Since Google.com launched in 1996 using “Page Rank” — aptly named after (i) a novel approach of displaying search results inspired by the peer review of academic articles, and (ii) co-founder Larry Page’s last name — Internet search engines entered a new phase. Soon Google began to dominate Yahoo (founded 2 years earlier) in natural or “organic” search (i.e. the search results that advertisers don’t pay for).
In 2000 and 2002, when Google realized it needed to make money on its traffic, Google adopted and improved upon the “paid search” and cost-per-click bidding strategies originally started by another search pioneer, Goto.com/Overture, later acquired by Yahoo in 2003. Without Yahoo’s acquisition of Overture in “search”, it’s not clear Yahoo would have even survived long enough to be acquired by Verizon in 2017 – and certainly not for the $4.5 billion it ultimately sold for.
Our point in telling you these bits of search history? “Shit happens” faster than you think. One algorithm change by Google can knee-cap your business. So you need to approach search and digital media like it’s an investment portfolio. (Our friends at Rise Interactive in Chicago, founded by Jon Morris, call this philosophy “Interactive Investment Management” based on modern portfolio theory.)
In short, you need to constantly manage and fine-turn your portfolio of digital investments as platforms and search strategies go in & out of favor. We’re here to help.