I wanted to write a post this morning about a world without Google. So of course I Googled the title first. Not surprisingly it has been done before. Tim Dowling of The Guardian back in 2004 mused about that when Google was off-line for a few hours. A much more profound review was done by Harry McCracken only a few weeks ago and it really is an excellent account of the many ways Google is there to help.
My thoughts were at a more cerebral level so I soldiered on. Indeed a Vancouver Sun article this morning suggests that Google is good for our cerebrum (brain).
Searching the Internet may help middle-aged and older adults keep their memories sharp. U.S. researchers at the University of California Los Angeles studied people doing web searches while their brain activity was recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. “What we saw was people who had Internet experience used more of their brain during the search,” Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA expert on aging.
My thoughts were more about the way Google is helping us explore cyberspace. Without them it would be hazardous to wander given some of the untrustworthy and malevolent websites that are out there. There would be even more need for the services of companies like Comodo that seek to provide the basis for a “Trusted Internet“.
Most of us are far too trusting as we surf the web. Most often we do not come to serious harm. Even in this Google world, it is important to deal with online businesses that have secure socket layers to maintain privacy. Thankfully there are free firewall and antivirus software that can protect against many untrustworthy websites.
My other thought, which was the genesis of this post, was the way in which Google has so dramatically changed Internet marketing. It is a little like the way Google Maps now allows us to see details even of our own homes. Before the Internet, one fable that was often recounted was that of the creator of the very best mousetrap in the world. Unfortunately he lived deep in the forest and could never be found by potential clients. It was suggested that if he had done some marketing, then he could have made some sales.
Clearly Google can be a major factor in generating online sales. They are an important factor in how prospects find potential suppliers. However it is useful to challenge thinking by considering how one might market on the Internet if Google and the other search engines did not exist. That thought came to me in writing the next article on The Blog for the series MRN – Marketing Right Now. That article will be appearing on Tuesday the 21st of October.
What would you do differently on the Internet, if Google and the other search engines did not exist? If you have some thoughts on this, why not comment below.