'Inbound & Down' S3 E01: How the Loss of Net Neutrality Will Affect Digital Marketing

Ali Magno

Ali Magno
Published January 30, 2018

White text that says Season 3 Episode 1: How the Loss of Net Neutrality Will Affect Digital Marketing on an orange and purple gradient background

On this season three opener of 'Inbound & Down,' co-hosts Jon Sasala and Danielle Esposito explain how the recent repeal of net neutrality may impact digital marketing.


On December 14, 2017 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted to repeal net neutrality. This decision not only impacts our everyday access to the internet, but also how we approach digital marketing—SEO, in particular.

What is Net Neutrality?

Simply put, it means there's equality across the entire internet. It's the principle that all internet service providers (ISPs), such as Verizon and Comcast, must provide all websites and internet users with the same access. Under Net Neutrality regulations, these ISPs cannot regulate download speed or favor or restrict specific websites or content, creating an equal playing field for customers and websites alike.

Why Net Neutrality is Important to Marketers

The equal playing field Net Neutrality promotes is important to digital marketers for a number of reasons:

  • It stimulates competition between businesses of all sizes and types.
  • It eliminates advantages wealthy/established companies would have over everyday users/sites. 
  • It lessens startup costs for websites, since they don’t need to pay ISPs.
  • It fosters demand for digital marketing services that inspire organic web traffic.

What Does the Internet Look Like Without Net Neutrality?

Without Net Neutrality, ISPs are unregulated and maintain complete control over internet access. So, what does this mean for the future of the internet?

  • Some Sites Will Be In So-Called "Fast Lanes" - Specific tiers, sections of the internet, web services and companies will get faster access, while others will be slower, or even disabled, on certain ISPs.
  • Free vs. Paid Access By Some ISPs - Some websites and content will remain free, though you'll have to pay for the rest.
  • Payoffs Required For Access Or Speed - Consumers will have to pay ISPs more to access the internet, and websites will be forced to pay ISPs more to reach consumers who can't afford or choose not to pony up.
  • Slower Speeds - ISPs may control download or compression speeds for their competitors, or even websites that pay them less.

How Net Neutrality Can Affect Your SEO Efforts

If you think about it, all of the search engine optimization (SEO) digital marketers implement is made possible by a neutral internet. Without Net Neutrality, these efforts may be useless if your website won't load, or even show up in some consumers' search engine results pages (SERPs). While this is a layered and complicated subject, here's how the repeal of Net Neutrality can affect your digital marketing:

  • SEO, pay-per-click SEM, display ads, email marketing, and social media marketing may be useless for small and medium businesses.
  • Click-throughs could be impossible if a user hasn’t paid up enough to gain access to your site.
  • Consumers may be blocked from accessing your blogs, white papers, ebooks etc.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Continue building your core brand.
  • Good content prevails if it answers the question and reaches the objective of the person searching for it.
  • Don't chase trends; continue creating quality content.


Have any questions or topic suggestions? Comment below, or email us at inbound@moreycreative.com.

Recent Articles