Do Some Search Vendors Have Name Issues?

October 6, 2011

Long conference call after I returned from the land of beets and goulashes. The problem which the client wished to discuss was traffic to the firm’s Web site. My view of search engine optimization is that it is pretty much a waste of time. Buy Adwords and skip the silliness of have home economics majors “index” content and coders looking for ways to fool Father Google and Mother Bing.

I won’t mention the client’s company, but I can use a handful of examples to illustrate the what I call the “findability” problem. Here are a few examples of vendors selected from the Overflight  service:

Brainware. Clever name, but when you run the query on, I get academic institutions, an outfit in India sharing the same company name, and some “interesting” videos which I won’t describe.

Connotate. Connotate does well in Google search results. When looking for the company in blogs, the word “connotate” predominates. Run a Twitter query to see what I mean.

Mark Logic or MarkLogic. There seem to be two spellings floating around. I am not sure if the name is an issue or if there is simply zero content when running queries in services like Moreover.

Solr. Although not a company, the name is a problem. A publicly traded company uses the string “solr” as a ticker/trading code. To see the consequences of this naming choice, set up an alert on Google or another service. You will see that the “solr” links pumps mostly the stock, not the search system.

Thunderstone. This company has been in the search business a long time. When I run a query for Thunderstone, most of the hits are to a game. Google does show the company on the first page of the search results, but the game company seems to be in a commanding position in a query.

What’s my take?

I think that search vendors have quite a bit of work to do to protect their existing product or company names. I think that Brainware and Thunderstone are examples of vendors not putting enough horses on the wagon to keep their firms visible. For Connotate, the word is a good one, but in today’s free text world, work must be done to keep the company semantically hooked to the terms. Clearly, that’s not happening for Connotate, the vendor of agent software. For MarkLogic, I think the dual spellings are a possible factor, but maybe the company is just not outputting enough information to have traction.

Is there a fix? Yep, Will SEO do the job? Probably not.

When I mentioned this on the call, my client wanted SEO. I said, “So buy SEO services.” Then I said, “Supplement that investment with Adwords.” Traffic is the name of the Bing and Google game, not traffic because one has a clever name.

Stephen E Arnold, October 6, 2011

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One Response to “Do Some Search Vendors Have Name Issues?”

  1. sperky undernet on October 6th, 2011 11:26 am

    While this concerns the choice of a domain name for a search engine and not a search vendor, it may be of interest. Follow especially the answer and link given by Feivi Arnstein, CEO of the subsequently chosen company name SearchLion:
    plus this followup

    The takeaway based on his crowdsourced survey:
    “…could it be that by constantly choosing names which are hard for the average person to remember, startups are shooting themselves in the foot? Could it be that startups would have more success if they would pick names which may be a little longer, and a little more obvious, but which will cause people to remember where to go?

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