Interview With Ken Evoy – Part IV – The Future Of Internet
Tomaz: What do you see as the future of the Internet? What’s the future of SiteSell?
Ken: Some years ago, I wrote that search engines were essential to the Internet and they were like the best bargain in the world. And search engine optimizers got it. But I don’t think the average small business person really got it.
And now, eight or nine years later, people still say that one should not get used to them because they can’t last forever.
There was this ridiculous interview of a Forester researcher were they asked her if Facebook will replace Google. And she actually thought it could. Her reasoning being, “Well, you know if you want to go to Hawaii now, you can just ask a friend on Facebook instead of doing the search in Google.”
Now, how stupid is that? Because thirty years ago you could ask a friend if you’re going to have a vacation in Hawaii without using the Internet.
You know, Facebook is an activity. It’s fun, it’s valuable, it connects people and all that stuff, but its not a gateway to the Internet. The search engines, as far as I can see for the next five, ten years, are still the main highway to the Internet.
And that sounds obvious, but it’s a bold statement to say because to predict anything beyond six months in the Internet is very dangerous. Things change. Gigantic killers come out of nowhere. Major new technologies happen.
But people use the Internet to search for information.
Yes, a lot of things are being predicted. Five or six years I was saying when the first world is on 24/7 high speed, all the rules start to change. Video starts becoming important.
You’re going to start to see major networks becoming huge epicenters as they provide their content through video. If you have to put meta tag information into a video, you’re back to old-fashioned tricks. Because with content, Google has taken it just way off-page.
On-page you should have some keyword so that Google knows it’s a page about Anguilla beaches and not some Chinese restaurant. But after the relevancy is finished, it’s about how good that page is.
So Google’s algorithms follow humans before, during, and after the visit, hundreds of ways beyond Google PR. That’s how Google figures out whether it’s any good or not. So that’s where text search is going. For the average small business person, a lot of traffic is needed until search becomes more sophisticated and is able to deliver smart, contextual, good video.
Yes, it’s going to get more and more important. And what I am saying is happening, but it’s still going to take some more years but video is coming.
Obviously image-based search is something we’ve been talking about for years now in Site Build It. That’s a bigger and bigger part. It’s still bringing more and more traffic, and Google Universal is a sign that other ways of delivering information other than just text are becoming more and more important.
So if you’re doing a search for Anguilla beaches, there is going to be a couple of videos about that. There’s going to be a couple of images about that and there’s still going to be the text and that textual editorial content that is being delivered is still the leading traffic driver from every indicator that we can see.
Web 2.0 has played out in all the major obvious ways. MySpace and Facebook have taken social networking. All the major social media sites—the social bookmarking and networking and sites like that—always has room for great new clever ideas. So far, nobody has brought Web 2.0 to the average small business person.
Obviously everything that can be digitized will be digitized. So the music industry that we talked about or the network marketing is an industry that is causing a lot of controversy right now.
Books may take a generation because books have been with us since Guttenberg; they have been with us longer. Things that have been with us longer take longer to go. We love paper, we love turning pages, but inevitably books are going to be out of topic.
So the whole network marketing industry is one that interests us because we feel that we can digitize that process.
Create a great theme-based site content, and people will find your information and they will like what you are writing about. They become leads and they are presold and you are no longer bothering friends and it’s more noble.
Blogging is hot. Blogging is popular. Blogging is done by people who have the time and inclination and are smart to be clever once a day or many times a day. The media is exactly those types of people. They jump on it, they publicize it, so it’s something that gets an awful lot of noise but below that, that survey is probably grossly optimistic.
And certainly the average business person can’t blog.
I really don’t see a fantastic future for blogging except what it is now. What it is now is pretty much where it’s going to stay, plus or minus other media being thrown in. But I don’t see a huge future beyond what’s happening now with blogging. It’s meant for smart people who’ve never been published.
All the great bloggers like Steve Pavlina of self-improvement have become published authors because they are still great, because they have great content. So that’s what I see for the future.
