walkman - 7:22 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
the golden days of the WWW was 1996/97 to 2006/07
And only those that broke the rules made real money. Although Google is trying to Walmarterize the web and steal everyone's lunch money with a million ads and Google services on SERPS, there's some hope. I said right after Panda that it's a bad time to start a web biz, simply because Goog has made it clear it wants to favor big businesses...and get in that business too, as if everything else wasn't enough. The killer was giving long tails to big sites as well, essentially trying to kill small sites.
You cannot compete with those sites, they have huge media companies that plant stories, press releases, social media advisors, sponsored blogs and god knows what. And if they cross the line, they don't get penalized, but we do. I was shocked to learn that Overstock was only 2 months in a penalty.
As a niche, health is out IMO, so is travel, forget about local search or one page dui-layer-in-my-small-town.org type of sites. The other problem is that living in the west you need a lot of money and that the internet has 'matured' and it gets progressively harder now. But I don't think Panda as it is will last. There is no way the web will stand that Google kills all the small sites to send traffic to the top ones. People will embrace competition.
Think .cctlds or buying a good domain name? At least you have a fighting chance with a top domain name.
Don't forget that Google has matured as well, they need to milk search as much as they can. That's 98% or so of their $$$. They have reached or will soon reached a growth plateau so they will not resist tightening the noose on our necks. Bing is still flowing in Microsoft Office and Windows money.