Back in November, we wrote about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) going after an ambulance company for firing an employee over Facebook comments she made about the company and another employee.
Avoiding a letter from a federal agency like the NLRB is enough to justify an attorney’s expense. I had the opportunity recently to consult with a local tech company on their employee handbook, but even a big document like that isn’t effective insulation. The feds decided in in this instance that the company’s rules regarding all the after-hours activity like Facebook and blogging were too broad. This was a case where the decision was justified by the company’s internal documents that the US government decided was unacceptable.
Your takeaway as a small business leader is that the company involved in this issue is not a small business, but a company with a billion in annual revenue. The Internet and globalization is already democratizing the playing field between small and big business. Don’t give away your advantage by not working with an attorney. This company will keep rolling. Yours may not faced with a similar financial settlement.
We’ve beat the drum about a search duopoly since before the Yahoo-Microsoft search alliance was finalized. A duopoly is a market condition when there are two competitors serving many buyers. Literalists will insist that Yahoo, Ask, AOL and meta search engines still receive a very large number of search requests. That’s true.
What you need to know as a small business leader is that comScore’s latest data shows that Google or Bing “powered” 93.8 percent of US search in December. There is an awful lot of money to be made in the fringes that remaining 6 percent or so.
But in January 2011, make sure you understand that web search is a two player game. Yahoo! is reinventing itself into a content company as fast as it can. AOL isn’t far behind. And we’re not counting searches on entities like Facebook, Amazon or eBay. One could argue that an Amazon search is in many ways a proxy for a commercial search–certainly among its core categories.
Your takeaway as a small business leader is to remember that even Google says search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process and you have two different companies in which to position your company’s goods and services. That’s the first, ultimate priority because you reach 94% of the United States that way.
Source: “December 2010 Search Engine Rankings“, comScore, 1/14/2011
Image: Balance by Stephen Stacey