Can We Survive Without Search Engines?

Search engines have replaced some areas of a multitude of things in the world such as paper directories, traditional methods of advertising and even advice from our friends. Search engines are a phenomenon which have really taken over and grown at such an alarming rate that most of us have forgotten what life was like without them.

When any SEO company talks about online searches then it is rare for the word ‘Google’ not to be mentioned. Of course there are many other search engines out there also and the fact that it is such a competitive industry makes us wonder even more how we ever lived without them. Search engine optimisation services have become a popular offering, as every company strives to get their web pages noticed within search engine results pages (SERPs) in an attempt to drive more traffic to your website.

The question which we hear a lot however, is how essential are search engines? The World Wide Web as a whole is massive and much bigger than one search engine, so it seems absurd that it cannot survive without them. However, it appears that we do need them, in more ways than one.

The basics of a search engine are to find and seek information, which is without a doubt their primary function. However, as search engines such as Google have developed and responded to consumer needs, they have become a much more integral part of our online world than simply just an information source. Search engines are like a trusted friend you can call upon to offer you trusted results which you know are highly likely to meet your needs. Google, amongst many other search engines, has made no secret of the fact that it is putting stricter terms and criteria in place in order to rank websites. Google Sandbox prevents new and unknown websites being ranked immediately which provides more confidence from consumers as they know that Google has the users’ best interests at heart.

To back this up even further, we have seen many forum discussions over the past year regarding spam letters and sites, quite often revolved around ‘get rich quick’ schemes. These letters tell you that their URL will not be displayed in search engines, which causes immediate concern. The fact that the general public are trusting Google over other communication sources is a huge thing and shows what a major part of our decision making the search engines are.

There is a danger of search engines taking a little too much control over our thoughts and decisions and there is a fine line between offering a service and turning us into lazy web users. Quite often, even when we know the name of the website we want to visit many people continue to type it into a search engine input field rather than in the browser URL box, just to make life easier. Search engines are without a doubt an essential part of the web.

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