Posts Tagged Google Chrome

Edelman’s observation of Google’s usability features just doesn’t cut it

I read an interesting report today from Harvard Business School‘s assistant professor Ben Edelman. Interesting in that he has completely overlooked the major usability improvements that Chrome and other browsers have brought to the Internet browsing experience. He claims, some of Google Chrome’s (and other things) features are designed to defraud users and increase revenues from it’s advertisers. His suggestions are outrageous and without proper thought or research. It’s very disappointing from a Harvard professor,I would have expected a lot more.

It’s quite clear from his report that this guy is a little wet around the ears when it comes to the Internet and how people interact and browse through any of the popular browsers.

Here’s just a small exert from his report:

To complete a direct navigation to the Expedia site, without passing through Google search results, a user must ignore Google’s suggestion and continue typing (“.com”), click the “expedia.com” entry (third on Google’s auto-complete list), or use the keyboard (down-down-enter) to navigate manually. In principle these steps are straightforward — just a few extra seconds. But by pushing default behavior from direct navigation to search, Google makes searches that much more frequent — yielding that many more ad-clicks, that much more revenue to Google, and that much more expense for advertisers.

Firstly Mr. Edelman, tell me this… How “the hell” else is the user going to go directly the expedia website without completing the full URL?

If they know the web address they are inputting why would they bother using the suggestions unless they are unsure as to the correct address? Also…. If a user has already been to this site – the top suggestion will be pulled directly from their web history. It’s ridiculous to suggest that Chrome is doing anything other than trying to improve your experience when using their browser.

Now, let’s look at his other point in this comment, “Google makes searches that much more frequent — yielding that many more ad-clicks, that much more revenue to Google, and that much more expense for advertisers” – how exactly?

By making it easier for us to search for something we are looking for?

He seems to be forgetting the fact that if we are typing a web address into the address bar of a browser, we most likely know the address of the website we want to visit, so we will most definitely ignore the suggestions provided by Google. Yes, we may get lazy if Google has suggested the correct URL and click it – but this will of course completely avoid going anywhere near Google and in turn there are no advertisement revenues to be gained by Google.

I don’t know, but lately everyone just wants to give out about Google. It’s like Microsoft all over gain – people hate them because of their success and do anything to tarnish their name, without having the full facts to back up their claims.

I would completely understand this report if it was about AOL Keywords, but judging by this report, Mr. Edelman has never heard of AOL Keywords.

For those of you that don’t remember AOL Keywords (obviously Mr. Edelman doesn’t) – it was a service provided by AOL where the big brand names could buy “keywords” from AOL for a premium. Users would type this into their AOL and instantly they would be directed to the website that purchased those keywords. As it grew in popularity browsers were being built that allowed you to do this directly from the address bar.

Edelman is clearing missing the point of this process and how it makes life much easier for those browsing the web, how it is used and when people actually click on one of the options provided by the suggestions. This is a clear case of someone overlooking things in order to suit their claim.

The report goes on to make more ridiculous claims – read it yourself and then ask yourself how this guy got into Harvard…. http://www.benedelman.org/news/051309-1.html

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Statcounter.com browser usage update – FireFox still losing

Mozilla Firefox Icon

Statcounter.com have released their latest browser usage statistics after the release of Google Chrome. Global statistics show Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox have lost users to Google Chrome. The US stats show some interesting statistics, with IE gaining in users to the tune of 4% and Chrome gaining by just under 1%. Overall though, Firefox still appears to be the biggest loser.

