Many top destination sites are adding blogs and other publishing formats to their site to build their authority and market-share. This editorial content creates value, builds trust and authority, and allows for a more profitable blend of content and advertisements.
Yahoo! & Yahoo! Tech:
- Yahoo! Tech has a holiday shopping guide and a holiday gift guide as well as user voting. Notice the anchor text on those first two links...they are naming some of their services specifically for keywords.
- Yahoo! Tech also offers fake celebrity wish lists where they tell you what they suspect certain celebrities would like. Which is quite absurd considering one of their celebrities is a Yahoo! worker. How hard would it be just to go get their real wish list directly?
- Yahoo! wraps content in a small bite size video format called The 9. Notice how The 9 packages content, links off to other sites where necessary, but often features other Yahoo! content. This news is packaged as though it is not an advertisement for Yahoo!'s various content properties.
- What is scary is that the editorial is fairly lenient, occasionally adding real value. Yahoo! is posting tips on how to save money on Amazon.com.
- Amazon Advantage allows publishers and authors to customize their product level pages.
- Amazon offers author blogs, and syndicates popular blogs
- Amazon has their own product and technology blog which recently pointed out how you can try Microsoft Office 2007 for free.
Some of the large platforms have significant market leverage, capital, the ability to quickly test and track the results of tests, improving user feedback integration, recommendation engines, and are adding features to make ordering easier in higher priced and more complex verticals. Add all those forms of value creation and optimization to a blend of ads and editorial content and it is going to be hard to compete with them in the search results.
If you are a niche player and do not have a compelling editorial element or industry standard reference documents it is going to be hard to compete in a few years.
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