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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    Google Algorithms Detect & Adjust Rankings For YMYL Queries

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Feb 19, 2019
    The Google white paper I just covered mentions explicitly that Google's algorithms can detect if a query is related to YMYL, your money your life, related content and then adjust the weights of the ranking algorithm for those specific queries. There has been some debate in the SEO industry if Google is indeed doing this so now this should clear that up.

    Context Clusters in Search Query Suggestions

    by Bill Slawski
    Feb 18, 2019
    unsplash-logoSaketh Garuda Context Clusters and Query Suggestions at Google

    A new patent application from Google tells us about how the search engine may use context to find query suggestions before a searcher has completed typing in a full...

    Podcast: why customer education should be a priority for all companies

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 18, 2019
    I found this discussion on the Product Love podcast really interesting. Eric Boduch talks to Adam Avramescu (Head of Education at Checkr) about the importance of educating customers on how to use your product. They cover a bunch of topics, including the myth that you don’t need education if your UX is good enough, the right way to approach documentation, and how onboarding is an important part of customer education but not the only thing you need.

    Listen on Soundcloud or Overcast.

    Google Search Algorithm Updates Continue Through Weekend

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Feb 18, 2019
    The chatter has not simmered down that much from the February 12/13th Google algorithm update chatter. In fact, it picked up on the 14th, 15th and continued through the weekend through today. Some are saying they are seeing some reversals of the update on the 13th.

    Companies have to get better at explaining the data behind personal recommendations

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 16, 2019
    Ryan Bigge makes some very good points in his post about better personalized recommendations through transparency and content design:

    Data-driven companies know something that the user doesn’t. Yet the language used to convince people to act on recommendations lacks variety and explanatory power.

    Algorithms aren’t neutral — or as Ryan puts it:

    Every facet of machine learning is fueled by human judgement, so it must be multi-disciplinary.

    Users are getting more...

    When it comes to adding new features, slow and steady is usually best

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 15, 2019
    In the article From Four Wheels to Two RJ Marsan talks about the Lyft engineering team’s principles for quickly and safely adding major features to a mobile codebase. It’s full of interesting learnings as they went through the process of adding scooter rentals to the app. Here’s a good point about trying to avoid doing everything in the first release of a new feature:

    Every new feature is a chance to start with a clean slate, and it’s often tempting to immediately build for scale. We...

    4 Ways to Improve Your Data Hygiene - Whiteboard Friday

    Feb 14, 2019
    Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
    Video Transcription

    Hi. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I am President and partner at Kick Point. We're a digital marketing agency, based in the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta. So today I'm going to be talking to you about data hygiene.

    What I mean by that is the stuff that we see every single time we start...

    How to help teams focus, align, and start delivering at their potential

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 14, 2019
    My favorite article of the week is one on change management, which, yes, I know how that sounds. Like you (probably), I hated the phrase “change management”. But in her article How to begin the invisible work of change management Cate Huston defines it as “taking teams that are struggling and helping them focus, align, and start delivering at their potential”, so now I finally understand what it is and I don’t hate the phrase any more.

    Anyway, the entire article is excellent. If you’re...

    Using Opportunity Solution Trees to focus on the product priorities that matter

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 14, 2019
    Prioritize Opportunities, Not Solutions is a really good post by Teresa Torres about using the Opportunity Solution Tree methodology to make sure we place lots of product bets early on in a lifecycle, and only implement the ideas that matter. I also like her distinction between one-way door decisions (“once you’ve walked through the door, you can’t turn around and come back through”) and two-way door decisions:

    Your opportunity assessment and prioritization decisions are two-way door...

    Launching a product is the start of the learning process, not the end

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 13, 2019
    Jeff Gothelf addresses a very common problem in his post on the perils of fixed time, fixed scope projects. This point on what it means when you “launch” a product is so important:

    Deadlines imply that if we don’t get the product right on the day we launch, we’re doomed. This is an antiquated point of view. Launching publicly simply begins the process of learning how right (or wrong) our assumptions were. It is the start of a continuous conversation with your target audience and the...