Googling for business

I see Google has launched a small business search service. There will no doubt be a lot of people out there wanting to put a search box on their pages so …

18th July 2007 at 5:35 pm

I see Google has launched a small business search service. There will no doubt be a lot of people out there wanting to put a search box on their pages so that loggers-on will find them easier to use. The website I’ve cited queries the cost; no doubt this will sort itself out in time.

The difficulty is going to be when it comes to people who’re part of a larger umbrella organisation – or who might not even be part of something literally, but who are effectively part of big concern. Take franchises, for example. People operating franchises might not want the extra overheads but if it becomes standard practice, in cases where there’s a website for each of the franchisees, there won’t be much choice.

An even more fundamental issue is that most small businesses I know struggle hard enough to get their websites looking halfway up-to-date, never mind adding searches from a third party. I’ve been critical enough of larger organisations’ websites on this blog for people to appreciate that I may view the adding of a search box as not necessarily the best way to deliver clarity.

Tell you what: how about if everyone ignored the trimmings and went right back to basics – looking at how customers and other users relate to their sites, and how they want to find their way around, and re-wrote their sites accordingly? My guess is that we’d end up with  better sites than if we suddenly start expecting mini-Googles to navigate people’s way for them.

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod.

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  1. Peter Morgan says:

    Really have to agree with you on this.

    When creating a website you can’t just bolt on this type of thing and assume its going to improve your site!

    Even a very basic site which is well coded and kept up to date is much better than a huge expensive site which is clearly to difficult too manage. Lumping this kind of thing on franchisees surely can’t be good?

    Besides Google wins at the end of the day, you are paying then AND they get info about your site.



    It really isnt worth the cost, if you really need search it is worth investing in a custom solution to properly suit your needs.

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