General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2272346

    Search Engines, Do they really make sense?


    by dawgit ·

    Sorry, folks, I’m still trying to catch up here. (I had gotten busy for a while :0 )
    Anyway, afte just checking out the Discussion on Google: “Google – the worst search engine” [ ] I had the ask just one question on the subject that everyone assumes to know. Is the concept of searching really worth it. About the only time I ‘search’ for anything is get infomation for educational purposes. (The Who, What, Where, and When)
    Most small and mid-size businesses around here (in this area, Stuttgart, Germany) just don’t seem to find it relative anymore to their business in general, or sales. Now, I’m not saying that all business is great at the moment, but the idea of people actually spending real money as a result a ‘Search’ just doesn’t pan out. Most good, competent IT shops don’t even dare to advertise, and don’t let their Internet site out to anyone they don’t know. Sure the big names do use them to get information about their products out to the public. And the Chains do hope for some sales. But that’s not where the real money is. It’s in people actually buying something. I have yet to buy anything because I searched for it. And I don’t know any-one who did. People don’t buy Porsches because they saw one on Google. I worked for a car rental firm recently, that does around 40% of all car rentals in Germany (That’s mega Euros folks) Their biggest problem they had, was that they couldn’t get enough Cars. Do they even worry how their sit comes up in a search engine? They might if they had the time. (And they have a class act for an IT dept too)
    Nope, I just don’t see it as a real world, world class problem. If Google, or any other search engine, were to go down tomorrow, for a week, would any business here notice? Unless, They read about in the news paper, (people here still read) I doubt it.
    As far as a web site, the point I hear most mentioned is how it loads on all browsers, and just how fast. (If it’s not up and readable fast, people here are gone)
    Just a view point. I’m prepared to get majored flamed on this. -dawgit
    (edited to fix some of the spelling)

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3145513

      My Point….

      by dawgit ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      from the Tech-Rep’s own site (Home) [ ] under the “Spot Light On-” colume: Ducati Killed Its Marketing ? And Prospers [ ] Google? Why? -d

      • #3141683

        Interesting point

        by roho ·

        In reply to My Point….

        That is not that I agree, because I use search all the time looking for almost anything: work related (like code snippets) and not work related (vacation).
        But maybe search is overrated, then?
        I don’t think so. It would be if there was a way around the web where you could easily get to any information you need at any moment. You would need a very clever portal or something from where you can jump to the information you. You just need to enter a subject.
        Uhm, I know a couple of these portals, operated by MSN, Yahoo, Google.

        Good anyhow, to think about it.

        I must add that for big companies Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimalisation can be useless. Anyone can find the Nike website or Coca Cola.
        But for smaller business it can be interesting but it depends on your product and your market.

        • #3270792

          That’s ok…..

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to Interesting point

          I’m not looking for, or expecting everyone to agree with me. “Overrated”? Yes, I think that is my point here. That it is usefull, is beyond dispute. For certain reasons. I agree though, that the marketing and optimalisations -hype, is just that, My point exactaly.

        • #3142550


          by dr dij ·

          In reply to That’s ok…..

          I google stuff to verify species names all the time. That’s not buying but there is more to information that buying stuff.

          I was looking for a clip on canteen, and found it via google. The manufacturer doesn’t sell direct, so had to find via web with product name. Amazon seller wanted way more in postage and handling so google found me

          same thing looking for inkjet cartridges. my old seller vibrantinks has gone out of biz. not surprising since I got spam to email account used only for sale to them. apparently their security not good. Anyway I was able to find them via yahoo and google.

          if google went under we’d adjust. since there are other search engines. if they all went under, it would be the same as deleting all the indexes to all the database tables at your companies. you could still find the info by going thru every record, but you’d never finish.

          I think it’s scary that they index so much cr*p pages, filled with virus downloads. And that 66% of search results for screensavers have drive-by downloads.

          An even higher percent of their sponsored results are drive-by or trojan download sites. Very scary. (if you don’t believe me, install siteadvisor plugin from mcaffee and then do the google search, red checkboxes are by each results page if trojan site)

          Other sites are just trolling with keywords randomly placed to phish result clicks for trojans.

          and the fact that they index things mistakenly placed on the internet, such as documents, creditcard #s, etc is scary but it gets the companies to clean up their mistakes too.

    • #3141676

      My point of view

      by j.lupo ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      is that they are necessary so that I don’t have to search through thousands of pages of “documentation” to find examples of what I am looking for. I usually can find what I need with an example online by doing a search. Sometimes I even find other things that are good to know. All this is job related.

      I have over 15 years working with Oracle and Unix, my current project has me working with SQL Server, Windows, DB2, and AIX. Now with the searching I can do my migration work without ever having used these tools before. My learning curve is shortened and makes up for the fact that there is NO DATA DICTIONARY, No Documentation of anykind.

      Is searching necessary? maybe and maybe not, but I find it makes my job that much easier.

      • #3270791

        A good point too….

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to My point of view

        I’m not meaning how we might use the internet, and search engines. I do believe that we all do that. In that case, I think library in a box on our desk. The information is there. And for this no ‘hype’ is necessary.

      • #3268968

        Here Here!

        by tim.aultman ·

        In reply to My point of view

        google has become my primary source for finding technical information. I do AIX, DB2, Solaris, …etc… I can find IBM info on IBM sites with google MUCH quicker than I can by conducting the search directly on IBM’s site! For what I do, google is invaluable!…

      • #3268868

        The outhouse argument

        by kellybowles ·

        In reply to My point of view

        Yes, you can get by without indoor plumbing, maybe cheaper, but life is a lot easier using the plumbing system. Ask the Amish about electricity.

    • #3141523

      Search in Business

      by gsquared ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      One thing that our sales department does is search for people/businesses online when we get a prospective customer.

      Joe Bananovich calls in and starts asking about our services and products, the sales person looks him up in Google, looks up his company name in Google, and sometimes finds relevant information.

      It’s a useful thing. Definitely not a make-or-break thing, but a useful thing.

      Personally, before I make any purchase from a company, I like to do a couple of searches for them online. See if there are a lot of complaints or a lot of good reviews, etc. Find out if they’re being sued by anyone, look at news articles about them. That kind of thing. I don’t want to spend time and money on a product only to find out later that the company selling it is currently in the process of a class-action suit because of the very product I’m buying.

      So, again, search engines can be useful in a monetary way.

      Have I ever purchased anything because of an add on a search site? No. Probably never will, either.

      • #3270790


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Search in Business

        Wouldn’t that depend on your business type and the amount of money involved? Would your business have used a private dective to check out your customers before the internet?

        • #3142083

          Time and money

          by wdewey ·

          In reply to Depending…

          Private detectives cost time and money. There could be a good cost saving doing a search on the internet.

          I believe many of them now use the internet to pull up info on people. I remember hearing about a TV show where they tried to pull up as much info on a person as possible.


        • #3144069

          ?:| on screening….

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to Time and money

          If no info is found on a person, is that person than disqualified from being a customer? Just a question here, not a point of contention.

        • #3268847


          by wdewey ·

          In reply to ?:| on screening….

          I wouldn’t. I would then go to a more expensive more reliable source such as a private detective, or a paid for service that would be more likely to have info. This is just a quick, easy and cheap way of starting an initial investigation.


    • #3155372

      Minor Part

      by dogknees ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      As most people using the internet are not buying anything, I don’t see the logic behind this position.

      I and my coworkers use it for almost nothing but “research”. Getting answers to problems, finding new tools, researching hardware for purchase (but not actually purchasing it online).


