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Google and the Real World Analogy

A different look at websites?

12:31 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Having become obsessed like many others with 'Dominic', I thought I could do some lateral thinking to break the obsession for a while.

How for example would my site be considered if it existed in the real world as opposed to the internet and how would that knowledge benefit me in the development of my site and its content? Not just to get a higher position on Google but to actually give something of value to the surfers out there.


Is my site like the typical cloned high street store pretty much all the same and just as easy to go into the first one that's seen to buy what's needed?

Is it like a traditional hardware store where the storekeeper not only sells me something but tells me how to use it etc?

Is it similar to a huge out of town hypermarket where you can't find what you want easily and can never find an assistant who knows what it is you want let alone where it can be found?

Is it like an up market department store where everything looks flashy but it's not within most people's budgets and the assistants make you very aware of that fact?

Is it like a successful museum with free admission, stunning displays and a shop where fascinating items can be purchased?

Is it like a back street antique shop, dark and dingy but interesting to look around and with a possible bargain in every corner?

Is it like a small corner shop where the range is limited but all the esentials are to hand and there's always time to chat with the shopkeeper?

What would it be like to enter a store where an item is advertised in the window only to find the item isn't actually stocked but they try to sell you something else instead (probably a type of reconstituted meat)? How would that store fit into the real world analogy?

How would you describe your site(s) or how would you describe the worst of the sites out there using the same real world analogy?

At the least it might take your minds off Dominic for a while.

1:04 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi walthamstow, welcome to Webmaster World!

I suppose there are websites in perhaps many categories that match the descriptions you provided.

It's an interesting excercise to consider which description a site most closely matches.

At the moment, I suspect mine most closely fits the museum category. Minus the shop.

To me the old time hardware store has a certain appeal. Unlike the real world, the old time hardware store approach may be more sustainable on the web.

I suspect that if I had my choices, and all the needed resources, I'd like my site to be a combination of the museum and old time hardware store.

5:47 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nice one walthamstow,

always interesting to look at analogies.

Since this is the Google forum, one thing that I always find striking is that, with the popularity of search engines, my shop has several thousand entry points. I can lead my client straight to the sub-department corner shelf, third row, blue coloured product in XXL large size, with a full product explanation, within one click. That is if every product has its own page (shop front display).

5:58 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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walthamstow is describing the stickiness and yet more of a site. A great point with all this pre-occupation about new algos. After all some of the more popular sites or high traffic sites really don't depend on search engines but rather their appeal to the user. Bringing this back to google, the ever on-going refinement of their algo is an attempt to logically ferret out these same qualities. This my friend is the secret sauce that googleguy spoke of!

Five years down the road google may even go beyond content /context and be able to rate on visual appeal. For instance beauty (art is the sense I am talking about) depends heavily on symmetry. I remember seeing a documentary saying that a proportion of 1.6 on the human face is the agreed upon common denominator for appeal. Can site stickiness be measured logically. Maybe not all of it but a great deal of it can be.