An Open Letter to Google’s New CEO

Gilad Bechar

This post was originally published on VentureBeat.

 

open letter to googles new ceo
Above: Google CEO Sundar Pichai; Image Credit: Jolie O’Dell/VentureBeat

 

Dear Sundar,

 

Earlier this month, the only watercooler talk among techies worldwide was your recent promotion. Details, question, and conspiracy theories filled the air. You have been chosen to lead one of newly-formed Alphabet’s most important companies, responsible for services that billions worldwide rely on and need. I am one of those people. In fact, Google’s Ads, Android, and Search divisions mean a whole lot more to mobile marketing professionals like myself, as they play a leading role in our daily tasks and the services we provide to our clients.

 

Google’s decision to found Alphabet reminded us all that there’s always a new way to improve and shake things up. The fresh spirit and open mind that accompany such a drastic move encourage me to suggest a few things that could do just that.

 

Let’s start with Google Search. People search differently today and your company has yet to catch up. You rule the web and mobile-web spheres, but when it comes to the app stores, it’s a different story. For instance, Google Play is an infinity pool of search data that your Keyword Planner tool completely ignores.

 

The fact that advertisers cannot learn from official Google data which search terms are most used in the app stores isn’t just harmful to the process of ASO (app store optimization) but raises question marks over Google’s position as the big kahuna of search. I get that you want the algorithm to remain a mystery, but you’ve managed to share web search data while maintaining your algorithm’s enigmatic nature — why not do the same here?

 

Then there’s the issue of Android — more specifically, the upcoming launch of Android M. As mobile marketers get ready for the new data sharing system to roll out, they are rightfully worried. Those of us who are familiar with Apple’s system, know that giving users a sense of control over their personal data often takes its toll on app makers’ ability to give users the best possible product. Addressing users’ privacy concerns is a must, but do your best to protect Android’s core values as an open platform and an awesome playground for developers. And while you’re at it, make sure that users who fail to understand why the app requests certain permissions will be able to easily and quickly change their minds later on.

 

Analytics. We love and live Google Analytics, but we also feel for those who find it hard to deal with the counterintuitive UI and the overwhelming data flow. Some professionals might tell you it’s great, as it gets customers confused and encourages them to ask for help right away. But I disagree. Let me deal with what’s really important by allowing the average user to learn the analytics background on their own. There’s too much of a good thing when it comes to data, and your analytics tool is the perfect example. On a more positive note, the Google Play Analytics tool is pretty great, even though it could use some information regarding app-page views. Give it some thought.

 

Last but not least, Google Ads — the crown jewel of your products (which could also use a little UX makeover, by the way). In your job, you, too, manage major budgets. Imagine if a vendor told you there was a 20 percent margin of error for every amount you choose to spend – would that make sense to you?! When it comes to small players in the advertising field, it might not seem like a big deal, but those working with real budgets run into a serious risk. It’s time for Google to give campaign managers the ability to halt campaigns completely and immediately, set a total budget instead of a daily one, and receive more accurate results overall.

 

While it might seem like all I’m doing is complaining, this all comes from a great appreciation for Google’s approach and abilities. The whole world knows what you’re capable of, Sundar, and we can’t wait for you to achieve it.

 

Best of luck!

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