Friday, April 4, 2008

Good shoes are really hard to find

The problem with search engines is that you do too much searching, and not enough actual finding, and if you are looking for local businesses, no actual finding at all.
A couple of days ago, I wanted to get a pair of Vans shoes, but being new to the area I really didn’t know of any local businesses that sold them. So I did what everyone does and typed Vans shoes “Citrus Heights” into the google search bar. Well the first result was obviously the Vans main website, followed by the Vans store location in the mall.

Knowing that pretty much every mall has a Vans shoe store, this information was useless to me. Besides all the shoes that the vans store carries are the generic ones in generic colors. I wanted an exclusive color, and you will never find anything special in a Vans store.

So after the vans store listing were blogs that said things like “So I was wearing my Vans………………Citrus Heights has a nice mall,” . I was even able to find blogs that people made showing pictures of all the cool vans they had, but no information on where to purchase them.

So by now I was starting to get frustrated. All I wanted was a pair of shoes. Granted I am a picky person, and I wanted a certain pair, but in a world where you can order pizza over the internet and parallel park your car with a touch of a button, I figured finding a pair of shoes would be a pretty remedial task. Apparently car technology is surpassing search engine technology by leaps and bounds.

After 2 long, extremely frustrating and fruitless hours, I couldn’t find one single local business that sold Vans. All I could find was major department stores and chain shoe retailers that mentioned the word vans somewhere in their site, and when you went to their site, they didn’t say what kinds of vans they had, they just mentioned that they carry them. Not wanting to make more phone calls than a receptionist, I just gave up. Called it quits, and went skating in my old shoes.

Now as frustrated as I was, I could only imagine the frustration of the person that owns that local business that has a room chuck-full of exclusive Vans, and no one to sell them too. Since they aren’t selling any shoes, when they do, they are going to mark them up so they can pay the rent. They also aren’t going to have the money to hire a SEO (search engine optimizer) to give their website a higher page ranking. As a matter of fact they aren’t going to have the money to hire a web designer to make a webpage in the first place.

Having a web presence is a big deal these days. Especially if you are trying to sell products or services that are very exclusive or rare. Without it you might as well close down before you even decide to open the doors.

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