Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wherein I Pretend I am Seth Godin

For those of you who don’t know, Seth Godin is a marketing guy famous for his innovative, cutting-edge ideas like, “Be honest” and “The best way to get your customers to trust you it to not be sneaky.” For marketers, this goes against every natural instinct. So sometimes they call him "controversial" and "flaky."

His blog is an interesting read, even if you are not a business or marketing person. Many times he talks about bad customer experiences or ineffective business models companies use, and he has inspired many bloggers to follow suit.

Those first two paragraphs are just a set-up for the real blog post, which begins here:

I was in a business meeting the other day, where someone insisted that all the business needed was a good round of search engine optimization. “If our company appears at the top of a Google search, we’ve got it made.”

I immediately thought about my latest experiences with Google. I’m seriously in the mood for a new camcorder and am mulling over the Canon HV-20, the Sony HDR-HC7, or waiting a year when the new cameras (complete with more powerful features, better picture, and a lower price) come out. (That last option is my wife’s choice.) So, I routinely perform Google searches for HV-20, HDR-HC7, and “Save your money and make your wife happy.

While performing these searches, I noticed a new little feature in my searches – McAfee SiteAdvisor puts little “checks” or “X”es next to the sites that come up in the search result, letting you know if these sites are really legit or if there have been customer complaints about the site (excessive pop-ups, spyware installed, poor customer service, etc.). And wouldn’t you know it, but all the sites with “X”es by them turn up in at the top of the search.

So getting to the top of the Google search results through search engine optimization is only the first part. The second part is being honest and not trying to screw your customers. The internet may be large and vast, but word travels fast on it.

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