      • #3270789

        Not internet useage….

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Minor Part

        I think you just made my logic… purchases were not made by a search, research is different. But did those sales sites that you checked really get a good ROI for their web presense if no purchase was made?

        • #3269038

          Not So

          by dogknees ·

          In reply to Not internet useage….

          We search to locate vendors and research products which we then buy.

          Say you want a simple loan calculator. Search for it, locate several, evaluate, then buy.

    • #3155366

      I bought stuff only last week

      by jevans4949 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Searched for MC3100 Consumables, found an imaging unit for my laser printer ?30 cheaper than my regular supplier, ordered it, no problem.

      Come to think of it, several years ago I saved money on the printer in the same way.

      Going on vacation soon to a cottage my wife found and booked the same way.

      Whether they make sense for *your* business probably depends on what you are selling, and to whom. Consumer or small business products above, say, ?30, yes. Business services to medium or large businesses, probably not directly, but maybe indirectly if your web site shows you know what you’re talking about.

      • #3270788

        Good deal…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to I bought stuff only last week

        An informed consumer. (always good) Point here, I’m not in sales. Perhaps. therefore, my perspective. I’m thinking business money here. When a business needs a printer, they need a printer, NOW.!. They go to the shop they trust, and get it. And walk out with it. Done.

        • #3141909

          what if

          by mindilator9 ·

          In reply to Good deal…

          what if i need a printer for the first time? last year when we needed a printer, we didn’t have one in mind. there were many local printers and none of them had a reputation with us. we needed printing, but we didn’t need it NOW. we planned well enough that we had the time we needed to find the right printer. and we found them online. turns out nobody in our immediate area could print the type of folder we needed. a business 20 miles away was able to, and we saved a lot of time and money by not driving the entire 20 mile radius to find them. not to mention speaking in person with every shop in that radius, oy what a waste of time that would have been.
          all of your arguments make absolutely no sense except when applied within the confines of your experience. i’m sorry, but that’s why i call your viewpoint self-centered. it doesn’t seem like you imagine yourself in any other situation but your own. there are plenty of valid hypothetical situations to counter every one of your points. i’m sure if you tried to prove yourself wrong you could do so easily.

        • #3144065

          From your point….

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to what if

          Ok, sure, I agree. But, that’s not quite what I mean. I thinking more in the other way. Not from a consumer to seller, but from the seller side. One retailer got your business from their web presense, the rest did not. Was, therefore, their web presense a negitive factor for them?

        • #3143841

          Different People, Different Searches

          by jevans4949 ·

          In reply to From your point….

          While one printer turned up by the search was getting the order from one customer, the other 9 were getting orders from 9 other customers because of some service which only THEY were able to offer.

        • #3142534

          don’t think that’s quite it

          by mindilator9 ·

          In reply to From your point….

          to answer your last question, if they didn’t get my business online it was either one of two possibilities. 1) they as a company did not impress us or could not do the work that we needed, which was most printers.. or 2) they did not optimize their site very well to be found on my searches. buying search ads doesn’t guarantee click-thru, only raises the chances. but the original question was: do search engines make sense, not: does buying search engine adspace make sense. the latter question, which was not qualified, is a different discussion; but even if google stopped offering their Ad-Words, the concept of the search engine remains valid.

    • #3270173

      Somewhat agree…

      by mckinnej ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Considering the list of most popular searches usually consists of things like “Britney Spears”, I’m inclined to agree with you, to a point. My work searches are usually research oriented and I do research IT products, so if you’re not on the web, you’re not likely to sell us anything.

      At home, I only buy stuff from trusted sources that I have used for years. I have been badly burned trying out the “cheap” vendors I found during searches, so I don’t do that anymore. The only time I use a search to buy stuff is when it is obscure or unknown to me and I don’t have a clue where to find it.

      • #3270787

        You got it.!.

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Somewhat agree…

        I think you get my point. The think we all use the internet for research. But is is exactly what you described that I see also in the search engine ‘hype’.

    • #3270170

      You must not know how to use a search engine

      by kferraro1 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I live and die by search engines, from finding exactly the right item for the application I need to finding vendors who manufacture or sell the item. A week (maybe a day) doesn’t go by that I am not searching for and often buying a product for business or personal use. Remember that search engine encompasses a lot mere than Google, Yahoo etc. You are using one everytime you look for an airline flight, how about comparing prices on MySimon or searching on e-Bay. I have fequently rented a car as the result of searching. Perhaps Europeans have not embraced the retail end of the Internet yet (although I find that hard to beleive as I have purchased items from Europe, oh yea, purchase started with a search, that I was not able to get in the States)

      • #3270786

        No, No, I do….

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to You must not know how to use a search engine

        I do use the internet, and do do searches. Just as I use any resourse. As for Europians useing the internet, it’s far more wide-spread than in the US. (2 : 1 ?) (40% of all house-holds in Germany have broad-band) And, yes, a lot of money is made in internet sales. But do all hits on a site from a search engine result in a sale?

        • #3142078

          hits resulting in sales?

          by wdewey ·

          In reply to No, No, I do….

          Do all phone calls to a business result in a sale? Being available and accessable don’t necessarily result in a sale every time, but can help build a reputation.


        • #3144060

          Can it really?

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to hits resulting in sales?

          I see your point. But, can a web site build a good reputation? (I think we all know it can get a bad rep. real fast) I really don’t know. It seems a little hypothetical. Can one base a fiancial figure on that? (sure it has value, no question) Does it give a good return for the value that might be put into the web presense?

        • #3268832

          Website good rep

          by wdewey ·

          In reply to Can it really?

          I think a well designed web site can give a site a good reputation. I like HP’s web site because I can go there and quickly and easily find a user manual (usually easier than finding the hard copy in my office), drivers for devices, parts lists, etc. Many times I will use the part numbers off of the HP site to do searches on Google to get prices and often purchase something over the internet.


        • #3142708

          Can you build a good reputation without a web presence?

          by gardoglee ·

          In reply to Can it really?

          I suppose it depends on what one does for a living, and for their hobbies, but I find more and more every day that I am disinclined to buy consumer like products from any company which does not have a useful web site. This is not to say that there are not still many inadequate sites, but when I find a site which offers some really useful information, rather than just sales fluff and eye candy, I infer that the company actually thinks through what might be of value to their customers. If they are thinking value while building their website, then it seems more likely that they might have successfully put value into their products.

          Given other things seeming equal, I very definitely prefer to buy products from companies with helpful web sites. So, where does Google fit into this? That is the place through which I most often find out where a manufacturer or vendor’s website is, what the specifications are on a product, what previous purchasers have said, and so forth. It is like a phone book, without getting ink on your fingers.

    • #3270154

      using search engines

      by barffalong ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I must be one of the few, I have purchased a variety of things off the internet, and used a search engine to find what I needed.

      • #3142076


        by wdewey ·

        In reply to using search engines

        I do the same. Some less common items I have only been able to find on the internet using a search engine.


    • #3270130


      by buddm ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Someone may not buy a Porsche because they saw one on Google, but someone looking to buy a Porsche may buy it from you (assuming you’re a dealership) if they can find the information about you and the services and products you provide.

      Granted, it’s not just how high you came up on the search engine list; you need to provide enough information and compelling reasons on your site to convince customers to purchase from you. But in order for people to see that info and those compelling reasons, they need to find your site first.

      In my business (education) we track how our customers find out about us. Roughly half are from “Web Search.”

      • #3270784

        the Yellow Pages then?

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Yes.

