The Internet has been a quickly-evolving entity since its widespread availability in the late 1990’s. What was once dominated by tightly-controlled access points such as AOL is now an expansive, broadly-reaching, and often ambiguously structured mirror of human communication. From time to time, we find that taking a moment to inspect past trends in websites can help to better understand the future SEO trends of the Internet. This article examines the DoubleClickAndGo website that was popular in the early 2000’s for their broad offering of software, antivirus, and random other ware.
Wide Berth of Early Internet
This website is a great example of how the Internet used to be comprised of very broadly organized websites. DoubleClickAndGo (DBGO) had a ton of different attractions to get visitors on their site. This included—but was certainly not limited to—adware alerts, drive-wiping software, PDF converters, and the essential resource page. DBGO is a great example of how a general presence of low-competition in the online space was able to allow single sites to easily target broad categories of keywords and products. For contrast, imagine how difficult it would be to rank a website for anti-virus software and PDF Converter within the scope of one SEO action plan. It’s certainly do-able, but necessitates multiple goals. You wouldn’t likely be able to leverage the same backlinks for PDF converters that you’d cultivate for antivirus software—because there are so many competitors in each space! Back in the early 2000’s, each of these categories really just fell into the category of computer software.
All About Double Click & Go
Double Click & Go was a very dated looking HTML website that had a wide range of computer software downloads available for free. This website was similar to many other websites that offered such services, and was popularly share among the chat rooms of the early Internet. In addition to free software, it would seem that this website also made a portion of it’s income through affiliate partnerships with companies such as the DVDX Studio CD burning software. The website was only a handful of landing pages and devoid of any supporting content such as blogs or helpful resources. In the modern landscape of SEO website ranking, it would be almost impossible to rank a website for keywords like computer software or computer hardware without a LOT of work. Even more specific keywords such as free antivirus computer software have grown difficult to rank and require a lot of supporting content. While it may be humorous to consider just how broad and straight forward SEO strategy was able to be in the past—such consideration can afford great value in building a perspective of the future direction of SEO.
Predicting Future SEO & SEM Trends
The DBGO website certainly was nothing of great note; really only a typical example of the types of general content to be expected in the early Internet. These types of websites were actually regarded as quite legitimate for the time, and not regarded as the spam they would appear to be today. There are a few powerful lessons that can be learned from more closely examining this website. The first, with context to predicting future trends, is seen by the stark contrast in niche-orientation of successful websites today. Sites like CNet.com and PCMag.com may still rank decently for an umbrella of ‘computer software’ keywords, even these behemoths get outranked by more niche-centric websites. Back in the day however, ranking a website for multiple categories was really only a matter of creating more backlinks than your competitors. While this consideration is certainly still a major factor today, there is much more focus given to content quality and context than ever before. DBGO is no longer an active website, as is the case with so many similar websites. Many of these types of sites and businesses have closed their doors over the years after losing large percentages of the search presence (and thus their income) after failing to spot emerging trends. The most notable; broad scope isn’t suited for websites anymore and Google favors those with deeper specialization.
Simply spotting historical website trends isn’t enough to get websites ranking well in the SERP. The key is absorbing the lessons learned from historical Internet studies and applying them in a proactive manner today. Taking action to safeguard websites before they start seeing slips in ranking and overall SERP presence is the ideal approach. Taking into consideration that websites like the DBGO site are few and far between these days, it seems reasonable to assert that broad specialization isn’t the best approach. For organizations or businesses with large resources, broad can still sometimes work. The best examples of these types of website today are the large authority sites seen in any niche. WebMD for Health, Marketwatch for Finance, and The New York Times for news. These sites all rank well for broad keyword terms like ‘personal finance’, ‘us news’, and ‘sleep better’ but they are frequently outranked for more specific long-tail keywords targeted by niche-oriented sites. This is an ever-growing trend that has been heading in a steady direction for many years now. Working to establish and maintain an ever-deepening content presence can help safeguard websites from go the way of DBGO and thrive for many years to come.
Taking a closer look at websites from the glory days of the Internet can help us better learn how to predict future SEO and SEM trends. The DoubleClickAndGo website in particular illustrates that websites that have failed to offer greater specialization throughout the years are now falling off the maps. Really, they’ve been falling off for some time now—but the last few years have been particularly harsh. Google’s search algorithm is now updated in real-time with little to no notice about official updates. Whereas past updates might have given clear and present signs of site penalties, the normal now is just slow downward trends as Google incrementally understands websites to be outdated (among many other things). While the specifics of these types of updates, and undoubtedly the nature of future updates, are very complex—the general notions of them are simple. Creating better content, getting better backlinks, and developing content with a deeper focus on keyword topics is the direction of success as we see it now. Check out our SEO services page for a better idea of some ideas on the different points of focus you should take to avoid your now successful website going the way of DoubleClickAndGo.