Monday, February 05, 2007

How commercial is your blog?

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
Marketing Pilgrim0.8083
Search Engine Watch0.52685
bigmouthmedia news0.30985
Bruce Clay Blog0.052504
Search Engine Land0.04503
Highrankings0.037111
SEO by the Sea0.024741
Search Engine Journal0.022691
SEOmoz0.021125
TopRankBlog0.012143

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
Brand Republic0.47332
ZDNet0.44741
Dvorak0.14606
Diggnation0.081619
FT0.076693
Techcrunch0.070139
Search Engine Strategies0.060776
The Register0.058502
WebProNews0.035844
Telegraph0.021519

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?

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