Every week, Fool colleague Matt Koppenheffer tracks the top blogs at Motley Fool CAPS. This post from investor SwingPoint caught my attention this morning:
[Are] Google [AdSense's] days over? Haven't web surfers gotten so used to seeing the ad formats and typical locations that they just know where not to look by ad blindness? The only thing I see Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) has for it in the near term is brand named search.
But here's the thing: DoubleGoo may be taking steps to counter the very issues that SwingPoint raises. ComputerWorld reports that Google is testing user input on search results. See something you don't like? Delete it. Or move it lower in the algorithm rankings. Or comment on the uselessness of the link.
For its part, Google isn't saying how or when these features might get implemented. "At this point, I can't say what we expect from this feature; we're just curious to see how it will be used," Distinguished Engineer Ben Gomes wrote in a blog post.
Allow me to offer a prediction: Give users tools to sharpen their search results, and they'll do so. They'll try to make Google smarter; Gomes and his peers should be grateful if they do. A smarter Google would produce more relevant search results. More relevant results would lead to more relevant ads, for which Google could charge more.
I get it, Mr. Gomes: Google is good at experiments. Experiment away. But please also remember that while your lead in search is growing, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) , Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA ) , IAC's (Nasdaq: IACI ) Ask.com, and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) AOL all want what you have. They, too, are talking with users and running experiments. Don't wait too long to get personalized search out of the Labs and into our browsers.
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