December 18, 2008 |
It is invariably fascinating for me to watch how people arrive to this blog from search engines and I have already published my thoughts on why people might google “google” or “internet” but now that Google has launched a browser of its own – Chrome – there is an additional interesting trend with people arriving to various Chrome-related posts here doing searches that clearly show that people really don’t even use the word “browser”.
And we are worried people don’t know what RSS is? I guess that the fact that internet users don’t even know what the software they use to browse the web is called is even worse than that. After all, you don’t need to know the underlying technology behind the things that you use but it will not hurt at least knowing what the tools are at all.
The reason for my today’s astonishment is that I have noticed people arriving to Profy after doing searches for various Google Chrome related search terms – but none of them was “Google Chrome browser” or “Google browser”. I have had quite a number of posts about Google’s browser published here (and a couple of them focused on comparing Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta) and some of them are quite easily accessible for people searching for something Chrome-related on Google search engine. But no matter how many times each of the posts repeats “Google Chrome browser”, I still get people arriving from search terms like “Google explorer” and “Google internet explorer” and only occasionally from the simple “Google Chrome” version.
I think these queries clearly show that people understand to a certain extent that Google is now offering their own thing to access the world wide web (positioning it with “internet but faster” as we all know by now) and this thing is very similar to the one that has the famous “e” icon on their desktops and is called internet explorer. This is the tool that has been sitting there since they purchased their computers and they are quite familiar with it.
These people have also heard somewhere that Google has introduced its own version of this tool so it might be worth a try – now let’s just google “Google internet explorer” and see what it is and how it works (especially now that it is officially out of beta). For additional proof let’s just look at this graph from Google insights for search comparing different search terms related to Chrome browser (worldwide):
As you can see here, the term “google chrome browser” is the least popular of the three terms here with “google explorer” leading the search game. And I really have a feeling that when entering “Google explorer” into the search bar people actually think about the Chrome browser and not about anything else.
This proves that even if you can rely on a buzz machine as powerful as the one managed by Google, you will still hardly teach people to use a new term instead of the one they’ve been using for ages – even though that preferred term actually describes the competing product by Microsoft. After all, “internet explorer” does not sound like a product name any more, more like a casual description of what the tool basically does.
So now Google seems to have two options available: teach people they actually do have an alternative for internet explorer by Microsoft that they already have installed or come up with OEM deals everywhere they can. The OEM way is definitely the preferred one and it is what Google is already contemplating as far as we already know but it is not that easy to have your software pre-installed on as many computers as Microsoft’s now is – even if your name is Google.
But when it comes to educating people what their new Chrome product actually is, the internet giant seems to be already progressing as they already try to avoid the word “browser” these days. I have been watching Chrome ads from Google Adsense popping up here and there and it seems to me that Google has already realized the problem. For example, if I am not mistaken, this ad is one of the earlier ones and it actually contains the word “browser” and looks rather techy focusing on speed and reliability:
At the same time in this newer ad Google already refuses to use the word “browser” and describes the product as the “new “on” button” for the web and “a new way to get online”:
Really, who cares about a browser built for speed and reliability when you can have a shiny new way to get online when it comes to the mainstream internet users? To me this already looks like a good job in creative thinking and in educating people about what Chrome actually is – it is the tool to access the internet, it is fast and it is shiny – and who cares of Microsoft also having something called “internet explorer”? It is just the description, definitely not the name. And if Google manages to get their browser on some of the machines we now buy, many people will have two “internet explorers” on our machines installed from the very beginning – the first one with a blue logo and the second one with multi-colored.
Forget RSS, people don’t need all your fancy techy language – they just want tools. And if the tools are good and accessible to users (instead of designed to educate them), they will gain traction anyway – and one day general public will probably learn these tools are actually called “browsers” by the geeky crowd. But does it really matter?