the anti-search engine tirade

Jakob Nielsen has written a sort of tirade against internet search engines (like Google and Yahoo.)
In his words:

There's no doubt that search engines provide a valuable service to users. The issue here is what search engines do to the companies they feed on -- the companies that fund the creation of original information. Search engines mainly build their business on other websites' content. The traditional analysis has been that search engines amply return the favor by directing traffic to these sites. While there's still some truth to that, the scenario is changing.

He does have a point: search engines have gotten a sort of free ride as the internet has improved. As more and more websites spring up for Google to index, more and more people will come to Google. Just like as more people get telephones, the yellow pages will become more popular and important. It's inherent in the nature of their business.

It's the recommendations Jakob gives at the end that really reveal the true nature of his argument. He recommends email newsletters, "request marketing," and affiliate programs. Blech. These are exactly the sorts of things that I hate. I know this whole "world wide web" thing isn't free, but it sure does have a strange way of paying for itself sometimes.


At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, how often do you actually click on ads on search results anyway? I'm willing to guess your approach is different from that of the typical consumer anyway.

I think the real message is to building customer loyalty and come up with efficient instead of brute force ways to market to your customers. Well duh.


At 10:42 PM, Blogger RareCactus said...

The point that I was making is that I hate things like having to "register" for websites, signing up for "email lists" that I mostly don't care about, and obtrusive flash advertisements.

Whether or not these things are necessary to fund the internet is something that I don't know.


Post a Comment

<< Home