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Google search-a year in review

Why Should You Care About Google Search?


Every year for the past few years Google has been creating these “Year in Search” recap videos that are emotionally charged, a little funny, and for some reason most people on Youtube hate them. I can’t understand why, I love them! I get goosebumps when I watch them, probably because they are rehashing some of the most important events of that year, its a neat way of looking at where we’ve come from.

For a while last year I was showing the 2014 Google year in Review video and it got a great response. People would be tweeting about their goosebumps after watching. I use it to tell the story of the most important yet most overlooked part of your marketing strategy, search. 

Social media will change, it always does. From MySpace to Hi5, and Facebook to Snapchat, it’s a never ending cycle. It’s hard to build a business around an ever changing platform. Do you know what doesn’t change? Search. Well I shouldn’t say “it doesn’t” change, because it does, it gets more and more valuable. As you use Google more and more it becomes easier and easier to navigate. From searching on your smartphones to voice commanded search, we love to search. It’s only getting more and more pervasive, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Why is Google search so important?

1. It’s not decreasing in popularity like most online platforms. Most popular sites have a shelf life. They gain in popularity, they grow to their peak, and just like any growth curve, there’s a decline. The online world has made it much easier to decline after your 15 minutes of fame. Search hasn’t declined, actually quite the opposite. Some of the keyword searches we’ve tracked over the past 3 years have quadrupled in volume. Think about that, “Real Estate Regina” three years ago was getting a quarter of the searches it gets now. That’s growing at a steady rate.

2. You can measure a lot with search. Every time someone goes to your website you can see where they went, where they found your website and how long they spent on your website. If you want to learn more about measurement, make sure you have Google Analytics on your website and talk to me about it! There’s an incredible amount of information on the backend of your website.

3. It’s the easiest way to solve your problem, specially in places like Regina. Think about it, ten years ago you used to look at the phone book or ask a friend when you needed something. How archaic is that? Today, whether it’s an argument about what the Mayor makes for a salary or who to call for a boost, Google is the number one place we go.

Sure other local apps will try and compete, obviously there is a lot of advertising revenue to be made if people frequent your “phone book” to find an answer regularly. That book is now Google, dislike it if you want, but it’s the future and if you want to be relevant in the future you have to understand Google the best you can.

Search on.

Ivory Tower

Do You Care About Post Secondary Education? Watch This…

Ivory tower the movie

Ivory Tower is a documentary I recently watched on Netflix and I think you should watch it too. It talks about the ever increasing cost of tuition. Universities can’t balance their budgets and there’s pressure from all sides to do something about it. Government funding is decreasing, student apathy is increasing and at the end of it all some of the critics are asking, do we really need to be charging what we are for a third rate education? 

You can learn from the Ivy League school online for FREE now. No you can’t get the piece of paper along with it but is that really you end goal of school? To have a $60,000 piece of paper?

Watch the documentary, it’s enlightening.

it's-supposed-to-be-hard

Upset Because You Were Cut?

 

No successful person in history went though life without failure.

It’s not about how many times you’re knocked down, it’s about how many times you’re willing to get back up after you’ve been knocked down(I think Rocky said that). In competitive sports there’s bound to be cuts. The competition ends up being a driver, a motivator, a reason to stay after practice, a reason to show up early, a reason to go to more camps, a reason to get extra reps in every day.

Those who love competition aren’t phased by being cut.

Everyone’s been cut from something. I remember being cut from the Provincial Volleyball team, I wasn’t tall enough, well that and I had the vertical of a small Elephant. I was cut from Tier 1 hockey twice, I was cut from tier 2 hockey once. I played an entire year in the worst hockey division in Regina for my age group. The following year I played tier 1.

It doesn’t matter the hand you’re dealt in sports, it’s how you react. It’s your attitude, and yeah it matters when your teams winning but more importantly attitude matters most when things aren’t going your way. When the world seems like it’s against you. When you feel like all is lost and that failure this time may be fatal. That’s the moment when your attitude is tested, the weak usually don’t last. Giving up is easier than fighting.

Many kids give up after being cut, many people give-up when they face insurmountable odds.

Many people don’t see the beauty that comes with a hard fought battle. There’s something romantic about sports and the endless competition. When all odds are against you, and you still prevail. There’s something amazing about the upset by underdog. There is also something special about the underdog.

When you’re cut you’re the underdog. The odds are against you. No one expects you to rise up again, no one thinks you’ll do it. But the greatest stories in sports are always underdog triumphs. It happens all the time. A team or person against all common sense defies the odds and comes out victorious. That will never happen without the right attitude and the resilience to keep moving towards your goal no matter what.