        But, ok, at least in your business, you are tracking how it’s working for you. A good Question here though, as to your ROI, does it really generate sales, money? (a good ROI) Or just interest? (a poor ROI) And just how can you really tell the difference?

        • #3269538

          I buy almost everything on-line, I haven’t used yellowpages in years

          by royhayward ·

          In reply to the Yellow Pages then?

          Last month I just bought a new car, from a dealer that I found on line because he had the car I wanted in stock on his site.

          The internet gives me more than the yellow pages or other types of advertising. It tells me the current price and availability of the items I need. Books, clothes, food, hardware, housing I have searched for with the intent to purchase all of these over the last few years.

          I worry a bit sometimes when i drive down the street how the businesses that rely on people actually coming to their stores will stay in business in the future.

          Why would I go to a store, if I can just shout out on Google, “who has the replacement bulb for my refurbished projector?” and have a dozen replies and adds on the side that fit my request?

          If the car rental place you work for doesn’t have a presence on the web, that I will find when I search for your city and transportation, then you will miss me, all most all of my family, and co-workers as we all make these types of arraignments online exclusively.

        • #3144059

          I can see here…

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to I buy almost everything on-line, I haven’t used yellowpages in years

          That it seems like a lot of people do just that. No arguement on that. I’ really talking about the other way, from the business to you, not your perspetive to the business. Do they get their money out of their web expenditures?

        • #3144040

          It is the same perspective.

          by royhayward ·

          In reply to I can see here…

          If I am one of the reviewer types, and your business has zero info on the web, are you going to get my business?

          and if you are me, the online kiosk shopper, if you aren’t on the web where I can find you, then you don’t get a chance at my business.

          Getting the business of the online segment of the populous is getting access to there money. As a “Market segment of One” 🙂 A business that forgoes the expenditure of an internet presence and ads, loses 100% of my market.

        • #3144029

          Certainly not for my industry.

          by buddm ·

          In reply to the Yellow Pages then?

          I would say that royhayward’s comments hit the nail on the head.

          As to ROI, there is a certain relationship between purchases and the number of people we inform about a program. We see it in the number of emails and mail pieces we send out. The more we send out, the more purchases we get. I can only assume that visibility, or presence, on the internet will function the same way.

          Honestly, though, I’m not sure any methodology really generates sales. My opinion is that 99% of the time the only thing that generates sales is having the services or products that best match what the buyer is looking for and can afford. Having a web presence gives the buyer the ability to easily make the determination of whether or not your product or service is the best fit for them. A large part of that web presence is the ability for the buyers to find your site. And, Bingo, we’re back to Google.

        • #3112148

          Advertising only serves a limited purpose

          by gardoglee ·

          In reply to Certainly not for my industry.

          In marketing class it was proposed that there are several steps a prospective customer goes through before they actually purcahse an item. Real life seems to bear out that the five-or-seven-or-whatever step process is a good model of what really happens. The first step is always that the person needs to realize they have a need, followed by discovering some product which servers that need. Advertising, whether on the web, print media, broadcast, billboards, word-of-mouth or the sign on the outside of your store, is always for the purpose of letting the prospecitve customer know you exist, and what sort of products you have, along with their capabilities. that is the end of what advertising does. There are several other things the customer must do, such as comparing options, weighing the various options (including not buying anything at all), committing to purchase, and so forth. Advertising doesn’t influence any of those.

          The bootom line here is that the success criteria for the web presence is whether the customer trying to evaluate possible solutions to the problem will sometimes get that information from the web. The clear answer is, “Yes, maybe, sometimes, for some customers.”

          That is as good as you get for any advertising media. All the ad agency surveys of TV ads, direct mail open rates, print media call back rates, and the like won’t ever give you an exact answer. You look at the statistics, you take your guess, and you live with the results, including the ones you cannot really explain.

        • #3143837

          I had a Yellow Pages Listing once …

          by jevans4949 ·

          In reply to the Yellow Pages then?

          The only calls it generated were from accountants and call centres trying to sell ME stuff!

          From the “consumer” point of view, yellow pages takes just as long to scan, and then you have to spend hours on the phone to find the advertiser who is able to provide EXACTLY what you want straight away.

          On the other hand, if there are only a dozen or so suppliers in the whole country, the likelihood is that none of them will appear in your local directory.

    • #3270129

      Search Worth It

      by mollenhourb9 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I use various search engines all the time to buy things. First, I look up information on them. Then, I look up who has the best price online, or who in my area sells that item so I can talk to a living, breathing person about it. Linking the retailer with a map helps even more.

      I don’t live in Stuttgart though. Things may be different there.

      • #3270783

        The same than…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Search Worth It

        It is the “Living, Breathing, Person” that made the sale. Did the web site investion give a good ROI for ‘all’ the company’s? (point here; 1 purchase, but how many web sites got hits?)

        • #3142072

          Could say this about any marketing technique

          by wdewey ·

          In reply to The same than…

          I am not in marketing, but couldn’t you say that about any marketing techinque? The marketing brings the customer into the sales person who makes the actual sale. How useful is it to send out flyers to every house in a city? What is the ROI? I don’t know, but I keep seeing them so someone somewhere must think that it works. And since they are still in business, maybe it did.



    • #3270122

      Contextual Search

      by twodogmark ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I think it’s kind of ironic that right at the bottom of this page (and throughout alot of CNET’s sites) there are links to things called Contextual Ads. These are text link ads served up by the Search Engines that are designed to be relevant to the topics that are being presented on the particular web page. So even if we disagree about whether Search makes sense or not, our host at CNET seems to think so.

      And considering the market value of Google, I’m willing to bet that Search works just fine and dandy. Besides, MSFT just committed to spend over $2 BILLION US next year to catch up to Google’s search business. Despite dawgit’s focus group of one, (which, don’t get me wrong, I do the same thing every day), I think it’s more useful than not for the vast majority of people.

      • #3270782

        Market value…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Contextual Search

        …is there really market value? As in, cold hard cash for business in general. Of course, Google is making money, but is it on ‘hype’? A big bubble? I think in the future, as money gets tight, more businesses will start to really question how their money is spent, and it’s effectivness. (Bottom line -ROI) Is the web structure (for search engines) really working for them?
        Thanks for making me a ‘Focus Group’… Do I get a ‘Group Discount’? 😀

    • #3270095

      We must live in different worlds

      by sweldon9 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I can’t imagine life again without Google and a checkcard….

      • #3269986

        Life w/out Google?

        by webmina ·

        In reply to We must live in different worlds

        I use Google all day long for market research, product information, competitor research, research on people in my industry and yes to purchase things. I can’t count how many times I have purchased something I was looking for on Google…something I would have never found so quickly otherwise. Last night, thanks to Google, I was able to quickly assure my littlest that a centipede bite wasn’t life threatening. Google makes me so much more productive.

        • #3270780

          Bite back :)

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to Life w/out Google?

          That’s not quite what I’m getting at here. But, How would you have found that out before the internet?

      • #3270781


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to We must live in different worlds

        I’m sure we do. But you sound a lot like an ex-…. ?:|

    • #3270093


      by vanessaj ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      A couple, friends of mine, bought their car online…and yes, they did a search to find the best deal for it. The bought one of the new, modern VW bugs with all the options. I’ve never seen the color “mist” before – they said you could only get that color if you buy online. It’s not a porsche, but it really is a great car. I never knew the new ones had such good supension…it gives such a smooth ride, it’s comfortable, and it’s beautiful, too. Bought it new, online, through a search. Go figure.

