polarization

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

Switching to Private Label Products is Accelerating and Irreversible

See the charts below from comScore, Nielsen and Symphony/IRI.  The percent buying branded products of past has dropped to 43%.  The percentage switching (2nd graph) is most in OTC drugs and apparel. And even if the economy improves, consumers would continue to buy private label. Whole Foods has been offering their 365 “house brand” for many years and Trader Joe’s also has great private label products that are often equal to or arguably higher quality than branded alternatives.

Brand Loyalty is Declining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

willingness to switch to generic or private label versus branded product

 

 

 

 

consumers will continue buying private label even when economy improves

 

 

 

Related Article:  Spend Polarization – consumers save money in the down economy by buying more from Costco, Sam’s Wholesale, and BJ’s but when they splurge, they buy ultra-high-end.

 

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Monday, November 28th, 2011 Branding No Comments

Spend polarization

UPDATED: November 28, 2011.Dollar Tree (DLTR) Whole Foods (WFMI)

The 2011 year-to-date stock performance of retail stocks show that “ultra low end” Dollar Tree (DLTR) and “ultra high end”Whole Foods (WFM) are the best performers whereas companies that are in the “practically undifferentiated middle” are down — Target (TGT) and Saks (SKS).

 

ORIGINAL POST:  February 23, 2009.

Spend polarization – in this economy, people will try to save every last penny so they will spend more at Wal-mart (low prices). But when they do treat themselves, they will spend on even higher end items like $40 balsamic vinegar, or high end chocolate (high prices).

Jacques Torres was packed before Valentines this year

low end
1. people buying private label, generics, or store brands (quality of which are pretty comparable to name brands)
Private Labels winning the battle of the brands
http://adage.com/article?article_id=134791

high end
2.we were at Williams Sonoma yesterday and I watched 3 families buy Shun knives (super expensive) and Shun has just released an even higher end series of knives by Michel Bras

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Monday, February 23rd, 2009 analytics No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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