April 11, 2007
Google’s Website Optimizer Not Optimal Product Naming
An excellent article by Mike Levin in Online Media Daily describes the frustration some users feel with Google’s new Website Optimizer tool which might not actually be a Website Optimizer at all. Instead, says Levine, “What Google's doing is called multivariate testing, or A/B switching.”
Levine’s carefully written article points out that Google is either naive or ignorant of the fact that by naming this new, important tool a Website Optimizer, admittedly a much more attractive sounding product name than, say, a "Multivariate Tester”, they are suggesting that this is a marketing tool. Instead, it is essentially a means through which Google ensures that users use AdWords to drive traffic to their site.
Site optimization, argues Levine, should actually give marketers far more flexibility.
This means Google is giving a new meaning to common terminology, and rewriting it in its own image and that of AdWords. Because Google’s products are becoming ubiquitous, it does seem that the entire definition of the name “Website Optimizer” is likely to change into the one that fits into Google’s “walled garden.”
It is distressing to see Google not resisting temptation here. Andrew Girdwood at e-Consultancy called it a stormy teacup yesterday, leading Ben Robison to declare that the product actually “conflicts at a very basic level with the things you should be doing for your long-term SEO.”
Google’s alliance with AdWords and AdBot leads to some embarrassing mistakes on another side of the Internet, notes Violet Blue at SF Blue. Essentially, some fairly tame words cannot be named on the conservative AdWords, inadvertently marginalizing transgender and fetish sites and searchers. There’s also concern over display ad placement of concurrent advertising campaigns that use similar names.
Google has numerous reasons to stick close to AdWords, many of them designed to protect the company from fraudsters. But introducing misnamed software that pushes Google customers into the same relationship is a different matter, and harder to support.
Google knows better.
TrackBack URL for this entry: