The thought that 'demographics are destiny' is one that did not enter my conscious for the greater part of my life. I think that may be because, when you're younger, you don't tend to think of things from the perspective of the group, community or nation, but instead from the much narrower perspective of your own self. Or maybe I was just living in a Utopian cloud where the future was always going to be shining and bright, and the thought of failure or the ultimate end that we all face as individuals was just too far in the future to comprehend.

But for anyone who retains the bad (well bad news) habit of reading contemporary news and opinion, the idea that many countries in the 'Western world' are not having enough children to maintain their populations over the relatively short run of two or three generations bespeaks of a looming population crisis that seems inevitable, yet that is for the most part being blithely ignored by the very people whose cultural identity hangs in the balance.

It's kind of a strange concept to wrap your mind around, I admit. And the reasons why people are not having enough children to replace themselves (actually, the number needed to achieve indigenous population growth is at minimum 2.1) are varied and easy to comprehend -- the cost of raising children has risen exponentially, consumerism has shifted the focus of living onto the self, marriage as an institution has faltered, and on and on.

Now, if you love your country or your culture, this phenomenon is kind of sad. Who wants to think that the things they have come to love and cherish about life and the world they live in will not endure? As a father, it has made me a bit sorrowful I'm not ashamed to admit; Will the world my son grows to adulthood in bear any resemblance to the one I grew up in? Maybe not.

But, one thing I heard in relation to all of this had the effect of making me feel a little better about what may ultimately come to be. "The future belongs to those who show up." 

And that's really the important point. Whatever the future holds, and wherever Humankind ends up 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1000 years from now, the World will be populated by those whose parents saw enough promise in the future to make the commitment and the sacrifices necessary to have kids and raise them. Where the people of tomorrow came from or how they think of themselves from the perspective of their heredity isn't unimportant, but it not the most important thing -- not by a long shot. The world, and all its promise, will belong to them because 'they showed up!' One thing you'll learn from talking to kids  is that they accept the world as they came into it -- they haven't known it any other way.

The Future Belongs to Those Who Show Up First on Google

I'm sure you're asking, "what the heck does this have to do with SEO?" And the answer is this: The virtual world of the Internet is a lot like the real one in many ways. One of them is that today's Internet is a lot different than the Internet that existed five, ten or fifteen years ago. And so too, the Internet of five, ten or fifteen years in the future probably won't bear much of a resemblance to how we experience it now. Many businesses will fail the test of navigating those changes, and others yet unheard of will rise to prominence online that Internet users in the future will think of as being ubiquitous as Amazon, Ebay, and of course, Google.

And what is the key to at least still being a vibrant destination on the World Wide Web? (World Wide Web! Do most folks even remember that term? Talk about the changing landscape of the Internet!) Well, the key is to keep doing what it takes to show up first when people type in the search terms most likely to bring them to your web site, and then, once they arrive, have the products or services they're looking for so that they become a customer rather than a visitor. The future belongs to those who show up first on Google! And, should it come to pass that Google actually isn't the top search destination fifteen years from now, that's OK, as long as your company is at the top of the search listings on whatever company has taken its place! 


Don't compete — DOMINATE.