Posted by simarp in : Google, SEO ,
What is Google and what is its claim to fame? Answer is bound to be “Google is a search engine with a few significant and insignificant properties tied to it as an appendage”. I am sorry, this is a wrong answer. Google has always been in awe of huge destination site focus of Wikipedia and slowly Google has been integrating Wikipedia with itself. While Google was at it, it also started slowly integrating destination site features on its own, albeit current and happening. For instance, weather of different cities, flight schedules, time, name of head of states and so on. Google watchers, including this blogger, correctly interpreted Google’s desire to solve many “problems on its own” and reported it as and when they sighted it.
Why is Google doing it?
Google is doing it to keep traffic to itself and be seen as smart and up-to-speed with knowledge and information needs of today. Google is also doing it for your next subsequent business query. Yes, there is business out there. If you are checking weather or time or flight schedule, there is a high degree of propensity for you to search for travel, hotels and other such “high advertising rate” travel key-phrases. Google understands that it is traffic arbitrage which several made-for-adsense websites do and has learned from them. Google now does traffic arbitrage itself. It desires to convert non-commercial queries to proper business transactions.
How is Google doing it?
Google is re-imagining SERP. Yes, the money spinner Search Engine Result Page is being elaborately re-purposed for making more money for Google. Google is moving beyond in-your-face advertising by embedding business, and it has succeeded in almost 50% plus “vaguely and seriously” travel-focused search queries. A couple of years back I had written an article on “Top 10 things to do in Sydney”, since then it is one of my search terms to check how various Google algorithms respond to server, content, update, photographs and proximity. Base of this study is this search term which I used. My reaction was, “Google’s nailed it. Here goes millions of dollars of SEO money, traffic arbitrage ends in one more segment”.
Has SEO traffic arbitrage been given a body blow?
Yes, it has been, but it may just survive. Countless integration events and re-imagining SERP by Google have made this hugely income-oriented technical SEO a very risky proposition and is going to take it to the next level. Google has started working on killing “Top 10 segment”, which indeed was very profitable but then there is life beyond that. Hundreds of thousands of special purpose top 10 websites would slowly start folding. These websites have done lot of hard work in growing this segment. Of course, Google gets to keep a large chunk but there would still be a lot left on the table to chew.
Who would get to chew what Google leaves on the table?
Current and credible websites which consistently update themselves would get huge cuts from this pie. Google is re-purposing content, not creating it. Hence, the creators with their magicians wand can spin a magic. Integrated multimedia content is likely to call the shots and Google is definitely going to work with them. The question is just about to change from – Are you solving a problem for Google? to Are you the best solution for this problem?
Are you the best solution for this problem?
Google just moved the bar significantly higher and, having done that, changed the question. Many summers ago it ceased to be about content, it became about solving the problem. Now with zillions of solutions around and basic solutions embedded by Google itself, being the best solution is key to surviving and thriving. To be “the best among zillions”. For the best solution, one is required to slice and dice the problem in several parts and fragments and offer solution for each of them. That is going to be the differentiation which is gonna keep cash registers running. A lot more questions need to be asked before content goes to drawing board now.
Google is the New Age Wikipedia,____ might as well learn quickly to live with it.
Posted by simarp in : Search Engines, SEO, websites ,
Posted by simarp in : Elections, India ,
Do SEO lessons from over 2 decades of its history still hold ground? Does it make any sense to invest in doing static content? If it is photograph you wish to get popular, go to Instagram, right? Videos and YouTube are synonyms, right? All of the above questions have same answer Yes and No. Let us look at them one by one.
Do SEO lessons from over 2 decades of its history still hold ground? Some do, most don’t. Fundamental question which needs to be answered while doing SEO remains – What unique problem are you solving? If you can do an elevator pitch sort of answer to this question, SEO would work for you. If your answer goes like “Yes, but, but I still think…” Just drop it, SEO is not going to help. For example if your content says “There are numerous reasons why India is not growing by 10% and above….” you are not solving a problem, SEO won’t work. If your content reads “Primary reason why India is not growing by 10% and above is its very high level of corruption, other reasons are…” you are solving a problem, your SEO is done. Lessons which don’t hold good are:
Gaming Google – Doesn’t work, today’s Google is very smart, not yet foolproof but almost there. it is very focused and very mean, it is under pressure too. So, if you are gaming Google, you are ensuring that Google’s fails in front of its users, which Google just can’t afford today. So no gaming Google.