Blogging is not going to get bigger and bigger. Blogging is a useful adjunct to a website or a useful stand-alone in a certain type of category where people really have something to say and other people want to hear what they have to say and they actually subscribe because that’s the key to blogging.
The key to blogging is subscribing to a blog. Get that feed and you’re good enough that you are worth MySpace as my reader. So that was just quite different than doing organic searches and finding theme-based content sites that have a real momentum to them.
It’s just different approaches for two different types of small business people. One is neither better nor any worse than the other. It’s just that a theme-based content site is a good approach for most small businesses. Blogging is really for a small minority.
Tomaz: I also noticed from my own experience that I read some of the blogs and I also check some of the new guides, the new blogs some people are starting. I can see the archives.
Maybe they started it in August so they’re six months old. And they write really good. I mean, it’s really useful. I can see the effort of an article that took at least five hours to write. But it’s written for the user, and it’s not really optimized for any keyword. So that page is lost in the long term.
Ken: It’s not optimized, it’s not organized, it’s not internally linked. It’s just organized in terms of date and time, and it’s like a form. Wonderful information that is lost.
Tomaz: It’s useful for those few people who read it in that week when it was on the front page. I can see how much effort is put into blogging. I can see so many great blogs in terms of content, and people work really hard and do all that social bookmarking stuff.
But then some of them post the numbers: “My earnings for this month are at $263.”
And I think: “I made this much just today doing nothing since I have a big content site that keeps getting found for the keywords in demand. And all these bloggers have done so much work for their blog since this blogging is so cool and I can earn money with it.”
Ken: I think the reality will start to sink in over the next year or two, and you will be left with a small number of people who are successful bloggers and who should be successful bloggers.
And of course, there are many industries where blogging doesn’t make sense. I keep taking about Anguilla because it’s a site that I play with Site Build It and it’s my daughter’s site and I help her and we work together and it’s been very good working with my daughter and keeping me close to the actual user experience.
You can do Anguilla in fifty different ways. You can do a high net worth Angular dot com, a family Anguilla beaches, and you can do Angular news, blogging oriented.
See what’s happening in Anguilla and put it on RSS feed. But how many people really want the news every time something happens in Anguilla? It becomes a very small population.
But how many people search for information about Anguilla sooner or later when they need a vacation, a school project, for whatever? An awful lot more people.
Tomaz: Great! Those are my questions. Maybe there is something you want to say that I didn’t ask or that maybe you think it would be a good idea to share?
Ken: No, they are good questions. You know the future was a good question because ten months ago I was excited about videos. I was excited about Content 2.0. They were the things in the radar.
There are like major changes, like when AdSense came up, and there are things we jump at right away. Like when AdSense came up to boom, I stopped everything I was doing.
We wrote the AdSense guide and articles on how to make the most of AdSense. This was an important module to just go beyond affiliates when Site Build It was much smaller. Because Site Build It existed before AdSense.
People were already using Site Build It to earn income through the whole concept of CTPM (content traffic presell monetize). What Google suggests now (the webmaster guidelines) is basically what I was writing five or six years ago with CTPM.
If you accept the concept of CTPM, people use the Internet to search for information. Jump to the head of line and give the engines what they want. If you accept that basic premise, it’s like everything else follows on that.
So what happens next?
Clever ways of using Web 2.0 mostly since Web 3.0 is so far away that it’s not even time to start getting excited about that. I think it’s the evolution and the iteration of what is here now, 24/7 broadband, video, Web 2.0, blogging, those are really the fine-tuning of what’s happened.
And then all of a sudden, maybe this year, maybe next year, something big starts happening. Something like Web 3.0. We’re starting to read that but there’s nothing there to even begin to say how this affects my customers.
I want to thank again to Dr. Ken Evoy for taking the time while being on vacation 😉 to answer my questions and allowing me to share this interview with you.
I hope you’ve learned something new that will get you at least one step closer towards financial freedom.