John French: The Power of Systematic Algorithms!
SightCare CEO John French on the power of systematic agorithms!
Everyone secretly wants to see what it is like in the offices of the big digital giant’s Google and Facebook. Well I finally got my chance when SightCare was invited to hold a workshop at the London Google building. It certainly wasn’t a building you could miss boldly prominent in the Google colours albeit a lack of signage on the outside. I suppose when you are Google you don’t need to follow convention.
The first thing that struck me was the tight security as you entered the building. No photos, entry only with a Google employee, only 5 people taken in at a time and every door requiring a passcard.
I got there early and was allowed to put up my SightCare banner so I could be found amongst the stream of Google staff coming and going.
Twenty expecting members arrived also eager to see the offices and to learn all about digital marketing from the leading experts. Our Google facilitator Nathan Potts was the perfect host directing us to some welcomed morning refreshments and once we had all gathered in the meeting room we were given some interesting facts about Google which I certainly did not know…….
Google was not the organisation’s name before it went public. Apparently it was called ‘Back rub’! And the planned name was to be ‘Googol’ which means ten raised to the power of a hundred (10100).
The rumour goes that the name was misspelt as ‘Google’ on the registration paperwork and so it remained. And to think I thought the number was spelt ‘google’!
So Larry and Sergie the founders launched the biggest search platform in the world and now, 19 years on, Google experiences 77.5% market share and 3.5 billon searches a day! Their flagship operation is in Silican Valley California called the Googleplex which proudly has environmentally friendly goats to cut the grass and a fossilised dinosaur which is to remind them never to become extinct!
Interestingly, while most people think of Google as a search engine, well two search engines if you include YouTube, it is also an advertising platform matching people with content and also attributes to product for service Adwords.
We were told that there has been a 14% year on year search growth for eye exams & optometry while the cost per click (CPC) has reduced by 8%. Eyewear has seen a 12% growth with the CPC cost reducing by 15%. There has been a doubling in ‘near me’ search interest in the past year.
More stats shared with us included a 25% growth in mobile searches while online searches on tablets has reduced by 3% and computers by 14%. Important for independents is the change in the Customer journey. 70% who purchase in store have searched online before and 82% of smartphone users consult their phones while in store deciding what to buy!
A very worrying fact was that more than half of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This sent us all rushing off to time our own website launch. And of course it is now vital that your website is mobile friendly as people are 5 times more likely to leave site that isn’t mobile friendly.
I was astounded to be told by Nathan that over 50% of traffic now comes from mobile devices!
We learned about ‘Micro moments’ a term which refers to something causing someone to pick up phone to purchase something. It was clear from the workshop that independent practices need a presence in each sector and we learned that Google gives small businesses the tools to do this.
The power of systematic algorithms! They are so smart to know the difference between looking at a product you can never afford and ones you can! Apparently 96% of online population has a Gmail account so they have our data! And 51% of smart phone users have discovered a new product/company when searching on a mobile. 1 in 3 mobile users purchase from a company they were not searching for!
It was a certainly a wonderful experience visiting the London Google office and the digital marketing content from Google was so good that I will arrange for more Google workshops to be run next year.
I came away from both days thinking that the internet is changing so fast that we all need to learn how to get ahead of the competition by using it to our advantage!
Thank you Google!