Stuff basic information – Who, When, Where, Why, How – and you are done. This no longer works. Google is ensuring that for every Who, When, Where, Why, How – which hits big number, Google embeds solution on SERP itself at number one position. You are gone. Google fulfills that need and closes the chapter. Adding flight schedules, addresses, zip-codes, weather are all pass. Google embeds almost 20% results of total queries in its SERP now.
Image Size Manipulation – No. Google’s image recognition system today is empowered, it identifies size manipulation and treats it as spam. -30, -50 – whatever follows.
Does it make any sense to invest in doing static content? Yes, it does and No it doesn’t. Why Yes? If your content caters to an emerging segment and what all to see and in that segment you have a first mover advantage and your content has citation about authenticity, you are home. Writing about – Where is Taj Mahal? How to reach? What to see? No, it is not going to work. Google has trusted providers which have been verified by users, that already solve a problem to Google’s satisfaction, so please don’t waste time.
If it is photograph you wish to get popular, go to Instagram, right? Yes, but you just can’t ignore Google. Google’s updated search relevancy to image search mapping is very powerful. Almost 30% generic searches show up an image. On around 5% searches images come in 3 rows and all content is pushed down. Image optimization ensures traffic.
Videos and YouTube are synonyms, right? Google runs Search, Google owns YouTube, all the more reason to ensure your YouTube videos are optimized on Google. Not that people would come looking for videos, but because google shows up videos where it thinks the query actually needs a video result. If search term is Elephant Safari, Google goes to YouTube to look for an Elephant Safari video and show it to you. If your videos is Google optimized, you get to be picked up. Works.
SEO remains a powerful economical traffic generation tool, now it even comes with many “How to use Google” third-party manuals. Read them all. No harm.
I didn’t like Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet, indicating victory. It is a defeat by all yardsticks, AAP’s attempt to paint defeat as victory is not going to help them drill deep to what all is going wrong within their framework.
13 MCD seats and AAP gets just 5, AAP must start working double quick. They are losing their base and they couldn’t activate their cadre to come out and vote. For AAP anything below 10 is losing ground on their home-turf and with 5 one can safely say they have lost 50% ground since they came to power. Yes, if elections are held in Delhi AAP would manage to comeback, barely. This kind of drop indicates lot of failures on lot many fronts.
BJP is left wondering what wrong did it do now. Congress has a reason to say, we will come back. For BJP it is writing on the wall, BJP was confident that they will get almost all. Like AAP BJP has been hurt, more so than Congress which drew a zero in state elections just over an year ago. Congress got 4 with another going to a Congress rebel candidate, who may join Congress.
Posted by simarp in : USA ,
At the end of the day “Ye Dilli Hai, Sab Jaanti Hai” – This is the city of Delhi, it knows everything.
Donald Trump is happening and he is going to be there on billboards. Hate, resist, desist, crib whatever, he has a real chance of putting his legs on the desk at Oval room and pushing his line of thought to every “intellectuals” and “suave” US citizen.
I have been asking my self, would that be good for America? What does he mean when he says America First? Does that mean he wishes to ensure that the US minds its own monkey business? Does it mean that the US under Trump is going to be a “sales man” keen to impress others to ensure that its wares sell the most? Looks like. It is also very likely that Trump may significantly dilute whatever he is making everyone hear, this can be very strategic, this bad man image. Of course he is not saying anything which is said in millions of households in the US.
Trump is unlikely to do good for beggars on the streets of Chicago and New York, he is unlikely to do good for Muslims, he is unlikely to good for Mexicans, Indians, Chinese – so whom is he likely to benefit? White Americans and maybe Black Americans, and if he does that would it be good for America? Yes, that is a loaded question and yes, it is a nobrainer, it will be good for America.
