pushbuttonOn Monday I posted a blog entry with the title SEO is no substitute for a marketing plan.

It attracted quite a few interesting comments, but I felt one of the comments deserved to be highlighted.

The below was posted by Ian Hendry from WeCanDo.BIZ.

It’s interesting to note that if you ask someone in the generation below me to ring a doorbell, they use their thumb to do it. This seems weird to me as I use my index finger. But then I haven’t been brought up using my thumbs primarily for texting; if I had then my thumb might also have become to the dominant digit.

It goes to show how new technologies can change habits in a generation. And a new generation could see Google confined to the rubbish heap.

People are now increasingly asking the crowd for answers through Facebook and Twitter rather than combing through hundreds and thousands of pages of historical content on Google.

Stats are already showing how much more time new web users are spending on social networks compared to where we’ve spent our focus.

It makes sense as availability of social networks becomes, through mobiles, ubiquitous that they also ask questions and for recommendations that way too. Why go and sift through a library of answers other people got when I can just ask my followers?

People are asking real people for help rather than depending on a bot and a database, mainly because with real people come real answers.

It’s already happening. Just take a look at the opportunities for business that we’re unearthing through our Twitter Sales Leads tool. Most of the posters of those business needs probably never thought to go to Google.

There’s a chance that depending on Google will become as shortsighted as depending on Yellow Pages seems to our generation of business folk now.

Certainly thought provoking. I intend to test the “doorbell theory” on the next few teenagers I speak to. (Game of Knock-down Ginger anyone?)

So are we currently undergoing a big change in the way we search for information? A change that will be cemented in a few years when todays teenagers join the business world?

Googles Eric Schmidt certainly seems think so. In an article on Real Business he’s quoted as saying:

It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources

Assuming it’s a given that the way we (and therefore, our customers) search for information is changing forever, there are a few questions demanding answers.

1) Will Google change quickly enough to embrace this change and retain it’s dominant position? History says not.

2) If not, what new companies are going to rise to the top of the getting-eyes-to-your-site pile? Odds are there’s a sleeping giant in our midst already.

3) How do we, as business owners with products and services to promote, capitalise on this change? Answering this might help answer #2

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