I have noticed one paradox when tried to promote my online startup business on Google.com. It pushed me to research it further. For a whole year I searched almost every day for the heavily search phrases such as “cheap flights”. These key phrases draw many millions of searches and visits to the websites listed on the first and the second pages of Google’s organic search results for free because sites don’t pay for organic search results placement. I don’t know how hard it was before for the start-up an online business to reach the first pages of the organic results for truly key phrases, but it is very difficult and expensive today. It is possible, but at the same time almost not.
First two pages of the search results are always reserved by today’s giants in the travel industry and any other industry as well. The giants have more money to spare for their marketing needs than anybody else. The giants receive huge profits from first page placements for leading key phrases in Google’s organic results that bring enormous amounts of free traffic, causing them to make record profits.
For the small business, picture changes. AdWords Pay Per Click cost a lot of money. Prices often reach $1 per click for good keywords, what turns it into a loss that doesn’t reimburse itself. Small businesses don’t have as much money to spend for their marketing needs and can’t keep up with spreading as many one-way links as the giants of today’s web. Basically, there is no way for the small online business, that tries to reach targeted clientele through Google’s organic search results, to reach as much of that clientele. Even the AdWords come out too expensive.
I personally tried and reached third pages of the Google’s organic search results (For long phrases that people don’t search for. Majority of people search for the same short phrases, such as cheap flights, airline tickets and so on.), but that’s not enough. Most of the online users don’t go past the bottom of the second page of the results that search engines provide for any search criteria. It became cheaper for giants of the internet to promote themselves on Google, than for the small start-up businesses. Some people say: “Well, Google lists only credible businesses on the first pages of its organic results”. You know, I consider my business www.wayby.com, a credible online business too. I do staff that giants don’t, I donate from each transaction made through my web business to a random charity and I plan to continue.
Anyways, I truly think that Google and the rest of the leading online search engines should rethink the scenario under which their search choose what sites to display on the first pages of organic results for all search criteria. I think that there should be a different way to tell the difference between the credible business entity and some online scam. There are services such as Best Business Bureau that keep track of the business credibility. Through services like BBB.com, to make sure of the credibility and legality, Google and alike should choose and display 10 random business websites on the first page of the organic search results to online surfers who use their services to find staff. Every time surfer refreshes the first page of the organic search results, that randomly chosen list of websites would change to the different list of other 10 credible and relevant to the search criteria web businesses. It would make it fair for all businesses promoting their services through Google and alike, such as Bing.com or Yahoo.com. I would suggest implementing the same changes to the functionality of Yahoo.com and Bing.com search. I will even promote and many others, just like me, the startup business owners would love to promote fair-to-small-businesses search engines that will implement this change first, free of charge for them.
Just imagine how many more businesses would be able to compete with old oversized giants that sit on the first pages of the search results trying not to let anyone in to be placed in front of them. Competition drives businesses to invent and improve the quality of their service, satisfying the customer more and more, and more. Today, access to online empire concentrated in the hands of the 10 giants listed on the first page, who forgot what competition is. They don’t need to compete, they receive huge traffic and sales for free. Then they set huge prices for good keywords using AdWords Pay Per Click, what makes it unaffordable for small guys due to the fact that to stand in front of the site that pays a $1 per click in AdWords, you have to pay $1.05. If there are 8 sites and all pay over a $1 per click, but you can afford to pay only $0.50 cents, then your site is doomed to be listed on the third or even further pages even among paid search results.
I can’t believe no one filed an antitrust law suit against the way the search engines operate today, letting wealthy corporations build a wall so easy, to complicate ability for the small business to compete with them. It needs to be dealt with!