Online Business Competition Heats Up

With the economy in practical free-fall, I’ve noticed that a lot of new domains are popping up and some competitors are resorting to more drastic action.  It seems like a lot of marketing campaigns are becoming more aggressive and daily content updates are more important than ever.

The first thing I’ve noticed is single-purpose domains popping up like crazy.  People seem to be noticing that keywords in a domain name can really propel a site up to the top of the search rankings, but they’re still driving hundreds or thousands of links to the domain just to ensure their position dominance.  It would even appear that some competitors are using dozens of shadow domains to prop the single-purpose domains to the top.

Is this a legitimate search engine strategy?  Probably not one that will last forever, but it sure seems to be working for now.

Another thing is the stories getting promoted toward the top of some social bookmarking sites.  It seems like more and more clandestine groups are attempting to work together to vote their stories up to the top.  I’m not sure how else to explain the sudden trend on a few sites toward more obviously commercial links.  The members at the popular social bookmarking sites rarely tolerate anything that has an obvious profit motive, so I’m a little suspicious of how the sudden deluge of ad pages is becoming popular.  Again, maybe it isn’t a good time to jump in the cesspool with a white hat on.

PPC ECPM is Bad – Affiliates are Flooded

Some of the hardest hit publishers were relying heavily on pay-per-click advertisements.  When advertisers can’t count on a sale to result from every click, they’re having to reduce the amount of cash they pay out for each click.

To avoid this, a lot of publishers are switching over to pay per conversion programs – affiliate programs, that is.  Unfortunately, this sector of advertising is just as affected by the slowdown with each click being less likely to actually generate a sale.

Complicating things further, Google is still on its never-ending rampage to eradicate affiliate marketing and their latest algorithm favoring uber-sites seems like even more evidence of their desire to eliminate the middle man.  This means affiliates are competing for less traffic that is converting into even fewer sales per surfer.

Who Will Survive (And what will be left of them)

At first glance, it looks like large news sites with high employment costs and overhead are in the worst position.  They don’t generate the kinds of investment fervor that “new apps” like Facebook and Twitter can get, but they still require a lot of cash to operate.  Since their readership is also interested in the diverse topics they cover, its practically impossible for them to target their ads with an eye on making sales.

Investor darlings will probably continue to thrive, but it is less likely that we’ll see any new ones pop up.  If someone has a great idea, they might be more willing to trade it for any job they can get rather than hold out for hopes of a millionaire future.

Get an Edge?

I feel a little disoriented still, but the current plan is to crank out content with abandon.  Sleep is over-rated, so I’ve got a big bag of fresh-ground coffee and a new target of at least six articles a day across my three main domains and Ezinearticles.  While a lot of article directories have been hammered in terms of PR and authority, Ezine still seems like the one that can deliver interested publishers, purchasers, and even some search rank authority.

Have any ideas for a post you’d like to see or want to share an opinion in a guest post?  Leave a message here or on the forum because over the next few weeks I’m going to need all the ideas and content I can get.  Compensation will have to be limited to links, but it could be a good way to get your newest domain promoted quickly!  If you’re looking to share help in regards to social bookmarks and other types of mutually-beneficial promotion, hit me up on Twitter.  I don’t have any followers yet and I’m not trying to get thousands either!  Ideally, I’d like to have a dozen or two people that I can count on to share useful marketing secrets and mutually beneficial voting.

Yes – I’m breaking my anti-social nature and looking for a team 🙂  I might even be forced to join Facebook if my friends keep giving me a hard time about it.  I know, I know, I’m pretty old-fashioned and slow to adopt new platforms!  I realize though, with competition going the way it is, I can’t afford to be a late adopter.  By the time something is a proven promotion method, its been replaced!

1 Comment

  1. I think you are right to plan ahead, the web is becoming more and more crowded. The social sites are going to have to stay one step ahead of the spammers if they intend to have a meaningful impact on the future of the web IMO.

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