The Internet might be in danger

Doing SEO has become increasingly challenging and consumes more time than the early days. Just a few years back delivering number one rankings in Google was fast and easy, now it can’t always be done at all. I can still make almost any site rank on page one in high competition search results, but the really hard ones can take several weeks or months.

Search engines have to change their rankings methods to reflect the growing online content, marketing techniques and SEO spam. Also, content accessibility (smart phone and tablet compatibility) is a Google ranking factor. This makes perfect sense, more and more people are using the web with an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

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Meanwhile, the Internet is being fundamentally transformed from an open, free market economy to being state regulated. Firstly, the non-profit ICANN runs the so-called IANA functions – a body that runs the highest level of the world’s DNS and allocates IP addresses. It’s what keeps the internet glued together.

The current White House administration wants to change this, despite worldwide opposition to the move, the administration is not backing away from dismantling the system that has allowed other countries and stakeholders to have confidence the Net is free from heavy-handed control and that the values that make the Internet work (freedom of access, free speech etc.) can’t be done away with.

Secondly, net neutrality is under attack. The FCC secret 332-page “Net Neutrality” document is rumored to be a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to enforce tax collection on consumers and censorship under the guise of content fairness.

Google is following suit and aiming to adopt an algorithm to judge the trustworthiness of a website by how accurate the content is. Their goal is to match content to others and rank it based on accuracy. But judging and ranking content quality is hard and could cause some major problems.

The biggest danger is that these transformations, taxing a free web, making content censorship more systematic and “truthiness” a ranking factor, could make the Internet less popular, and the future web could be contracting just like radio, TV and newspapers, and not expanding and innovating like it is now.

About the author

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     Gunnar Andreassen is a Norwegian online marketing expert, Google AdWords and Google Analytics        certified partner and a serial entrepreneur.

     He has also authored the book Conquer the web – The secrets to online success.

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