Monday, July 28, 2008

A trillion things being said…

As a follow up to yesterday's blog, I was reading the Official Google Blog and was presented with this daunting statistic:


There are 1,000,000,000,000 (1 Trillion) Unique URLs on the internet – and it is growing at "several billion pages a day."


This is a phenomenal statistic – and if ever any marketer or other business person was ever looking for final reinforcement of the fact that this internet thing might be here to stay then this has to be it (trust me, I still get to talk to marketers who STILL perceive digital marketing to be a sideshow in their marketing plans!!). Once you step back from this massive global endeavour we are all a part of, you then get some insight into just what it is going to take to be successful in this digital world in which we live.

A trillion pages represent billions of sites, which in turn represent many, many millions of businesses – all competing for attention, for engagement and for business. Every single one of these wants to be the first result returned on a search, be listed on the first page of paid links and wants to have the hottest viral marketing campaign. Everyone wants to be number one.

In digital business terms, this represents both an opportunity and a threat. For big brands with big markets, the sheer size of the internet raises the bar for your digital strategies. All of the things I have been raving about over the last couple of years in this blog hold true – you need to invest adequately in everything to do with your digital strategy. Fail to invest to the right level on any component and your strategy is likely to be swamped by the competition. Inadequate technology will drive users to faster, better performing sites. Poor user experience and information architecture will frustrate users and send them to easier use competitive sites. Get your online marketing wrong and you just won't be heard… and so on. This is a strong sign that digital business is now the domain of specialist, expert companies.

The opportunities come from the sheer scale of the market – in any market this big there are clearly opportunities for well considered, well targeted offers. For businesses both big and small, there is great commercial potential in extending, marketing or modifying your offers to suit very specific markets which may now be spread anywhere around the world.

I also saw a very interesting and somewhat unique take on this from Julian Bajkowski in the MIS Magazine Online Edition. His take was to confront some of the other implications of such a massive and growing web – like maybe ending up with more destinations on the web than there are addresses to refer to them. Another sign of just how big the internet has become.

Having been in this industry for as long as it has been around in this country, statistics like this give me pause. We have REALLY created something which HAS changed the world … and as far as I am concerned, we have really only just begun.

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