      • #3270779


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Well…

        Only on line? Sorry sounds fishy to me… (mist means manure in German BTW) If the car was not purchased from VW ( a dealer) does it really have a waranty? I think I would have doubts about that. Ok, being that I’m in Germany, it would be different, so I can’t comment on the ‘how’s’ on buying a car where you are. But it is a good car though. (too slow for the German market, the Golf is still their top seller)

    • #3270087

      It depends on what you’re selling

      by smorty71 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I buy things all the time based on doing a Google search. The difference in my usage and the usage you suggest is that I go into the search knowing what I want. I use Google to find out how good it is and who is willing to sell it to me for a fair price.

      My typical usage is to Google a product name with the word “review.” An example would be “Linksys WRT54G review.” If I am satisfied with the reviews I read, I will clear the word “review” from the search box and click the “Froogle” link at the top of the screen.

      If one of the online retailers I prefer to buy from (NewEgg, especially) has it for the best price, I will buy it. If a brick-and-mortar store has it for a better price, I will go out and pick it up.

      I think some things (like IT services) are a slightly different story, mainly because you can’t put “data migration services” or “server management” into your online shopping cart. 🙂 You have to talk to someone about your specific need.

      I would fully expect people to search and then call you for more info, though. It may not drive as many sales as word-of-mouth referrals; however, I don’t think you can dismiss it outright.

      • #3270778

        ugh, X-( Sales (hisss)

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to It depends on what you’re selling

        oh, Hi sMoRTy, 😐 Ok, that would bethe basis for my perspective- I’m not in sales. (or even cuscomer friendly*, for that matter) No, I wouldn’t dismiss it outright either. Search engines do searve a good purpose. But is it really cost effective across the board? That a search generates interest is a given. Does it gerenate money? (other than for the search engine firms) That is the question?
        *as my brother has put it “If you want to be a ‘Customer’ go to McDonalds”.

    • #3270032

      Search Engines

      by swd2004 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      search engines are very useful when you can’t find info anywhere else. I understand the cost to maintain your site could be prohibitive, but i have used search engines for both information and to purchase products after searching. It’s all about perspective, if a company has time/$ to maintain search data and has a product that can be easily viewed and purchased over the net, search engines make sense.

      • #3270777

        I think cost is my point…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Search Engines

        “If a company has the Time / Money” When the ROI is neg. will they still spend the money? And how can someone really know when the ROI for that money spent (on the web presense) is good or poor?

    • #3270020

      Searching every day

      by j_dub ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I use Google almost every day. I use it to research topics for school and work, to research on products or services I want to buy, to look up words or translate websites. I use it to find directions to places I need to go and information on places I want to visit. It was and still is one of the most useful sites ever to hit the web. This is the information age, but having all of that info is useless without the ability to find what it is you’re looking for.

      • #3270776

        Information, Research, School,…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Searching every day

        Yes, of course. We all use the internet for that, and search engines give us the ability to do so. But what about all the marketing ‘hype’ behind it that we are seeing? Is it reallly big money? (besides for the search engine firms) Or, a utility, a service, like the local library? Do the librarys generate such a ‘hype’ about money? (I’m sure they could use the money)

        • #3142032

          I think I understand now what you are really asking

          by j.lupo ·

          In reply to Information, Research, School,…

          Here is the thing, what makes the “library” free? It is the advertising and other content that when people use it gives money back to the site to be hosted. Part of what makes Techrepublic possible is the advertising on its site. So, if I use an ad on their site, TR gets something back for that.

          Is it worth it? yes. Is it a nuisance sometimes? again yes. However, if I don’t want to pay for my internet knowledge library then I have to deal with the advertising. Now I don’t have statistics or anything, but my understanding from some is that it is actually cheaper and reaches more people by advertising/marketing via the internet.

    • #3269987

      you’re kidding right?

      by mindilator9 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      What a self-centered approach to the purpose of search engines. And a blind one at that.

      1) sometimes i already know what i want to buy online, i just don’t know where to go to buy it.

      2)businesses make money when their staff is efficient; search engines make finding information efficient, equating to more production, equating to more profit.

      3)directly selling something is not THE only or best way to make money. my company makes money by hiring loan officers who want to open their own branch. we sell our services. you bet your ass google makes us money when people knock down our door to get hired.

      4)leads. leads. leads. take a look at direct mailer marketing. the avg is 1:15000, and that’s considered good odds. for every 15,000 doors someone hangs a flyer on, 1 of them will buy. same with search engines. hell, it’s the same with military recruiting. they have to bring in more than they need because not everyone has what it takes to stay. the more people you have coming to your site, the better the odds of someone buying something, and search engines enable people to find stores to visit.

      5)this topic is asinine.

      • #3270775


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to you’re kidding right?

        Not self-centered either.
        1) Why don’t you know where to go? Or are you new to that area?
        2) Businesses are Limiting internet use by their emploies (& therefore searching) for the sake of improveing efficiency. (not to mention securty)
        3) It’s good that Google works well for your company. But what percent of firms are like yours?
        4) Direct Marketing is for most people SPAM.!. Junk Mail. When the cost of marketing exceeds the return, you’ll come to work one day and find out your job went away yesterday. Will you blam Google?
        5) The ‘topic’ is not asine, it is a thinking perspective. About ROI.

        • #3141933


          by mindilator9 ·

          In reply to Nope

          1) recently i found out about a vinyl record i wanted to buy, but it was a rare print. there are thousands of vendors online that could possibly be selling it. i know what i want but not where to go. i googled it and found a vendor that buys from a list of thousands of worldwide vendors and displays their availability, condition and price. there is no way i would have found this record in my city.

          2) businesses limit chat programs and online shopping for personal reasons. our accountant shops at staples online, my department shops at zuke, pricewatch, newegg, etc. there are plenty of legitimate reasons to use the internet at work besides for email, and when those options don’t pan out, search engines find the alternative quicker than any other method you may be superior at.

          3) i’ve worked at many different firms, and they all use the internet very similarly. most companies i have worked for prefer the convenience of shopping online, it saves time in commuting to stores, calling up shops, and physically browsing something we don’t need to touch to buy. also, a good look at the other posts on this topic suggest that the answer to this question is: a very high percentage.

          4)if direct marketing were indeed cost-ineffective then you would not see any direct mailers, telemarketers, or google ads….at all. obviously these methods do work, despite our joint opinion on their quality. google at least gives you far more control over your ads, letting you designate a certain amount of money to pay and not go over that amount. direct mailers have quantity minimums. if direct mailers ever do become extinct my guess is it will be because search engine advertising took its place.

          5)the return on investment for using a search engine should be obvious to a high schooler. i believe it is good to question everything, but somethings don’t need thinking about too much. asking if search engines make sense is like asking if clean water is healthy. since there’s no comprehensive and accurate categorized directory of every website, search engines are the next best thing, maybe even better. if you want to question something worth questioning, don’t ask if search engines make sense, ask if their algorithms are effective. do i want to breathe clean air? of course i do. do i want to guess at where i will find what i’m looking for on the web? of course not. some things are just no-brainers and this is one of those things.

        • #3141802


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to yep

          1) Many times, search engines will get you to online specials only that aren’t available in stores and you can compare several local stores quickly without driving around.

          2)Business limit inefficient use of Internet, if it is not productive use, it shouldn’t be used at work anyway. If you don’t know how to use search engines to efficiently find anything your job requires, you shouldn’t be in your position.

          3) Efficiency in the workplace, saves time and makes the office more productive, again IF people use it and know how to find what they need in a search engine.

