Is Weak SEO the Reason for Border’s Troubles?

 
 

I rarely see the Border’s website in search results when I’m looking up a book. I don’t see their main competitor, Barnes & Noble, in search results as well. I decided to compare search rankings for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders Books for a number of books.In a recent post by SEO by the Sea Bill Slawski poses an interesting question. Is one of the reasons for Border’s financial difficulties their lack of presence in the search results? The answer is of course not black and white. As far as their SEO goes, I will say yes, they should have had much better exposure in the organic search results given their size, popularity and status in the market. That would certainly help, however given the fact that users can compare prices online quite easily it’s arguable whether Borders would sell anything at all. Surely many other factors played role but I am not here to go into cashflow or marketing matters, instead let’s stay with the search topic.

When a “homo sapiens v2.0″ shows up at a book store he or she sub consciously expect to be able to search and find their book easily and quickly. I, for example, never liked clumsy library index searches and Border’s one reminds me of it so I rely on visual scanning and looking for my section. Many times instead of finding a book I trail of into browsing and end up buying nothing. One solution I had in mind was a series of search terminals which work much like Google or Bing, but when you find a book that you want it points you to the right direction – or even better – illuminate the shelf-top to highlight the book location. Considering all their books already have RFID tags this is not exactly a sci-fi concept.

True this would probably not save the book store chain, however it might have brought something new and unique to the search generation too impatient to browse. Do you agree?

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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