More to come…
Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India ,
Posted by simarp in : Food, Review ,
This update is from an Indian who hates his country when fellow countrymen allow their sick minds to leave permanent scars on people they have nothing to do with and bother about –
Example of societal failure,
Listen, if you don’t like girls wearing short skirts and moving around with boys, too bad. What they are doing, with whom they are going and what they are wearing is none of your business. The hands which dragged a young girl from her hair are the filthiest and weakest human hands, the men who did this are narcissists with no dream or destination in mind. They should be put behind bars for good 7 years or more and have it drilled in their heads that when you misbehave with a girl, you demonstrate your sick mentality, that as per you all women including your very own – mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, daughter are not equal to you because of their gender. You, useless, powerless, valueless, dysfunctional piece of human life, i pray you die hundred deaths and each death is ghastly, crippling and incomplete.
I am sorry, this country is not learning how its women folk have same life as men.
Is Zomato Broken? Yes, I think so and here are a few reasons why I believe that has happened. But first, am I qualified to write this post?
I am a Zomato Level 10 – Super foodie reviewer who has contributed over a million page views by his reviews and photographs to Zomato. I am an expert in Janakpuri, New Delhi and San Jose, California and nearly an expert in five other geographic divisions. I have done 117 reviews and shared 264 photos at the time of writing this post.
I am also an internet evangelist having initiated and contributed to dozens of moderately successful and seriously profitable internet projects.
Reason for me doing this post is a news item in Mint about HSBC halving Zomato’s valuation to $500 Million. I agree with HSBC but also believe that HSBC probably missed quite a few prompters, I am not sure whether real value of Zomato is even $100 Million today. There are huge data disparities between Zomato’s data available on various independent platforms, which is definitely an indicator that the data is not reliable and there is something seriously broken somewhere.
Here I go:
Posted by simarp in : Poems ,
- Zomato was doing all good as a restaurant search and review business.
- It was all fine because they were focused on what they were doing and not looking around too much.
- A lot was happening in food space while they were working on their search and discovery model, and they blinked.
- Zomato started expanding at a feverish space.
- Zomato started “not noticing” new set of reviewers and quality of reviewers who were joining them and posting reviews.
- Zomato suddenly stopped improving their core search and review model.
- New markets and new models started emerging.
- They took a bad call in removing online restaurants and food aggregators like HolaChef and CyberChef.
- Advertising money spent to push food delivery was a complete waste.
- From their niche of revenue first, they moved to top-line first.
- Expenses shot through the roof.
- Dressing up of numbers and selective data sharing started.
- Panic announcements to impact “we are doing good”, “we are breaking even”, “we will soon be profitable”, didn’t do any good.
- It made people wonder, is Zomato in trouble?
- Those who didn’t know that Zomato was losing money started wondering what’s that? Oh this one.
- Committed reviewers who were seeing a win-win for them stopped investing in creating their strong profiles on Zomato.
- Number of “new openings” and “closures found” reporting fell dramatically, reducing credibility of what Zomato was sharing.
- Zomato had no bandwidth to discover this and ignored this earthquake altogether.
- Their existing ground starting sinking and New Worlds were still to show any discovery.
- Panicking Zomato increased noise level and reduced fundamentally important expenditure.
- Communication or appreciation to reviewers stopped.
- Reviewers typically don’t order food and those who are searching for reviews actually want to take people out, pushing these two communities to do what they don’t intend to nosedived this business.
- Food Delivery is an extremely crowded space, making money there is no cakewalk.
- Zomato is likely to slide further unless a few billion dollars are invested to scale up magnificently and expediously in atleast 3 business segments and 20 markets.
- I would continue writing for Zomato, but that enthu and spirit is missing, that feeling I am risking my time and money by investing on a platform which may not be there in the long run is a sad feeling.
When it pains
Many have done this before me
Many would do this after me
Only a few are remembered for what they wrote
Only a few will be remembered for what they write.