Global Stats – Browser Usage
IE Firefox Safari Chrome Other
Sep 01 66.92% 25.26% 2.99% n/a 4.84%
change - - - - -
Sep 02* 67.58% 24.36% 2.91% n/a 5.06%
change 0.66% (0.90%) (0.08%) n/a 0.22%
Sep 03 67.81% 23.54% 2.70% 1.11% 4.87%
change 0.23% (0.82%) (0.21%) 1.11% (0.19%)
Sep 04 68.59% 23.20% 2.56% 1.16% 4.51%
change 0.78% (0.34%) (0.14%) 0.05% (0.36%)
Sep 05 68.44% 23.22% 2.56% 1.12% 4.66%
change (0.15%) 0.02% 0.00% (0.04%) 0.15%
Sep 06 65.46% 25.43% 2.81% 1.16% 5.14%
change (2.98%) 2.21% 0.25% 0.04% 0.48%
Sep 07 63.15% 26.69% 3.02% 1.18% 5.96%
change (2.31%) 1.26% 0.21% 0.02% 0.82%
Sep 08 65.89% 24.46% 2.69% 1.10% 5.86%
change 2.74% (2.23%) (0.33%) (0.08%) (0.10%)
Sep 09 66.27% 24.17% 2.66% 1.07% 5.83%
change 0.38% (0.29%) (0.03%) (0.03%) (0.03%)
Sep 10 66.28% 24.31% 2.62% 1.05% 5.75%
change 0.01% 0.14% (0.04%) (0.02%) (0.08%)
Sep 11 66.67% 23.95% 2.59% 1.02% 5.77%
change 0.39% (0.36%) (0.03%) (0.03%) 0.02%
Total Change (0.25%) (1.31%) (0.40%) 1.02% 0.93%

More statistics and information on Statcounter.com’s blog – http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-latest-stats-globalusuk/

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FireFox losing users to Google Chrome

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06:  In this photo...

Google Chrome has only been in the wild a few days now, but it already seems to be impacting on FireFox‘s user base.

Browser usage stats from around the globe seem to have an overwhelming similarity. Internet Explorer grows its user base as does Google Chrome, while FireFox seems to be losing users.

Here are some examples:

http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-whos-losing
http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/09/08/early-stats-google-chrome-hurts-firefox-not-ie/

As I mentioned in my first post about Google Chrome, I don’t see many joe soaps installing it.

The next question is, how many geeks will use it over Firefox in the long run? I would hazard a guess… very little.

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Why a good 404 error page is more important than ever

Sign at the Googleplex

I’ve always been a fan of information packed 404 error pages. When a web search sends me to a page that no longer exists, I expect to be given some hints as to where I might find the new page or at least some indication of related content.

I don’t like to see a page with the boring old “404 Not Found” error message. It completely puts me off the website and instantly makes me look elsewhere. From an online marketing point of view, that’s potentially one lost client.

With the launch of the new Google Chrome browser, all default 404 error pages, will instead present a Google branded page with suggestions and a search box. This is such a waste from the website owners point of view as it instantly brings the user away from your website. Why would they bother staying on your site if they can just search for someone else’s?

When all you have to do to avoid this default action fromĀ Google Chrome is create a 404 page larger than 512 bytes it’s a simple and easy way to ensure that you are not losing potential visitors.

It must be noted that this feature is not only a default setting inĀ Google Chrome – but it will also be default in the new Google Toolbar 5 which is currently in beta mode.

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Google Chrome Review

I’ve been using it all of maybe an hour…. and so far I love it!

As far as innovation goes, it’s not hugely innovative. In terms of funky features, I really like the “most visited sites” page when you open a new tab. Rather than having to type in your most used website, you simply open a new tab and it will give you access to your most used sites plus searches and other items you use on a regular basis.

One other feature I love is the tabbing. You can drag, move them around and drag the tab to a new window and just in case you want to put it back, you can drag it back onto the the original window…. nice….

From a web developers point of view, they have a lovely option on right click which allows you inspect an element. This brings up a little dialog that allows you to look at the page markup and css styles.

One niggling element was the lack of a homepage button on the toolbar. But this can be put on by going “Wrench >> Options >> and ticking Show Home button on the Toolbar”.

So far I really like it… I’m sure time will show up more that I haven’t noticed.

As far as the mass using it? I imagine it will be a geeky tool, just like FireFox. I can’t see many joe soaps downloading it.

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