SevenCubed - 6:56 pm on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
Destroying business? Really? Those businesses have decided that they want to make money based upon some other company's algorithm. Thats not a business, model that is gambling.
When you start a business dependent upon the whims of another company, how can you blame them for your failure?
When people generalize and throw all small businesses into that same basket it's not helpful for someone who's trying to understand what's really happening in the real world outside of big business.
A couple site owners that I work for provide holistic related personal services. These people in particular provide their services at a cost much lower than the going rate because they don't want to turn away people who truly benefit from their service, but may not otherwise be able to afford it. They both existed in B&M form for quite a while before they had websites. But during that time they both had to have part time jobs to carry them through because they couldn't get enough traffic through their doors. One was even subsidizing her holistic practice from her part time retail job income because she thoroughly enjoyed helping others in natural ways to get them away from poison pharmaceutical pushing MDs -- for her it's a lifestyle more than a job. The money was a secondary focus.
Through the grapevine I met these ladies and realized the value of their work. I also knew I could help them promote themselves by having websites. They had previously tried locally focused holistic magazine ads but they were ineffective. The ongoing cost of advertising was too steep for the minimal ROI.
In each case, within 3 months of their websites going live they were able to give up their part time jobs and focus on what they loved doing most. They also now have more income as well as more much deserved leisure time (I made sure they wouldn't have to be consumed by social media duties through proper website development).
For many similar small businesses it was a good few years of a symbiotic relationship with google sharing some of their first page for organic results to provide their users with a good experience to help them find what they needed right away, and for these ladies to get the traffic they would not have otherwise been able to afford. Google was equally as well rewarded with click-throughs from other ads. I'm seeing that symbiotic relationship withering away. Greedy google is becoming a leech now. They are forcing small local businesses off of the first page with the hope that they will have to turn to AdWords. They want it all.
I could be making much more money if I worked for a company that charges much more for the same services that I provide. Heck, sometimes I do their sites for free and recoup through long-term hosting fees that are slightly more than they would have to pay elsewhere. But along with that I give them the value added benefit of having a full-time webmaster at the beck-and-call too. For me it's also a passion and lifestyle.
Google also affects me, and many others I'm sure, through their venture with big banks and other large Canadian corporations through their "get your business online Canada" free website program (so they can then sell them advertising). Someone has to give a damn about genuine small business people who are struggling and I do. But if they force me to shut down because I can no longer effectively get people to page one results because of their intentional algorithm tweaks to make page one ads the only real viable choice due to lousy SERPs, then what? Who's going to be left in communities to keep monopolistic corporations from sucking the revenue out of local places and siphoned into greedy pockets who could never spend that money even in 20 lifetimes? Local small businesses put their earnings back into the local communities.
The only type of "business" that I see fitting into "travelin cat's" model is people who build made-for-adsense websites.
As for google, I wouldn't piss on their grave (that would be bad karma), but I wouldn't shed a tear for them either because they haven't demonstrated that they deserve compassion. I don't care if their share prices fall out of the stratosphere -- burn baby burn. I don't know about other countries but I see the middle class here in the last 25 years on the verge of collapse due to corporate greed that is running rampant.
Please, for once and for always, stop making it harder on hard working small business people than it already is with disparaging remarks like the one I quoted.
I'm going out for a coffee, later folks.