Google Instant could kill Black-Hat SEO

Google Instant is a relatively newer feature in Google Search Engine- it suggests websites at each type of keyword rather than wait for you to type the whole keyword.

The impact on user experience is incredible- rather than search or scroll through the results- you are more likely to click on the almost one of the ten websites you would have seen by the time you finished typing- or just clicking on the relevant ad (which probably changes on the right margin as fast as the websites below)

This spells a death for all those who indulged in black hat SEO– or link building, link exchanging- as these techniques pushed up your rank in search page only incrementally and rarely to the top 2-3 for a keyword.

Remember the size of the screen is such that each Google instant snapshot basically shows you or rather makes you focus on the top ranked search (and then presumably type on to get a newer result- rather than scroll down as the case was before).

It would be interesting to see or research the effect of keywords in the auction pricing, as well as compare those keyword pricing with Bing.com- Maybe there should be a website api tool for advertisers -like Adwords Instant that would show them the price instantly of keywords,comparison with Bing AND the search engine results for the keyword in a visual way.

Anyways- it is a incredible innovation and it is good Google is back to the math after the flings with being “Mad Men” of advertising.

and yes- I heard there is a new movie coming- it is called “The Search Engine” 🙂

An interesting web hack is Google Images Instant athttp://hartlabs.net/instant/images/

Certifications in Analytics and Business Intelligence

I sometimes get a chat message on Twitter/ Facebook asking for help on some specific data issue. More often than not it is something like – How do I get started in BI/BA /Data stuff. So here is a list of certifications which I think are quite nice as beginning points or even CV multipliers.

[tweetmeme=”Decisionstats”]

1) Google’s Certifications

http://www.google.com/intl/en/adwords/professionals/

2) SAS Certifications

Quite well established and easily one of the best structured certification programs in the industry.

http://support.sas.com/certify/index.html

3) SPSS

The SPSS certification began last year and it helps provide a valuable skill set for both your practice as well as your resume. Also useful to have a second skill set apart from SAS in terms of statistical software.

http://www.spss.com/certification/

At this point I would like you to pause and think if the above certifications are useful or cost  effective for you as they are broadly general qualifications in statistical platforms as well as in applying them for the web analytics ( a key area for business analytics).

For more specialized certifications here are some more-

1) Microsoft SQL Server

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx

2) TDWI Certification

http://tdwi.org/pages/certification/index.aspx

3) IBM

Not sure how updated these are so caveat emptor!

http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245747.html

If you are knowledgeable about IBM’s Business Intelligence solutions and the fundamental concepts of DB2 Universal Database, and you are capable of performing the intermediate and advanced skills required to design, develop, and support Business Intelligence applications

Also IBM Cognos Certifications

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/education/cognos-cert.html

4) MicroStrategy

http://www.microstrategy.com/education/Certification/

5) Oracle

Included the all new Sun Certifications as well.

http://certification.oracle.com/

and http://blogs.oracle.com/certification/

6) SAP Certifications

http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/index.epx

7) Cloudera’s Hadoop Certification

http://www.cloudera.com/developers/learn-hadoop/hadoop-certification/

These are some Business Intelligence and Business Analytics related certifications that I assembled in a list. Many other programs were either too software development specific or did not have a certification for general usage (like many R trainings or company tool specific trainings). Please feel free to add in any suggestions.

Advertising Feed back Loop: Facebook and Adwords

In Systems design a feedback loop is something that measures the difference between expected and actual output and adds it back to the system to enhance it’s performance

For a better more accurate definition see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback

Here is how Facebook measures the satisfaction whether I got for an ad on my page- note fraudelent or systematic cheaters would be eliminated by the law of averages.

It places a very small thumbs up or thumbs down on an ad on right hand corner.

When I place a thumbs down on an ad ( note it shows only graphical ads)-it asks me why i didnt like the ad

Was it

1) Misleading
2) Offensive
3) Uninteresting
4) Irrelevant
5) Repetitive
6) Other- allows text mining of free form allowing subjective feedback.

However if I type say Business Intelligence on Google – I get the following

http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&q=business+intelligence&meta=&aq=0&oq=business+intell

Open Source Ad on Pentaho at prime spot just above the results. Makes me wonder how much open source will spend.

Search Results-
Wikepedia entry usually at the top ( but no ads there*)

Search Optimization means SAS Business Intelligence is now fifth from top- which is the first mention of a BI vendor there ( Note cost to SAS is zero as you can see below). In the remaining top 4, two are similar http://www.businessintelligence.com and http://www.businessintelligence.co.uk as the title page tag remains more important than sheer consumer behaviour to Pagerank.

Right Column Sponsored Links ( These guys spend more money than SAS to be on the sponsored links and still end up in a less favourable ad page than in top vendor on search results page)-

1 http://www.brgglobal.com
2 SAP.com/India
3 IBM.com/cognos
4 http://www.BusinessObjects-India.com
5 http://www.softsmith.com
6 http://www.syncfusion.com/BizIntell
7 http://www.intelligententerprise.com/

(Note from Ajay*- A senior IIM Alumnus CK Prahlad (the first batch in fact) – first expounded the concept of core competence-

Now-what is Google’s core competence.
I believe that Google should simply donate all its information on wikipedia, and offer Google Knol to it- rather than just wallow in sunk cost theory or expect an immediate return from this transaction. It will get lots of goodwill- and maybe the Google Wikipedia Knol will take off.

Similarly sell Orkut to Facebook and just take the advertising and search functions to be combined in a seperate spin off called Google Search before Microsoft forces the Europeans and Justice department to do so.

Or continue to moon the giant.)

I didnt like the Adwords ads or the order they were in. But there is no way in Adwords for me to give feedback to it. Facebook listens. Will Adwords listen.

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