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Tim Peter

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June 29, 2017

OK, Google, After the EU Fine, is Google OK? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 198)

June 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

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OK, Google, After the EU Fine, is Google OK? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 198) – Headlines and Show Notes

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Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

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You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 30s

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Tim Peter

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January 7, 2013

What Google's Flight Explorer Tells Us About the State of Travel Search

January 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

No sooner did I mention that Google will be able to explore lots of innovation and opportunity now that they’re free of regulatory investigation, than the company introduces its new Flight Explorer feature.

Google Flight Explorer screenshot

Just put in where you’re looking to go (the feature “auto-magically” determines your starting airport) and how long you’re willing to travel and the feature will show you the best flight options (best defined as cheapest) available to you.

At present, it looks like all the inventory is coming from the individual airlines, which they must love. Of course, the OTA’s probably won’t be happy. But it’s a fascinating move from Big G and one worth watching as we move forward.

Clearly, Google thinks this is an underserved way consumers want to search. I think they’re right—I’d have killed for this a couple of weeks ago while trying to plan an inexpensive getaway for my family. Google’s now free of the (immediate) threat of government involvement in their day-to-day product direction, which means this likely isn’t the last enhancement of this kind we can expect to see. While this one looks good for suppliers and competition for intermediaries, that won’t necessarily remain true for any future enhancements. I’d stay tuned on this front if I were you.

I’ll be exploring and explaining what features such as these mean for your business in the Biznology webinar I’m conducting January 15th: “It’s All E-commerce: How the Local, Social, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline”. We’ve still got some space, so register today and learn more about how all channels tie together in the social, local, mobile web.

Tim Peter

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March 2, 2012

Google now offers airlines a CRS platform. Is this a Good Thing?

March 2, 2012 | By | No Comments

OK, this I didn’t see coming. Google just built its first airline CRS. Big G has worked with Cape Air to provide a reservation system,

‘That may not look all that different from other airlines’ systems on the surface, but Google says that there’s plenty different going on under the hood, noting that it was built “from scratch using modern, modular, scalable technologies.” That last bit is perhaps the key one, with Google further adding that the system is “built to scale to support airlines of all sizes.”‘ [Emphasis mine]

On many levels, this makes loads of sense both for airlines and for Google. The search giant offers server power and engineering talent on a scale unlike, well, just about anyone. And what better way “…to organize the world’s information and make it universally available” (Google’s stated mission), than get airline information (and, eventually, I would assume, hotel information and car rental information and…) directly from the source.

Further, I can imagine many airline executives (and hotel executives and car rental executives and…) drooling over the notion of letting Google do all the heavy lifting on the tech front. And the idea of the large players in the space (Sabre, Amadeus, IBS, etc.) facing further competition is a good thing. Isn’t it?

Probably.

The one possible downside here is that for airlines (and hotel companies and car rental companies and…), Google represents one of their largest advertising partners, too, with huge market share for search, display and mobile advertising dollars.

Giving Google access to all inventory, rate and passenger data could potentially lower distribution and reservations systems costs for its future customers. But it could also potentially cost a lot more for advertising, too, as Google learns more and more and more about these businesses.

Which is definitely something to watch in the coming months and years.

Tim Peter

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January 11, 2012

Google is not Evil. They just appear to be.

January 11, 2012 | By | No Comments

Is Google EvilGoogle is making lots of news this week and not all of it is for the right reasons. First, they introduced their Search, plus Your World enhancement (hereafter referred to as Search Plus because Danny Sullivan is a genius), incorporating social results more fully into the company’s search results pages. Twitter hates it, while Matt Cutts thinks it’s magical.

Me? I’m ambivalent. This has been a long time coming and, while I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon, I also think it’s incomplete, if for no other reason that so much of the social content that makes Search Plus attractive comes only from Google+. Maybe as Google+ use grows, Search Plus will become more valuable to consumers. But it’s way too soon to suggest how it’s going to affect business (though I plan to take a couple of guesses next week).

Speaking of the business impacts of Google+ growth, Matt McGee takes a long look at the growth of [Not Provided] as a referring keyword from Google. As I noted in the comments, the more folks log into G+, the bigger potential business impact.

What these two stories have in common is both present Google in a less-than-glowing light. In the first, Google appears to promote its social service ahead of alternatives such as Twitter and Facebook. In the second, Google offers its paid search customers benefits unavailable to those who don’t pay.

But are either of these “evil”?

You could easily argue that they’re not.

Now, before you get out the torches and pitchforks to storm my castle, hear me out for a second. If you made moves that benefited your bottom line and stuck it to your competitors, do those moves make you evil? Of course not.

So why isn’t that true for Google? Shouldn’t they get the same opportunity as you? (Ignoring for a moment any antitrust issues, of which I expect Google to face plenty pending the outcome of this year’s elections).

Actually, here’s the problem. Google’s stated mission is to “…organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” All the world’s information, universally accessible. Not just the information available on Google’s services and not just to people who pay them.

From that perspective it sure looks like they’re compromising their core mission some. That may not be evil. But if you sacrifice your values to boost profits, eventually you’ll end up with neither.


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Tim Peter

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December 16, 2011

Biznology: 2 Huge Search Marketing Risks in 2012—And What To Do About Them

December 16, 2011 | By | No Comments

Most of the businesses I talk to increasingly have shifted their media spend towards paid search. And given its growth, who could blame them?

But, between the growing importance of alternative information channels and the possibility of serious antitrust oversight, next year will challenge Google with the largest threats in its history.

How can you be sure that this doesn’t turn into the worst possible time to start search marketing for your business? My latest post on Mike Moran’s Biznology blog, “2 Huge Search Marketing Risks in 2012—And What To Do About Them” seeks to answer just that question.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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