Friday, December 23, 2011

Google advises on website testing for improving user experience

Google has posted an incredible article on how to do testing for your website. Testing doesn’t have to be a costly operation. You can simple try this tips from Google as following.

  • Sample size: Just five people can be a large enough number of users to find common problems in your layouts and navigation (see Jakob Nielsen’s article on why using a small sample size is sufficient).
  • Choosing your testers: A range of different technical ability can be useful, but be sure to only focus on trends—for example, if more than 50% of your testers have the same usability issue, it’s likely a real problem—rather than individual issues encountered.
  • Testing location: If possible, visit the user in their home and watch how they use the site—observe how he/she normally navigates the web when relaxed and in their natural environment. Remote testing is also a possibility if you can’t make it in person—we’ve heard that Google+ hangouts can be used effectively for this.
  • How to test: Based on your site’s goals, define 4 or 5 simple tasks to do on your website, and let the user try to complete the tasks. Ask your testers to speak aloud so you can better understand their experiences and thought processes.
  • What to test: Basic prototypes in clickable image or document format (for example, PDF) or HTML can be used to test the basic interactions, without having to build out a full site for testing. This way, you can test out different options for navigation and layouts to see how they perform before implementing them.
  • What not to test: Focus on functionality rather than graphic design elements; viewpoints are often subjective. You would only get useful feedback on design from quantitative testing with large (200+) numbers of users (unless, for example, the colors you use on your site make the content unreadable, which would be good feedback!). One format for getting some useful feedback on the design can be to offer 5-6 descriptive keywords and ask your user to choose the most representative ones.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SEO (Domain Strategy) Failure Case Study at Google

I found one interesting on how Google fail to embrace SEO when they release the new content. What Google usually do when they have new section, they either created on sub-domain ( or But I found Google Zeitgeist for this year (2011), they created the new domain name ( As the result when you search for "Google Zeitgeist" in,  this new content is no where in top 5. I have checked the ranking of this site, it ranks #10.

Can anyone tell me any reason why Google need to use microsite (new domain) instead of keep using their sub-directory as they always do in 2010, 2009, 2008?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YouTube Analytics

Google replaced Insight with YouTube Analytics.  Check out some of the latest features in Analytics:
  • A Quick Overview: A new overview provides all of the information that you care about quickly, while also enabling you to easily access more detailed information.
  • More Detailed Reports: Analytics now includes more detailed statistics so that you can have a more precise understanding of your content and audiences.
  • Audience Builders: Discover which videos are driving the most views and subscriptions.
  • Audience Retention: See how far viewers are watching through your video in the new audience retention report.

I tried it and found there are many useful features to help you understand more about audience, engagement. For example, Traffic source data, it allows you to understand how effective of Video embed on other channels beside YouTube itself.

You can also take a look on infographic here that show you how to use your new Analytics to build and engage with bigger audiences, earn more money, and make better videos.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Evolution of Search

This is the latest video from Google - 6 minutes video with short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade—and a taste of what’s coming next.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Google Ads Format for Online Hotels

I just noticed new Ads format for hotel keyword (i.e., "New York Hotels").  The display looks like hotel listing thumbnail on online travel websites that most users are familiar with. Interesting to see how this impact to CTR. Of course, it will kill meta-travel search like Kayak again! Let share what do you think about this? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Google Adds Custom Search to Google Webmaster Tools

Today I have noticed that Google adds Custom Search into Google Webmaster Tools. This is still testing ground for experimental feature. What I predict here, Google might migrate from Google Custom Search ( to here as they try to make Google Webmaster Tools as portal for Webmaster.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bias Rich Content (Video) on Google Search Results - Bing Case

I just read what Google posted few days ago "How are videos ranked". It quite interesting that they try to defense what people talking about their bias of search results. You can see what they wrote here. 
Our intent is to represent the video content of the internet fairly and accurately. We don't give special ranking preference to videos hosted by YouTube or Google Video, nor do we manipulate search results in any way. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the Web to determine the inclusion and ranking of videos in our search results.
After determining the content of the video using our spidering technology, Google then combines sophisticated text-matching techniques to find videos that are both important and relevant to your search. Our technology examines dozens of aspects of the video’s content (including number of hits and rating) to determine if it's a good match for your query.
Please be assured that we’re continually working to improve our algorithms to provide the most relevant results for your query.
          Source : 

