How would you assess the "state-of-the-art" in Internet marketing?
I think that in some ways we are entering a more constructive period in IM. Search engines are leading us full-circle, back to where sites are recognized for quality of content. We are leaving a period of intense reliance on the ability of SEOs (search engine optimizers) to "game" our site to prominence.
At the risk of sounding like an old-timer (which, I guess, I am), there was a time before the Web, when the 'Net was a text-only medium. If the dialer worked, and the phone at the other end answered, and the sounds of establishing a "ppp connection" were favorable, then, we could explore, for example, Tulane University's Gopher site. (Show of hands, who remembers Gopher?)
A site was basically a directory of documents, and the documents were generally current and authoritative or their authors would not have bothered to upload them. Lists of useful links were precious, and search engines were just beginning to find their footing.
Once the Web made the Internet sufficiently user-friendly, online documents proliferated. Search engines, rather primitive by today's standards, took on importance as guides to this wide array of information. And businesses began to see the commercial potential of the new medium.
A new industry was born, SEO, to figure out how to gain top positions on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). For a while, keywords were everything. Here is a quick course in SEO:
Figure out the words or phrases your prospective customers are likely to use, and find out how stiff the competition is for them. Narrow your efforts to those with the best â€œKeyword Effectiveness Indicatorsâ€œ(KEIs).