Getting Noticed

In my experience, the hardest thing for any website or other online offering is getting noticed.  Some things to think about:

  • The competition is enormous — as of mid-2013 there are about 4 billion webpages in about 700 million sites
  • Services which submit your site to multiple search engines are basically worthless and perhaps harmful.  Go to Google and Bing, tell them about your site, and if at all possible, submit a sitemap
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may not be very effective — but try it anyway — the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast gets great reviews, from those who believe in SEO
  • The best possible way to get noticed is to provide good content
  • The next best way is to provide a lot of links — do both

There is no easy answer to this problem.  Even if you do put up good content, nobody may ever see it.  That is just wrong, it is evidence that for all of its amazing successes, the Internet is still not working.

I have put up some good material on the web, I think, material which deserves being noticed, I think, but in general it is not — I can be sure of that: WordPress Jetpack Stats clearly showshow many visitors my sites have.  Don’t assume that just because you have an attractive site, people are looking at it.  There really is too much competition — too many websites and pages.

If we were to suppose that only one in a million Internet users would be interested in what you have to say, there must be hundreds of them.  Having even a few of those hundreds pay attention to what you have is much too difficult.

The converse is true as well.  Let’s suppose that you would only be interested in one out of a million web pages.  Even that’s not narrow enough.  Suppose you would be interested in only one out of 10 million web pages.  There would still be hundreds which would fascinate you.  Your chances of finding them is low.

These are signal-to-noise ratio problems.  The mass of web pages is like noise, drowning out your signal, so that the people who would be most interested in what you have to say will not be able to detect your presence on the web.  Similarly the vast torrent of noise makes it hard for you to find the signals representing the web pages most important to you.

I believe that these are technological problems and have a technological solution.  They are problems of social technology, related to the problem of finding love in a world of possible relationships, or finding a job in the world of possible ones.

This page exists not only to direct your attention to the general problem of matching authors and readers, content and viewers, but to all the problems of social technology, and to ask for your help in solving them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *