Search Engines Are Dead Discussion

Search Engine Watch

Search Engines Are Dead Discussion

From The Search Engine Report
Dec. 4, 1997

"I submit that search engines are dying. In fact, I would say they are dead already and just don't know it yet - gone the way of the reciprocal link exchange and the "you have a cool page" award as an effective promotional tool. A victim of their own success."

--Richard Hoy, Moderator, Online Advertising Discussion List

In November 1997, subscribers to the Online Advertising Discussion List were treated to a wide-ranging and interesting discussion about search engines sparked by moderator Richard Hoy's initial post, above.

Richard had noted that search engines were responsible for only a fraction on the traffic generated for the Year 2000 web site that his company manages. Consequently, he postulated that all the worry over search engines was overblown.

The resulting posts were mixed. Some agreed, while others found search engines continue to be an important part of any marketing plan. This was especially true for those with small budgets or for small web sites.

Others noted that while search engines may only generate a small amount of overall traffic, many clients perceive them as crucial, which causes a headache for web marketers unable to improve listings.

"Seasoned Internet marketers know the search engines are only a very small tool when it comes to promoting a site. However, try telling that to my clients and the rest of the users out there," one person posted.

Discussion moved beyond just the marketing aspects of search engines, also. Comments were made about improving usability. Spam detection was one area addressed. One person felt some search engines paid only lip service to fighting spam, describing his experience when reporting an offense:

"I exchanged several email messages with a tech, who claimed to have checked a page I questioned and "saw nothing out of line". I wrote back with quoted code from the page in question, showing *7* separate title tags, EACH with a minimum of *19* iterations of the keywords in question....After I took the time to report and illustrate this, the tech agreed that this was decidedly improper, and stated that the page would be removed. 5 weeks later, it's still there."

I've consolidated most of the posts into one page, so that people can read the entire discussion. I encourage you to take the time and do so. The Online Advertising Discussion List is populated mostly by what I'd describe as mid-to-high level Internet marketers. These are people who often work with corporate clients to promote large web sites. Participants are extremely knowledgeable about web marketing and the Internet in general. Consequently, the discussion is good reading.

Search Engines Are Dead Discussion Posts

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