Gord Hotchkiss

Gord Hotchkiss

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Ad Quality And User Experience: Interview With Google’s Nick Fox And Diane Tang

When we’re talking about the search user experience, we’re always balancing two sources of information, organic and sponsored listings (at least, for now), with the overall objective of delivering the user the most relevant results based on their query. At this time, nobody has done that more successfully, from the user’s perspective, than Google. And […]


Jakob Nielsen On Search Usability

I’m currently working on a column (series?) for Just Behave where we’ll explore what the search results page might look like in the year 2010. As part of that I sent out invitations to a number of my contacts in the usability world, including Marissa Mayer (Google), Michael Ferguson (Ask), Larry Cornett (Yahoo!), Justin Osmer […]


The “Slums” Of Search

A few weeks ago in Toronto at Search Engine Strategies, I mentioned in one of the sessions I was moderating that in Canada, the sponsored search listings are the slums of the results page. In this case, I meant that until the big brands and the recognized advertisers move into sponsored search in a meaningful […]


Chinese Eye Tracking Study: Baidu Vs Google

I thought the easiest way to share the results of the Chinese Eye Tracking study might be in a Q&A format, as that’s what most research programs tend to be anyway. I’ll cover off some of the highlight findings in this column, but the full report will be available on our site next week. On […]


A Tale Of Two Cultures

Last week I had the opportunity to present some very preliminary results from our Chinese eye tracking study to a Chinese audience at Search Engine Strategies Xiamen. We’re still going over the results and preparing a final report, the highlights of which I’ll cover in this column in a few weeks. What I did want […]


Kicking The Tires On Shopping Search, Part Two: The Independents

A few weeks back, we looked at how the major engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, handled shopping search. This week we look at four of the dedicated shopping search portals: BizRate.com, Shopping.com, Shopzilla.com, NexTag.com, and a relative newcomer to the space, Become.com. Each of these properties matched up quite well in terms of user experience […]


Q&A With Google Personalization Gurus Sep Kamvar and Marissa Mayer

Last week I had the chance to talk to Marissa Mayer, Google VP, Search Products & User Experience, and Sep Kamvar, engineering lead for personalization at Google, about the inclusion of Web History into personalized search. On the face of it, this is another beta announcement from Google that will impact a relatively small number […]


Analyzing The Major Shopping Search Services

This week I’ll look at shopping search from the user’s perspective. We’ll be starting with the big three offerings from the major engines, Google’s Froogle, Yahoo Shopping and MSN Shopping. In the next Just Behave column I’ll be taking a test drive of some of the dedicated shopping search properties and see how they stack […]


The Critical First Second & The Area of Greatest Promise

Last week on Just Behave, I talked about the importance of consideration sets in search; how we tend to slice off three or four top listings in our consideration set at the beginning of our interaction with the search results page. Today I want to talk about another concept, no less important, that looks at […]

Google algorithm updates

The Pros & Cons Of Personalized Search

In the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to talk to both Marissa Mayer and Matt Cutts about the impact of personalization at Google. While the initial storm following Google’s announcement seems to be dying down somewhat, the ripple effects can still be felt throughout the SEM industry. In future columns I’ll probably be […]


Google’s Matt Cutts on Personalization and the Future of SEO

Last week I talked with Google’s Marissa Mayer about the user side of personalization. This week I had the chance to sit down with Matt Cutts at the Googleplex and asked him what the impact of personalization will be on the SEO community. One thing that was interesting in the Marissa Mayer interview was finding […]


Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search

It was almost 3 weeks ago today that Google posted on their corporate blog about some changes to the personalized search sign-up process. Danny covered this development quite nicely in a very comprehensive post, looking at the specifics of the announcement and what it means for users. The announcement and the subsequent posts have set […]


The User Experience Interviews Recap: Search Strategies Compared

For the past three weeks we’ve let members of usability teams from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft talk about a user experiences on their respective sites. Today, I’d like to point out what was interesting in each of these three interviews. In talking to each of them, I couldn’t help but notice the pervasiveness of the […]


Exclusive Interview with Microsoft Live Search’s Justin Osmer

This week, I talk with Justin Osmer from Microsoft, a Senior Product Manager with the Online Services Group, which includes both MSN and Windows Live, including Windows Live Search. Obviously, the last few months have been busy ones at Microsoft, with the roll out of Windows Live and the transition from MSN Search. We talked […]


Q&A With Marissa Mayer, Google VP, Search Products & User Experience

Marissa Mayer has been the driving force behind Google’s Spartan look and feel from the very earliest days. In this wide-ranging interview, I talked with Marissa about everything from interface design to user behavior to the biggest challenge still to be solved with search as we currently know it. I had asked for the interview […]