Nick, do you think that the continuing pollution of the SERP's with paid for listings, many of which deceive the end user of their true origin, will result in even more users defecting to SE's with editorial integrity.
Nick, by ranking returns on a deepest pocket first basis, rather than on content and relevancy, do you think you are doing anything other than a real dis-service to the net? Have you ever thought through the implications of your crude and negative model?
I think his reply to this will be that it is currently keeping him in a reasonably well-paid job (I assume) and the people with the big pockets aren't complaining either! He was hardly responsible for developing the GoTo model! The fact that partner SEs are disguising the fact that they are serving ppc results isn't really GoTo's fault either - however I do agree with NFFC that they should do so.
The ultimate arbiter of a search engine's popularity is the number of people using it - if they stop doing so, the SE will fail.
Perhaps a more interesting question is what is going to happen when surfers start to recognise that the top x results on all the major engines are exactly the same and start to ignore them - in the same way that they tend to do with banner ads. Perhaps a different model allowing top 10 or 20 rotation might help in the longer term to keep the PPC model viable. After all, if all the SEs serve up the same top 3 or 4 results continuously everyone is going to lose out.
As for the question of a search engine ranking the deepest pocket first - isn't that why people pay us - to do just that - get top rankings and beat the others who probably haven't paid? I, in the main, see probably better relevance in the GoTo results on search terms than some of the results from big-money SEO campaigns that fill SEs with spam (present company excepted) ;)
"...and the people with the big pockets aren't complaining either!"
There was a time when the net was something more than an advertising mechanism for big corporates. The smaller guy had a look-in because the playing field was level.
That's how my company started - and it is depressing that doing the same now would be even harder or impossible because of the likes of Goto and their apologists who can't see beyond the raw finances of the situation.
The other point of course is that major ingredients of getting to the top with many other models is relevancy and content. You seem to have forgotten that.
With Goto the ranking is as crude and as ugly as it can be. They and their model are unhealthy for the net and I am still looking forward to the day with relish when the perish.
I know of a nonprofit organization that had a space in a shopping center and paid no rent because the nice person that owned the center thought that was a nice thing to do. The owner didn't care that the nonprofit had a hand made sign nailed atop the roof and didn't care that they made signs with magic markers and taped them to the windows. They did pay utilities and paid for a business license as well.
Without a proper income stream the owner was unable to keep the grounds in order. The grass grew tall and there were beer cans in the parking lot. Security lighting didn't work. Drug addicts would spend the night in the doorways. People in the neighborhood complain to the city manager.
The anchor tenant broke their lease and moved out. The owner was unable to pay the debt service. The center went to foreclosure and was purchased by a Union Pension Fund who renovated the center and hired a property management firm to look after it and keep it in proper condition. They brought in another major tenant and raised the rents to a level that would sustain the center, pay debt service and return an income stream to the union pension fund and its employees.
The nonprofit moved out. The space was rented to an ISP.
Oh.. sob... sob... more tears for poor Goto.Com.
My tears are for the net as a level playing field, for sites delivered to surfers based upon RELEVANCY and for the small guy who can't compete with those with mega-budgets no matter how good or relevant his/her website is.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who support the greedy above the needy... those who can't see beyond the ideaology of greed to the pastures of a better internet in which the likes of Goto are not welcome.
Ranking on budget is no different to advertising on TV - the prime time goes to the big boys and creativity (and relevancy) is squashed and never seen. Nothing clever about it at all and ultimately detramental to the net, its users and all who make a living on it.
Some people may like it that way. They may like a stilted market favouring the rich as opposed to the creative/relevant. I guess my real tears are for these people who are blind to reality.
I think that the search engines still give a lot of information free of charge. This will not be possible in the future.
I am not totally agree that some first top listings on Goto could be ugly sites.
It can happen on the short period, but webmasters that invest on Goto want to reach results and will continue to invest only reaching results.
Ugly site, bad information etc would disappear soon.
The only problem is that in the Marketing, at the beginning, win companies that know how to sell to ignorant customers: we have good examples having a look at the "software products" (Mac system versus windows system; Microsoft software versus other better software); so that at the top listings probably there will be companies that know how to do the best marketing, not the best products!
Went to the UK Internet World exhibition today.
Nick Hynes wasn't there, but I still asked the sales staff the questions posted by NFFC and Napoleon...Very weak answers. They argue that a paid placement model gets rid of the irrelevant "spam" sites that come up on other SERPs....blah blah we've heard the standard PPC sales pitch.... but they really couldn't come up with a good defense against the comment that a company with deep pockets, able to win a bidding war and get #1 placing, does not necessarily have the best web-site, and the consumer is being misled into believing that #1 means best web-site. Integrity !
On a separate strand...thought the people at Fast/Alltheweb were much more sharp and polished.
Anyone else see the show?
Darn.... I would have gone down there for it had I known FAST were there too. Maybe next year.