The common saying on the Internet has always been; content is king. People say this because the Internet is mainly used by people to obtain information. Thus, they conclude that content (a.k.a. Information) is king. But I think they’re all wrong. Search is king. Search engines are king of the Internet. Why? We can look at this from a monetary perspective, and importance perspective.
Google’s click through rate is currently standing at about 10%. And they earn an average of $0.70 per search. That means, Google earns about 7 cents per pageview. That’s quite a lot of money when you consider that Google handles billions of search queries every year. Now let’s look at the content creation companies, such as Yahoo & Demand Media. They earn about 0.9 cents per pageview, if you care to do all the mathematical calculations. So if you view it from a monetary perspective, search is definitely king. Search engines such as Google make way more money (per pageview) than content creation companies. Shouldn’t the king of Internet also be the richest and most profitable thing?
Now let’s look at the importance of content, compared to the importance of search engines. As stated above, content is definitely important. People go to the Internet for the main purpose of finding information (content). However, anyone can create content. This makes it hard for a king to emerge in the content creation industry. But how do people find the information (content) they want on the Internet? That is why search engines are so popular. Search engines (especially Google) literally control the Internet. They decide which websites will be ranked high and viewed frequently by users, and they also decide which websites will rank poorly, thus often neglected by users.
Thus, search is king. Search engines literally control the content found on the Internet. They decide which content will be displayed prominently, and which content won’t. Search engines are like kings, and content (content companies) can be considered as their subjects.