Morning writings don’t reflect sunshine
Evening writings don’t reflect sunset
Pain is the constant
Pain comes and pen writes
Pain goes and pen stops.
Soul uses the pen
Hand is just an instrument
Words are formed by soul
Hand is commanded by soul
When and how I don’t know.
I do go back to read what I wrote
I do wonder why anyone should read me
Why should they waste their time
Everyone has pain
Everyone has soul
Everyone has expression.
Pain written is just words
What life it has?
Why believe tears on paper?
They are just tears
They don’t belong to anyone.
Has anyone ever escaped from pain?
Will anyone ever escape from pain?
Why bother, if it is not only you
Even if it is only you
Yes, there is reason to bother
Writing releases pain
Writing connects souls of pained
What lips can’t say
Soul becomes lighter
Soul finds another reason to fly
Soul finds yet another reason to cry
Yet another reason to be in pain
Yet another reason for soul to write….
When I am in pain
Posted by simarp in : Management ,
Defining Compare Infobase – It is all about you
How do you define an organization which you are so much part of? Maybe by just writing what the organization stands for – here is a partial list of what CIL stands for.
- 100% meritocracy based entry
- Masala Chai
- 100% performance triggered exits
- Kite Flying on August 15
- Work-life balance
- Rs 15/- Lunch Thali (Unlimited refill)
- No looking over the shoulder
- Parle G within 30 seconds walk
- Mapping Portals, Mapping Products, Mapping Projects
- Cake Cutting Celebrations on last day of the month
- Current, Credible and Consistent
- Leave on January 1
- Google – largest client
- 7:00 PM evening snacks
- Over 30 Million page views per month
- Flexible office time
- Owns Mapsofindia.com
- God forbid, it gets tough for you, CIL stands behind
- Client satisfaction is key to CIL’s being
- Long rope to learn
More to come…
Posted by simarp in : Is anyone listening ,
Come on, this is the time to do good, this is the time to Make in India, this is the time to Make India and by this time, I mean now. Let us Make India happen now. To make India happen now, all of us have to participate in doing good in our circle of influence. Thinking that the government can make India happen is foolhardy, we have to start making India happen in any which small way. We have to step out and Do Good on our own, we all await our chance and our chance is now.
We are you, the only difference probably is that at this juncture of our life we have some bandwidth available to put our ideas to action. And we have bandwidth to shift your idea and contribute to action.
A group of professionals from software industry and from rural development have decided to explore the possibility of setting up an Information Technology platform to help the people affected by drought through this project. This is a direct action platform -
- Demand is being assessed and donors are being identified.
- Speed is the essence of this project.
- In less than 48 hours of the project getting a name, first beneficiary has been identified and steps have been taken to get water to reach 70 families every day.
- There is more which is going to happen and we will make every day count and leave its own impact.
Some of the names associated with this initiative is:
- Arun Jain : An IT professional who is a leader in Financial Sector in India
- Yogesh Andlay : An IIT professional with interest in social sector
- Ajay Kumar : An engineer involved in Rural Development and Agriculture
- Project supported by Compare Infobase Limited
This project is shared at http://DoGoodNow.in
Posted by simarp in : Blogging, Friends ,
Smiles come from within
We are brothers from another mother, in other words Sibling Friends. We have been friends for so long that most people we meet and interact with were born after we became friends. Yaarian, is the right word in Punjabi to define this bond. We are there when needed most or least and in between the two events.
These smiles are all about tons of years lived together, making life happen. As the luck would have it, Kapil’s son is away from home, studies in Holland, Yogesh’s daughter is away from home and studies in Germany and my daughter is away from home and studies in the US. Yogesh and Kapil have one kid with them too. Best part is all our kids rock together, some day we will make a band and all eleven of us would perform together.
Best part about these moments is sitting with legs crossed on the couch and slowly sipping that one pint of beer which refuses to finish ;). You get most comfort when you have least inhibitions and that is what childhood friendships deliver, day in and day out.
When we smile together, blessings from Buddha can’t be far behind.