let’s discuss – if a company is not listed on google, does it exist?

Here’s why I ask the question (and we’ve kinda talked about this before but bear with me here): a couple of times on sites like LinkedIn or in general research, I will type in a company’s specific name and hit search.

When a company’s web site doesn’t show up on the first or second search pages (especially if it’s not a generic name) I mentally dismiss the company as somehow inadequate or less than successful.

To me, their name is a vital and basic key word that should get some play early on in the search process but it doesn’t sometimes.

I realize that there are many companies who are successful who don’t yet use the internet very well, but my expectation is that a modern, successful company will have at least a modest web presence that should show up pretty quickly on Google or MSN or Yahoo.

Am I expecting too much? I am putting too much stock in Google? Have I become a technological snob? Will some companies (and individuals) just not let go of the phonebook? Or are some companies woefully undervaluing what a successful web presence means to their branding and their sales.

You have to talk me through this. What do you think?

11 Responses to “let’s discuss – if a company is not listed on google, does it exist?”

  1. I don’t think you’re being a snob at all!

    We are in the midst of a huge change in the way people are entertained and do business. The internet is the future of commerce & advertising and if your business hasn’t figured that or wants no part of it then how well do you really run your business, anyway?

  2. FWIW, I’m totally with you. No google return? No modern website presence. Feh.

  3. Tom and Scott:

    Thanks to both of you. Good to know I’m not the only one that rates business this way.

    Now the question is how do we spread the word to businesses that ain’t gettin’ it? Oh well, maybe they never will.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  4. Yep – for online contacts, the first thing I do is to check the email address to see if it is actually a domain and then check to see if it is up and running. A couple of times lately I’ve hit placeholder sites. Anyone with an aol address is suspect – but I’ve found that many actually DO have nice sites, but are wedded to their old AOL address for some reason.

    But lately I’ve had a flurry of work in people’s studios through my agents in Southern CA (going up to Irvine on Friday for a session) – and in that case I’m not even going to check.

  5. Connie:

    The placeholder sites are an oddity for me to unless they lead you somewhere logical. I have what could be considered a placeholder site for O’Connell Companies (www.oconnellcompanies.com) but it leads you the the four releated sites.

    And the aol, yahoo, hotmail email extensions point is true…I don’t get how people with their own domains even bother with them. Oh well, their choice to be sure.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  6. Peter-

    My friend Steve Field is a former Army Public Affairs Officer. Here is what he thinks about your topic:

    Why Search Is The New Advertising

  7. Just as a little point of note on the question of aol, yahoo or hotmail emails – sometimes your email to them will bounce unless they have you on their whitelist. And you might never know about it. I don’t find gmail has that problem, so I’m more inclined to be ok with correspondences from that location. But in general, though of course I’ll use it if that’s what a client prefers, it seems to work better if their email is actually associated with their website’s url.

    I’m totally with you on the company being in Google though, Peter. As someone who did Internet Marketing professionally for a number of years (over 12), I just don’t know if there’s any justification for NOT having a web presence these days … (The costs are honestly so negligible at the moment that I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t put *something* up.) Then again, I’ve been involved in the web in one form or another since 1995 so I’m likely just a *tad* biased. 😉

    All the best, — Jodi

  8. Chris:

    My goodness am I late to the game as Steve’s point was from over a year ago…good points all.


    The email bounce problem does get so annoying as there seems to be no consistency with spam filters, no matter the domain…which I assume is what the spammers are counting on.

    And it would seem you and I are tech heads together with the only difference being you actually know what you’re talking about and I know just enough to be dangerous!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  9. That’s *exactly* the problem, Peter. No consistency among the major email provides as to what they’ll allow through and what they won’t. And the *spammers* seem to have no trouble getting past it. That’s what’s *truly* annoying. And it’s a major reason why I absolutely hate responding to people using aol or hotmail accounts specifically – but Yahoo is starting to get just as bad. At least with Google, I’m pretty much assured the email will get where it’s going.

    As for being a tech head, I’m a total geek girl. Guilty as charged. Used to sell computer hardware in the mid-eighties. 😀 It’s been a looooong love affair … 😉 The ‘net just seemed like the next big thing in ’95. Now it’s almost as inevitable as death and taxes. To my way of thinking, if you’re not on the net, you’re doing your company a HUGE disservice. And there’s really no excuse these days for ignoring it.

  10. Hey Peter,

    It’s interesting because I also Google people first thing when they first contact me for VO work.
    And I DO think that having a website, even a simple one is essential.

    There are instances where – as of today – it is still less of an issue… like for Lawyers & Accountants…although I think a website is important, personal referrals for those types of businesses are where they get most of their biz …Now I’m NOT talking about multi-million dollar corporate Law firms & H&R Block types, I’m talking about the local small businesses & solo practitioners who do most of the local work.

    That said, I still think it should be part of ANY businesses advertising budget…especially as the younger generation comes up and starts looking for services….(“Yellow Pages? What’s THAT! 😉 )



  11. I’ll tell you one thing Liz, I would not want to be a salesman for yellow pages. Sure they get lots of ambulance chasing lawyers who do huge full page ads but after that….not much.

    And now these poor guys are trying to turn their web sites in to virtual phone directories with initially limited success.

    It’s a tough evolution and not really the phone book’s fault.

    We’ll see!

    Thanks for visiting.

    Best always,
    – Peter