Here’s a couple of interesting stats:
#1: Online ad spending to double in the next 4 years.
When you’re looking to invest in (or start) a business, you want to be in a large and growing market. It’s hard to find a larger market than advertising — and it’s hard to find a faster growing segment than online. What’s most amazing to me is that online advertising still accounts for less than 10% of overall advertising. It’s easy to believe that this number will grow as the Internet becomes a bigger part of our lives. To me this spells opportunity. (data below from eMarketer)
#2: Search follows the 70-20 rule
According to compete.com, the top 1% of search users perform 13% of all searches in a given month. And the top 20% perform over 70% of searches. This begs the question: Who are Google, Yahoo, and MSN designing the product for? And is there a huge opportunity for more vertically focused or feature-rich “power search” products? Surely “10 blue links” isn’t the end state.
I consider myself a power searcher — I probaby run 30-50 queries a day. And most of those queries are focused in a few areas of business or personal interest. Take rock climbing, for example. I think it would be pretty easy to create a climbing-specific search engine that would do a better job than Google for that niche for at least 2 reasons.
1) It could be built with human knowledge of which sites are best (This is what has always set Google apart, but algorithmic approaches only get you so far)
2) It would have a better undertanding of the semantics of a search query. Put simply, it would understand the lingo. For example, in the context of rock climbing, it would know what a “route” is and could tailor results accordingly.
I think we’re only beginning to understand how to leverage the Internet to change the way we interact with each other and the world around us. The next 10 years are going to be a lot of fun.