Meeker on Internet Trends

Mary Meeker’s annual report about Internet trends always has analysts agog. This year’s show is 197 slides long. Better to use a summary – such as Tech Crunch’s posting: The Most Important Insights From Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report  – only 24 slides.

Of interest:

  • Top Internet companies are: Apple, Google, Alibaba, Facebook, and Amazon.
  • Next areas of opportunity for entrepreneurs with new products are education, healthcare, government.
  • Average American adult spends 5.6 hours a day on the Internet – mostly mobile.
  • “Vertical video ads”  is the term for ads shown on mobile devices – turns out people watch them.
  • Six of the top ten apps on mobile devices are for messaging. (oh oh – means companies will tack on ecommerce etc)

Learning about a topic area

Dan Russell provides strategies and tactics of what to do when “you need to learn about a topic area very quickly”. Start with thinking about the “domain” of interest – subject area / topic, and “frame” your question – you don’t want to know everything about the topic. He reminds readers that a librarian can help in shaping the question and in selecting resources – to which I add, you may be able to get that advice through online chat with your public library. But, you can also interview yourself – and his worked examples show the type of scans you can do of online resources.

To these I would add tools that can help in clarifying the question (disambiguate). Today, Duckduckgo is the main search engine that can help with pointing out aspects of topics.

Subject directories used to be excellent tools but today are either closed or poorly maintained. But it can still be beneficial to browse the subject tree – such as at the Toronto Virtual Library, or (dare I say), Open Directory Project for its categories.

The ways people search

Research by BlueNile into search practices shows an even split in the nature of queries, where half are fragments (or phrases – just 2 or 3 words) and the other half fully expressed queries. Another cut showed queries that were statements vs those that were done as questions. The study claimed to find that searchers have distinct approaches, but I think it’s more likely that searchers vary their approach depending on their knowledge and need.

Psychology of the Searcher Nathan Safran, BlueNile Research (Apr 28)

Google Search Operators

Jeremy Gottlieb gives some pointers on using search operators at Google for researching competitors in the SEO industry.

Competitor Research Using Search Operators | A Launch Point For Beginners, distilled (May 21)

He recommends

  • searching for keywords in the title – using intitle:
  • limiting the search to a particular site – using site:
  • limiting the search to part of the url – using inurl:

All are good, but you may run into problems with inurl. Repeated use of inurl: triggers Google’s anti-hacker system that will drive you crazy with captcha to prove you are human.

Bing’s future

Front page, lead story in the Seattle Times – Bing no longer a search-engine blip, Matt Day (May 22). Microsoft claims that one in five searches in the U.S. on desktop computers is done through Bing. Actually, Bing has been gaining from Yahoo – and Yahoo had been using the Bing database. Also – many challenges remain. Bing has yet to break even, or make any inroad on mobile devices.

Of greatest interest: “Microsoft has integrated Bing’s underlying data-crunching technology into its other software, and plans to tie it closely to its upcoming Windows 10 operating system.”