Let’s take a journey backwards in time and talk about Search Engines. There was a time, not that long ago actually, when Google was not the “search meister meister searcher” and there was some competition.

My favorite search engine of the 1990’s was HotBot.com. I’m not sure why exactly but it might have had something to do with the name. At any rate, results from HotBot.com never failed to give me exactly what I was looking for at the time. Or so I thought.

They Come and They Go.com

Another search engine that I used regularly was AltaVista.com. Results were typically good but sometimes it missed the mark – meaning maybe I didn’t type in the best search terms or maybe their database of listings wasn’t up to par. Interesting that typing in Altavista.com at this time brings me to the Yahoo search page.

Some other big search engines of the 90s included Ask.com, Netscape.com (ah netscape navigator), MSN search (now Bing), Excite, Webcrawler and who didn’t get an AOL.com disk in the mail in the 90s? I think AOL.com disks have singlehandedly caused the US waste problem, but that’s another post.

How Did We Decide?

The great thing about all of these options in the 90s was that there was a choice. An internet user might search on the term ‘web design’ on various search engines and get a wide variety of possible choices. This was before the time of ‘get to the top at all costs’ search engine marketing. Google came along like a white knight on a shiny steed and said, ‘I will make this better’. And to some degree, I think Google has done that. But it worries me a bit when a single entity seems to hold a monopoly on something used by millions of people. Just sayin’.

I find it interesting that most of these old search engines are still around and aside from AOL.com, which employs Google for their search, they appear to be chugging right along. When doing a search for ‘web design’ on 3 different engines (Yahoo, HotBot & Google), the top 1 or 2 are pretty much the same:

GOOGLE:

googs

YAHOO:

yahoo

HOTBOT:

hot

The Take Away

Your business website is very important – now more than ever. All the search engine jockeying in the world doesn’t change the main point you must never forget: PROVIDE GOOD CONTENT ON YOUR WEBSITE. Don’t do anything to get your site penalized. Oh and good content.

It’s not a mystery, or as Dave here at Matrix Marketing likes to say,

There’s no secret sauce. Write content that people want to read, enjoy, find useful, and more importantly link back to! ~Dave