Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Liberation from search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and software vendors

I personally don't buy into this "Search Engines as Leeches on the Web" (by Jakob Nielsen) philosophy (see also "Jakob Nails It, Search Engines are Leeches" by Nick Wilson). To put my case simply, search engines provide a service which is valuable and cost-effective for many of us, and you can pursue and exploit that service, or you can refuse to pursue it (by having your robots.txt file exclude search engines) and pursuing other marketing and promotion opportunities of your own choice.

And I certainly don't buy into the assertion that "search engines are sucking out too much of the Web's value". Once again, any web master can choose to exclude the search engine crawlers.

By helping users find my content, search engines are adding value to my content. And since I run Google AdSense ads on my content, by definition I have the opportunity of getting some of that value directly in my wallet.

I don't hear many people (anybody?) challenging the "leech" assertion. Or at least not very loudly. Besides, I suppose it sounds comforting to be opposed to "leeches". And who would want to be labeled as a "leech-lover"?

So, by all means feel free to pursue other marketing opportunities, but don't blame search engines for any of your promotional shortfalls.


At 12:08 PM EST , Anonymous Bill French said...

While the variants of search functionality are numerous, and many types of revenue models abound, whatever indirect cost search [may] impose on the Web is far outweighed by the value it provides.

Imagine TiVo without a search function. Imagine a book without an index. Imagine a mall without a map. These are all forms of search that are no different than services like Google, MSN and Yahoo!

-- bf

At 6:29 PM EST , Blogger Jack Krupansky said...

Note to Blogger support: When viewed on the comment entry screen, the long title for this post is not formatted properly and the text spills over onto the separator line. In addition, some of the other comment header text is display on top of each other, rendering it unreadable, leading one commenter to email me that "When are you going to get a blog tool that works? This looks like crap."

So, please fix the layout bug so that this screen no longer looks like crap. Thanks.

-- Jack Krupansky


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