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Will the Small-Time Web-Publisher go Extinct by 2023?

Believe it or not, it is actually quite difficult to get a website ranked on Google. Even in a relatively small niche, like “What is a blog?”, Top-Ranking Sites have in excess of 2,000 backlinks. This implies that, if you want to write a post on this subject and reach the number one position in a Google search, then you need to convince roughly 2,000 people to link to your post. That is a very difficult mark for most of us to achieve.

What is worse for the long-term prognosis of individual web-publishers (bloggers and the like), is that the number of web-sites in the world is growing very fast, … substantially faster than the rate of population growth. Consider the following graphs:

You can clearly see that population growth is following a relatively slow, linear pattern and the number of websites (not pages – and there are many pages per site), is growing according to a sharp, power curve (not quite exponential, but pretty close). This should be alarming for web-publishers because it means that the supply of competitors is growing much faster than the demand (number of potential consumers). This implies that competition will become substantially more acute in the next twenty-five years. Want more proof? Let’s go ahead and look at the twenty-five-year forecast.

This chart shows the twenty-five-year forecast for population growth and the number of websites on separate axes – like doing two separate graphs and then super-imposing the charts.

The reason that I have done this is to acquaint you with the shape of the curves over the next twenty-five years.

Here you can clearly see that population growth is relatively slow and steady while the number of websites is growing at a rapid and accelerating pace. The ‘R-square’ values on the chart refer to the percentage of total variation that the forecast lines account for (99.98% for population growth and 97.54% for website growth).

Now if this hasn’t gotten your attention, let’s put them on the SAME axis – a single chart for both growth trends.

Here we can clearly see that – if trends over the last twenty-eight years continue – then there will be substantially more websites on the planet earth than there are people to consume them. Again, both curves have highly significant R-square values, implying that the forecasts are pretty solid. To further resolve this issue, let’s take a look at the forecasted number of websites per person on the planet over the next twenty-five years – a clear, unambiguous measure of supply and demand.

Here we can clearly see what I’m talking about. Starting with 1 website in 1991 and growing to 1,630,322,579 websites in 2018 (the newest data I could find), we find that there are roughly 0.21 websites per person on the planet at the present time (one site for every five people), but by 2023, there will be roughly fifty-five websites per person on the Planet Earth!

You might ask, how is this even possible???

Well, as it turns out, there are many professional web-publishing companies that are responsible for publishing many websites per employee.

This could be anything from small time web developers to large corporate digital marketing corporations.

But any way you slice it, the prognosis is not good for small-time publishers who have to wear all the hats simultaneously – from research to writing to link acquisition to social media marketing. Individuals and small companies will have a tremendously difficult time competing in the market of 2023, when there will be 300 times more competition than there currently exists, even for the smallest niches on the market.

So, if you ever considered becoming a professional blogger, you might want to think twice.

New tools are coming out daily that make this dream a ‘possibility’ for larger numbers of people every day, but the chances of actually being found on the internet in 2023 are becoming diminishingly small.

You can still participate for fun, but I don’t anticipate that many of us will be able to drive enough traffic for traditional affiliate programs to support full-time work in this field in the future.

Just my two cents, …

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