I’ve always loved the tale of the time traveler who goes back in time, steps on a butterfly, and returns to a radically different present than the one he or she left. I think about it every time I hear a story of a business that’s been nearly wiped out each time Google tinkers with its search algorithm.
The latest butterfly? Answers.com. See this story by Om Malik. Excerpt:
Answers Corporation (ANSW) announced today that, due to a search engine algorithmic adjustment by Google, Answers.com has seen a drop in search engine traffic starting last week. As a result, overall traffic is currently down approximately 28% from levels immediately prior to the change.
While the crushees will often assume deliberate intent, the sad reality is that it’s usually as accidental as stepping on a butterfly.