Something in the algorithm: Matt cutts at a conference.

Something in the Algorithm – Insuring Technology

It’s called Penguin. It doesn’t live in the artic, but it sure left more than a few companies out in the cold.

Penguin is the code name for updates that Google makes to its algorithm to keep the bad guys (mostly spammers) from scoring well on its search engine. You can read more about Penguin on Matt Cutts’ blog – he’s the engineer who oversees its development. While Google’s intent is good – Penguin is designed to give you better search results — there are some very legitimate companies that went from riches to rags almost immediately after the first Penguin release.

Technology is like that. One day it’s here and friendly, the next day it’s gone like Friendstr.

When your profits rely on an algorithm

What can you do when your profits rely heavily on the whims of a search giant like Google? Diversification isn’t exactly an option. At the end of 2013, Google owned 67.3 percent of the market share in search, according to comScore, so if Google decides it no longer wants to include you in its rankings, you’re options are suddenly very limited.

Companies hit by Penguin had to fire staff, hire consultants, re-tool, and build their businesses up again, climbing the now-steeper ladder that Google had left out for them in the name of better search results for all users.

How do you hedge that bet?

More and more companies rely on technology like Google for everyday operations. We don’t even think about what the world might be like without Google except for those few times when the WiFi goes down for a few minutes and we’re all left to look to each other for support and conversation.

But what would happen to your business if a sudden technology failure took the bottom out from under you? Are you insured for that? Can you even buy a policy that covers your specific business for something like a Penguin update emergency?

Work with your insurance broker to find out how you can get covered in the event of a tech disaster at your firm. If they don’t offer specific coverage, then ask them – or us – about starting a captive insurance company that could help you get covered for unusual technological events.

After all, you want to be around a lot longer than Friendstr.

If we can help you talk about a captive insurance strategy to help cover your company, please call us.