Let's talk about Search Engines, baby. Let's talk about you and me... Remember when Google was not the be-all / end-all of the search engine market and there was some competition? My favorite search ...
My favorite search engine of the 1990's was the HotBot.com. Absolutely loved HotBot.com and results from HotBot.com always provided me with exactly what I was looking for at the time. Life was good.
Come and Go.com
Another search engine that had some fleeting popularity was AltaVista.com. Results were typically good but occasionally completely off the wall - meaning maybe I didn't type in the best search terms or maybe their database of listings was falling prey to the black hat species. Today typing in Altavista.com at this time brings me to the Yahoo search page. Interesting.
Some other big search engines of the 90s included Ask.com, Netscape.com (gigglenetscape navigator), MSN search (Bing), Excite, Webcrawler and who didn't get an AOL.com disk in the mail in the 90s? I think AOL.com disks have single-handedly caused the US waste disposal problem, but that's neither here nor there.
How Did We Decide?
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.
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. We've all played Monopoly and it never ends (well).
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.
People want to be entertained, informed, schooled, whatever... but if you don't provide that for the visitor Business Management Articles, they won't return.