Tag Archives: google

Google turned 14 this past Thursday, September 27th, 2012. I missed the date but better late than never.

As a company, Google and its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are an inspiration to me and I’d assume to millions of other innovators around the world. But rather than citing all the exploits Google has accomplished over the past 14 years I thought it’d be a more effective use of my time to write the following sentence.

14 years ago Google (as it’s known today) began their revolution of the digital era through Search, this month their Driverless or Self-driving car was proclaimed Legal in California and Governor Jerry Brown signed the autonomous-vehicle bill into law.

When innovation drives legislation and not the other way around, that’s human potential at its best. Happy Belated Birthday, Google.

Google Cake

Google Cake (Courtesy of


Google Doodle

This morning Google sent an email to AdWords users announcing some changes to their policy. The update specifically targets the abuse of duplicate site links on Google ads, which Google says they’ll be taking a more proactive role enforcing. Sitelinks are additional display URLs that you can append to a specific ad to provide more click-through options to your web visitors. Sitelinks have been a success – they improve user experience, click-through rates, and consequently revenues for Google.

Sitelinks must be unique, meaning each one should redirect users to a different landing page with unique content. Apparently Google has noticed an increase in sitelinks “created with the same landing page or the same content“.

It’s a bit nonsensical to me as to why someone would intentionally use duplicate sitelinks – unless of course it’s by mistake. Ah, the importance of good SEO!

If you’re not familiar with sitelinks, the image below shows an example of sitelinks for the query “apple”.

Google Sitelinks. Credit:

Google Sitelinks. Image Credit:

Below is the full email notification I received from Google this morning.

Dear AdWords Customer,

 We’re making a policy enforcement change that could affect the performance of any AdWords campaign that uses sitelinks. If you use sitelinks now, or plan to use sitelinks in the future, please continue reading to understand the changes and suggested steps you can take to avoid any negative impact to your campaigns.


Sitelinks make your ads more valuable by showing additional direct links to specific web pages that you want to promote. Users get to specific destinations on your web site more quickly. And, on average, you’ll see a higher clickthrough rate for your ads. That makes sitelinks a great way to improve your campaign performance. To see images or learn more about sitelinks, please see this AdWords Help Center article (


To ensure that users have a good experience with ad sitelinks, our existing policy requires each sitelink in a campaign to link to a different landing page URL with unique content on the landing page. That means a user can expect a meaningfully different landing page experience for each sitelink.


Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of sitelinks created with the same landing pages or the same content. So in the coming month, we will begin more proactive enforcement of our existing policy. Initially, we’ll focus on new and recently changed sitelinks. As your ads are being served, our systems will verify that your sitelinks meet the policy standards. Sitelinks that don’t meet the standards will be restricted from appearing.


Having fewer eligible sitelinks could keep your ad from showing in the larger 2-line and 3-line formats, where more eligible sitelinks are required. Remember, larger formats are more visible and typically have higher average clickthrough rates (CTR). And if you don’t have enough eligible sitelinks in your campaign, then your ads may not display sitelinks at all.


We realize that manually checking and fixing duplicates for your existing sitelinks and landing pages might take some time and coordination. So we’re delaying more proactive enforcement with existing sitelinks for a few months. But don’t wait until the last minute. And remember, any sitelink that you add or change will be subject to proactive enforcement right away.


To increase the chances of having more sitelinks shown with your ads, we recommend having 6-10 unique sitelinks in each of your campaigns. 

If you already have campaigns with sitelinks, we’d suggest reviewing each campaign to verify that it has 6-10 unique sitelinks. You’d probably want to start with the campaigns that show sitelinks most often. Usually, this would be a campaign with keywords like your business name and its best-known products and services.

Here’s how you can work through this using the AdWords interface.

1. Log into the AdWords interface and click on the “Ad Extensions” tab.

2. Select “Sitelinks Extensions” from the drop down menu.

3. Sort your sitelink extensions by impressions or clicks by clicking on the column header.

4. Click on each sitelink in the top campaign and follow it through to its landing page (there’s no charge for these clicks).

5. Fix any duplicates you find in each campaign by hovering over the extension area and clicking the pencil icon.


For more information about sitelinks policy, please visit the AdWords Help Center (

You can also contact AdWords support with questions about this policy change or anything else related to AdWords (

 Thanks for your help keeping ad sitelinks unique and valuable for end users. We wish you continued success with AdWords.


The Google AdWords Team

(C) 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

Boss talking to employee

Boss talking to employee

How many times have you read a job description that included the word “entrepreneur” or any of its derivatives such as “The right candidate should be entrepreneurial, self-starter, blah blah blah…”? My guess would be at least 90% of the time? If you are truly an entrepreneur (meaning actively working on a project outside of your commitments towards an organization that employs you full-time) you might get excited and think “Well, this company seems like a great environment for me” … and more often than not you’d be wrong. This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed for a few years now — sorry it’s taken me this long to write about it.

The truth of the matter is that there’s a certain amount of hypocrisy many companies show towards entrepreneurs. They want the skill sets and drive you’ve developed but only want it for their own benefits. What does this mean? I’ve had many people tell me, including recruiters, that you should not mention your side projects to employers before, during, or after job interviews. Even after you’ve secured the job you must thread carefully depending on your audience. To all of you, I rhetorically ask: WHY?!?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that companies invest a lot of money and resources to developing their employees and therefore must have systems in place to mitigate the risk of turnovers, which is a process that begins during the recruiting stages, rightly so. The point I’m trying to make is that they can’t and shouldn’t have the best of both world. Last time I checked, the legally accepted hours for a full-time position is 40 hours/week (many people go well above that especially if you’re salaried) and therefore employees should feel comfortable to pursue other interests or ventures beyond their job descriptions. I will go a step further and say employers should not only allow but vehemently encourage their employees to create or join startup projects.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. It is well documented that companies that truly foster an entrepreneurial culture tend to be more innovative and have higher employee morale. Google’s 20% factor – a rule that allows Google employees to spend 20% of their time working on projects that interest them – is a perfect example of this. Checked Google’s stock price over the past few years?

2. It is a great way to think outside of the box. Many of the ideas I’ve successfully implemented or that have failed (just being honest) at companies where I’ve worked did not originate from my cubicle. Many of times they were results of late nights and weekends projects that had nothing to do with my job function. Surely, I am not the only one.

3. The world is changing – get used to it. Advancements in technology and lower productivity costs partly due to globalization over the past decades have lowered many of the barriers that imped entrepreneurship. It’s become relatively easier for people to find the resources they need to turn their ideas into entrepreneurial ventures. Employers will have to get used to the growing trend of their employees starting or joining startups as “curricular” activities.

4. It could be a great investment opportunity for the company (or your boss). Don’t believe me? Ask Marc Benioff, the CEO of and his former boss at Oracle, Larry Ellison. Mr. Ellison did not only support Mr. Benioff when he began working on (even though it was a direct competitor of Oracle’s Siebel CRM) but he was one of its first investors. is a billion-dollar company and Mr. Ellison’s investment in SFDC has surely contributed to his fortune.

My argument is not that companies must employ entrepreneurs, it is their choice. However, the word “entrepreneur” on a company job description should not be limited to “former” entrepreneurs but include active ones as well.

As a part of its latest efforts to make Google+ more social (meaning nowadays “picture friendly”), Google has acquired Nik Software, the German firm that developed Snapseed. Snapseed seeks to “take the digital innovations pioneered for photography professionals and bring them to everyone.”

As Vic Gundotra, Google+ Senior VP of Engineering, puts it, “we want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone.”

I wonder how Instagram and Facebook feel about that.

Read the full post at The Verge.

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