          4)Again 110% correct. The term used should not be EVERYONE hates spam, to MANY people hate spam. Some thrive on it, many shutins I know just gobble up that stuff. Just like telemarketing, many people hate it, but it is still the most effective way to play the numbers game and win at it.

          5)ROI on search engine is excellent, IF IF IF, your site is properly positioned in each engine. One comment, ‘glad it works for your company’ is just a cop out for not being able to place your site where it matters. As an SEO specialist, I can’t tell you how many companies have invested upwards of 20K having a site built only to find it ineffective, no ROI. POsition that site and you could have had a $500.00 site that is far more effective.

          6) People who are employed in positions related to e-commerce should most definitely know how to: a) position a site so that hits turn into visits
          b) Know how to search for what they need and get results from the top 10 in theri locality efficiently
          Without these abilities, how does any company cope with the inefficiency of the employee?

    • #3155004

      It must be your age :)

      by olegkio ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Not to be rude of course, but in my experience it does greatly depend on the age of a person. Most people in my circle [techies and not] that are 30 and under grew up with internet and usually think of the internet first whenever they need to look something up.

      My wife and I buy something on the internet at least couple of times a month, from small $10 purchases to fairly large ones, $300+.

      If I need to find a specific business in my area, it is much easier to type in my city name and the business type or item I’m looking for in Google than it is to search through phone book. Not every business can afford to buy ads in the phone book but almost anyone has a friend or a friend of a friend that is able and willing to put up a basic website for a couple of hundred dollars or even free.

      I may not buy my next car from the internet, but I will search for reviews, prices and sales that may be going on in our area.

      As someone said in another reply, really large companies probably don’t need to buy promotions from Google, but a business that sells specialty items may greatly benefit from showing up on the first search page. As an example, when I needed a new computer case, I searched Google for a specific model and used one of the sponsored links to find a store that sells them.

      • #3270774

        Ages? Good Point

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to It must be your age :)

        Yes, I’ve noticed that also. Definate age demographics at work here. (& being exploited ???)

    • #3154978

      Germany’s different obviously

      by silent shadow ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I am not in a position tio argue with dawgit on the German or European experience. If he says Germans don’t buy from the internet then I guess they don’t.

      However, in Canada they do and I know they do in the US as well. If the internet went down for a day I would find it a bloody nuisance – a week would be intolerable.

      I don’t buy cars or houses over the internet but I sure use the internet to inform my purchase of both those items. Most of my shopping these days is done on the net – not all, but a goodly portion.

      As for searching genereally, I use a search engine probably 10 times a day on a slow day. I don’t always use google – I use copern ic a lot, which in my view is much superior to google.

      Not to flame dawgit but I am very glad our experience is different that Europe’s.

      • #3270773


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Germany’s different obviously

        Not so quick, I certainly don’t claim to speek for all of Germany. I do see a big difference for the North American vs. the rest of the world marketing. Certainly there is a lot of money made on the internet sales though. I think you do get my point in “If the Internet went Down”. Is that a good position to be in? To firms that want a good cash flow? I don’t think so.
        ‘Copern’ I’ll check that out, thanks.

    • #3154937

      wait a second…

      by mindilator9 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      if dawgit truly believes that search engines have little to do with commerce, or anything else for that matter as the title of his post implies, why is he prepared for major flameage?

      i also wonder how he expects people to find his own website…
      hell i only found TR by googling a solution to a php script i was writing. how did you find TR, dawgit??

      • #3270769

        I waited a little longer than that ;\

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to wait a second…

        Sorry, bad case of World Cup fever. 😉
        I do do searching, as do most of us here. You are right, it’s commerce and money, that’s what I’m talking about here. Do most firms (besides the search engine firms) get a good ROI, as compared to the ‘hype’ we are sold from the search engine firms and the media?
        How did I find TR? a good question, I don’t remember, but probably from a search for something, somewhere. Was it cost effective for TR? Did they get a good ROI?

        • #3141915

          time will tell

          by mindilator9 ·

          In reply to I waited a little longer than that ;\

          the beauty of search engines is you don’t even have to pay for the advertising to get listed. when i found TR it wasn’t on a paid link. it was on the first page of free results. i found what i was looking for obviously or i might not have signed up on this site. now i’m one more potential customer, one of those 1:15000, or whatever the ratio is for the web, that TR knows may or may not buy something. i don’t unsubscribe from their email ads, so i’m definitely part of their subscribership that has potential to spend money. ask TR if their ROI for search engines worked out. they don’t appear to be going out of business any time soon, and they got me in without having to spend a dime. hmmm. there are companies that make money selling leads yet TR got me as a lead…for free. how’s that for ROI?
          btw, i’m sure you could find the statistics to your hypothetical questions (percentage of firms, search engine ROI, etc. etc.) by googling it. if it was your job to find out, how time/cost effective would that be for you?
          i just have to laugh at this topic because what would you do without search engines? type in random addresses and hope one is real? LMFAO
          without search engines doing the spidering, you would be the one doing the spidering. you understand that, right?
          i’d like to see you go a week without using a single search — not to buy something, just to find anything useful. anything that saves you time saves you money, since they are the same thing. before you can argue this, here’s an example:
          i get paid $X/hour to design and code web applications. if my assignment requires some functionality i’m unfamiliar with, would i spend more or less time looking it up in a book or magazine, going to a bookstore to find a book to look it up in, or searching on the web? time has proven again and again that i finish my work quicker when i search for code solutions online. because when i first got out of school, i would actually consult all the textbooks i got there. so now the project takes 4 hours to make rather than 5 or 6. The company just saved $X/hour, aggregated over every time i search and save time.
          you seem to think that ROI from search engines must always be tied to a purchase. you have to understand that prospective consumers and time are just as valuable as money in your pocket. i fail to see any logical reasoning against search engines.

        • #3144056

          no, no the other way….

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to time will tell

          I’m NOT saying that search engines are not worth us using them. On the contrary. What I asked here is do firms really get their web presense money back? Not that anyone shouldn’t use them.

        • #3142529

          well in that case

          by mindilator9 ·

          In reply to no, no the other way….

          i would say yes, yes they do make their money back. we sell corporate websites to our branches, and all they have to do is sell one loan to make back the cost of the website and SOE for the entire year. the majority of my in-house clientele gets 3-5 leads per day, avg of 4-5 conversions per week. this is phenomenal in an industry that thrives on personal referrals and refinances. several of my clients are active with their ad rates on google, constantly adjusting the daily spending cap and refining their keywords as they analyze which ones work and which ones don’t. there’s more to keywords than the meta tags too. msn loves to see your keywords in the title tag. all the engines love to see your keywords inside anchor tags, linking out to some other destination they can follow. if done right, SEO strategies can be very cost effective.

    • #3154721

      Further Toughts

      by jevans4949 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Dawgit, does your web site sell your business?

      Does it say “We are specialists in . Our clients include xxx car hire. We can help you with every stage of planning for it.”

      Does it show the potential customer you know what you are talking about?

      Does it say “When planning to implement , you need to think about customer impact, employee impact, supplier impact … We find that a lot of companies lose out by forgetting about . We can help train your staff to handle it.”? (I put this in general terms, you need to be more specific.)

      Does it say “What’s more, we are right here in Stuttgart”?

      Does it say “If you have a project in mind, call us and we will give you a competitive quote.”

      Do you have links from your city’s chamber of commerce site?

      I know that many times I’ve gone elsewhere because a company’s web site was too full of “cool” graphics and non-information.

      Does your site include contact points where the customer’s inquiry will get answered?

