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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    No one should ever get fired for doing something to help a user or create a better user experience

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 10, 2019
    Ben Nadel proposes A Good Samaritan Law For Engineers At A Software As A Service (SaaS) Company:

    How can we instill in our people the unwavering conviction that they have the freedom to create a better user experience?

    One idea that popped into my head was to create a Good Samaritan Law For Engineers: an explicit promise by the company that no engineer will ever be fired for attempting to, in good faith, help a user or create a better user experience. And, I don’t mean as an...

    Prioritization, product stewardship, and the hardest part about being a product manager

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 9, 2019
    I used to believe that effective prioritization is the hardest part about being a product manager. I don’t think that’s true any more. I now believe the hardest part about being a PM is that there is no way to shorten the time and dedication it takes to become your product and its industry’s most knowledgeable and empathic expert.

    But I kind of skipped over some things there. Let’s step back a bit. Realization 1: it’s not about prioritization

    If you put a bunch of product managers...

    Google Dropped Bing Discover Pages From Index But Was There Traffic Drop?

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Jul 9, 2019
    The SEO community is buzzing about how Google seems to have removed Bing's Discover section from the Google search results index. Edd Wilson tweeted about it on July 4th and then several sites picked it up. Bing Discover is a portal on Bing.com that had a lot of Google referral traffic.

    “There should be no guilt for refusing to work hysterically”

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 7, 2019
    Katy Cowan’s interview with Frank Chimero is really great from start to finish, and covers so much ground on design and technology and how to think about our work. Frank’s view on the importance of not overworking yourself is refreshing, and we’ll hopefully continue to see more of this kind of thinking:

    It’s really easy to think that not working full bore is somehow failing your teammates or that withholding effort is poor work ethic and moral weakness. That thought is worth...

    Build a healthy development cadence by being flexible on scope, fixed on time

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 5, 2019
    Megan Quinn’s post on Development Cadence starts off really strong:

    The hallmark of a well-run development engine is a development cadence that is brisk in bringing new products to market without burning out its builders.

    And then it only gets better from there. Her point about being “flexible on scope, fixed on time” is spot on:

    One way to establish a good development cadence is to commit to a predictable launch schedule and avoid slipping by pushing out features, not...

    How to Make a Technical SEO Recommendation - Whiteboard Friday

    Jul 4, 2019
    Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!
    Video Transcription

    Hi. My name is Ben. I'm a principal consultant at a company called Distilled. Welcome to Whiteboard Friday. Today I'd like to talk to you about something a bit different than most Whiteboard Fridays.

    I'd like to talk about how to work with clients or bosses in a different way....

    The importance of candid communication when things go wrong with your product

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 2, 2019
    There’s been a bunch of Evernote post-mortems, but I did enjoy the backstory and humor of A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel. CEO Ian Small also makes a point about honesty and candor that’s really important for product managers to understand. He talks about how customers reacted when they finally came clean about the app’s quality issues:

    Customers responded to his candor with a mix of optimism and skepticism, Mr. Small said. “The fact that we were...

    Google To Drop Any Support For crawl-delay, nofollow, and noindex in robots.txt

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Jul 2, 2019
    Google posted this morning that they are going to stop unofficially supporting the noindex, nofollow and crawl-delay directives within robots.txt files. Google has been saying this for years actually and hinted this was coming really soon and now it is here.

    When it comes to prioritization, don’t go it alone

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jul 1, 2019
    Ulaize Hernandez Troyas makes a good argument for involving full teams in the prioritization of what to work on:

    This type of ongoing communication throughout the prioritization process has a definite cost, but the number of benefits from this approach is worth it. We have reduced friction between teammates, which has saved us from long-winded conversations that stemmed from misunderstandings. The sense of ownership and purpose has increased the team’s motivation. On a more personal...

    Will Google Crack Down On Sites Leasing Out Its Subdomains

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Jul 1, 2019
    Google's John Mueller addressed the topic of sites leasing or renting out subdomains off of their main domain and letting third-parties put their content on those subdomains in an effort to rank better in Google and sell more. John didn't call it spam but did say the search leads at Google are aware of this and have been in discussions about how to handle such efforts.