Will Critchlow's Posts



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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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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