Will Critchlow's Posts



5 Forms of Google Advertising Coming Soon

I was not surprised to see a story come out about ads being read out by Google Home, but it seems many people were. It seems it’s easy to forget sometimes that Google is an advertising company! The only bit I found surprising was Google’s denial that it was an ad at all. The only way I can parse their strange denial is that this is a test during which the “partner” isn’t paying for the placement. Google said:

“This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.”

I more commonly write and talk about organic search than paid advertising, but Distilled manages a load of paid media - especially paid search - and so I thought that I’d share some of my thoughts on the future of Google advertising.

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What Executives Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-First Index

In November, Google announced plans to move to what they called “mobile-first” indexing, continuing a trend of increasingly emphasising the mobile user experience.

Depending on exactly what they mean by this, it could have serious impacts on mobile and desktop performance, even on businesses that don’t get large amounts of mobile traffic, and who may have so far deprioritised mobile site friendliness.

You may be affected if you have:

  1. A mobile site with reduced content on each page, different internal linking structure, or fewer pages - whether served on separate URLs or dynamically-served on the same URLs as the desktop site; and / or

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Where Will the Next Trillion Searches Come From?

I want to talk today about a shift in searcher behaviour as big as the growth of mobile. That’s quite a claim, so let’s back up and get some context:

We don’t have perfect information about how many searches are performed each day, but we can piece together some clues:

  • Around 2009-2012, Google was seeing “billions” of searches / day - this was largely desktop search

  • Adding up what we know about the growth of desktop search since then, and Google’s market share, that means there are at least 3 billion desktop searches / day today - or roughly 1 trillion searches / year

  • We know that mobile has grown astronomically fast, with Google telling us that mobile search volume outstripped desktop in western markets in 2015 - with additional growth since then, and the even heavier skew to mobile in developing countries, that’s probably another trillion searches / year

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Ways Recommendations Fail and How Split-Testing is Changing Consulting

It’s always bugged us that so many recommendations get shoved in a drawer and never seen again. I remember the repeated pain in the early years as we found ourselves getting surprised again and again by the clients who would commission us to create some in-depth audit, and then never make the changes we were recommending. As we spoke to friends and colleagues around the industry, we came to realise that we were far from alone in this. Indeed, we often come across in-house teams with multiple audit documents gently gathering dust, and with huge backlogs and waitlists even for high-priority changes.

Our obsession with figuring out how to have an actual business impact for our clients meant that this was really troubling for us - after all, a recommendation that never gets implemented can never make a difference.

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A Guide to Writing Better Business Documents

One of our core values at Distilled is that it’s not our job to deliver reports, it’s our job to effect change, which you can see in the Distilled manifesto.

You should see the thread arguing about effect vs. affect

However, in order to effect change, it clearly sometimes is our job to deliver reports, and we want to get as good at them as we possibly can and make sure we are as effective with them as possible.

To that end, I thought I’d collect a few links I’ve seen and thoughts I’ve had over the years on how to do this:

Give away the punchline

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