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Government Intervention in Search Won’t Save Your Business


Techcrunch (one of my personal favorite tech blog), posted an article today about Search Marketing. The title (“The Time Has Come To Regulate Search Engine Marketing And SEO”) really caught my attention, but later I realized that the article is not from the usual in-house Techcrunch editors but from an “Anonymous” writer, who is the supposedly a well known executive of one of the largest sites on the Internet. Techcrunch writes: “The author wants to remain anonymous – because of the backlash he would receive from the SEO industry and possibly Google itself…” [Yeah you bet..]

Anyway so whats the deal? The author goes on and rants about how “search ranking” is not fair in general. He writes –

Through an uncontrolled set of factors search engines determine which listings appear at the top and bottom of any individual query. In addition, consumer behavior dictates the top three results on any search page are all that matter. If you happen to own an online business, unless you exist within those top three, the amount of individual traffic you will obtain from organic listings is very, very low.

Its funny that even though search has been there for over 10 years, many people still don’t get search! The author says that unless you are in the top three of an individual keyword you get very low traffic — I just find this statement completely ridicules. What he is trying to imply here is, if you sell cars and you don’t rank in the top 3 for the key phrase “car”, you are done!

But if any of you have done Organic or Paid search for a while then you would probably agree with me that ranking for the phrase “cars” might not give you the best ROI, when compared to ranking for some other terms related to cars. Search is no longer a ‘keyword game’ like it used to be in the early days. Many people still live in 90s and looks at search as a Yellow page or Web directory (which it is certainly not!).

A Search engine is not a place where people comes and just throws in a generic word and find a bunch of address to buy stuff. Yes, that was search when Yahoo was “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” and Google did not even existed. But now search involves more than just a bunch of keywords. Search engine is a place where people does their online research. It is like a huge digital library of anything and everything on the web. Search was never intended for ‘advertising’, but Google sort of found a way to make search more useful by showing relevant ads (of products/services) that you search for. The model became successful and thats why Google is in its current position and has so much money that they could really afford to continuously evolve search by making it better and doing new things with it. If they couldn’t make any money out of search then this industry wouldn’t have come this far!

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