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Internet Marketing: The End of the Gold Rush Part 1

Jul 3, 2008
If you were online around the start of this decade, i.e. the turn of the century, you probably heard a lot about the "Internet gold rush" and how "regular" people all around the world were seizing the opportunity to make their fortune through Internet marketing of various forms. If you weren't online back then you may still have heard the term gold rush.

The general idea was that new opportunities in cyberspace were so big, and so many people were charging online to stake their claim, the only comparable time in history was the U.S. gold rush where a chunk of the national population and many people from other countries moved into the hills of Northern California in search of precious metals.

Ironically, almost nobody found any gold. Sure there were a few people who struck it rich, but most went broke and teetered on the edge of starvation before finally giving up and moving on.

Eventually the U.S. gold rush came to an end. A few miners made their fortunes, and several savvy merchants had done extremely well by setting up shop and selling tools and equipment to the mining camps.

The so-called Internet gold rush has a similar story.

A small percentage of people who tried to hit it big actually made a killing. And many people got rich selling "how to" information and marketing tools to the mass of people who cam online seeking their fortunes. But most people completely struck out.

The interesting difference between the historical gold rush and the Internet gold rush is how things ended, or didn't end rather. Eventually people came to their senses in the hills of California and realized not everyone was going to find gold. But on the World Wide Web there are still millions of people determined to find their fortune.

So what's with the title of this article? What's this notion of "the end of the Internet gold rush"?

To get to that let's take a look at how Google Adwords started out. Back when the search engine giant released their PPC solution, the big player for sponsored search was still Overture.

For the longest time after leaving beta, Adwords still had minimal bids on many prime keywords. In fact as late as 2003 most PPC advertisers were still spending their ad dime with Overture.

Not only were fewer people buying Google ads, there were far less sites in the Google organic index. It was a time when anyone with a modest budget could break right into a variety of high profile markets with minimal competition.

But those days are long gone.

Just try to find a prime keyword for a competitive market today. Unless you can spend a few bucks per click forget about it.

And with most competitive markets having millions of indexed sites don't plan on climbing to the top of the natural search results either. Even if you are an SEO wizard it could take months to maybe, possibly break into the top spot listings for a really competitive market.

The days where anyone with a good product concept for a high traffic marketplace could just stroll right in and start making money are gone forever. If you want to be a player these days you need a massive budget and a lot of marketing know-how, and even then the deck is pretty well stacked against you.

The Internet Gold Rush Is Over.

But you can still make a great living online if you know how to target tight niches. This is the real key to prosperity as an Internet marketer. To read part 2 of this article please follow the link in my resource box below.
About the Author
For part two of this article, and to learn more about how you can identify profitable niches, check out my blog post on niche marketing . Also for more ways to make money online check out my entrepreneur ezine.
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