Companies hoping to make easy money by creating a site on the World Wide Web are likely to be in for a rude awakening, said Steve Kirsch, founder and chairman of Infoseek.
Speaking at Internet World Berlin, Kirsch advised businesses that are considering building a presence on the Web to take a cautious, traditional approach.
"The list of people who do not make money is huge," Kirsch said. "Companies can't just go on the Internet and expect that millions of dollars are going to flow in."
"It's fairly mundane," he continued, "But the best way to use the Internet is to create a Web site, put material on it and advertise that Web site the same way you would advertise other services."
Another key to having a successful site, Kirsch said, is checking log files that reveal key information about sites access - such as how frequently pages are visited.
But even with the explosion of Web sites on the Internet - from 1000 in 1994 to one million in 1997 - information about businesses is still easier to find in the Yellow Pages than on the Web, Kirsch said.
By the end of the century, he predicted, only about 2000 Web sites will be popular enough to generate $US1 million or more in advertising revenue.
At Internet World Berlin, Infoseek also announced a localised German version of its online search and information software, giving German Internet users a new way to search Web sites in their native language. The software will join French and Italian versions of Infoseek, already available on the Web.
Germany represents a main component of Infoseek's international business plan because it plays an important role in the European Internet scene, Kirsch said in a statement released at Internet World Berlin.
The new service lets users search through indexes of local Web sites using Infoseek's search engine.
The new site can be accessed at Infoseek's home page, www.infoseek.com. The company hopes to find a German partner for the German service by the end of Q3.