What's New on the Internet?
A lot has changed on the Internet in the last year. The Search Engines have changed their business model in order to stay alive. More people are using high speed access (DSL, Cable or Satellite) to surf the Web, and the average computers are much faster and come with larger monitors. All of this affects how your website is seen and if it turns up in the Search Engines.
The Search Engines are still "spidering" the Internet, reading page codes and ranking websites. Regularly submitting your site to them and making sure that your keywords are in the page title and are worked into the page coding is still vitally important.
Many of the Search Engines are now offering paid placement, allowing advertisers to bid on keywords. This "pay-per-click" model can be a relatively inexpensive way to bid for placement. An advertiser identifies the keywords they want to be recognized by and places a bid. The top two or three bids show as either "Sponsored Websites" or "Featured Websites" at the top of the Search Engine page. Advertisers only pay when a person clicks on their link.
People are also upgrading their computers and monitors, while accessing the Internet at higher speeds. A faster computer and high speed access, means that Flash animations and Virtual Reality panoramas, normally loading in a couple of minutes, load in a matter of seconds. Websites are also able to exhibit a larger number of images per page.
The average monitor size has also increased. A 17" monitor now comes standard with most computer systems. Our company is now designing webpages that are approximately 15% wider than previous years.
When deciding the look and feel of your website, you need to know your audience. The people on the higher end of the financial scale will be the ones with the high speed access (now 20% of the market) and the high end equipment. They will be able to view and enjoy all of the bells and whistles you supply. Current statistics are showing the majority of people are reluctant to spend the extra money for high speed Internet access. If they are part of your target audience, you will still need to keep your website simple; a smart concept no matter what the design.