Since I last blogged, the digital world has changed. And I’ve only been away from this blog for three weeks.
Google has launched a silly attack on Facebook , whilst also buying SparkBuy. Groupon has just announced it wants to raise $750m. LinkedIn’s share launch was extraordinarily successful. Microsoft bought Skype for a mere $8.5 billion (have they gone mad?). Nokia is widely reported to be trying to sell its handsets business. And I attended Internet World.
Curiously, my visit to the Show at Earl’s Court did not attract the same degree of attention as did the purchase of Skype, but I did enjoy the show, partly because the whole issue of SEO still seems to be a source of confusion.
I’d gone to the Show specifically to find an SEO expert for two of my clients. I left empty-handed.
The first SEO company, based in Oxford’s Business Park, couldn’t agree amongst themselves about outbound links. Did Google read and rank them? Did they raise or lower a website’s ranking? Does Google pay any attention to meta-tags? The answers are widely available largely because Google has been trying hard to tell us. Here’s an example.
The second SEO company, based in Croydon, told me within twenty seconds or so that I’d get a cut of their first year’s income from my clients if I walked them into the company. I pointed out that this would rather compromise my position of being an independent adviser, and moved on.
The third SEO company, seodudes, had only one person on the stand, Lee Croucher. He really knew his stuff, thank goodness, but he’s based in Hereford, so I couldn’t see him popping into Caxton Street or Upper Street in London on a regular basis, which is a pity.
Moving on, I attended a talk given by Justin Cooke, who founded and runs Fortune Cookie. The talk was full of anecdotes, all of which had relevance to Internet World, but he also made some predictions, the most riveting of which was this: by 2030, web-based digital applications would consume 40% of the world’s global energy output.
I rang his office yesterday to check if I really had heard this correctly. Everyone seemed to be out. But let’s assume Justin really did say this, and that the figure is right.
The demand for 40% of the world’s annual global energy productions would require huge changes in governments’ policies. For example, it does rather call into question if green energy will ever be a viable alternative to coal, oil, gas and nuclear. But it also means that whole new economies will be developing, their purpose being to deliver digital services. And what will these services be? Currently, people use the web for three main reasons:
- To get information
- To socialise
- To buy
In my next blog, we’ll look at all three, and consider if Justin could be right. Even if he isn’t, it’s an extremely thought-provoking prediction.