Gord Hotchkiss

Gord Hotchkiss

Bing

Bing’s Stefan Weitz: Rethinking The Search Experience

Way back when, in the dying weeks of 2009, I asked the question, “Where does search go from here?” It seems that everyone agrees we’ve barely scratched the potential that is web search, but what might that scratch reveal? What will our searching look like in two years? In five years, or even in ten […]

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Search: Where Does It Go from Here?

If there’s one thing that both Google and Microsoft agree on, it’s that search isn’t solved yet. Google’s vice president of search product and user experience Marissa Mayer has said: We’re all familiar with 80-20 problems, where the last 20% of the solution is 80% of the work. Search is a 90-10 problem. Today, we […]

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Right vs. Left: Two Approaches To Understanding

This past week, I was fortunate to be able to interview Penn State professor Jim Jansen about some of the work he’s been doing. I had hoped to get the interview transcript back in time for this column, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work with the deadlines (that will be the next column). My conversation […]

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Bing + Yahoo: What Does It Mean For Users?

The deal is done. Microsoft has swallowed Yahoo search whole and we can all be put out of our long, lingering misery. Yahoo has given up on search and thrown in the towel. But, outside this industry and our incestuous little gossip circle, what does it really mean for average folks? Does it make a […]

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Search is a Darwinian Game

In my last Just Behave, I talked about how the vast majority of search engine users never go beyond the vanilla functionality of a search engine. They skip along the surface of search, never diving deep into advanced queries, filters or clicking on the tabs and links behind which lies some truly impressive capabilities. This […]

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Digital Literacy And Digital Diligence

Do you regularly use Google’s Wonder Wheel? How about SearchWiki, Yahoo Correlator or Search Monkey? I’m guessing about 95% of you said no. And you’re no ordinary group of searchers . In terms of search literacy, you’d be ranking in the top 0.1% of the population. In a randomly assembled group of 1000 people, you’d […]

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The Wiring Of The Digital Native

My daughters are different than I am. And not in just the obvious ways: like age and gender. They’re different in the way they use technology. The reason why lies in the way the brain is formed. In today’s Just Behave, I’d like to explore what might be happening to our children’s brains. Several months […]

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Is Google Rewiring Our Brains?

Some time ago, I wrote an article called “Are Our Brains Becoming Googlized?” It became my most read Search Engine Land post ever. Apparently I wasn’t the only one fascinated by the prospect of wholesale rewiring of our brains through exposure to technology. UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior is one of the […]

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The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Advertising

Despite the economic meltdown of the past several months, search still seems to be cruising along with barely a hiccup. To be honest, it’s a little surreal. For those of us in the industry, it seems like we’re in a protective bubble while the world falls down around us. To be sure, the impact has […]

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Who Owns The Search Page?

We have a recurring argument with clients. See if this sounds familiar: Us: You have no search visibility for “keyword” Client: We don’t want visibility for “keyword” Us: Why? Client: Because that’s not us. We don’t use “keyword” to describe ourselves. That’s not what we’re about. Us: Yes, but that’s what the searcher is looking […]

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Are Our Brains Becoming “Googlized?”

Are our brains being rewired by using the Internet? The evidence tends to be pointing that way. As somebody interested in how the mind works, I read with interest the results of a recent study at UCLA that used the sexiest research tool around today, fMRI scanning. fMRI allows researchers to see which parts of […]

Apple

Cool (or Cuil) Still Has To Play By The Rules

I recently did an opening keynote down in Silicon Valley and before my audience got well into their first cup of coffee, I started ranting at them. Now, being Canadian, my rants are rather mild and non- threatening (although I apparently scared a lot of Aussies at SMX in Sydney) but consider it a kinder, […]

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Human Hardware: Foraging with Search

In the last column, I looked at how Pirolli and Card theorized that we humans adapted our ancestral foraging strategies to retrieve information in a hypertext environment. The theory was first proposed in 1994, in a pre-Google era (although search engines were beginning to make their presence felt). If we look at the basic tenets […]

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Human Hardware: Foraging for Information

When looking to predict how MBA students and analysts would find information in a digital environment, Peter Pirolli found his answer in an unlikely place: animal’s foraging patterns. Pirolli, working at the Palo Alto Research Center, was trying to predict with some mathematical accuracy the behavior of humans when searching for information but was having […]

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Human Hardware: Searching With The Basal Ganglia

In the last column, we explored how navigation can become a habit. Ann Graybiel’s work shows how regular paths become etched in our basal ganglia, limiting the need for conscious interaction. When we do something enough and the situation seems familiar, we can cruise through on autopilot, saving our prefrontal cortex for more urgent demands. […]

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Human Hardware: Navigation Can Be Habit Forming

I’m currently in Europe on a family vacation. We’ve been here 3 days now and in that time I’ve driven almost 1000 kilometers (about 600 miles) on the highways and byways of France. We’re in the Rhone Alpes section of France, living in a 200 year old converted barn literally in the shadow of Mont […]

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Human Hardware: Men, Women And How We Find Our Way

In one week I’ll be heading off to Europe with my family for a long vacation. During the vacation, we’ll be driving over much of France and Northern Italy, as well as parts of Switzerland, so naturally, I’m beginning to think about how we’ll navigate from destination to destination. Being top of mind, I thought […]