Is Search a Leech on the Internet?

by Gord Hotchkiss

by Gord Hotchkiss
http://www.enquiro.com

Search is rapidly turning from the darling of the internet to a demon. The latest attack, brought about by search's phenomenal financial success, is that search is sucking all the value out of millions of websites by scraping content in bite sized pieces and doling it out to searchers, at the same time monetizing traffic that's being create by value created by the site owners, not the search engine.

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen ran a post on his site a few weeks back (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/search_engines.html) taking the engines to task for fostering dependency on search traffic, while at the same time enjoying the impact of ever escalating bid prices. A few analysts have also started to intimate that perhaps it's time for marketers, especially those in direct response, to look beyond search as click prices move the cost per acquisition beyond what's reasonable.

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