Research is an important part of running a business. Depending on the industry, research may occupy a higher or lower rung in the ladder of business success. Research has always been an integral part of business operations. Some businesses, such as those in the advertising business, have relied on accurate research as a matter of life and death. Today, research is so important that no business can afford to neglect it. The Internet has changed the whole approach of research to the point where old techniques may no longer work.
To research a topic or subject means locating and absorbing information about the topic in general but also including specific sub-topics, statistics, projections, analysis and historical data, if applicable. Research is important to understand new and existing markets, historical trends, demographic shifts and coming to terms with failures or successes. Doing research on the Internet means approaching these concepts in new ways.
Firstly, the advent of marketing techniques like search engine optimization or search engine marketing, otherwise known as SEO and SEM, has had unintended consequences for Internet research. Businesses in similar industries can find that doing research for their own purposes very often leads them to their competitors’ resources or websites. SEO and SEM work by linking business websites to certain keywords. When users search for those keywords, they move up in the rankings and get more traffic.
Unfortunately, this can hinder research for businesses who use those same keywords. However, smart businesses will turn this seeming disadvantage into a boon for themselves. They can use their competitors’ rankings to determine what works and what does not work. By studying high-ranking websites for keywords they wish to dominate, businesses discover what their competitors are doing to get those high rankings, opening up opportunities to mimic them.
In the world of Internet research, so much information abounds that sorting it can be challenging. Trends research for identifying specific consumer behavior patterns is readily available. Companies can also use tools like Google Trends to identify popular search patterns to help them with SEO or SEM. A more recent type of research is part of a mega-trend called big data.
Big data refers to the idea that information technology is now so prevalent that every sector of the economy generates information to process and analyze. Big data means a new type of analyst may soon be on the horizon: Someone who can crunch data to tease out trends and anomalies, not just someone who can crunch numerical data. Big data is changing how many industries dependent on information operate.
In the final analysis, Internet research is limited by the sheer volume of information available. Overabundance itself becomes a hindrance. A desirable researcher is someone who knows how to discriminate between two apparently similar pieces of information. Sorting through this overwhelming amount of data will be the new trait that makes or breaks businesses. In the information age, quality and not quantity is what counts in order to succeed.
Juliana is an avid researcher on webhosting tech news for InMotion Hosting, a top ranking companyy in the world of web hosting and VPS technologies. If you would like to collaborate with Juliana on webhosting news for example gaining more exposure, or content exchange, please reach out directly to her Twitter account @JulianaPayson.