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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Increased Market Saturation and Competition

One thing you can count on with the Web is continued growth. Despite its constantly growing index, a lot of the pages in Google may be low-quality or duplicate-content-type pages that will never see the light of day. The Web is a big place, but one where the signal-to-noise ratio is very low.

One major trend emerges from an analysis of Internet usage statistics. According to Miniwatts Marketing Group, as of March 2011, 78.3% of the North American population were using the Internet (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm), so there is not much room for growth here. In contrast, Asia, which already had by far the most Internet users (922 million), had a penetration rate of only 23.8%. Other regions where there is a great deal of opportunity for growth include Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

This data is telling us that in terms of the number of users, North America is already approaching saturation. There is some room for growth in Europe and Oceania/Australia, where penetration rates hover at around 60%, but not that much. However, in Asia we could still see massive growth, to 2 to 3 billion users! The bottom line is that a lot of Internet growth in the coming decade will be outside North America, and that will provide unique new business opportunities for those who are ready to capitalize on that growth.

With the growth in Internet users has come an increasing awareness of what needs to be done to obtain traffic. The search ...

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