      (As you are in Germany:) Does it say “All our staff have PhD’s in

      • #3270767


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Further Toughts

        Since I don’t sell anything, no, mine doesn’t. The firm I mentioned, yes. And it’s very good actually. Does it bring in ‘new’ customers? That, I don’t know. Is it for repeat customers? Yes. Keeping, and rewarding good customers? Yes. It is a Part of their overall advertising funding, a part. The ROI is watched very closely.
        Kool about the PhDs. I think it is a requirement that every firm must have a ‘Dr.’ somewhere. It’s a German thing 🙂

    • #3268623

      Yes, Search Engines DO make sense.

      by chase.lee ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Sorry to disagree with you, but here in the USA in the state of Pennsylvania, SEARCH ENGINES make great sense!

      My 16 year old daughter uses them for ALL of her high school homework research projects. For that matter, she’s used them since she was 7 years old when she asked her second-grade teacher “Do oysters come from eggs?” and the teacher responded “That’s a good question. See if you can find the answer yourself!”.

      Overwhelmingly, I use them for pure informational purposes. They are truly invaluable.

      Plus, last November, I wanted to buy a used 4X4. I bought all the local and specialty papers and found several in the area. Then I went online and found dozens more within 100 miles of my home (most of these were NOT in my local papers).

      I sent e-mails to several sellers and finally settled on a fantastic used 4X4 at a dealer located 65 miles from my home (who did NOT advertise in my local papers). Without a Search Engine, this would not have happened.

      In February, I decided I wanted to buy a free-standing DVD burner. Using Google, I compared prices and specs and ordered from Tiger Direct.

      In my part of this universe, Search Engines are an excellent way of extending my informational as well as buying power.

      • #3270765

        I’m worried…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Yes, Search Engines DO make sense.

        I’m glad that your daughter is learning and useing the internet to do so. But at the same time I’m worried that a certain skill is being lost. (I hope, not by your daughter) In useing all the resourses available, as in the library, as well as the internet. It’s getting hard for companies to find good qualified people to work because they can’t think without useing the internet. (but that’s another subject) For you, useing the internet search engines worked. And helped you to be an informed consumer. But was it a good ROI for those companies that you didn’t buy from? Obviously, they didn’t get a good ROI from their newspaper advertiseing.

    • #3268468

      Got a point…

      by lightning joe ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I was prepared to defend search engines’ utility, but you kind of made my point. No, i don’t buy (a lot) of what i search for. I use searchers as info tools to find out what i need know about what i want to buy. And then i buy it or not.

      But most times, i think i buy it a long way from where i got the info that told me it was what i was looking for. After i find out that an item will serve my needs, then i go looking for a value transaction.

      And for that, i don’t usually search far. One can find information an item almost anywhere, but a quality transaction involves more than pricing. One tends to consider brands that have given good results, whether the brand is eBay or Amazon rules and ratings, PayPal assurances, or Sony’s (er,) good name.

      I think trusted brands, in the above sense, are the new brick-and-mortar. If they create a pocket of evident product value and accountability, they become centers of product activity. If they realize this, and most do, they get better at it because it’s good for their business.

      True, sometimes they backslide and find their names in the paper, but this is usually seen for the wake-up call it is.

      And then of course, there are the times i buy what the engine helps me find, if that’s the point where adequate info meets up with acceptable terms of purchase…

      • #3270764


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Got a point…

        As a tool on the internet for finding information search engines are indispensable. We agree on that. And I aree with you on the trusted firms, and the brick and mortor firms also. But, is the ‘hype’ (in search engines) of generating ‘big sales’ and ‘ratings’ really cost effective? When the ‘free & easy’ money and credit dries up, and the reality is cold, hard. ‘real’ money, ( in what ever form that migh be) will a lot of companies tank? Google will still have money, but the firms buying into the search engine ‘hype’, what will they have?

        • #3270594

          The cost of not doing something…

          by bubby@ ·

          In reply to Yup

          … can be determined by comparing the ROI of using a search engine with not using a search engine.

          Obviously the positives of using a search engine are greater than not using a search engine (whilst your competitors do use a search engine).

          I believe a appropriate analogy – do businesses consider it money well spent to advertise in the yellow pages phone directory – or “give it a miss” while their competition still choose to advertise.

          Naturally not everyone who visits a site (whether via a search engine or not) will result in a sale. This is no different to shoppers wandering through a “bricks and mortar” retail shop who are only browsing or window shopping.

          But it is normally only through google or the yellowpages that many customers know that the business exists.

          What is the ROI in letting customers know that your business exists and making your business services accessible to them? Search engine or not.

          (Slightly off topic) Furthermore by providing additional information on your site, common questions can often be answered without requiring the time and attention of your staff. Indirectly a search engine and a well designed site can free up the time of your staff.

    • #3270771

      Books = Location

      by dawgit ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I could say that I’m spoiled in that. When I need or want a partiular book, I just go down town and get it. (Germany is still ‘Book Crazy’) If I lived else where, North America, Africa, or the Amazon, I would be buying my books on the internet also.

    • #3270768

      Good Point

      by dawgit ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Now, do the firms whose web sites you visted know that? And is that a good ROI for them or just another expense?

    • #3142060

      search engines don’t find local biz

      by dr dij ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      directories do
      like yahoo yellow pages.

      they are way better than trying to find entries in main search engine, hemmed in by irrelevant sites and those typing in spam keywords to get drive-by virus hits.

      and I LOVE those stupid, irrelevant sponsored ads. I’ll search for a term that could be a city and the ads will show ‘find rooms in …’

      having a directory filters out the irrelevant sites that are NOT SELLING anything.

      it’s nice the biz doesn’t need to advertise but not all biz are that lucky. people can’t get services unless they know they exist and where they are. and unless that car rental place had ads somewhere, whether links on travelocity, etc, they wouldn’t be getting any biz except local.

      • #3144055

        That’s sort of what I mean here…

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to search engines don’t find local biz

        There is just too much garbage on the web (in general) that one has to sift through to find the value. In that context is it then a good investment for a small business? Or another expensive that could be cut? (oooh)

        • #3144021

          Yes, Internet Advertising yields a positive ROI

          by royhayward ·

          In reply to That’s sort of what I mean here…

          Lets use a model that is not on the internet. How about a shopping mall or shopping center. Is there an ROI to pay a premium to place your physical store in a building or geographic local to a bunch of others some of which will be selling what you are?

          The answer across the world is “Yes!” Christmas shoppers walk around the mall looking for something to buy. Likewise, those of us that have skewed walking and all forms of exercise save moving our fingers on the keyboard go to a search engine like Google to do what? yes, look for what is hot this season and then buy them.

          What if a business decided that they would not locate at the mall or any other shopping center with premium rents. Well they would then have to find alternative ways to pull in customers. They would have to spend money on ads in the paper, or internet, or pay a guy in a big chicken suit to stand around on street corners.

          And what if a business decides not to advertise on the web, well they don?t get seen by the thousands of teaming masses and had better locate at the mall so that some one will at least walk by and see them.

          The mall and shopping center businesses receive a positive ROI, and so to the businesses that advertise on Google.

          So we can answer the question. Yes it is worth it. Yes the GNP of the nation, yours and mine would receive and impact. And I would have to get of my rear and actually go to a store to buy shoes so that I could walk around the mall to shop if Google and the other search engines went away.

