Love seeing a discussion such as this get started...
Originally Posted by mdvaden
On the latter "such as" ... could be as simple as some folks going back to flyers and brochures. Returning to hard copy if the internet traffic has to be shared.
I definitely think the hand to hand combat aspect will be one of the long-term equalizers for a lot of the LCOs. Maybe an increased emphasis on referral generation. For the LCOs that can handle the discount, rewards card points might be one example, whether for referrals, services added, contract completions, etc.
Originally Posted by White Gardens
The biggest thing I wonder is if the organic hits are going to get lost in the shuffle and then money being the biggest driver of your page results.
Ultimately what I'm trying to say is that your results will be due to how much you pay google or any of the other search engines.
I think that would have to be one of those things that would have to have a "revolutionary" aspect to it, such as from the consumer end, getting the best, most relevant results. (Personally, I think it will be on search's side, via a "super algorithm" of sorts, but I'll continue with your line of thought.) If I'm Joe Homeowner searching for an LCO who mows in my neighborhood, I would infinitely prefer to have search logic show me those actual companies first. The Local Pack is a start, but it has a long way to go in my eyes. It's a bandaid to fix what Google has let get out of control. If you have to introduce that Pack to show me what I probably want in the first place, something is broken, which leads me to this...I don't want Angie's List or Service Magic cluttering up my feed. If Bob's Mowing has the worst web site known to mankind (and Google), as a shopper, I don't care. It's relevant. I want to see his site before that of a 3rd party who might ultimately charge Bob's Mowing down the line for the lead on the same work I originally searched for in the first place.
Depending on age, you may recall in the late 90's a search engine/portal site called GoTo.com that was founded by Bill Gross, the founder of tech incubator idealab, and one of the great Silicon Valley minds. GoTo was the company that introduced PPC search results. The goal was to have better, more serious
(relevant?) search results via companies who proved their serious nature
by paying to be in the results. (I italicized a couple of the previous phrases to point out how they can be interpreted. Think of them as using finger quotes.) Ultimately, GoTo went public, changed it's name to Overture, specializing in what we now view as traditional PPC and, within the loooong dot com era span of 3 or 4 years, was acquired for just South of $2b by Yahoo.
I bring them up because they pioneered what you're suggesting, but obviously the model they pursued changed to PPC ad placement and not straight, ad-injected results. It's quite possible that...buzz term warning...a more disruptive approach could bring about an entirely paid search engine again, it's just a matter of what value it presents to all parties, and whether it really does introduce a better way of search operating.