Sogou.com Took the Place of Google in China

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According to the statistics of CNZZ (the largest Chinese internet statistic analysis service provider), the market share of Sogou.com exceeded that of Google for the first time on Sep. 30 and became the second largest Chinese search engine.

Insiders agreed that Sougou.com has been performing well in local search and vertical searches such as maps, shopping, music and imagines. In addition, Sogou.com has established deep cooperation relationship with online shopping sites such as Taobao.com. Also, Sogou Chinese input method and its browser drive more users to search on Sogou.com.

Sogou related personnel stated that Google’s values of pursuing of integrity, excellence and innovation were worth learning. They added that they would provide better online experience for Chinese internet users by their unique business model and integrating information more organically.

Sogou.com is subsidiary company of Sohu.com Inc. and was separated from Sohu.com to become an independent company on August 9, 2010. It has invited strategic investment from Yunfeng Funds. At present, Sogou.com mainly provides Sogou input method and browser besides its search services, among which Sogou input method is reported to taken up more than 80% of the whole market.

After Google announced its plan to withdraw from China mainland market in 2010, Chinese local search engines such as Baidu.com got an opportunity to expand their business. Although netizens in China can’t have complete access to Google services, Google.com is still thought as the best search engine especially among the netizens with high educational degrees.

One famous Chinese blogger, William Long, questioned this statistics. He tweeted that Google was still the second largest Chinese search engine according to the statistics of his blog and Sogou.com only drove a small proportion of traffic to his blog.

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WordPress.com has a new look

The new navigation bar on WordPress.com

When I logged in WordPress.com today, I found the top navigation bar had a completely new appearance.

The navigation bar on the dashboard page

Compared with former top bar, I like the new bar very much, which is very clear and simple. In addition, the new navigation bar on WordPress.com looks like the Google+ top bar very much. What do you think?

Kai-fu Lee: Zuckerberg Should Place Emphasis on Google+

Kai-fu Lee, Google’s former vice CEO, recently wrote an article to express his views on Google+. He agreed that Google+ is an excellent product and Zuckerberg and his Facebook should place great emphasis on Google+.

He analyzed Google+ from different levels

  • As an online social application, Google+ is great and has been praised by many Internet observers. In addition, the UI of Google+ was designed by Andy Hertzfeld and he borrowed various functions from Facebook, Twitter and even Weibo.com. All those functions were integrated into Google+ wonderfully. Some excellent functions include: integrate multiple functions;better mobile application than Facebook, especially on Android system; handy friends management with the concept of circles
  • Sharing more easily; Better chat function, especially the video online communications
  • Each online Google service can be integrated into Google+ easily. Gmail, Youtube, search, maps, Picasa and Docs have all been integrated into Google+. For the Google services heavy users, Google+ can provide more convenient way for its users to have access to all the Google products. Google changed the top menu into black specially for Google+
  • In the first ten days after Google+ was released, the number of users has reached about 10 million, which is beyond imagination. Only the servers of Google can support this fast growing number. Furthermore, many famous people are now using Google such as Robert Scoble, Bill Gross, Danny Sullivan, Kevin Rose and Guy Kawasaki.
  • On the aspect of technology, machine learning and data mining have given suggestions on circling friends. Google has great advantage in providing better search, sharing and findings. With the search recording and search habits, Google can optimize the user experience and options.
  • In this year, Google binds the employee bonus with the market share of its social service, which shows the determination of Google on the success of Google+
  • Google would use more opening API and favorable terms to attract the third part developers from Facebook such as Zynga. In addition, Google would sell the social products and other products to the advertisers together.
  • As of now, Google has almost 20 billion dollars in cash and has expressed that it would not care the profitability in a quarter. Everyone can’t ignore this large sum of money, with which Google can promote Google+ and acquire other companies.
  • Google is an opening company and it hopes that all the internet companies should be open. Google can search and organize all the information only on the opening internet. Facebook is a sealed company, which hopes to create value through making use of its own sources. Just because of the strong of Facebook, Google can’t index the content of the largest site on the world, which in turn can influence the searching experience and integration of Google search engine. Therefore, Google hope to force Facebook to become more opening with Google+.

Of course, Google also faces many great challenges

  • It is too late for Google to release Google+. Now Facebook has 0.7 billion loyal users and has become the platform of many applications. Advertisers begin to promote themselves by building their enterprise pages on Facebook. Would it be later for Google+?
  • The design of Google+ is wonderful. However, a successful social community can’t be built within only one step and it requires careful management and continuously change of content following the feedback of the users. Some say that Google+ is a good carpenter and building a social community is like planting a tree, but carpenter can’t make a tree with his handicraft. Just take Facebook for example; its success comes from the continuously small change gradually. From Harvard students who were allowed to sign in Facebook with their real names, to students in Ivy League colleges, to all the colleges students, to high school students, to companies and last to all the people, every stage for Facebook was a process to learn. In addition, it is a long time for Facebook to achieve today’s success. The number of Google+ users reached 10 million or even 100 million in short time, is there enough time for Google to solve all the problems? Can Google notice all the feedbacks from so large number of users? We can see the similar situation from the development of Stack Overflow and Yahoo Answer.
  • Google+ has gotten support from Google fans and geeks. However, those users may not be seeded users. Geeks only like the wonderful design but may not have fully formed social circles. Therefore, the original users of Google+ may not be able to communicate with the ordinary users well and create some excellent contents on Google+.
  • From the statistics of http://socialstatistics.com, we see that male users of take up 87 percent and female users only take up 11 percent, which can hamper the development of Google+ in future.
  • There are enough reasons either for the success or for the failure of Google+. The best situation for Google+ is that it can challenge the supremacy of Facebook, while the worst end is that Google+ could only become a community for geeks.