    • #3142046

      YES and It’s all about SEO

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Search Engine Optimization- first of all doe sthe company NEED global recognition? If it only conducts local business then it should be found when the locality is added to a search string.
      When I search for something quite generic, eg.:LCD monitors I would always add Vancouver BC to the search phrase to ensure I got more relevant seacr results. NOW it’s up to the site owners to optimize their site for THAT search phrase, not just LCD monitors where they will be beuriede in several million returned hits.
      If your company DOES position well for LCD monitors Vancouver B.C., then you wil notice a great loss in actual site VISITS (not hits) and business if that engine is down.

      I used to notice it when engines had a hiccup and were not working for a few hours, it shows up in the site stats each day/month.

      So for regional (small business), with good placements for relevant searches, there is probably an even GREATER impact when search engines fail than when a globally positioned company does.

      • #3144044

        from your perspective…..

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to YES and It’s all about SEO

        I would say you would be quite klowagable on this. But…. Who, besides spamers, like spam? Ok, that would be a whole ‘nuther discussion.
        On your point from above; “5)ROI on search engine is excellent, IF IF IF, your site is properly positioned in each engine. One comment, ‘glad it works for your company’ is just a cop out for not being able to place your site where it matters. As an SEO specialist, I can’t tell you how many companies have invested upwards of 20K having a site built only to find it ineffective, no ROI. POsition that site and you could have had a $500.00 site that is far more effective” That is exactly my point.!. And you have a greater exposure to it than most. Those companys that spen the 20K bought into the hype and did NOT get their values worth.
        And also a good point; “…does the company NEED global recognition? If it only conducts local business then it should be found when the locality is added to a search string.” That’s where their cost will count as you point out. Is it, or what is the best value for their investment in their web presense? And when does it become wasted on the hype from the search engine firms? (and in a large part, the media?)
        Do you remember, not so long ago, the BMW case? BMW was “caught” manipulating to search engines to their advantage. (tsk-tsk) For that transgresion, they were “Black-Listed” for a short time. After they they made amends, they were back. Did they, BMW, loose money, and business, in that time? (I don’t know) They did, in a way bring up my point here. Search Engines can be manipulated, and are in fact. And therefore somewhat hype for the business side. (not the user side, as most here took my point)

    • #3269766

      A matter of perspective

      by hendry_betts ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?


      I think your point is relevant when you have a share of the market such as your company does. Brand names have online stores for customer ease, not for recognition. However, small companies – like the one for which I currently work, and medium sized businesses use it as part of a more comprehensive media marketing package. Our company simply has our website on all our ads because it would be too costly to print new ads every time the inventory changes.

      Most people agree that the real value of search engines is for the person who has a focus and knows EXACTLY what they are looking for. If you type in “ColdFusion” on Google you are not going to read through the billions of matching pages. However, if you type in “workaround for ColdFusion:exception 109930” you will find a much smaller sample have that phrase and will get the results you need. But only a true user (programmer/geek/nerd) would understand that focus is needed.

      I don’t think they are outdated, I do think they think they are in trouble. They (the search engines) have whored themselves out to advertisers using PPC (pay per click) campaigns to get their listing above all others… That is creating a huge “bad feeling” from users in general. Plus, if you watch the tele at all, you see the ads for “Ask” (formerly Ask Jeeves) that say “Google isn’t better, just more popular.” It’s become a war of publicly traded companies… and there are no winners in that.

      • #3144053

        That’s exactly

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to A matter of perspective

        What I’m seeing, And that is what my point is here. Are businesses caught up in the hype or like yours really on top of it? I think that unfortunately your business might be in a minority on this. I see more firms caught up the hype and you’re right, I also see no winners.

    • #3142392

      Wow, there’s a lot for consideration

      by techrep.2.send-me-no-spam@ ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Until reading through these posts, I didn’t realize just how much I did use Google searches for purchases. There are a lot of large items I have bought online that I could not have purchased if I hadn’t found them through a search. This is when I know what I want, maybe not brand or vendor specific, but first I need to know where I can get it, how much it costs, and if several vendors have it, I like to compare features as well as price and product reputation. Some items just are not available at any b&m in the state. We started a small business of making custom T-shirts. All of our equipment was purchased from results of Google searches: A Pro-quality press could not be purchased anywhere within several hundred miles and then there was little choice. With internet, I could choose between different brands, models, prices, vendors all over the country. When I decided which Epson printer I wanted to invest in, not one of those small desktop jobs that litter all the local shops and should be given away free because one set of ink cartridges cost more than the printer did, none of our local stores had that particular printer – so, back to Google. I chose that particular priter because it was one of the few that you could get a continuous flow bulk ink system for and had the features I wanted plus a good reputation. Then there’s the CFS bulk ink systems – so many to choose from. Again I searched with google, checked out the different vendors and what they had and made an online purchase – as a direct result of the search. Since this is generally a one time purchase, price was not the only consideration. I also had to consider availability of support, as well as supplies. I purchased from the website that gave me the best information about their product and was least confusing. Same site also had a choice of supplies: several different types of ink for refills (and also said you didn’t have to use their inks! – but I will) and inkjet transfer papers. So not only did I place my first order as a result of the search, but am now a repeat customer.

      Flash, animated gifs and tons of java script must be relatively cheap for maintaining a web presence, because that’s the kind of thing that will send me running away from your website. I want straightforward information. I want to know what you have to offer – what are the features, what additional items will I need in order to use your product, where can I get help if I have a problem with the product or don’t know how to do something with it, and I want to know where you are physically located, a phone number (preferrably toll-free) where I can talk to someone, and an email address or at least an online form to send an email question. That type of site should not have such a formidable overhead and be pleasing enough to customers to generate sales. I hope the businesses I bought equipment from as well as those that I continue to buy supplies from appreciate my business and the fact that, if not for Google, I would not have known about them. I certainly appreciate being able to find just what I want via an online search much better than all those glossy junkmail circulars that fill my trash can every day and must cost something in paper & ink besides the postage to send to thousands of people who do the same as I and cart them straight from the mailbox to the trash unopened.

      Also, whenever I plan to make a sizeable purchase in a local store, I usually check out the product online. This is where the manufacturer of the product has a responsibility to maintain a good online appearance, whether it’s Sony, Philips, Toshiba, Netgear, etc. I’ll also check out the user forums (particularly fond of Cnet reviews – not the staff’s, but what the customers who bought the product had to say about it). I have found top named products that were a great disappointment to other purchasers and brands I’d never heard of that got glowing praise – that I could add to!

      So is the ROI being online worth it? Well, it doesn’t matter to me much what you think, but I certainly hope those that I buy from continue to think so.

      BTW, I’m well past 30 something. My first computer was a solar powered abacus. Any of you kids know what that is?

    • #3142287

      Would miss it

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I’d find another data base to look up. I’m sure the market would jump to fill in.

    • #3269024

      In my office

      by stargazerr ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Its full of sales people. Who have to search for new companies to call everyday. They use google a lot. Today, there was some trouble with google for 5 minutes in the morning. The first thing I heard was, Neha, Internet is down. Which of course, wasn’t, since I was talking to a friend over messenger at that time. Turns out it was only google.


      • #3268912

        Lol, like to some people of the USA

        by rob mekel ·

        In reply to In my office

        asking for a XEROX of a paper still means give me a copy of that paper.

        Or the new Phillyshave of Wilkinson shaves very smoothly, alltho a Phillyshave is a brand of Phillips

        To some it is hard to tell the difference of what they are using to get the job done and the techniques/products that help them doing it. 🙂

        but that is all human. 🙂


      • #3142685

        Slip of tongue? :d

        by onbliss ·

        In reply to In my office

        :-), perhaps?

