The Google Fish
Little Johnny's gone fish'n. On the first day he left at the crack of dawn and returned at noon. Anxiously his father asked, "So Johnny, whatcha get?" "Nothin' Pa," he said with a frown. "Did ja use a fish'n rod?" "A whut?" he responded. "Com'mon -- let's make one."
Little Johnny's gone fish'n. On the second day he left at the crack of dawn and returned at noon. Anxiously his father asked, "So Johnny, whatcha get?" "Nothin' Pa," he said with a frown. "Did ja bring the worms?" "Whut?" he responded. "Com'mon -- let's get sum."
Little Johnny's gone fish'n. On the third day he left at the crack of dawn and returned at noon. Anxiously his father asked, "So Johnny, whatcha get?" "Nothin' Pa," he said with a frown. "Did ja put'it in the wader?" "Whut?" he responded. "Com'mon -- let's go fish'n."
Little Johnny and his Pa have gone fish'n. On the fourth day they left at the crack of dawn and returned at noon. Anxiously Ma asked, "So Johnny, did'ja get anythin?" "You betcha," he screamed, "I dun catch a Google fish!"
There are lots of little Johnnys out there. They suffer from a disease called ego. Since Google, Yahoo, and other search engines have come into being, they have worked very hard to catch the Google fish - to be number one in search results. It is the same ego that affected so many companies of yore: to be one of the few advertisers on ABC/NBC or to have an advert in Times Square.
Now, obviously, the pursuit to be #1 is noble. It undoubtedly will result in a well-known and respected company. It undoubtedly will cost a small fortune to obtain these results. It undoubtedly is an opportunity that is limited to very few. Some anglers love to catch 'the big one.' Others fish for a living. They prefer to catch as many fish as possible for resale. Welcome to the SEO Sea.
The SEO Sea is one in which there are many fisherman, fish (little and big), pirates, and storms. Of the anglers, some want the Google fish; others prefer the smaller fish - the customers who buy product - the living, breathing creatures that have preferences, opinions, feelings and needs. They will bring profit to their catcher. A Google fish is nice (looks great on the wall), but to be customer-centric in this sea is the ultimate survival tool.
There is so much talk these days about the changing world. The world has always changed and evolved, but today it is doing so with a greater speed and reach. Coupled with the extensive media coverage, bringing every global hiccup into your living room and magnifying it to epic proportion, you will conclude that the world is ready to implode and there's no where to turn!
Ok, let's get a grip for a moment; the prognosis is not so bad. The world is not going anywhere (not yet, at least). Globalization is ultimately good (although a bit uncomfortable). Change always brings novelty and novelty spurs innovation. Every facet of life is under scrutiny to change and evolve, even the tiny sub-universe of marketing. Marketing is the science and art of selling greater volumes to a growing customer base. For some time, marketing lost this focus and was more concerned with selling products without a true connection to the customer base. However, through a series of global hiccups marketing too has been ordered to change. The masses are gone. Embrace the technology of today and reconnect to the individuals who purchase goods. Learn their likes, dislikes, frustrations, hobbies, desires, wants, and preferred channels of communication. Best of all for those trendy types we have even created a new buzzword - multi-channel marketing - go ahead toss this one around at the next cocktail.
A part of multi-channel marketing is internet marketing. A part of internet marketing is SEO, search engine optimization. Many misdirected marketers believe that SEO means tinkering with a website so it can be in the top position on Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com, and the like. It's simply not. That's the Google fish. It's nice in all, but let's be serious. Being number one without an attractive, sticky, intuitive and navigable website won't lead to too many sales. SEO is making a website in such a manner that people (the little fish) will want to frequent, click around, stay awhile and buy. Oh, and by the way, when you design that site, make sure you don't have arachnophobia. Make it search spider friendly.