Mind the Google Gap (Guestpost)
Second in the row of guestposts is Massimo Burgio. Massimo was my moderator on the session I was in at SMX London this year. You could see Massimo is used to being a moderator. With his Italian style he knew how to get the room to join in the discussion.
What in the world is the Google Gap? It´s not the Google Advertising Professional program and certification - of course we all know what that is - and it is not related to the new Google output like Square or Wave, so it must be something else, though nobody really knows - or, perhaps, everybody has their own definition of it.
The panel has been announced as the place at SMX London where to investigate also a special topic, the Google Gap - described in the conference agenda by the question "Why do so many web sites report a much higher percentage of their traffic coming from Google versus the share of searches that it supposedly has?" Good question, but the panelists didn't have an answer, as they all focused on big scale search data and comparative trends among search engines.
I couldn't resist, I had to find out about the Google Gap! So I took advantage of my moderator position and asked the audience of the Searchscape session about it - nobody really took the challenge to answer, so I went on a mission! Immediately after the session I reached for my camera and started asking "the Google Gap question" to some of the top search experts at SMX London, to discover several interesting interpretations of the Google Gap!
Is the Google Gap the difference between the traffic we measure using Google tools and the traffic we measure using other measurement tools? (big gap there). Is it the difference between the conversions generated by traffic from the Google ad network versus the conversions we get from other ad networks? Or is it the difference between how evil Google claims not to be and how evil Google actually is? =)
Check out the videowall below to discover some of the answers to the Google Gap question at SMX London 2009. But let's review them together now for some of the answers as they unveil several gaps in Google...
Tip: mouse over the video and it will start playing!
As Richard Zwicky said in the video interview, "There are many gaps at Google, whether it is in data they are providing you, in data they are sharing with you, or in data you think you are getting!". Richard Gregory also thinks it is something about data and brings to the Google Gap discussion another hot topic: click fraud, possibly the reason for the measurement gap also stated by Krjstian Mar Hauksson. To Andrew Girdwood, Paul Doleman, Rob Ousbey and Bas van den Beld, the Google Gap is about market share: "the difference between the market share Google claims to have versus Google's real market penetration". Touché!
Hundreds of undiscovered Google Gaps to be found and filled with Google's own tools? That's the opinion of Ulf Weihbold. The last interview of the Google Gap series was with Rand Fishkin, who believes the Google Gap is the difference between what Google says they are doing around competitive messaging and what they are actually doing.
My personal award for best answer goes to Mikkel deMib Svendsen who, funny and sharp as usual, stated that the Google Gap lies between "how ethical Google claim they are and how unethical they really are". My personal Google Gap? In my experience, it´s the difference between how smart, creative and cool Googlers can be in Mountain View and how boring and salesy the local Google Sales teams mostly are, especially within Europe... =)
As the recently married SearchCowgirl Lisa Ditlefsen said: "Mind the Google Gap!"!!!
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