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Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Top “Dot Bomb” Era Websites — Where Are They Now?

By Bryan Eisenberg
October 9th, 2007

compete_logo.jpgEarlier this morning, our team was waxing on about Google’s (GOOG) record share price, and whether the company would maintain its dominance for years to come. We got to talking about big-shot online players of the past, and I mentioned that a lot of the top sites from years ago are now either gone or, worse, forgotten. So, when I came across Max Freiert’s recent post on the Compete blog, “Internet Allstars ’01: Where are they now?“, I felt vindicated.

compete_2001.jpgAs you can see, not only has almost every site on the list (save for Google and a few others) dropped considerably, there’s (obviously) no sign of many of today’s top players. No Facebook. No MySpace. No Wikipedia. No Craigslist. In fact, a lot of folks around here were surprised to see that Google came in at #12 — which seems pretty high, although this was when they started to get popular.

Say what you will about “attention” as a metric; it still shows that being the Web’s “next big thing” isn’t necessarily a goal worth having. (No offense to Neopets.com, but free cartoon screen saver downloads don’t quite have the “wow”-factor they used to.) Six trips around the Sun may not be a long time in human-years, but in Internet-years, it’s a lifetime.

When one company owns 40% of the market for online advertising, it’s just not sustainable (30% would be a much healthier number). Google may be one of the most important companies of this Internet era, but let’s face it: they don’t have the assets or a General Motors or the customer loyalty of, say, Wal-Mart. The other search engines are innovating faster. And, let’s not forget, Microsoft will go to great lengths to steal advertising market share.

Online, success means running a marathon, not sprinting to the top. As we’ve said since 2001, beware of selling yourself short on traffic.

What do you think? Will Google be the top dog in another six years?

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Comments (4)

  1. Yea, I think Google will still be top dog. Today they scooped up Jaiku and they will continue to buy small companies at a discount. Plus Google will be following the success of Facebook applications to move into a better position with Social Networking. Google originally wanted to you to search and leave, now they also want you to be addicted to all their free services for years to come. It will take a lot for another company to get more “attention”.

  2. Yes, as long as Google continues to acquire smaller companies with potential such as Kaltix (2003), Ignite Logic (2004), Keyhole, Inc (2004)., Where2 (2004), Urchin Software (2005), Dodgeball (2005), Measure Map (2006), Orion (2006), YouTube (2006), Endoxon (2006), Marratech Video Conferencing Software (2007), Feed Burner (2007), Peak Stream (2007), Zingku (2007) and most recently, Jaiku, (2007) and more.

    These purchases, among others have no doubt been the reason for the 381% increase since 2001. Take a look at the past purchases, there is a definite relationship between the, demand of searchers to the supply from Google. As long as it (Google) continues to ‘listen’ it will continue growth. Google is moving along at a steady pace, look at the acquisitions and then take a glance in the direction that the average user is looking, Google seems to be one step ahead.

    I wonder what Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin think of their creation now?

  3. [...] touched on the topic yesterday, and Scoble, Dave Winer and the Guardian are debating the concept over at Techmeme. [...]

  4. That is an interesting list that you linked to, but note that the methodology is a bit suspect, as several people in the comments pointed out.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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