I'm getting tired of Google.
We've had a faithful relationship for years, but it's time to jump into bed with some new search engines. Try some new positions.
Google's been getting embroiled in a bitchy scene over the last twelve months. People are complaining that their 'Don't Be Evil' mantra is a sham, and lately they've taken a hard line on paid links while at the same time allowing millions of sites to run their AdSense and AdWords products. They're rightly being accused of double-speak.
The SEO industry is no better. They propagate the myth that we all need to be in bed with Google. Google drives the traffic. Don't breach Google's guidelines, you might get banned. Why does no-one care about breaching Yahoo's or Microsoft's guidelines? Only a handful of wise SEOs are looking at alternative forms of traffic, while the rest of the industry waits expectantly for their latest orders from the 'Plex.
Search Engine Loyalty
As a webmaster/blogger, I'm concerned about the Google monopoly. Aren't you? You have a successful website, but most of your visitors come from Google. You make most of your money from AdSense. Too many online business models rely completely on Google both for eyeballs and dollars.
As I hinted earlier, there are other options. Where's the optimization advice for Yahoo! or Live? What about Ask? Why aren't people sharing techniques and tips to get razor-sharp search results on the alternatives? Let me suggest Search Engine Journal as a rare forward thinking case.
Not only is the Google algorithm completely disloyal to the average website, it shows disproportionate favor to large media sites. Take Wikipedia for instance. So much for the Internet being the great leveler. Do a search for some bands or singles and you'll be presented with a list of
Trying The Alternatives
I'm going to spend a bit of time with different engines over the next few weeks. The other day, I rigged FireFox up with a Yahoo! toolbar and set up the in-built search to use Live.com. I've disabled the Google toolbar temporarily.
The first thing I've noticed is that my eyes automatically check for the PageRank of every site I visit. What's that all about? What does PageRank tell me about a site? Why am I/we so fixated about it? The content should speak for itself. To hell with backlink metrics and dumbed down quality calculations.
The second thing I've noticed is that the search results are radically different. Searching within certain niches, you don't discover the usual suspects as you might over at Google. This is a good thing - new sites equal new opinions, new link neighborhoods, new opportunities. I hate linking to those Google-dominant sites like all the other Internet sheep anyway.
Let's see how a couple of weeks without Google go.