Small is Beautiful - a Column From Search Engine Land

The Web is getting more social, and the internet allows conversations between consumers and those who sell goods and services online on a scale that can be global in reach. The nature of that conversation has changed from the days of mass media to now, and success in business on the Web may rely more than ever on having a voice that people can rely upon, can relate to, and can trust.

People want to connect with other people when they conduct business online, whether the business is a large one, or a small one. One of the advantages that a small business may have is that it can be easier for them to build positive relationships, engage in one-on-one conversations, and avoid the inertia of bureaucracy and endless meetings.

Some large businesses attempt to reach out on a personal level to their customers. We saw that recently in a blog post, Introduction to Google Search Quality, from Google’s Vice President of Engineering in charge of Search Quality, Udi Manber, in which he introduced himself and described some of how the search engine ranks pages. But there’s no contact information for Udi on the page, no way to write and ask questions, no place to leave comments, and no way to engage him in conversation.

The Web provides ways for owners of small businesses to hold conversations, through blogs and forums and social networks, by contact form and phone and email. Are you taking advantage of the chance to build relationships with people who want to do business with you?

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