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"Stealing the teacher" Baidu, against FB: Why did Google start to push information flow?

via:博客园     time:2018/12/2 11:37:25     readed:365


Text / Sina Technology smile

Is Google more and more like Baidu?

Google’s 20th anniversary, a revision of its search product. As you can see from the figure below, Google added a stream of information under its mobile web search box to provide more relevant results in a new artificial intelligence ranking method, including information, short videos, images, etc. based on user interest and search. The content of the recorded stream.


This change took effect first on Google App and on the mobile Google homepage. Google named this new stream product ""Google Discover", replacing Google News, which was previously news-based.

For 20 years, the Google homepage has been designed with minimalism. Entering text in a blank search box is the main way for users to interact with Google. The simple and clear Google search box era is over.

Baidu, the same search engine giant, has pushed the information flow for a long time. It seems that Google has also embarked on the road of information flow. Why did Google choose to “steal the teacher”?

Before answering some questions, let's take a look at the history of information flow.

What is information flow?

The flow of information (the feed stream) is actually two words. The first word, Feed. Literal translation is a feed, and to some extent, the flow of information feeds the user like a feeding animal. Wikipedia is defined as a data format that allows websites to disseminate the latest information to users. Simply put, it is a kind of information cell. You can also understand it as a card, a piece of text, a video, a piece of audio, etc. Information unit, a feed is a unit of information.

The second word, the stream, is the presentation form.

How the information is presented, the most classic is presented in the form of timeline, the WeChat circle of friends is strictly in accordance with this form.

There are also algorithms, smart recommendations, such as today's headlines, Weibo, Twitter, and Google and Baidu.

The pioneer of this model is Facebook. NewsFeed is regarded by Zuckerberg as one of the biggest and most successful bets on Facebook in the past 10 years. It has changed the European and American news distribution model, and has also created a new profit model for social media, even Trained users' online viewing news habits.


▲Facebook News Feed

It has several features:

A feed is no longer a source of content, but a person/group that produces content. Subscriptions are often mixed with non-subscription content, such as popular recommendations, ads.

Content is no longer strictly in accordance with the timeline, and smart feeds are widely used to sort, deliberately eliminating the need for active search.

The reason why information flow products can become a mainstream form of content distribution in recent years is actually to make users addicted through continuous refreshing, combined with accurate recommendation, and then occupy a large number of user usage time, and finally become an entrance. The possibility.


▲Information flow advertising originated from social, and has now extended to the fields of information, search, video, etc.

Why is Google doing information flow?

From the characteristics of information products such as Facebook and today's headlines, first of all, information flow can occupy more time for users.

Search is limited: when the user searches for the information they want to search for, it ends.

The flow of information is unlimited: the initiative to present a dazzling array of content, allowing users to constantly refresh and sink.

Both Google and Facebook's main revenues come from advertising, which accounts for about 65% of the digital advertising market.

Facebook's advertising revenue growth has surpassed Google for several consecutive quarters, which is clearly putting a lot of pressure on Google, the leader in digital advertising. And the rapid growth of Facebook revenue is largely due to the power of information streaming advertising.

Increasing user usage time through information flow has created more opportunities for advertising.


In addition, through information streaming products, Google can also improve the user search experience.

The limitations of breaking the search box are not Google's dynamics. Previously, Google has moved into industries such as travel, built its own flight and hotel search tools, and entered the market that has been dominated by Booking and Expedia. Google hopes to expand its reach in the online world and attract people to spend more time directly on Google without having to go to an independent website.

A new feature called Collections is similar to Pinterest (Picture Collection, Sharing), and the Discover stream enhances Google's position in content and information recommendations.


The advantages of Google's information flow products

Google has a lot of information to drive the flow of information, especially for those who use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc. "Google Family Barrel", the more Google products you use, the more Google knows you, the information flow The more content you might be interested in.

Facebook knows who you are sharing with you. Google knows what you are doing and what you want to know.

For Google, Web sites are paying drainers for traffic. This time, it is easy to understand that Google has changed its search content as a response to this trend.

Possible problems

First of all, the problem of algorithm. The development of information flow product is not plain sailing. Over the past 10 years, it faces many controversies. For example, what is it going to do to see what the users can see and what they can't see and affect the mood of users? There are even fears that it may involve user privacy.

There has always been a contradictory relationship between information and algorithms. Since the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election sparked a debate about the malpractice of machine-dominated news, the review of fake news and content recommendation systems

Secondly, the issue of content sources. Only technology can not do well in information flow, there must be a continuous source of content. Google's information flow is mainly through indexing the content of the application, so that high-quality information, data and applications can be more easily shared and disseminated. In Google's instant information flow, there may even be content 10 months ago.

Facebook poses a huge threat to Google. One important reason is that Facebook has a large number of high-quality content producers, while Google's content is mostly crawled by crawlers, while products like Facebook and Twitter do not want content to be retrieved by Google.


If Google pushes information flow products to increase users' usage time, Google still has a long way to go. From the current experience, Google's information flow is not like Baidu's, which is specialized in pushing messy essays based on hotspots and other information. Google is more about helping users discover content. Users can customize your hobbies and concerns.

Google's information flow pays more attention to the relevance between information and users, to some extent closer to search services, information distribution is often not the primary purpose.

Generally speaking, Google's information flow products can not directly compete with Facebook at present. Instead, it wants to help users find more content, and Google plays a more proactive role. That is to say, I hope users don't just open Google when they want to search for something.

Google put forward many years ago to let users go after the search, more like Baidu Google now also wants users

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