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The Obsession’s in the Chasing and not the Apprehending

There is little point to creating a website that people aren’t going to read and people need to find the site is there?
Old AltaVista Logo

I remember quite some time ago (more than a decade), a slightly geeky friend (even slightly is overly) tried to explain how exciting HTML was and also kept on about how great Alta Vista was; Yahoo too. It all sounded bollocks to me, total and utter. I do remember thinking that Alta Vista seemed a strange brand, I couldn’t really hook into it, the imagery the name, it sounded like some sort of 40′s film studio that made westerns and I never really liked westerns apart from those odd ones where the likes of Bardot, Loren or Lollobrigida appeared. Anyway I now see the friend as often as I use Alta Vista. However I have just spent a few minutes using Google to see if I could find an image of Bardot, Loren and Lollobrigida to liven up this ramble. As Tom Waits said;

The obsession’s in the chasing and not the apprehending

Google clearly is up there now and this is OK or should it be a worry?

The need for search neutrality is particularly pressing because so much market power lies in the hands of one company: Google. With 71 percent of the United States search market (and 90 percent in Britain), Google’s dominance of both search and search advertising gives it overwhelming control. Google’s revenues exceeded $21 billion last year, but this pales next to the hundreds of billions of dollars of other companies’ revenues that Google controls indirectly through its search results and sponsored links. By ADAM RAFF Published: December 27, 2009

Clearly when optimising a site for search engines one can’t ignore figures like that. The good news is that it is relatively easy to make some sort of impression into optimisation for search engines (SEO). It used to take months to get some sort of return on effort but nowadays result can be reasonably fast, weeks rather than months. My experience is that Google is surprisingly fast to affect a change whereas others such as Bing can be harder work. Bing is apparently the ‘Sound of Found” and following the re-brand it’s market share has increased (at least in the US). Given the $50-100 million campaign I suspect annoyance would prevail otherwise.

So, back to Google. It’s a great tool, a great set of tools really. There are some unbelievably useful products that can genuinely improve your life. However, There is a little bit of me that feels just a tad wary. It would be easy to throw too many eggs into one basket.

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