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About Gord Hotchkiss

Gord Hotchkiss is the President and CEO of Enquiro, whose goal is to push the search engine optimization industry forward both in terms of measurable results and client satisfaction.
Yahoo Back To Bargaining With Microsoft

In 1974, Sam Peckinpah directed the film Bring Me the head of Alfredo Garcia, the story of a bounty hunter who set out to avenge family dishonor (through rape and abandonment) by bringing back the aforementioned anatomical appendage.

More On Using Google Can Become A Habit

In last week’s Search Insider, I introduced the idea of habits, and why they can be hard things to break. This week, I want to explore how search engines can be habit-forming as well.

Cognitive Lock-In

Using Google Can Become A Habit

My wife Jill was the victim of another drive-by “why-ing” — and I, of course, was the perpetrator.

There’s a small specialty grocery store where we live that Jill visits every week or two. And almost every time, she complains about the experience. Outdated stock is repackaged. Food is rancid. The staff is surly. But she keeps buying there. After listening to another long-winded vent, I dared to go where no man should go. I asked her “why?”

There were a number of reasons that she gave. It’s on the way on her daily route. Parking is convenient. Prices are low. But the biggest reason was one she didn’t express, because she didn’t know it. It had become a habit. And habits are tough things to break.

Steve Jobs Says You’re Out of Touch
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That’s right. As you’re reading this, let me be the first to tell you, you’re hopelessly out of touch with the world according to Steve Jobs:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. 40% percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Search in the Third Dimension

The quote on the home page of SpaceTime is intriguing:

"I think I’ve found a product that makes the Google interface look like it was designed by Apple."
Rob Enderle, Enderle Group.

Search: 2010 – A Review

Yesterday, I had the tremendous privilege of moderating a Webinar with our Search 2010 Panel: Marissa Mayer from Google, Larry Cornett from Yahoo, Justin Osmer from Microsoft, Daniel Read from Ask, Jakob Nielsen from the Nielsen Norman Group, Chris Sherman from Search Engine Land and Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence.

It was a great conversation, and the full one hour Webinar is now available.

Dealing with Upset Customers

Anger is one of the less noble of human emotions. We tend to beat ourselves up when we get angry. After the emotion dies down, we feel a little foolish for losing control. As Ben Franklin said,

Visualization and Buying

Visualization risked becoming another one of those clichéd words through the 90’s, because it was used by every self improvement guru as a path to success.

Positive Face Time Equals Good Branding

The more I dig, the more I’m convinced that a big part of a brand’s success is the quality of its customer touch points, specifically, the face to face ones. Consider this overwhelming evidence:

The more emotion there is in an experience, the more vividly we remember it. It’s known as imprinting. So if we have very positive or very negative experiences, we remember them longer and more completely.

The Web’s Biggest Impulse Shopping Day

Satisficing, Bounded Rationality & Search

Herbert Simon came up with some pretty interesting concepts, among them satisficing, bounded rationality and chunking.

Facebook – A Framework in Search of Purpose

The one thing that’s interesting about Facebook is that it’s really a framework in search of a purpose. What’s not interesting about Facebook is that Microsoft just bought a tiny sliver of it for 240 million dollars.

Wisdom of Consumer Crowds?

Following up on the theme of the rewiring of our brains, is the internet making us smarter consumers as well? There certainly seems to be evidence pointing in that direction.

The Reasoning Behind Ask 3D
Last week in my interview with Jakob Nielsen, he called Ask’s 3D label "stupid". Just to refresh your memory, here’s how the exchange went:

Gord Interviews Jakob Nielsen

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Jakob Nielsen for a series I’m doing for Search Engine Land about what the search results page will look like in 2010.  Jakob is called a "controversial guru of Web design" in Wikipedia (Jakob gets his own shots in at Wikipedia in this interview) because of his strongly held views on the use of graphics and flash in web design.

From China to SMX
This is my first post since returning from China. I have to say that it was good to be home. In the plane flying over British Columbia, I had a new appreciation for the vast amounts of land with nary a human in sight.

Interview with Michael Ferguson of Ask
I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of my favorite usability people, Michael Ferguson at Ask.com. You can find excerpts of the interview, along with commentary, on Search Engine Land in this week’s Just Behave column. Some of Michael’s comments are particularly timely now, given Google’s announcement of Universal search.

Universal Search & Other Searchology Surprises

When Google yesterday invited a number of reporters to come down to Mountain View for an event they called Searchology, I figured they had something in the works.

I had to turn down the invitation because of other commitments, but we sent Enquiro’s Director of Technology and analytics blogger, Manoj Jasra down in my stead.

Google’s Defensible Trump Card?
A thought that came up in a conversation with Michael Ferguson, Ask’s usability guy (which is probably why I like talking to him. He always greases the mental machinery) was Google’s defensible position that personalization offers.

Google is betting the farm on personalization. And really, they’re possibly the only search engine that can make this work. Here are the required components:

Food for Thought on Google’s Web History

Yesterday’s announcement from Google about including Web history in search personalization marks a fairly significant development in disambiguating intent on Google.  Consider the implications.  One of the issues I had with the initial implementation of search personalization was that it really only worked when there was existing search history. 

SES – Signs of a Chasm Crossing from NY

It was an incredibly packed week (and hotel) at SES NY. As you’ve probably noticed, I didn’t get a chance to do any blog posts while I was there. But the good news I had a chance to sort through my inbox and set aside some post worthy tidbits that I’ll try to catch up with in the next week, so I’ll try to make up for lost time.

It’s About Connections, Not Control

Pete Blackshaw from Nielsen Buzz Metrics wrote an interesting column this week talking about the fact that CMO’s still have control.  He railed against the absolution of responsibility on the part of marketers, using the new buzzwords of consumer empowerment to justify the fact that they can throw more spam at the average user now because, after all, the user is in control. 

Scoble Figures Out Google’s Secret
Robert Scoble, in a recent blog post, cracked the Google monetization code on the search results page.  In a conversation with an unnamed Googler he found that Google can afford to dial down the presentation of top sponsored ads because they’re just more efficient at monetizing the traffic.  Of course, this shouldn’t come as news to anyone who read our last eye tracking report.  We went into great depth about Google’s ability do more with less when it comes

Gord on the Great K-Fed Debate

My SearchInsider column last week took exception with K-Fed launching his own search engine. Actually, I take exception with the entire concept of K-Fed that but that’s another point.

In today’s SearchInsider, David Berkowitz retorts, rebukes and refutes my negativity around all things Federline, saying that the K-Fed engine shows that search is ubiquitous, search is evolving and search shouldn’t be always all business, no fun. Ultimately he says let the market decide whether a Kevin Federline engine is a good idea or not. Hard to refute that point.