We had some damage to our roof last year due to a hail storm, and are looking for a contractor for repairs. It reminded me how useless the search engines have become for … searching for stuff. The shills, hucksters, carnival barkers have taken over. The same companies turn up again and again in various forms because they paid for that result.
Gone are the days when a search for a business yields an honest search result.
Back a few years when I was still advertising for business, I was offered a deal where my name would appear at or near the top of page one for anyone looking for a CPA in our area. I asked how that could work when there were hundreds of others being offered the same deal. I did not get a straight answer – these are, after all, hucksters. The real answer was the search engine results are tailored to individuals, so that if I used my computer to test search their promise, my computer would yield … me. It was a scam. What’s new?
Thank you, wonderful free market, for taking the best thing to come along in our lifetime, the search engine, and turning it into crap. We finally found a list of reputable roofing contractors, and here is how we did it: We asked our insurance company to provide us with names. That was the only way to break through the clutter – we had to bypass the Internet.
Search engines stopped working once the marketing people got their busy little fingers into them.
Years ago we were all being plagued by pop-up ads, so much so that the television news people even reported on it. A TV story I saw ran down some of the ads to an agency in New York. They asked a gal working there about the annoyance factor. She said, and I quote: “Well duh! It’s our job to get your attention.”
The reporter then turned to the camera, smiled and winked at us, took out a gun and put a bullet in her brain. He was never prosecuted. Everyone realized it was the right thing to do.
(By the way, I am aware of the irony of little pop-up ads appearing in the Bill Hicks piece above. They know we hate them. They are just taunting us.)