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The Future of Making Money Online: Part 1

27 September 2010 16 Comments

I read an amazing article by Wired Magazine recently called The Web is Dead: Long Live The Internet.  It’s an incredible read for anyone into technology, the internet, and especially making money online.  It’s really a must-read.

The article has made me think a lot of things about blogging and even investing, and I’m going to attempt to outline most of my thoughts on the subject – the subject of making money online.  I hope you’ll stay with me as I journey through making money online personally and also might even comment on investing in a company like Google which of course makes its money online.  So this will have a little something for everyone.

First observation – nothing stays the same, including the web

It would be silly of us to think that the internet or the world wide web would stay the same forever just because it’s some new frontier of communication and interaction.  Everything changes, nothing stays the same.  Why would the web be any different?

The Wired article gives lots of details on how the web is changing.  Interestingly, if you tell someone you think Google’s internet dominance will end at some point, maybe even sooner than later, they’ll probably think you’re crazy.  Just like people thought the dominant railroad company 100 years ago couldn’t be toppled, and how AT&T dominated the telephone industry.  Everything changes, nothing stays the same.  Note: I’m going to get into the Google topic a little more in a follow-up post.

Second observation – The web is becoming less reliable and has more junk

I’ve been actually talking about this to an extent for a while.  The world wide web is being filled with more and more junk.  The content is getting watered down, and thus the traffic is getting watered down.  If the traffic gets watered down, then advertisers won’t pay as much for it.  This is a game changing concept for anyone doing business on the web.  The article discusses it as follows:

Web audiences have grown ever larger even as the quality of those audiences has shriveled, leading advertisers to pay less and less to reach them. That, in turn, has meant the rise of junk-shop content providers — like Demand Media — which have determined that the only way to make money online is to spend even less on content than advertisers are willing to pay to advertise against it. This further cheapens online content, makes visitors even less valuable, and continues to diminish the credibility of the medium.

If anyone is into article marketing, then this should immediately hit home.  Content is cheap now and there are a gazillion businesses that pay writers to write content – any content – just to potentially bring in some search traffic.  The content is getting worse and worse.

I’ve dabbled in this arena for a little bit with a couple niche sites with advertising, and I actually make a little money off of it, but it is an incredibly crowded field.  As more of the web becomes this “filler” type of content, the quality of information found on the web will continue to diminish.  Search engine traffic & results might be compromised.  This leads to something I’ve been thinking for some time which is that search engines will eventually need to change the way they rank results.  Backlinks and keywords are no longer the perfect way to rank, they both can be manipulated too much.

If you’re like me and you’re generating some money from the web, and looking to generate more, then all of this is important for you.  Read the Wired article, read my initial thoughts, and stay tuned this week for my follow up articles.  This is just an introduction.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come…

Part 2 – Big Picture take-aways from “The Web Is Dead” such as is search dying?  How can search improve?  How does this affect web site owners and operators?

Part 3 – Blogging.  What do these trends mean for blogging and those making money via blogs?  How can blogs evolve and become better?

Part 4 – Google.  Why Google is a terrible “buy & hold” investment.

I hope you will stay tuned for these articles this week.  I think it will be an interesting discussion.

16 Comments »

  • Money Beagle said:

    It's really interesting to see just how much everything has changed over the years. Even a few years ago, video on the internet was not really much of an option, now look at how much it has taken over sites, to the point where I get annoyed at how many 'articles' on news sites don't have the text anymore but instead try to launch video content.

    Look forward to seeing the rest of the series unfold.

  • Kevin said:

    I'm also interested in seeing the rest of this series. 🙂

    P.S. As it seems my comments with URLs appear and then get erased, I am trying to post without the URl to see if it goes through.

  • 20smoney said:

    Looks like it worked. Not sure why it doesn't work w/ URLs

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  • Aaron THe Great said:

    Good read, the web is definitely cluttered. There is a bunch of filler content especially in my niche and everyone is doing the same thing!

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