The Web As You Knew It Is Dying

Are you still trying to play the traffic game from 6+ years ago? Perhaps you are and you haven’t realized it yet.

Because here’s the thing…

If you’re still relying on things like guest posting, SEO, social sharing and backlinks to try to build your traffic, then you’re playing an outdated game. One that has moved on and left you behind.

I recently came across a post by André Staltz that was incredibly well written: The Web Began Dying in 2014. Here’s How.

Let me give you the bullet point version:

  • Google and Facebook now control over 70% of internet traffic. In other words, these two companies are now the middlemen which control the throughput of over 70% of all online traffic.
  • Much of this is do to the rapid rise of mobile traffic, which these two companies control most of.
  • This centralization is having a major impact on many industries, including the press. Whereas Facebook used to be a minor traffic source for major media outlets, now Facebook is a major player and can make or break media companies.
  • Google and Facebook are both acquiring and/or taking over competitors through their offerings.
  • Google is evolving into less of a direct search engine to outside sites, but more of THE source for information. Artificial intelligence will replace traditional keyword search and much more of the information we get will be gotten without ever leaving Google’s ecosystem.
  • Amazon is doing to ecommerce what Google/Facebook are doing to the rest of the internet.
  • Google is becoming the knowledge internet company, Facebook the social internet company, and Amazon the ecommerce company.
  • The web is centralizing around these 3 companies, but is more and more being experienced through apps.
  • It is the “Appleification” of the web. The tech giants are setting up huge walled gardens, experienced through proprietary hardware they build themselves.
  • As AR and VR become more prevalent, this centralization will only get stronger. Google and Facebook both have major inroads already.
  • The internet could evolve into a “trinet”, with most of the internet being experienced through 3 companies: Google, Facebook and Amazon. Internet service providers could even begin offering barebones internet plans with access to only these 3 networks.

This article does a good job of showing how things have changed and where things could easily go.

The original idea of the web was a large, decentralized worldwide network that truly democratized information. It accomplished that mission, to be clear.

But, over the years, things have been centralizing around these big companies. None of it is forced, of course. Truth is, these companies have all provided a better product that is convenient and serves the market well. The market is therefore rewarding these companies accordingly. The result, though, is that they are turning this decentralized internet into more of a group of centralized networks.

  • Google will become the place for information.
  • Facebook will be for all things social.
  • Amazon will be the marketplace.

The millions of independent smaller sites out there become less and less important, less and less of a major factor. And the ones that do make an impact are doing it through these middlemen.

How many ecommerce companies today rely on Amazon’s marketplace for all or a major portion of their revenue? Many. Amazon can make or break businesses.

How many media sites can be made or broken by Google or Facebook? Most. This has been one of the debates in the world of news, in fact. Sites that put out information that isn’t liked can be labeled as “fake news” and are in a position to be killed with the flip of a switch by Google and Facebook.

How many blogs or websites have had major revenue cut drastically because they were overly reliant on Google Adsense and were cut off because of a perceived terms of service violation? What’s worse is that many times the violation was false or something that was inadvertent, but the ban was all done by computer. And there’s nobody to call to get the site put back. It can be a major source of frustration for website owners and put you into a really unfortunate predicament.

How has this all changed how we get traffic? And what can you do about it? Continue reading…

The Web As You Knew It Is Dying – And This Is How It Has Changed Everything For Bloggers and Marketers