The Bad Ol' Days Of Search...What's Next?

Feb 11th
posted in

Interesting post from Matt Cutts, talking about how Google is so much better now than it was in 2000.

But it’s a misconception that there was no spam on Google back then. Google in 2000 looked great in comparison with other engines at the time, but Google 2011 is much better than Google 2000. I know because back in October 2000 I sent 40,000+ queries to google.com and saved the results as a sort of search time capsule

40,000+ queries! I'm guessing he wasn't using the WebPositionGold Reporter! Little joke for the old-timers, there ;)

SEO's will notice Matt's yeark 2K SERP consists of some old skool domain spamming, with hyphen-loaded domains, which were de rigueur at the time.

How times change.

Since 2000

Whilst tempting to think the golden days of opportunity are behind us, the internet, and search, is still a baby.

Adwords, launched in 2000, and has created a multi-billion dollar industry. Adsense was launched in 2003. The affiliate market has grown in breadth and depth. Domain name acquisition, solely for the purposes of search positioning, is a more recent development. There has been a lot of opportunity for search marketers since 2000.

What's next?

The Revolution Won't Be Televised

By the time most of us hear about the next big thing in internet marketing, the low hanging fruit will be gone.

The next money making opportunities in search, and internet marketing, will remain underground, because shouting new opportunities from the rooftops invites unwanted competition. A sure sign the horse has bolted is when someone launches an "all-new" get-rich-quick scheme on Clickbank. Consider that the mainstream media thinks SEO is new and exciting!

If we're going to continue to profit from internet marketing, then it helps to keep one eye on the future, rather than passively waiting for it to arrive.

How To See Around The Corner

Predicting the future is, of course, impossible.

However, by reading, watching and speculating we'll be less surprised when things do change. The only thing certain is change, and in internet marketing, the only thing certain is rapid change.

Here's a few ideas. If you've got some more, please share them in the comments.

Trendwatching Sites - Read beyond search. Get a feel for what is coming about in a broad section of related industries. Check out Trendspotting, Google Trends, Trend Hunter, Trendwatching.com, Springwise, Pew Research Centre and Tech Crunch.

Patent Filings - Bill looks at patents filed by Google and other search services. These often provide interesting insights into Google's future direction, although the filing of a patent is not an indicator that Google is making use of these ideas. Yet.

Product Announcements - watch out for new product announcements from companies related to your area of interest. Make use of Google News Alerts, and other automated news monitoring services.

BTW, Google are now into weddings.

Acquisitions & Mergers - Who is buying what and why? Figure out why Google wanted Groupon, and how Google's own search service could change as a result of launching a similar service.

There are a few red herrings, of course. Google acquired Blogger, and haven't done much with it. Recently, they've bought up companies who have developed speech synthesis, voice recognition, DRM, ebooks, and social gaming. At the time of writing, they're (still) interested in acquiring Twitter, as are Facebook.

History Repeats - history tends to work in cycles. The same things happen again, with a twist. Is Facebook that different from AOL, really? What previous tech trends may return, now that their time is right?

Not Typing Queries

Matt wrote what seemed like a throw-away line, or maybe he's just winding us up:

Wow, most queries were only a few words back then. And we had to type queries. How primitive!

Hmmm........not typing queries, huh.

Published: February 11, 2011

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