    • #3268984

      Must be a newbie…

      by david.rowland ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      …, or were you born yesterday:)? It’s hard to believe a seasoned surfer could make such a statement. I’ve bought dozens on things online by searching Google, some were from clicking the ads, others were found in the search results. Typically, I’ll first search to narrow-down the make & model of an item, then search for the best price – I’ve saved thousands using this method. Last year I wanted to buy a nail-puller (which for some reason they don’t seem to make anymore), and a Google search quickly found one from the early 1900’s, which I got for under $20. How else are you going to shop for something like that?

    • #3268941

      You’ve got to be kidding!

      by derrick_martin1881 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      We are in the Information Age and search engines are a vital part of this brave new world. Even novice computer uesrs look to Google and other search engines for information of many, many topics.

      Obviously, you don’t know many people!

    • #3268914

      Search engine like having an assistant

      by john_hop ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I’d sure hate to give up Google. It would severely cramp my work and my personal life. Am able to check information so much faster on the job than I could before, even with the help of a staff librarian. And at home, I found both my pickup truck and my wife’s car by searching for product information. Yesterday I found new tuning machines for a guitar I’m restoring. Earlier did a product comparison that helped my find the digital camera to buy. If my computer were suddenly relegated to an email and spreadsheet machine I’d be very sad.

    • #3268857

      googls is not for selling porsches

      by ksramesh1 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Excuse me, but i thought search engines are used to add to what you already knew, or know what you didnt. And NO, Google isnt a place to sell a Porshe. And Search Engines are more to “know” than to “buy”. They need not necessarily be seen against sales generated through them for corporates or businesses, but i think it needs to also be weighed in terms of value for millions and millions of individual internet users worldwide who would otherwise be handicapped, in search of knowledge on the thousands of subjects that these search engines contain or provide.

      It is a totally different subject to discuss if the hundreds of thousands of results that these search engines throw up everytime it is queried, is relevant or meaningful.

      Maybe somebody would correct or enlighten me ?

      • #3111589

        Ahh the light shines!

        by mwradio ·

        In reply to googls is not for selling porsches

        You don’t need enlightenment! Dawgit does. The question he asked is obviously NOT the one he wants an answer to because he hasn’t accepted it yet. I, like so many others here have said, use Google daily in my business. My business runs on information. It is what makes me a can do guy instead of a I don’t know guy.
        No one can know everything about anything. Nor put his hands on every item he needs locally. You have to reach out. Google helps to fill in those gaps in knowledge, gaps in resources, gaps in connections.
        Using Google I have found answers to questions I needed answered, as well as answers to more questions I didn’t know I needed to ask! Found PRODUCTS and services I NEVER could have found in my local Yellow Pages. Found products and services, I would only have found in major metropolitan areas by spending hours calling serveral hundred places in the Yellow Pages, in just minutes! Even found people and places I need to meet or go to that I never would have known were there otherwise. You don’t find that ability at even your local library.
        Now, do I buy from the jerks with the ads like this “Find ARTIC SILVER and other great artic adventures at Travel Hut,” that appear down the side of the search? H— no! Does anybody? But does anyone buy Oxydol because some jerk comes on his TV and yells at him about the marvels of it ’till he’ll never forget the name (and never would buy the product just because he been annoyed so much by the commercial)? I imagine someone MUST because these ad writers are still with us! I don’t want anyone that gullible in my circle of friends!
        But then again, we all must give thanks to those idiots who write those ads, buy those spots, and those products, because they are the ones who keep our TV stations and search engines running!
        As an ad exec once said, “Consumers are like cockroaches, they become immune after awhile, so we have to try something new.” Gee, I always knew I hated ad execs, now I know why. From one “Cockroach” to another, this is why there schtick don’t work, we aren’t the idiots they want us to be.

    • #3142585

      Silly question

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      It’s generated some posts, it’s featured on the home page, but this was a silly posit, imo, that a search engine (Google in particular) is just for educational purposes. Pshaw! Just today I googled a place to buy a special kind of hummingbird food ingredient for my sister-in-law and it resulted in a sale. I routlinely use search engines to shop around for the best prices on components for systems one of my customers builds.

      We had this discussion during Internet Economy I – does every brick-and-mortar business need a Web presence? Will a Web presence automatically increase sales or leads on potential customers? In the early days, lots of people wasted lots of money putting up brochure pages so they’d be “on the web” but they didn’t understand how to drive traffic to their sites. The money they spent on the Web generated zero or negative ROI.

      Even now in Internet Economy II, there are many businesses — like some car dealers — that simply don’t need a Web presence, because it won’t provide any convenience to their curernt customers and it won’t increase their customer base. I personally would never shop for a car online because I don’t want to drive to another city or state to pick the thing up! But apparently lots of people ARE shopping for cars online and I think it’s great.

    • #3142535

      I would miss google.

      by michael_orton9 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I find that if I want to buy anything or look up some person, piece of equipment or software, Google is my first point of call, then Wikipaedia, Ask, or even Ask Alice!
      Just down the road is a very good library and in a nearby room there is a 1,000 book library.
      But books don’t have a built in Google.
      I just can’t imagine a world without Google and its likes, especially for study.
      I am doing a part time masters in PR at present.
      Of course I always quote Tom Lehrer’s “Lobochevsky”
      << Plagiarise, plagarise, remember why the Good Lord gave you eyes, Don't shade your eyes, Let no other's work evade you eyes, p.............. P..........., but remember, of course, to call it research.>>
      Google Tom Lehrer if you don;t know of him!

    • #3270435

      How about a convicted arsonist at a site?

      by spazzman ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Great stuff. Ask an obscure question, you can be surprised by the answer. First internet search I ever made was looking for a toy that I didn’t know anybody made. Found it in five minutes. Found someone with a 20-year-old PC to match a 20-year-old hard drive. Found out using Google to check on the spelling of a client’s employee’s name that the same person had been jailed a year ago for setting a workplace fire to gain recognition as a hero. And I did so for free.

    • #3113196

      It’s all about a Marketing Mix

      by cvestal ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      Whatever marketing strategy a company has, it should look for the right mix to achieve optimal results and return on investment.

      Obviously, if they get plenty of referrals that lead to sales by simple word of mouth, then that company will not need to rely heavily on Internet marketing or even traditional offline marketing for that matter.

      Why should they invest in marketing that is not needed? It is not even about the medium at that point, is it?

      Search Engines have been hyped up as some silver bullet. In my experience, if the web site is not user friendly, or the product or service is not what a visitor is searching for, then people will keep looking.

      Live by the search engine, and die by it… You need a mixed marketing strategy. Diversify!


    • #2999060

      Many needs, many answers

      by paladin2 ·

      In reply to Search Engines, Do they really make sense?

      I used to be terrified about buying things on the internet. But I have about as good a security solution as you’re likely to get with XP, I don’t use IE or Firefox and am very careful. I’ve bought my cameras, computers, hard to find hardware and scientific equipment and once even clothes and have never had a problem. I bought a new 5800 dollar laptop for $2400 and an 850 dollar camera for $500 and never would have heard of most if not all these bargains. I also bought my $3500 Omega watch from an Omega approved site for Bailey, Banks and Biddle for $2400. And I also use it for any and all ‘research’ both professional and personal. I don’t use Google, I use Dogpile and I don’t use IE, I use Opera and am very careful and use the internet to investigate any vendor I’m not familiar with. And so far I’ve gotten exactly what I ordered and all the several stores I regularly do business with have given me fantastic service that I wouldn’t have the time nor the patience to go out and dig up all this stuff on the street. So for me, yes they make sense. But you need an ounce or two of common sense, like the same common sense that makes you look both ways before crossing the street.

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