Forget Google, think social

Teenagers are becoming like their parents. Plus ca change…as the French might say. What is happening is that the younger generations are now seeking answers to their difficulties, to their questions, to their problems, from other people. Instead of resorting to search engines, they ask each other.

In the past, before the Internet came along, that’s exactly what grown ups did. Whenever they needed an answer to a question they asked someone else who they thought might know. Only if they couldn’t find someone to help, did they resort to directories or encyclopaedias.

Nowadays, those adults have been sucked in by the search engines and think the answer to all their problems lie within Google. But as a new report shows, people are increasingly dissatisfied with the results being produced by Google. However, grown ups plod on, in the hope that Google will change.

Youngsters, however, tend to more impatient. If something doesn’t work, they move on, eager to find something that does. You might call it the petulance of youth, but it is more likely an inbuilt mechanism that helps human beings succeed. Successful adults appear to be those where this desire to find new ways of doing things does not wither.

Online, it has meant that teenagers are turning to friends and contacts on social networks to find the answers to problems, or information that will help them with their daily lives or even their businesses. Which means two things – firstly the days of search engines are numbered (and I’ve said that several times I know). Secondly, it suggests if you are running an online business and you are not getting involved in social networks you are going to lose out – big time. Forget search engine optimisation – it doesn’t matter much any more anyway. What matters now is being where the market is – and that is inside the likes of Bebo, Facebook and so on.

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