 

So, are you going to complain about being cut, or are you going to start practicing more and start taking fate into your own hands?

it's-supposed-to-be-hard

Why Using an RFP to Hire a Company is Fundamentally Flawed

Regina recycling not recycling glass

RFP=Request For Proposal. When a public institution needs to contract a company to do a job they aren’t capable of themselves, they send out a Request For Proposal (RFP). The RFP outlines what needs to be done, what tools should be used and some contain a whole lot more. A RFP is basically the project outline for any company that wants to bid on the project. Just like the recycling service in Regina, the City put out an RFP and Emterra won it.

When it comes to RFP’s the cheapest company usually wins. In business, simply going with the cheapest solution is rarely a good idea for your business.

Case in point: City of Regina hasn’t been recycling glass food containers

Turns out the “recycling” company (Emterra) the city hired doesn’t recycle glass. Doesn’t recycle glass?!?  What do you mean? Isn’t that a major portion of what we recycle?
When the city put the RFP out about recycling pickup, Emterra responded (conveniently leaving the glass part out) and quoted a cheaper price to do the job.

The city went with the cheaper option, without reading the fine print.

RFP’s suck. It’s a race to the bottom. It’s undercutting everyone else to get a job, that’s not right nor is it sustainable. Even if you do win the RFP, you have no budget room whatsoever, you have a slim chance at making this project successful, you’re forced to cut corners to make it work. Sadly it is the public entities that use RFP’s that pay the price.

That’s exactly what Emterra did, they didn’t exactly come out and say they weren’t going to recycle glass but with how little they’re getting paid per bin pickup there’s a reason they can’t process glass. And from the cities response you KNOW they didn’t catch it, if anything it sounds like it was directly the city’s fault.

Lets stop using RFP’s they aren’t helping anyone.

** I am making an assumption here that Emterra mischievously left the glass recycling out to create the cost savings. I recognize that they may have found it in hindsight and been an honest mistake. But if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a chicken!!!

Billy Beane on Innovation; Lessons From Moneyball

Moneyball Movie PosterIf you’re absolutely certain that what you’re thinking is correct, sometimes you have to disagree with an entire room of people, even if those people have much more experience than you.  “Experience” will get in your way.  “The way we’ve always done it” will get in your way.  “That can’t work, it’s never been done before” will get in your way.

Sometimes you can’t trust the experts, sometimes you have to trust your gut and stick to your guns.  Billy Bean  could have lost his job, but did what he needed to do. He was stubborn, unreasonable, down right crazy at times, but he knew it would work.

Innovation is based on measurement, calculated risk.  Innovators aren’t more risky than the average person, they just calculate risk in a different way.

The owner of the Boston Red Sox says to Billy Beane:

For forty one million, you built a playoff team. You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, Pena and you won more games without them than you did with them. You won the exact same number of games that the Yankee’s won, but the Yankee’s spent one point four million per win and you paid two hundred and sixty thousand. I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always. It’s the threat and not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it’s threatening the game. But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs, it’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They will go bat shit crazy. I mean, anybody who’s not building a team right and rebuilding it using your model, they’re dinosaurs. They’ll be sittin’ on their ass on the sofa in October, watch the Boston Red Sox win the world series.

Billy Beane essentially created a disruptive innovation in major league baseball by using statistics to make better decisions. This didn’t come without a price, it wasn’t easy, almost everyone around him at the time told him he was wrong. He had faith to see his plan through.

How will you…

  1. Recognize where using data can give you an unfair advantage against your competition
  2. Recognize an undeveloped disruptive innovation in your industry
  3. Recognize when to force adoption (for the greater good) instead of giving people a choice (Billy Beane traded away Carlos Peña so that the only option to play first base would be Scott Haddeberg)
  4. Recognize and standup to naïve experience
Jillian Walker

Episode 21 – Filming The Earth From Space, 50 Shades of Grey, and Nightmares w/ Jillian Walker

Episode 21 – Filming The Earth From Space, 50 Shades of Grey, and Nightmares with Jillian Walker

Jillian WalkerEpisode 21 with our Westcoast, fashion, marketing, HR, running and yoga Correspondent Jillian Walker.

You all remember Jillian (how could you forget her?!?).  She’s always good for an entertaining conversation.  Oh and I’ll warn you on this one, there is a wee bit of swearing, so don’t listen to this on the family trip up to the lake with the kiddies. Read more