Putting trust in the search engines
As we all know, the Internet is the fastest, and definitely the most convenient way of looking for information these days.
You can surf the net anywhere, anytime, while on the run, using tablets or on your iPhone.
But … can you trust any search engines to direct you to the best results for the search terms you’ve typed into the browser?
Some are now saying you can’t trust them at all…
Hang in there and let me explain why.
I have a friend who is a litigation lawyer and has practiced for many years in that field, nowadays, he is wanting to move into the online law space and asked me to catch with him up for an update. And here is how the conversation went.
It was a glorious sunny day and we were enjoying coffee overlooking some breathtaking views on top of the Great Dividing Range. The air was so clear and still we could hear roosters crowing from miles away, and we could see as far as the Lockyer Valley towards Brisbane in the distance. Just spectacular.
However, what my friend said to me next stunned me more than a little.
As you all might know, I’ve been successful in business since the tender age of eight and – over my many years in business – I’ve spoken to a lot of lawyers. However, what this dude imparted to me was a conversation stopper.
Because overtime, the conversation lead to…
Online matters and search engines taken to task. World Wide.
“Why,” I asked?
“They are allegedly engaging in anti-competitive behavior,” he said. “When people type in search terms, they get their results. And rather than sending you to the best site relevant to the search terms you typed in (and they are sending you to the best site that is relevant to the search terms alright) but, on sites that have their sales funnel hooked up to it.”
So on the one hand my friend and I agreed, this would be an incredibly frustrating experience if people knew about it. While on the other, it would be akin to being downright commercial manipulation if they didn’t.
So a better question to ask is…
Are anti-competitive strategies a good way to run a business?
Absolutely not. Because if it is, then people will work it out very quickly, vote with their keypads and look somewhere else. In any business, like with everything else in life, you reap what you sow. A win for you and a lose for customers is a very negative way to do business at any time.
And if what we are hearing is true, then it would appear any search engines engaging in these latest tactics will get caught. Further to this, assuming they are found guilty, they could face fines to the tune of several billion dollars.
The truth is…
It takes great courage to start and build a profitable business these days. Therefore, it should follow that anyone in business today should conduct their business on a win for the customer and a win for their business basis.
So, you need to think carefully about any dodgy strategy before implementing it, or your customers will end up unhappy and your business will suffer in the long run.
Why would that be do you think?
Building a profitable business to benefit your customers, and not to dominate and destroy a market, is far more profitable than trying to squeeze people into a corner where they are left to respond out of fear or even worse: anger.
Now … getting back to the search engines.
Do search engines promise one thing and deliver another? Or …
Should we give them the benefit of the doubt?
As it stands, whilst I am writing this post, the search engine executives have already strenuously denied these allegations claiming they send people exactly where they were looking to go.
They are setting about preparing a vigorous defense against the allegations.
In fact, they claim other businesses have sprung up and have thrived because of their efforts.
From my point of view, it would be a shame if business ethics have sunk so low as to see possible bad behavior, litigation and maybe multimillion dollar fines as…
“Just a cost of doing business”
My take home point here is; be mindful where you are being directed to when you search online. Check to see if your search results has sent you to the best information available, and not the most profitable information for the search engine.
Even more importantly for you, there is a fine line between being persuasive in business and being manipulative. Conduct your own business in an ethical manner (go to the About Us to discover how), because when you do, you will see a return on your investment ten times over.
Okay, remember the conversation with my friend? What did my lawyer friend think?
“Any business found to be engaged in manipulative behavior does not have a long term future. Otherwise … the cost of doing business could literally cripple them financially.”
What you want to do is focus your attention positively to create your own online business explosion…
Yours in future profits
Clancy of the Information Overflow
P.S. Remember to conduct business ethically so you will see a return on your investment ten times over