It’s Thanksgiving eve here in the United States (in Canada they insist on having their Thanksgiving on a different day, same as with President’s day). Thanksgiving is a day to look back and think on all the things we have to be thankful for. Thanksgiving eve on the other hand, is a time to think about turkeys, those flightless ideas and people that must have seemed good at the time but were ultimately doomed to end up as someone else’s meal. Without further ado we hereby present this year’s Turkeys of Search and Social Media.
1. Jerry Yang
The fantasy was Jerry Yang coming back to head up Yahoo would end up like Steve Jobs’ triumphant return. The reality has been a litany of blown chances and missed opportunities, not least of which was spurning an offer from Microsoft that in retrospect would have provided a much needed lifeline. The collapse of the ad deal with Google was the final coup de grace. Nice guy but not a high note to go out on.
Google killer! Google killer! Goo… oh, uh, never mind. Lots of launch press does not make a search engine successful – better algorithm’s do.
Google has a bit to be redfaced about as well. Neat-o launch comic book aside, Chrome has managed to find a handful of users willing to stick with the new browser but has failed to change the browser paradigm in the same way Firefox has.
4. The Florida Sun-Sentinel
Bad SEO leads to tanking of United stock. Though Google and Bloomberg share some measure of blame the Sun-Sentinel’s website was the patient zero of bad information spreading. A random article viewed on a slow weekend gets propelled to the top of the “most popular stories” section of their website and Google’s bots mistake it for current rather than years-old news.
Denton’s Gawker Group is shutting down the online worlds snarkiest site at year’s end, leaving just RSS feeds and the occasional posting to parent site Gawker still standing.
6. Steve Harty
Bartle Bogle Hegarty honcho Harty gets search marketing confused with whore-ier forms of marketing like, say, television. “We’re not convinced that the people we are marketing to are using that as a channel…We have a more targeted strategy than, ‘We’re open for business.’ Search is kind of indiscriminate in a way.” To show just how indiscriminate search is, we posted on the utter wrongness of his comments and now rank in the top 5 results for his name on Google.Hah.
Ask is stuck in a bad loop, like a DJ with a crate full of Barry Manilow. Every reinvention does little to stem market share losses. Could a merger with Yahoo be next? Did I mention the ultra-creepy TV ads?
Sued by Agency.com for systematically stealing their top execs and clients. Usually these suits are considered nuisances at best but the level of detail is impressive.
9. Associated Press
The AP mired themselves in public relations hell when they tried to force bloggers and news aggregators to not use AP stories without paying. Rapid backpedaling followed.
Another Google misfire, Knol is meant to be a more authoritative answer to Wikipedia, with experts and professionals writing entries rather than underwear clad basement den dwellers. The realityis that Knol has failed to make any headway into SERPs, has few articles of value, and has a silly name (not that has been an impediment to anyone online ever).
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Unless you’re Canadian.