Imagine one day you flip on your PC, log on to the Internet and go to Google.com. The browser alerts you and says that there's no website found at that address. No problem you think, as you head on over to Yahoo.com. Same thing. No website found at that URL. Now something seems fishy, go to MSN.com because you know Microsoft will never run out of money, and their search engine will be up. Nope, instead you get another alert box telling you that there is no website found at that URL.
Imagine an Internet world where no search engines exist, and anyone trying to make a living online selling a product or service has to be found. Where would you start? Where would you list your site(s)? How would you get your site found by your potential customers?
This is the mentality you should always take when promoting your website. Sure, it'd be great to have top rankings in the search engines, and get all of that free targeted traffic coming to your site. But just as easily as you achieve that ranking, you could lose it overnight - with a simple filter change in the algorithm.
I'm sure you've heard of the 'Florida' update that caused many site owners panic attacks as their previously highly ranked sites fell off the face of the Internet. They lost sales, traffic and dreams of Internet riches.
As I heard someone famous once say: “Don't place all your eggs in one basket” - yet too many website owners do. They're obsessed with a top ranking in Google instead of building a brand name people will recognise and trust. Top rankings in the search engines should be part of your Internet marketing strategy, but dedicate only a portion of your efforts to that. You should equally spend your time pursuingpartnerships with other non-competitive sectors of the Internet.
Web rings, for example, are a group of related sites that link to each other. Internet marketing is the same concept, but on a much grander showcase. You can advertise your site in the costly pay-per-click arena, and if you have the budget to do so, that's the quickest way to get found. But keeping in mind that search engines don't exist, what would you do to get the word out?
Other Internet marketing options include:
It's safe to say that the search engines will always be around, but to focus entirely on them and ignore the other resources could be a costly business mistake. Just remember to keep your eye on the prize of online success, and customers coming from various outlets, not just the search engines.