Context Posts

Gavin Hirst - Wednesday 17th April 2013


eBay provides Google Adwords report without context

Following on from my previous post about the importance of providing context with any data that is produced, it would appear that eBay have fallen into the trap of doing just that. In a recent article published in the Guardian, it looked at a recently published report by eBay stating that Google Keyword advertising is a waste of money and that no one should be doing it anymore. Unfortunately, what eBay left out of the report was the context that surrounds their own use of Google Adwords and how it may differ from other companies who choose to advertise with Google.

 

Context

The report by eBay suggests that, “Results show that brand keyword ads have no short-term benefits, and that returns from all other keywords are a fraction of conventional estimates,”. They then applied this theory to their own…

Gavin Hirst - Wednesday 10th April 2013


Data and the importance of context

I read a really interesting article recently which looked at the importance of providing context with data in which the author, Bruce Ernst, highlighted the recent issues Google have had around the release of some data relating to the number of Americans who potentially had the flu.

Basically, to summarise Bruce’s post, Google created an algorithm based on the number of people searching for information about flu and created something called Google Flu Trends – this compiled a number of good indicators to estimate flu activity. The magazine Nature took exception to this, highlighting that only about half the number of people identified by Google’s Flu Trends actually had the flu. What Nature did was assume that because Google had released this data, they were saying ‘this is the number of people who have flu’ whereas what they were actually saying was ‘this is the number of people who…