What I see is far different from what they wrote above. Try this query "Bad Dog: Maria the Jealous Goose Bing Video", this query is very strong intent that users are looking for Video for Bad Dog : Maria the Jealous Goose Video from Bing. Unfortunately Google is not display rich content for their video but show rich content from YouTube and

This Video is available at Bing Video and found that Google indexed their video.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Three Mindsets of Search

I have found some interesting research paper from They are releasing findings of a study on search behavior called "Three Mindsets of Search". The “search type” segmentation encompassed 59 variables of search behavior, and was developed through cluster analysis. 
Study revealed three distinct search types: 

1. Answer Me (46% of all searches) –
People in a “answer me” search want exactly what they ask for, and no more, delivered in a way that allows them to get to it as directly as possible.
2. Educate Me (26% of all searches) – People in an “educate me” search want 360 degrees of understanding, and multiple perspectives on critical topics. They will search until their goal is achieved – this may stretch over long periods of time and through related topics. 
3. Inspire Me (28% of all searches) – The fun “browsy” type of search, where people are looking for surprises, have open minds and want to be led.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Google is experimenting with Search Query Defined Dynamic Headline for their own site

Google is experimenting with Search Query Defined Dynamic Headline for their own website, I search for "" on, the search result returns with title : "". It's exact matched what I searched for. This technique you may seen in Google Adwords (Dynamic Insertion). You may try experiment with your website and check click through rate via Google Webmaster Tools. I am keen to explore around about this topic (Search Query Defined Dynamic Headline). Share what you think!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Real-Time search result Google VS Bing

I feel disappointed to Google search today when I try to find out the news about the Norway shooting. I went to query "Oslo" on Google, all above the fold of results are nothing about news and then I go to check at Bing, it gives me better result, it shows "breaking news" on the first position of SERPs. You can see the screenshot as attached here. Norway attack news is breaking to all major news publication : CNN, BBC, WSJ, etc. This should trigger to Google result. I am quite surprise on this result, Google always does a good job on return the result based on user intent. Something leak on user intent algorithms?

Let's discuss why it was happen. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Creative SEO : Universal Search Optimization

I've found one creative on universal search optimization. optimized their web application on flash and feed as Video. It shows on the first page of Google search result with keyword "Painting". Why I know this result is Video? I also checked Video search result as well. It quite interesting! This might influence Google to add new filter "Search for Application" soon.

You may find the screenshots here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Breast Augmentation = Thailand Branding in Google

I am quite shocked on this when I discovered Google suggest "Thailand Breast Slap" as top query in Google Autocomplete. Thinking there is someone use SEO for optimizing this term and influence the Google Autocomplete, you can see some spam in Youtube and Wikipedia and other tons of links.

Update : Google Social Connection Data & Facebook

Update from my post yesterday about Social Search and Social Connection on Google, I have found interesting cases as following. 

1. Google gives the link weight value (associated to social search) to the link which post in Facebook in accessible profile. You can see the information as example of this snapshot. My connection is connected Mashable but I got content feed from Facebook & his website ( This is interesting to debate on how much value Google assign to this.

 2. I seen lot of my secondary connection came from indirect Twitter connection which I am not follow her yet (@ womendeliver)  For this case, I connected to @Mashable and then @Mashable has ton of connections to feed to me. One of must be @womendeliver. One of big reason is social authority, @Mashable is very strong on this case. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

How Google Identify Relevant Social Search Results.

 This is interesting to see how Google identify relevant. It is based on a combination of the following:
- Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts
- Direct connections from links that appear on your Google profile
- Secondary connections that are publicly associated with your direct connection

This is my snapshot social circle for example.
In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.
That you can see from above example of my Google Account, I have small number of contacts on my Gmail account and very less number of links on my profile, but I have strong secondary connection, mostly from Twitter. In this case, In my opinion, Google will give more weight to Direct Connections rather than Secondary connection. You can find more details on Social connections here :
It would be interested to experiment on this in different account and geographic. Will share to you guys soon. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Image Ads on Search Result Pages

I have found this ads when I am doing research for my client. This is interesting that Google shows the images ads next to Text ads. See the screenshots here. This Home Depot ad linked directly to branded-site. This will be impacted on CTR, current image ads now mostly place at Content Network, but once this happens on Search Network, I just wonder how much of this CTR, Any thought?

Update : This ads feature is part of Product Ads Extension (New Product from Google Adwords which now available only US Advertisers.