This is a true story.
There was a bag in the front yard. It had been sitting there for several days. A little girl meets her father in the garage after work one day and says, “Daddy, what’s in that bag in the front yard.”
“I don’t know, honey, let take a walk over and see,” the father replies.
They walk over to the bag and discover the contents contain a Yellow Pages book.
“What’s the Yellow Pages, Dad?” asks the little girl.
“Well, when you need something, like a plumber, you look in the Yellow Pages directory to find one.”
They carry the bag into the garage and the father promptly drops the bag in the trash bin. The girl is dismayed at the calculated loss of such a useful directory and asks why it’s being tossed in the trash.
“Well, when we need something now, we just turn look it up in Google,” explains the father.
The Yellow Book used to be a staple of small business marketing. Few small businesses would be without the listing. Today that matters little.
Case in point: Recently I was in need of an oil change for my vehicle in a pinch. I called my local dealership to see if they could fit me in; they could not. Knowing I was overdue, and preparing for a long road trip, I knew I could delay an oil change no longer.
I logged onto Google and found a place less than a 1/2 mile away. I called — they could fit me in right away — no problem. When I arrived at the location, I was amazed to learn I had never previously noticed the place — despite driving past it every day on my commute to work.
Inside the waiting room, there was a little sticker in the office window. It read, “We’re a Favorite Place on Google.”
Maybe Google represents Darth Vader, perhaps not. However, it’s indisputable that the search engine has fundamentally changed the world.
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Photo credit: Flickr, John Marino, Googleplex (CC BY 2.0)