In an article in Advertising Age Google CEO Eric Schmidt has suggested the Internet is fast becoming a cesspool. I think he's right about this and his claim that brands could be the future of the net.
So how has it all gone so wrong?
Well, Google's job is to index the web and serve up relevant results to it's search engine users. A web site owners job is to create relevant content. On the face of it these two things should work in perfect harmony. However they don't.
They don't work because instead of website owners doing their bit they prefer to game the search engines and blag their way to the top of the search rankings. This approach simply adds to the spam-o-sphere.
The problem for website owners who choose to take the spam route instead of the road less travelled is they are not building a brand and this could be a huge mistake in the long run.
I've long argued that quality matters. To me it just felt intrinsically like the right thing to do, but I was missing the real reason it matters. If you concentrate on quality, creating something useful, building something people need you are, in fact, starting on the long road to developing a brand. But why do brands matter?
Brands matter because people trust brands and building trust online may become the defining filter that separates the good stuff from the the rest, the cesspool.