Dissertation/Thesis Ideas on Areas of IM

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Slightly off topic but I would really appreciate any Ideas that might inspire me on picking a good dissertation topic. I was thinking on maybe something on SEO, Paid traffic or Social media but I am struggling to narrow it down as they can be so very broad. To make it work I need to answer a problem, then back it up with evidence. Maybe even bring something new to the table from research and maybe even use a case study.
With black hat/white hat marketing and the mysteries of how Google operate and know our every move, there must be some good topics in there.
I'd appreciate your thoughts, especially if you have had to do one of these before.
  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    What's your field? Internet marketing is very multidisciplinary and I could imagine a variety of interesting dissertation ideas in all sorts of fields, from computer science to linguistics to psychology to economics to entrepreneurship to marketing to... Well, you get the idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author centuriprime
    I would like to do something on Traffic generation paid and SEO, as that is the area I could benefit the most from learning. My course is a very general computing course.
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  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    One interesting topic would be to try to understand what SEO practices really matter. There are a lot of rumors out there -- few (if any) of them with any actual data to support them.

    As one example: There's a common belief that posts should be of a certain length or that you should have certain amount of keywords in your posts or you should avoid having affiliate links or whatever else. I strongly suspect most of these rumors are complete bunk or at best mistaking correlation with causation. For instance, people often say that longer articles rank better, something I tend to agree with. However, I don't think they rank better because Google is rewarding content because that content has more words in it, but rather it's rewarding that content because longer content is usually more useful to a reader. Google is picking up signals such as the fact that people are staying on the page longer, not clicking back to the search results, sharing the content with friends over social media, etc. and then ranking the longer articles higher.

    All that said... I don't really have much evidence for my position either. Which is where you could come in.

    One thing you could do is to try to use real data to try to dispell or validate one or more of these SEO myths. You certainly wouldn't be the first or last to try to do so, but as Google is constantly evolving I think there's room for research like that. If you do decide to go down a route like that, you might look at what other researchers have done to try to model and understand Google's algorithms. The paper, How to Improve Your Google Ranking: Myths and Reality (IEEE Xplore Document - How to Improve Your Google Ranking: Myths and Reality) is one example of many.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
    "the mysteries of how Google operate" yeah this will give some exposure

    to give you a hint: initially they put this in their base files " do no evil"

    this has been erased in the latest valid statement. Check it out, its true.

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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Another good one is "Why Microsoft is Evil".

    I have had Windows 7, for more than a year, and so far their updates have crippled my Laptop sound, (so even if the sound is maxed out, it is barely hearable, on my own videos and Youtube).

    And they have messed with Word 2003, but thankfully that wasn't too bad.

    Also tried to push through an update that cripples Photoshop cs2, which l have resisted til very recently, when it was forced through, becuase l was silly enough to initiate it, expecting to be able to use System Restore or Ghosting the update.

    And you cannot even go to the registry to remove it!

    Microsoft also brings up a popup screen saying "Scan your external hard drive for viruses", which l haven't done, since Norton has and has found nothing.

    And online others have, with it going on a rampage and destroying a lot of files.

    Microsoft only cares about business partners, and screwing their customer base so you are forced to update a handful of key software!

    Adobe suite is $2500, (no old versions are available in AU) apart from next to useless student ones, (which l am not) or the $50 a month online ones, or spend $600 a year, and wait forever for a 300mg file to load, groan.

    I have to update to a new Laptop, which overall is good, since l can get a i7, secondhand for not much, and see a big boost in speed. Also get more memory since l keep tripping over lack of memory with my current 320 gig drive.

    Not sure if you have to read it outloud, but l am sure anyone with w7 or 10, would be interested.

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    The evil comments are silly. It's a safe bet those folks are still using the exact same products they rant are evil.

    OP it's simple, SEO ranks pages. Idea + Proof = Done

    To keep it simple just make up a fake keyword with zero competition. Optimize for the keyword and the page will rank on Google SERPs. Don't optimize for the keyword and the page won't rank on Google SERPs.
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  • Profile picture of the author centuriprime
    What would you think on the subject of black hat and white hat marketing as a dissertation subject and any angles with that?
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