by Mike Banks Valentine
The King is dead! Long live the King!
The death of Louis XIV. was announced by the captain of the bodyguard
from a window of the state apartment. Raising his truncheon above
his head, he broke it in the centre, and throwing the pieces among
the crowd, exclaimed in a loud voice, "Le Roi est mort!"
Then seizing another staff, he flourished it in the air as he shouted,
"Vive le Roi!" —Pardoe: Life of Louis XIV., vol. iii.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the captain of the bodygaurd
for Advertising, so the task of announcing the death of advertising
is not among my responsibilities. Nor is finding a successor to
the throne. No, I do the less glorious task of search engine marketing.
I'm quietly on the sidelines as Dot Bomb after Dot Gone pass by
in a funeral procession that seems endless. The parade route marching
to the funeral dirge and drum, glumly trudging through the streets
mark the passing of online royalty on a weekly basis.
This week we bow our heads in honor of the passing of another advertising-reliant
giant, HomeStore.com. Before that it was WebVan and WebMD and Wine.com
-- I'm starting at the bottom of a very long alphabetical list you
can see yourself at:
The deathmarch itself has been analyzed-to-death by everyone from
network news anchors to newspaper commentators and pundits. I won't
burden us with another perspective here other than to say that it's
big business that has it all wrong in a twisted attempt to apply
old models to a new medium. I wonder why it is that each new technology
is constantly wedged into the wrong shape hole because that is "where
the money is".
When television was first developed, we didn't know what to do with
it because advertising was not so ubiquitous. We had print advertising
in magazines and radio advertisement ruled the air- waves. But everyone
agreed that television was worthless . . .
Not more than 10 per cent of the population will take up television
permanently. Raymond Postgate, 1935
Television? The word is half Greek and half Latin. No good will
come of this device. C P Scott, 1936
Television won't last because people will get tired of staring at
a plywood box every night. Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox co-founder,
But TV finally fell to advertising and is now fully one-third ads
and very little content, except for product placement and sponsored
But because advertising ruled our lives when the internet was launched
in 1995, we just naturally assumed that advertising would rule online
as well. But we got it wrong. I spend hours online daily and do
all I can to ignore the flashing, blinking banners and skyscraper
ads and sponsored links glaring from the top, bottom and now edges,
of the screen in front of me.
How do people behave online? Simple, they search. They search for
things they have an interest in. They bookmark favorites. Most don't
know why they get the results they do when searching.
It's because the top ranking sites in search results are very specifically
designed by people who know how to gain those top rankings in the
search engines. Why on earth would anyone spend good money on advertising
when most web surfers seek to avoid advertising and even buy software
meant to block advertising from their web pages? Why on earth don't
more businesses see that search engine positioning is the number
one solution to visibility and success online?
Here comes another funeral march. They probably bought Super Bowl
ads and have banners flashing all over my favorite web site. Oh
and look! They have banner ads on the hearse! I guess they didn't
want to waste the eyeballs attending the funeral. At least they
aren't animated banners. Have some Respect!
Well, I'm going to usurp the job of the Captain of the Kings' bodygaurd
and announce that "Advertising is Dead!" "Le ROI est mort!" (Return
On Investment) "Long live Search Engine Positioning!" Viva le ROI!
Viva le SEO!
Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small Business
WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine
emphasizing small business on the Internet http://website101.com/arch/
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