Therefore, Zuckerberg and his Facebook must attend much attention on Google+. Kai-fu Lee thinks that the users would be the winner at last. Google+ provides another way for the users. In addition, Google+ would force Facebook to become opening and improve its own service.

I use Google+ in China

F*ck! Google+ is blocked in China.

I am a heavy user of all Google products. After Google+ was released, I could not wait for experiencing it. However, I could not get an invitation. One day, a completely strange guy shared a message from his Google+ to my Gmail and I got the chance of experiencing Google+ by accident. I guess he/she just typed the wrong email address and I appreciate his/her mistake very much.

After a few days Google+ was released, it was blocked to visit in China for some self-evident reasons. We can only have access to Google+ through modifying hosts or via VPN.

Google+ is so hot in China now. On the portal sites, blogs and other social network sites, all the news about Google+ is discussed widely.

Many famous Chinese bloggers attributed the failure of Google Wave and Google Buzz to the lack of social gene within Google and think that Google has put too much attention on the technology.

I only use Google+ for a few days and I have used almost all the social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. As of now, I get the best experience from Google+. I want to call it a revolutionary product of Google. In addition, Google+ is completely different from Twitter and Facebook. I like the circles and hangout in Google+. The sharing becomes easier than in Twitter. The UI of Google+ is cool and fresh.

As a ordinary user, I don’t care what technology Google has employed and all things about professional analysis. I just care that whether the product is easy to have access to and can satisfy my needs.

Something about Google +1

Recently Google released the +1 button for the third part sites. This button emulates the like button of Facebook. Those two buttons are all codes that can be imbedded into your any site page. And the aim is to encourage the users to take part in the online social activities, which can increase the traffic of sites.

In the end of March Google released Google +1, which has been thought as the symbol of Google’s try to make its search results more socialization.

The traditional internet search is just the man-computer exchange. The users type what they want to know in the search box and the servers return them with the search results. Although most of people believe that the search engine such as Google must have take the factors of socialization and people into consideration, the ordinary users don’t know what those factors have affected the search results. The search results must be affected by the times of being dug on Digg.com, twittered on Twitter and liked on Facebook. But we users can’t affect this process. With Google +1 button we now can influence the results of search engine. When you search something such as foods and news, you can see the +1ed search results by your friends. Those +1ed search results would take precedence of the fault search results, which can also affected the search results shown by the servers and algorithm. Personal factors now become one portion of algorithm that can affect the search result.

Now we can’t tell how Google process the factor of +1 based on the friends relationship. We only know that the Google Profile would be taken into consideration. That means that you need to have a Google account to use Google +1. But the Google users are not closely related like on Facebook or Twitter, many people would not like to use the Google +1. That may be the largest disadvantage of Google +1.

Many people have thought that the Google +1 was just the castles in the air; because the Google +1 appears in the search results and the users could not decide whether to +1 it or not before looking into the results. And many people would not like to return to the search results after looking into the page. And now the Google +1 button can cover that shortage. Site owner can put that button on any place of the page and the users can click it expediently if they like the page.

There may be no differences among the Google +1, Facebook like button and Twitter. They all make the users to vote on the page content. And they would be put together on the site by its owner quickly. The Facebook Like button and Twitter emphasize on sharing to the friends, and the Google +1 button would affect the search results finally, which are based on the search algorithm.

Google hasn’t been working well in the field of socialization, such as Google Buzz. But with Google +1, you may at least want to check the +1ed search results by your friends.

Google Advertises on the TV to Promote Its Web Browser: Chrome

It is reported that Google takes part in the web browsers competition by advertising on the TV. And this time it is a 90 seconds long advertisement, which has been broadcast on the TV during peak viewing hours. This advertisement is aimed to promote Google’s web browser: Chrome.

According to the statistics of StatCounter, a provider of analysis of web sites, about 45 percent of computers are using the Internet Explorer of Microsoft, and only 18 percent of computers are using Chrome. But one year ago the market share of Internet Explorer was 53 percent and the Chrome is 8 percent. We can see from this the market share of Internet Explorer has fallen and the Chrome has increased. In addition Firefox takes up about 30 percent of the market share and Safari takes about 5 percent.

This promotion plan contains two advertising films: Dear Sophie and It Gets Better. Google adds emotional messages into the advertisement in order to attract the users who don’t care the technological advantage of Chrome. And those TV advertising films would also be broadcast on the different sites.

Google believes that if you use Chrome you may be using the Google search engine. And the more people use Chrome the more people would use the Google search engine and other Google products.