NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Search engines are dying

Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Search engines are dying

Rainmaker (
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 12:43:13 -0500

Richard Hoy wrote:

>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.

Richard, I too used to believe this. Until we got to understand
how search engines work, and recognize they are the second (or
third) level of promotion and are very important. I don't know
if I posted these stats that we did earlier this year. If so forgive me:

On April 17, 1997 we launched our Automated Press Releases
service. We put the home page out at
two different locations, with links back to the remaining pages in the site.

On one site we submitted it to search engines only, using a
service where it was submitted to 200 search engines and were
confirmed on 125.

On the second we did not submit it to any search engine. Rather
we sent out a press release to approx 800 publication contacts,
a message to prior visitors to another site of ours, and we
mentioned it on some of the newslists that we are on. We also
sent a fax broadcast to approx 1,000 people on one of our fax
broadcast lists (don't know if they have Web access or not).

The first week results:

Page on search engines - 24 visitors with no orders or e-messages to us.
The second site - 997 visitors with 247 e-messages or orders to us.

Depending on the keyword selected, we came up pretty high on the
search engines.

We dropped the search engine site, and "un-submitted" it on search engines.

My comment at the time was "IMHO search engines are only good if
you have a branded product or are well-known or you have some
free/fun stuff. For business-to-business, search engines are
like a gigantic Yellow Page directory. I don't know about you,
but I never got any business from the Yellow Pages."

That was in May. Today we are getting most of our business from
search engines. On the top 10 search engines we appear as #1 or
#2 on five of them, and within the top 12 names on the others.
In most cases we are listed more than one time.

A note about our business. As of the first of the year, all of
our business (except for one consulting client) comes from the
Net. Our business is marketing (including our "Rainmaking"),
management consulting, Web design and development and software.
We have three offices and three partners with a staff of 19. My
function is marketing. One partner handles the software business
and the other handles the Web design. Our clients are world-wide.

>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:
> ).

A major problem for search engines. Folks are writing multiple
keywords in "white on white" which means your don't see the
keywords, but the search engines do.

>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.

IMHO the trick is not to abandon search engines, rather to work
with them, learn them, understand them and use them to get
**more** traffic. They are like anything else -- a tool for
promoting your business.

Let's say you were a html programmer, and the standards changed
again. Would you drop html (if you could)? What about the
various idiosyncrasies with browsers? Do you ignore them, or do
you work around them? Same holds true for search engines.

If you subscribe to Danny Sullivan's search engine report, or at
least go to his site often you
will get a better understanding of how they work.

BTW, we offer a service (Marketing Your Web - MYWEB), part of
which includes recommendations to get you on search favorably.

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

It will change and improve as anything else will and does. Our
job is to learn how to change and improve with it.

>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.

Sounds like that famous statement "the rumors of my demise have
been greatly exaggerated." <g>. Search engines are a vital part
of the Net and will continue to be. I know my opinion of them
changed once I learned how to use them effectively, and once I
realized they are the second wave of promotion and just another
tool for marketing success.


George Matyjewicz "Rainmaker Extraordinaire"
Managing Partner
GAP Enterprises, Ltd.
Tel: (201) 939-8533 Ext 821 Fax: (201) 460-3740
Automated Press Releases:
Specializing in Professional Firm "Rainmaking" programs.


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