SEOmoz's decision to charge money for access 'premium' content interests me. It's a brave move and I'm going to be really interested to see how or if it works. The SEO world can be bi-polar at times. This move doesn't align easily with the divisions.
You could just about argue that there are two broad types of SEO services; off-the-shelf and the consultancy. Off-the-shelf is often cheap; sites that submit your URL to thousands of directories (don't do it!) or people keen to automated as much as possible (often spammy). The consultancy option can be on the brand-aware side where the full search agency provides copywriters, project managers, synergy with off-line and add-ons like "just for your company newsletters".
Before you even get to examining which style of SEO service the searcher/prospect might be interested you should consider two types of search; research and commercial.
Blogs are typically match with research searches. Agency sites are typically more commercial. Those of you who remember the Florida update will remember a time when Google swung SERPs in favour of research.
SEOmoz's new service sits in the middle of research and commercial. It also sits in the middle between off-the-shelf (you get what everyone else gets) and agency (you can ask questions).
As it happens, according to MSN, different blogs and web sites in general have a different likelihood of being commercially focused or researched focus. Different searches also have a different likelihood of being commercial or research. As it turns out the search [SEOmoz] is one of the least commercial searches out there.
Here's a quick top ten table of blog searches (not URLs) which I watch according to Microsoft.
|Commercial Intent in Blog Searches|
|Search Engine Watch||0.52685|
|Bruce Clay Blog||0.052504|
|Search Engine Land||0.04503|
|SEO by the Sea||0.024741|
|Search Engine Journal||0.022691|
Microsoft's tool to measure this intent (closer to 1 is stronger) can be found over at their adLabs but be aware it does change.
I found the results interesting. So I took an even wider scatter of other sites I read - I call them "thought leaders" and compared the commercial intent for brand searches. As a rule, the blog searches were more commercial, even compared to the FT.
|Commercial Intent in Thought Leaders|
|Search Engine Strategies||0.060776|
It certainly looks like Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim a search term that MSN considers highly commercial. This could well be due to the word "marketing" delimited with spaces. Does anyone have a blog search term that's more commercial? Does anyone have a blog any less commercial than Lee Odden's TopRankBlog?