Jan 13 2007
Sorry, I couldn’t resist this homophone. But it really annoys me seeing so much good money spent marketing a product that is so far inferior to the competition that it’s not funny. Another prime example of exposure not buying success. Sensis (who also run the White Pages ® and Yellow Pages ® directories, among other sites) market their product as “The Search Engine for Australians” and urge us to try “looking in (y)our own backyard”.
Well, I’ve tried looking in my “own backyard” and all I find is piles of doggie doo-doo. Their organic search results, in many instances, are NOT relevant (I qualify “organic” because many of the “sponsored listings” are relevant). I don’t know how often their spiders crawl the web, but many of the sites are OLD and simply not good results, and certainly not the most relevant.
And they invite you to list your website for free. Well despite having a White Pages listing, advertising with BidSmart ®, and two requests they haven’t bothered to list one of the sites I run Obits.com.au. Sounds like “sour grapes” but frankly I couldn’t really care less, because savvy users don’t go there anyway.
They give too much weight to “aged sites” (i.e. sites that have been around for a long time), and also to government domains so basically their algorithm is screwed and they discount what is popular. Surely they would have access to browsing statistics from their Bigpond (Australia’s largest ISP) users – couldn’t these be combined to gain a popularity weighting?
If Sensis’ Alexa results (see graph below) are anything to go on, then I think Sensis should be doing some serious development on their existing sites, before they go launching new ones such as LinkMe (they can’t even get the job descriptions right on the profiles on their home page), Car Showroom (in Beta) and Just Listed (which is down as I type – no message or anything). Although I believe that the Trading Post is growing nicely for them. Sensis need to work out what they do well and what their core business is going to be, and stick to it. They can’t be all things to all people.
(Disclosure: I run a website called dLook which is in direct competition with some of Sensis’ sites)
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