10. Optimization

“Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination.”

—Mark Twain

The Internet is an increasingly crowded and competitive place. In economic terms, the Internet is an efficient marketplace, in which the cost of acquiring traffic has quickly risen to level at or just below what the average vendor can monetize that traffic for. This is especially true in auction-based ad markets such as Google AdWords, but the effects of increased competition are evident everywhere. Search engine optimization (SEO) was once seen as a bastion of free traffic for those who couldn’t afford direct marketing channels such as pay per click (PPC). Companies could apply a little effort and get considerable ...

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