Will Critchlow's Posts



The EU is Wrong, but Google is Still in Trouble

I’ve found it tough to get my head around all the arguments in the recent EU judgement against Google. I find that writing helps me get my thoughts together and work out what I really think, so here goes. Let’s find out whether I agree with the ruling or not…

First - the background - you only really need to read two things to get the gist of the complaint:

  1. The EU’s press release announcing the record EUR2.4 billion fine is surprisingly accessible and readable, and links out to a bunch of useful resources

  2. Google’s response is relatively short and seemingly light on content, but actually frames the key points of the counter-argument well when you know what you’re looking for - see below!

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Early Results from Split Testing JavaScript for SEO

We’ve been testing what happens when pages rely on JavaScript to render properly - and one of our first tests showed an uplift when we removed a reliance on JS:

As many of you know, at Distilled we believe that it’s increasingly important to be testing your hypotheses about what will affect your search performance.

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Hey E-commerce Managers, Amazon Loses Their 1-Click Patent This Year

To: Digital Marketing Manager, e-commerce clients

I wanted to make sure that you know that Amazon is losing their patent on 1-Click checkout this year. It’s always been amazing to me that they were granted this patent in the first place, but they were (in the US - the EU took the unsurprising view that it was too obvious to patent).

If you aren’t already, I strongly recommend speaking to counsel and the product team to build in a plan to launch a one-click option as early as you are legally allowed.

Background and legal fights

Not only was Amazon awarded the patent on the 1-Click checkout - they also successfully wielded it. Amazon sued Barnes & Noble in 1999 - a suit that was settled in 2002 - and although terms were not disclosed, it ended with B&N removing its single-click system.

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The New York Times Makes Poor Argument for Breaking up Google

At the end of April, The New York Times published an opinion piece that was widely circulated among my network entitled “Is It Time to Break Up Google?”. I saw a lot of people excited at the idea, and the concept of a monopolistic Google obviously resonated with many. Unfortunately, I thought that it was a poor article and that there was not nearly enough critical thinking being applied.

When it was shared on an email list I’m on, I hammered out a rant explaining my issues with the article. This post is an attempt to clean that rant up into a reasonable state for wider discussion. I’m sure there are a bunch of areas where I am also wrong, and I’d love to hear others’ opinions.

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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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