February 10, 2006

We’re sick of seeing Yahoo employees with Google on their home pages !

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 8:34 pm | link | | comment (0)

Caterina pointed me to a ValleyWag posting with this title:

Searching across the tracks: We’re sick of seeing Yahoo employees with Google on their home pages

Amr Homepage

They were referring to my homepage which does feature a search box for Google Scholar. Well, I did mention in a previous blog of mine that I love Google Scholar and unfortunately Yahoo does not have an equivalent product. Note that ValleyWag later on made another blog posting acknowledging my google miss prediction (sorry, cant help but keep rubbing it in 🙂 )

I have to admit that this is not the only Google Search Box that I use. I have a side family business for Egypt and on that site I use the Google Adsense Search Box. Even though Yahoo does have an equivalent search box, it does not pay me a share of the revenue for the searches the site generates (btw, SpiffY!Search is an even cooler implementation of an in-page yahoo search box).


 Hopefully one day yahoo will offer competitive products and I will switch right away.

 — amr

PS: Egypt Football (aka Soccer) team won the African Cup yesterday, 1000 congrats.

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February 7, 2006

How low can Google go ?

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 9:56 pm | link | | comments (14)

By “low” I am not referring to the stock price, which is now down $100 since my blog entry predicting their miss 🙂 , rather I am referring to sacrificing good user experience on their SERP for making more cash.

Google is now testing longer abstracts for the ads above the web results, these abstracts go as long as 200 characters (2 to 4 lines on some screens). This is opposite to what Yahoo is doing, in mid January Yahoo moved towards shorter abstracts. The only reason to do longer abstracts for ads is to make more money by pushing the good web results further below the fold. The first time I heard about these longer abstract tests, I said to my self Google must be doing this for the adsense network, and then I was blown away to see them actually testing them on the main Google SERP.

Google Tests Longer Ad Abstracts

It will really be interesting to see how the Google SERP evolves this year. It seems that Google ran out of innovations for the algorithms matching ads to queries, so now the main way to create more growth is to change their SERP. Currently Google shows up to 3 ads above the web results in the north section of the page, will we see 4 soon ?

Finally, did you see today’s WSJ article about Google paying Dell $1B (yes, billion) so that new machines Dell sells will have Google as the default search in IE! This is an insane payment, as much as $10 per machine. Do they really expect to make that search money back over the life time of the user ? Possibly if it’s a new user who never leaves them, but how many of those are left ?

— amr

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