Interesting search results on Google today…
I usually do my book shopping on Amazon. Having built a history of preferences over the years, I must admit, their recommendations alone keep me coming back for more.
Today, I deviated from the norm while looking for James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds and searched Google. If you haven’t noticed, I’m intrigued by the potential of del.icio.us and Yahoo! MyWeb to deliver better search results optimized through a social model in which my peers, their peers, and by extension everyone, influences the results based on their preferences, tags, and ratings. The Wisdom of the Crowds surmizes that, “under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.”
Now hang with me a moment as I’m going to go all over the place with this post. My point is to share with you my experience and some search findings, not book reviews but. I was reminded of that book by Gordon Rios and, as I had just finished a fluff piece I read to keep my mind off of work for a while, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to turn my attention back to something that might grow a few brain cells instead of killing them. Ironically, his recommendation came at a time when I’ve been increasingly interested in the concept of collective intelligence and while looking him up, I was reminded of the small world in which we live. Gordon, it seems, worked for a time with Wink where a good friend, David Beach, now toils away (previously this degree of separation was unknown to me).
Anyway, I found the Google results interesting because 5th on the page is a link to https://slate.msn.com titled “Blink and The Wisdom of the Crowds – By Malcolm Gladwell and James…” Slate is a division of Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC, not MSN, with Search powered by Ask.com. I took a moment to contemplate that confusing result’s display URL before questioning the quality of the page title itself. Blink wasn’t written by Surowiecki any more than The Wisdom of the Crowds by Gladwell… (SEO’s, watch those dangling participles!)
So now I’m on a Malcolm Gladwell track having triggered in my mind The Tipping Point (a great book) and search on his name then the book title bringing me to what prompted me to write you today. Actually, two things.
Google has included product images from their Book Search platform, signaling another move toward more aesthetically attractive results. In a move akin to Ask’s page previews (mouse over the binoculars), engines are now trying to divert attention to move searchers away from the golden triangle. Who can say when this will permeate to those of us managing other products and businesses? One thing is certain, book sales are a little stronger today.
Also notice the Google Checkout icon displayed with Buy.com. I haven’t had a chance to share my thoughts with you on Checkout yet but this experience about sums it up. If you want to buy, there is no easier way to do it than right there, click that icon and Google adds it to your cart on Buy.com, all you have to do is close the deal.