drive higher quality customer service, which would help to stimulate how we all (agencies, clients, other stakeholders) interact with the company.
Right now you can’t get a decision from anyone on the phone at Google easily. The chapter and verse statement, “I’ve got to talk to my manager” or some “Googleeze” flavor of the month is pretty much the standard line. What’s happening to customer service at Google? Call me Larry - I’ll put you in my Google Calendar!