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Subject: RE: UKNM: Search Engines and Shopping Malls ?
From: Chris Meachin
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 15:26:51 +0100

> Do you think that it is fair to the consumer that companies can
> get within
> the 1st 5 listings of a search engine via payments and technical
> trickery ?

The only decent sized search service which takes payment in return for high
rankings within it's actual search results is GoTo.com. I don't see this as
being any kind of threat to the major engines which do not do this anyway
(AltaVista, Yahoo, Lycos, ODP, Excite etc).

As for technical trickery - It's hard to apply a definition to this. To some
people merely optimising a web site (through the use of well thought-out
meta tags, pages titles, page design and body copy) could be considered

Many other people would consider the use of search engine friendly 'bridge
pages' (which cannot be viewed by normal site users) and similar devices as

I would argue that if a search engine is unable to glean useful and accurate
information from your 'real' site for whatever reason (maybe it is weighed
down with flash/jscript/frames/dynamic content etc) then it can be
acceptable to offer alternative information for indexing. Of course, this
only holds true if the alternative content does accurately reflect your
content, product or service offering.

Like any kind of web application/technology (design, programming etc), such
devices do not intrinsically cost anything: If you know what you're doing,
you can do it yourself - for free.

> Are we really giving the consumer a choice ?

Yes. Search services still offer users some of the best ways to get what
they're looking for on the internet. They also offer small businesses an
almost unique forum in which they can compete with larger, richer companies.
Getting listed well on search engines doesn't *have* to cost the earth if
you're competent (see above).

> Are we being governed on the net by companies that have financial clout ?

Naturally, companies with bigger budgets can afford to pay for professional
services. Business is not a democracy. Sorry. This is true of any kind of

> What is going to happen to the small to medium size web company ?

Odd question, even if it is rhetorical. I didn't realise there was *a* small
to medium size web company. There is no generic rule for success based on
the size of your company. Intelligent companies with good ideas will survive
regardless of size. Bigger companies which can't get to grip with the medium
will go under or go offline. Pretty simple business concept I reckon.

Christopher F Meachin | Associate Creative Director
The Mob | AGENCY.COM | London | 020 7573 5900

the UK's totally managed affiliate marketing solution.
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  UKNM: Search Engines and Shopping Malls , ANorth4951

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