NONE: ONLINE-ADS>> Search engines are dying

ONLINE-ADS>> Search engines are dying
Mon, 10 Nov 1997 20:23:03 -0600 (CST)

Hey all,

I'm beginning to believe that search engines are a dead-end technology and
fretting over where your site comes up is a big waste of time. I'm now
advising clients that we create good META tags, submit the site and then
forget it.

I base this newfound philosophy on a couple of things. First, I've noticed
on the sites we manage that the percent of traffic from search engines
drops as the investment in other types promotion increase. For example, The
Year 2000 Information Center ( ), a site we own
and promote heavily through PR and co-promotional arrangements, had 6% of
its traffic come from search engines last month. 94% came from sources such
as online articles, co-promotion, and people using a bookmark. I see the
exact opposite situation in the traffic reports of sites that we do little
promotion for. The bulk of their traffic comes from search engines. And
that makes perfect sense because without promotion search engines are the
only way people can find these sites.

What sealed it for me, though, was the recent article in Business Week
about search engine spamming. Louis Monier, AltaVista's technical director,
is quoted as saying he estimates that half of the 20,000 pages added to
Altavista everyday are spam schemes. (See the full story at: ).

So lets look at what we have here:

1.) An inverse relationship between the level of site promotion and the
percent of traffic from search engines.

2.) Tools that are so dynamic they change their content every few seconds.
(In Altavista's case, a new page of info every 4.3 seconds.)

3.) Tools containing a significant percentage of the deceptive information.
(In Altavista's case, 50%.)

4.) Tools requiring you to have a Ph.D. in boolean logic to even hope to
use them effectively.

How can such an unstable system survive? Moreover, how can you ever hope to
be on top of it for long?

So in closing, I submit that search engines are dying. In fact, I would say
they are dead already and just don't know it yet - gone the way of the
reciprocal link exchange and the "you have a cool page" award as an
effective promotional tool. A victim of their own success.

So what do you guys think?


richard hoy
moderator, online advertising discussion list
director, marketing and client promotions
the tenagra corporation
p: 281.480.6300 | f: 281.480.7715 | e:


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