Exponential Search Engine Traffic Growth – The Beauty and Frustration of the Internet

By: Tim Wright

The internet is structured in such a way as to facilitate explosive, exponential growth.

Most of us know about the internet’s explosive potential to make millionaires almost overnight through search engine traffic, and this potential is quite often what attracts many people to do business online.

The problem, however, is that we often don’t realize the amount of hard work and dedication that it takes to actually see and experience this type of amazing and lucrative growth.

If we were to graph a website’s traffic growth by the amount of effort put into the website (using various search engine optimization methods – on page optimization, reciprocal linking etc), we would get an exponential curve.

As we can see from the shape of an exponential graph, exponential traffic growth requires a lot of initial effort with very few results at first.

Then after time, the search engine traffic growth begins to increase very rapidly, compounding exponentially with very little effort required to dramatically increase traffic.

Unfortunately, we are most used to thinking in terms of a linear graph when it comes to the amount of effort put in versus the results that we see.

What I mean by this is that typically we feel that we should be able to see an immediate increase in our search engine traffic growth, directly related to the effort that we put in, as it is with most other jobs.

In a linear growth situation (which is typical of most jobs), we can see that the more effort we put in, the more immediate results we see, so the growth/results (or lack thereof) would be seen immediately and would be directly related to the amount of effort put into the job.

However, this isn’t the case with exponential growth on the internet.

If we refer back to an exponential growth graph of the amount of traffic growth for a website, we can clearly see that at the beginning stages of search engine traffic generation, there is often a lot more effort put out than actual results seen.

If we were to compare the linear and exponential growth graphs by overlaying them, we would quickly see the dramatic differences between the two graphs.

That being said, if we view search engine traffic growth as being linear – instead of exponential - we would expect that if we were to increase our efforts, we would see immediate results in the amount of traffic that we get.

You can see where the problem lies.

If we start a website thinking that the amount of effort that we put into growing our search engine traffic will have a direct and immediate impact on the amount of traffic and growth that our website sees (the linear graph), but in reality, it is based on an exponential growth curve you can see how one could quickly become discouraged.

Think of exponential search engine growth as planting seeds and linear search engine growth as building a house. When you are building a house, you can see that the harder and longer you work, the quicker you see and experience the results. On the other hand, planting seeds often requires a lot of up front effort without a lot of results before you can get some growth. But when the seeds start growing, they grow and mature fairly quickly with a lot less effort than when you first planted them.

The exponential growth of the internet requires a lot more up front effort, which doesn’t achieve much in the way of immediate results, in order to realize the super traffic growth with very little effort later on.

This is why so many people give up in the early phases of search engine optimization and traffic growth – they simply don’t see the results that they feel their effort should have earned them.

So they quit.

Unfortunately for them, if they had known that they were dealing with an exponential growth curve (not a linear growth curve), they may have endured long enough to reap the benefits and succeed in their online venture.

That being said, in addition to understanding what kind of growth environment we are in when we deal with the internet, we must also use the techniques for traffic generation that are best suited to take advantage of the explosive exponential growth that is available for us on the internet.

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