The Irony Of Google Slapping Its Own Wrist Over Chrome Paid Links

The Search world is all a-twitter with the news that the Google Spam team has downgraded the search rankings for the Google Chrome group because their actions resulted in bloggers being paid to write posts that included links to Google Chrome web pages. That is in violation of the Google Quality Guidelines.

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Internet Explorer 6 kthxbye

Previous logo of Microsoft Internet Explorer u...
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Internet Explorer 6 should be given a respectful and speedy burial according to Shane Richmond in the online Telegraph. He encourages you to tell an IT person that Internet Explorer 6 must die.

If you’re not familiar with online chat shorthand, “kthxbye” is a slang term generally used sarcastically as a condescending and dismissive insult (“Thank-you for your useless contribution to this discussion, now please go away”).

Richmond writes that:

IE6 was never a top-notch product. And these days it’s even more of a nightmare to work with, resulting in extra time and money being spent ensuring that websites are compatible with the damned thing.  Digg, Facebook and YouTube are all about to end their support for IE 6 and are recommending that users switch to a browser that works.

Among those speaking out against IE6 is a group of more than 70 developers who have banded together to form a project called ie6nomore.

Despite this clamor, according to the BBC, Microsoft is backing a long life for IE6. Indeed the software giant now says it will support IE6 until 2014, four years beyond their original deadline.  Their reasons may be more bound up with strategy versus Google and its cloud computing initiative than with what is best for customers.

The opposition as documented in the online Telegraph is virulent:

A crueller person might say that any IT manager who forces his company to run IE 6 in 2009 is dangerously incompetent and should probably not be in charge of anything more complicated than buying biscuits. However, it’s possible that they’re doing this because their company uses an intranet – or some other custom-built web service – that was designed to work in IE 6 and is useless in any other browser.

It is suggested that victims locked in by corporate policy should use one of the range of posters produced by the helpful people at Hey IT!

hey it ie6 poster

It is suggested that you should print it out and stick it on your computer, around the office or on your IT manager’s forehead. The Internet as a whole will be much improved when we all have said kthxbye (or should that be kthnxbye) to the worn and weary Internet Explorer 6.

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Making Complex Purchases

As Dave Brock points out, People Don’t Like To Be Sold—But They Do Like To Buy!

How do we facilitate the customer’s buying process? It’s a few simple things, but that can have great meaning to the customer—again much is focused on educating and informing. Things like: What are the questions they should be asking—of you and of your competitors? What should their expectations of a solution be? Are they realistic, unrealistic? What are the pitfalls involved in selecting a solution? What are the things they should be considering, but not thinking about?

Although many company owners may not realize it, one of the most complex purchase decisions they have is how to ‘buy’ their website.  If the website is to be a Powerful Sales Representative, then careful Website Planning is involved.  A website is as complex as an automobile and it is far too easy to create a website that is "Unsafe At Any Speed".

Given the ever evolving complexity of multiple browsers and a wide variety of devices, the only safe and sure way to avoid major disappointment is to carefully define the website functional specifications.  To understand what that involves, it is worth checking out a sample website spec.  Only with a carefully detailed specification can disaster be avoided. 

Undoubtedly most websites can be seen by their designers and by the website owner in a satisfactory way on their preferred device/browser combination.  However it must be seen in an attractive way by all their prospects with whatever device/browser combination they may be using.  That takes the right functional specification to achieve that.

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Google Chrome Manual

John Brandon asks this morning whether interest in Google Chrome is already waning. He feels that:

People use IE because it comes pre-installed and does mostly what they need it to. Walk into an office and glance around — you will see a lot of IE. Those who know better use Firefox because it is more stable, more secure, and faster. Where does that leave Chrome? I think as a third option for early adopters. But those who just need to get work done, who use Gmail and are too busy to mess around with bugs have probably all switched back to Firefox.

Just after the launch there was an initial flurry of interest. Mark Evans commented that a number of people had checked it out with some like Walter Mossberg liking it and others like Alec Saunders suggesting it was all a shell game. Mark Evans even questioned, What Took Google So Long?

Some experts such as John Andrews even warned that ‘under the hood’ there was a Google Chrome Bait ‘n Switch. That was because of some unfortunate language in the Agreement that all users had to agree to. Google beat a hasty retreat on that one but it still left a negative impression for some.

Google Chrome

By now, everything in the garden should be lovely. However like John Brandon, I am still left with the question as to whether this browser really has any natural customers. Clearly the power users find it lacking, yet the novices may well find its apparent simplicity somewhat baffling. I am still trying to get the Omnisearch field to accept searches with other search engines. I should be able to type ‘Yahoo cheeses‘ and get a search on Yahoo for cheeses. Perhaps the problem as PCWorld explains is that I am using Windows XP.

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Barry Welford

Type ‘google fish sticks’ to search for fish sticks on Google. The same syntax works for Yahoo, Amazon, Live Search, and other sites that are already recognized by Google or that you add. This feature, though nifty and promising, proved inconsistent in the early going: It worked for me most of the time on a Windows Vista PC, but two of my colleagues who were testing Chrome on Windows XP machines had trouble getting the feature to work.

It is all very well to have an ultra-simple browser like this, however a user manual is always obligatory. The only one I could find is the Power User’s Guide to Google Chrome. That title is an oxymoron if ever I heard one.

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