How the End of Net Neutrality Could Affect Digital Marketing
Net neutrality is often termed as ‘Level Playing Field’ for all the websites, thus helping the startups and blogs to develop and make a place for themselves in the industry. However, with the Federal Communication Committee (FCC) latest hearing, people, as well as companies, are trying to check what they will have on the platter once net neutrality comes to an end.
The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been vying for the end of net neutrality for a long time, as it would help them greatly in earning free money. The ISPs are always willing to possess the power to select which website reaches to you at a faster pace and which one at slower. As a result of this, companies will be forced to buy band slots so that their website could reach the users at a faster pace. Time is very important in today’s world and in such a scenario, no one will like to wait for a website which loads slowly. As a result of this, the sites which have paid to acquired higher bandwidth will automatically acquire an upper hand over the other small websites, thus shattering the convention of a level playing field and sending digital marketing tricks like social media marketing and SEO into jeopardy.
What will be the effect on SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, popularly referred to as SEO is definitely one of the digital marketing methodologies that are going to take a hit if net neutrality is abolished. SEO has been a key player in rewarding the sites which have been disciplined and have worked efficiently to get a good score. A good score converts into a higher ranking, thus increasing the probability of the site being visited often by the users searching for that keyword.
An important part of the SEO is time taken for loading of the website, a factor which is even more crucial for internet facilities on mobile. Smartphones are considered as the future of internet technology, and the performance of the website on mobile is very important. Coming to the point, the websites or companies who have done all other SEO related works efficiently but do not have money to make fat payments to the Internet Service Provider would be clawed back down the rankings, something they do not deserve. Even if the search engines come up with ways to tackle these problems by new updates to the existing ranking algorithm, the problem will not end.
Say if after doing the search, you get the list of websites ranked efficiently as per SEO scores. You click the first result and it takes five minutes to load. You click the second one and it takes three minutes to load. Now, you click the third one and it takes three seconds to load. So, next time when you search for the same or different term, which website would you prefer when the result comes up – first, second or the third one? Any internet user will definitely choose the third one because no one has the patience to wait for five minutes for loading of a single webpage. So, the SEO will become a non-efficient player in the website visit business, as good work on SEO would not mean anything to the number of visitors who visit it.
How is the organic traffic from digital marketing expected to be affected?
Organic traffic is the second major source of visits for the websites. Since the inception of social media marketing, the promotion of websites on social media has been earning them lot of visits. The direct traffic, as well as organic traffic generated from these social media websites, is very much the direct result of digital marketing. Digital marketing strategies and their implementation decide how often a visitor is expected to click on your website link after seeing your promotion.
When net neutrality is abolished, digital marketing is definitely going to lose its sheen. If you come across a nice and decent ad on the net and decide to have a detailed look at it, you click on the website link present there. However, if you find that it takes six to seven minutes to load that website, would you wait for the website to load just to see what the ad was about. If you would, you are a patient man and definitely do not represent the mass.