Within the cult of Google, no victory is too small to celebrate. Or to publicize.
Echoing the giddiest days of the dot-com boom, small companies are issuing press releases that trumpet any affirmation they get from online superstar Google Inc., even if it’s just a bump in the Web search titan’s rankings.
The Robotic Industries Assn., for instance, reported that the PageRank -- a geeky metric Google uses as one factor in its search algorithm -- for its Robotics Online website had risen “from a solid ‘five’ to an even stronger ‘seven out of 10.’ ”
“One more reason to celebrate” the association’s 30th anniversary, its press release proclaimed.
Source Direct Holdings Inc. of Idaho Falls, Idaho, which makes a cleaning product called Simply Wow, thought it necessary to tell the world that it had finally “achieved a top-response search engine ranking on one of the world’s best-known search engines.”
What that meant was that when people type “Simply Wow” into Google’s search box, the top website to appear is that of, yep, Simply Wow.
The press-release frenzy echoes the 1990s, when companies would trumpet their affiliations, however loose, with dot-com darlings such as Amazon.com Inc.
Investors seem to appreciate the name-dropping. Synergy Brands Inc., a holding company on Long Island in New York, watched its shares soar 42% the day it said its cigar-selling websites would become “select merchants” in Google’s comparison shopping service, Froogle.
“It’s irrational exuberance,” said Synergy Brands Chairman Mair Faibish, who pointed out that cigars make up only 5% of the company’s $55 million in annual sales.
Meanwhile, the streak to which these smaller players have hitched their wagons lost some of its momentum. Google shares closed at $179.39 on Friday in Nasdaq trading, up $4.63, but off their peak of $201.60.
Nathan Weinberg, a New York-based blogger who has ridiculed the rash of Google- oriented releases, had a suggestion: “Perhaps Google can boost its stock by announcing it has entered a strategic partnership with Google?”