by Ross Navid
The internet and technology is an amazing thing. It moves so incredibly fast. Yes, the internet is relatively young, but it moves faster than any lifespan. There’s human years, dog years, bee years, and then internet years. The internet has aged incredibly fast due to the nature of the space — mainly meaning a low barrier to entry. Because of that, every person who has a website has something deep rooted in the back of their head — “How long will this last?”
SEOs are constantly paranoid about whether or not their career is set to die. Websites are obliterated within seconds because they rely on one platform like Twitter, Facebook or Google. That’s what this technological world does to you — it tears you up.
I’m not saying what I tell you here will keep you going until the end of time. But every business has the ability to maintain validity more than most, if they take the right steps. Yes, it might hurt you in the short term a bit, but eventually, you’ll catch up to that and maintain — forever.
Don’t rely on one website. If your entire business is a social app for Twitter or Facebook, or completely SEO based on Google, you have real concerns. What happens if Twitter or Facebook don’t acquire you? You’ve lost it. What if Google dings your website or changes the algorithm in such a way that your site becomes irrelevant? You’ve lost it. You need to build a business that draws across several funnels — whether it’s PPC, SEO, or ideally, direct traffic — that will bring you on the path to sustainability.
Build a brand. No website can hold you back if you build a brand. John Chow, a “sell money online” blogger, was eliminated from Google for black hat tactics. But he still did incredible traffic — so Google was forced to reinclude him in the index. By creating a brand, your business pervades websites on their own — they create real, sustainable businesses.
Don’t build on fads or temporal entities. Look at yellow pages — these listings have been made print irrelevant, and now, they’ve even been made internet irrelevant with the new monopolistic local search results. Newspapers are similar, too. One way to look at it is whether or not your product exists in the physical world, but is somehow also connected to technology. If this is so, there’s a good chance it will eventually exist in the cloud — and your job will be gone.
Be willing to pivot and take a pay cut. Many businesses have been crushed by an inability to pivot or understand that their business is done. AOL has changed and thrived recently by acquiring TechCrunch and other businesses by being willing to change from their original stance, and still leverage their brand equity. If you can do this, you are a person to be respected — and have under the CEOs wing.
If you do all of these things, I guarantee you can last. Undoubtedly. But if you don’t, you are likely to fall off, fall back, and just plain fall. In the future, only the strongest will survive.