Repealing Net Neutrality Affects Your Business & SEO: True Or False?
How the End of Net Neutrality Affects Your Online Business
By now, every American has probably learned the FCC has ended the Obama era law guaranteeing net neutrality. The problem is, however, very few actually knows what this potentially means for individuals and business.
First, keep in mind that net neutrality wasn’t enacted until 2015 only as a preemptive measure in order to prevent possible favoritism of sites based upon a payment system. It should be noted, that prior to net neutrality no corporations or internet providers were actually utilizing this advantage.
In that sense, the effects of its ending are all very speculative at this point. But given the publicity this has received, one is only left thinking that seeds have been already been sown for companies like Google to move in that direction.
All most of us know that the lack of net neutrality potentially means that all websites and streaming services will no longer be treated equally. But what on earth does this even mean?
Most news accounts emphasize only that this means large and wealthy sites such as Netflix, for example, will potentially be able to pay for faster loading and playback speed and then translate that cost to customers. The smaller, lesser known sites will be slowed down in speed unless they pay an additional fee, again, with the actual cost shifting to their users.
Essentially, the end of net neutrality comes down to a “pay to play” system where the wealthy, better used online services have the clear advantage over the lesser known and used sites.
But it potentially means much more than that and can affect businesses in a number of ways.
— Netflix US (@netflix) June 15, 2017
What this means for SEO and Search Engine Marketing?
The end of net neutrality will undoubtedly bring huge changes in how SEO is gained and maintained. It will most likely be determined by who is the highest bidder rather than the keyword driven algorithms that are currently used.
What this means for business is that all of your SEO enrichment efforts will become meaningless and ranking will be determined by who is the highest bidder.
The more a site is willing to pay the higher they will rank.
As it currently stands small business is on an equal footing with sites like Amazon when it comes to ranking. If you can develop the right keywords and formatting you have the same opportunity to rank higher than even the big boys.
All of this is about to change with the end of net neutrality.
Instead, the deeper your pockets, the higher your business will rank. Gone is the level playing field of an unbiased keyword driven algorithm.
Outside advertising: The annoying pop-ups!
Remember the annoying pop-up ads of the nineties when the internet first gained an international following. They would pop-up on almost any site or page the user landed on whether you desired them or not.
That would all return with a renewed aggressiveness.
The first era of pop-up ads virtually ended with simple programs computer users loaded to block them. But Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are a lot more sophisticated today and are able to override these programs.
Under the net neutrality law, these search engines are not permitted to advertise on individual websites. The end of this law will mean that once again if you have the cash a site can pay to remove these ads while other sites are loaded with them.
This means that Amazon with their billions in revenue will be ad-free because they were able to pay while the sites of mom and pop businesses will be loaded with them whether they want them or not.
Google was already working to refine its advertising to include individually controlled sites with or without the law. Under the new rules, this becomes much easier, completely legal and highly likely.
Slower speeds or locked out all together
The end of net neutrality also means that unless a business is able to pay to do otherwise, the search engines can slow your site to the point where it drives clients off because of slow loading speeds or they can lock out a website altogether.
Your website would be essentially held hostage until you finally relent to pay the “ransom.” Because there is absolutely no regulation mandating what a search engine may charge the cost to free a site could be almost anything.
Businesses will literally be blackmailed and extorted into paying a monthly fee just to be available to the general public.
None of this, however, will even be an issue to the corporate controlled site because they have the resources to pay almost any price and the volume of customers to disperse this cost at levels that may not even enough to be noticed.
All of this at the expense of small, independent businesses.
Show us the cash
You can see for yourself the pattern that’s emerging here. If you’ve got the cash then net neutrality is basically meaningless to you, but if you don’t you’re going to be at a real disadvantage at every level.
If we really want to be blackmailed by corporations into paying whatever they demand for the “privilege” of just having a website, then kill net neutrality.
The good news in all of this is that the measure to kill net neutrality is being seriously challenged in the courts by several states along with the ACLU. The outcome of these lawsuits remains unknown but what isn’t a mystery are the repercussions to small and medium business.
Given the lack of bottomless pockets, many businesses will be priced out of the internet altogether. This is not the direction we want to see the web go.The bottom line is that a free and open web is good for all businesses and provides a level playing field where all sites have an equal opportunity to compete.
The internet was opened up for average people in order to enhance our lives and not hamper them. This is why we must all fight hard for a continued free and open web for everyone.