The internet is dying. According to the latest traffic data for major sites like YAHOO! and MSN the number of visits has dramatically drops since 2008. Lots of people have seen this happening and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while but never wanted to put the data together. Luckily Nicolas Moerman did all the hard work (presentation)! One can only speculate the reasons why these trends are happening. I think (and many others) the cause of all the traffic loss is to the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. People are turning towards their network of people for all the relevant information they desire. Who knows their taste in news media and Youtube videos better than their friends?
The bigger question is – What are these business going to do to keep from going out of… business? They need to pay employees and if they’re losing traffic that means advertisers are going to start pulling out. Since most online media is based on advertising it puts “traditional” media sites in a tough spot. Especially when advertisers can have incredibly focused ads on Facebook and create relationships for free through Twitter. Even Google has to feel some heat in sectors of its advertising sales. There are less people clicking on ads and spending their precious time commenting on status updates and the latest weekend pics. So, what do these companies do?
Perhaps start charging for content? Hahaha! In the emerging freeloading mentality that is the internet, it will be unlikely that YAHOO! (or anyone else) can find additional content to charge for. It hasn’t worked for big newspaper conglomerates, I doubt it will work for anyone else. Besides the fact that Microsoft has its head up its own CPU regarding content in general. Only the specialized content creators have been successful in charging for content. This comes with a price – limited user base.
Worst case scenario? Let Google continue their conquest to take over the internet and move all advertising mediums to run through them for shared revenue. There is a bright side to this dilemma. Slowly but surely, the internet will naturally start to weed out all the low quality and noisy content providers. Consider it the “Natural Selection” era of the internet!