Remember when searching was an art form? It’s easy to forget.
In all fairness, it was Altavista that pioneered the simple and clean search homepage all those decades ago. And though it pioneered simple, Google was faster, and more importantly, accurate. It’s debatable as to whether there’s another search engine that is even close to Google.
How pedantic is Google with ads now, 23 years later?
It’s a term that’s used narrowly, pedantic. Typically, it describes a certain kind of person. We’ve all come across the sort: relentless in the correction of small errors people make in grammar or pronounciation, and, in others’ view, paying way too much attention to details considered irrelevant to those not of that ilk. Pedants are people expert in some narrow, wearisome topic who have to make sure everyone within earshot knows the extent of their dreary expertise.
Originally a pedant wasn’t a bad thing to be: it was a tutor or schoolteacher. But the adjective pedantic seems to have taken on negative connotations soon after it was first used in the late 16th century with little changing in those resultant 500 years. The “tutor” meaning has long gone.
Professor Hilary Janks, a global expert in language and its power, concedes that there are conventions to which writing must adhere, but they are not unalterable. He maintains that these rules are simply generalisations based on the way they are used; it marks a shift from the idea of grammar as prescriptive to descriptive. There are other intellectuals who feel the same way. Stephen Fry, in an animated YouTube video, presents the opinion that people who are needlessly obsessed with grammar are fools, in that they don’t enjoy language in the same way one might enjoy dance, or some other athletic form of movement.
Do Google ads reflect that same acceptance and flexibility? How does it process that dental marketing has embraced the digital and SEO future?
In the digital world, peer review is great for code, not so great for design. Here is what Doug Bowman, onetime top designer at Google, now Creative Director at Twitter, had to say about design-related peer review at Google:
“Without a person at (or near) the helm who thoroughly understands the principles and elements of design, a company eventually runs out of reasons for design decisions. With every new design decision, critics cry foul. Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. “Is this the right move?” When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.
Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they tested 41 shades between each blue to see which one performed better. There are debates over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, with each asked to prove their case.
In an environment like that, people grow tired of debating such minuscule design decisions on the basis that there are more exciting design problems in the world to solve.
So, it would appear that while Google engineers great code, it’s unable to leap the chasm to great design because it doesn’t happen by committee, and its left-brained institutional approach is unable to comprehend the implications of this divide.
For the geeks, Google is a corporate FOSS environment that leaves users to basically promote its products.
Successful ad managers are often natural pedants, commonly with the secret hobby of looking for typos no matter how hard they try to not do that. Dedicated Google Ads management can lead to an embarrassment of riches which seems what dreams are made of – oh, how a pedant would love that sentence..!
Not particularly big news, and none of us are perfect. Eventually our own writing will be held up in the case for the prosecution. It was George Orwell who said, ‘Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against.’
Were Google able to speak, it may very well say the same.