Luring the Spiders
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—three words that have turned industry executives to every book, blog, e-newsletter, Web site and magazine article they can find that gives glimmers of hope on figuring it all out. By now we all know the Wikipedia definition of SEO—a subset of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a Web site from search engines via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results.
But this only scratches the surface of the potential opportunities for publishers.
A study by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), called “The State of Search Engine Marketing 2006,” reported that 2006 organic-SEO spending in the United States and Canada totaled $1.1 billion. The study also indicated that SEO comprised 11.8 percent of 2006 overall North American SEM spending ($9.4 billion), which had increased 62 percent from 2005 to 2006. According to SEMPO, the growth is expected to continue, with SEM spending exceeding $18 billion by 2011.
What does all of this mean for publishers, and how can they capitalize by getting all of their content indexed by search engine spiders and Web robots?
Making sense of it all
Adam Lasnik, search evangelist at Google, is focused primarily on sharing information about Google with webmasters and getting thoughtful feedback.
“Offering original and compelling content, of course, is the necessary foundation … and taking a few, often simple steps can increase the chances of this content being found,” Lasnik says.
Priyank Garg, product manager for Yahoo! Web Search, believes SEO is key for any publishing business.
“As the Internet becomes a growing media experience for users, your Web site becomes a critical tool for capturing your piece of the consumer-attention pie,” Garg says.
Tom Lynch, director of search engine marketing at ePublishing—a Chaffee Interactive Company in Chicago whose clients include North American Publishing Co., Consumer Guide Products Division, FDA News and Garden Plate magazine—says that with approximately 215 million searches a day on search engines, publishers can capitalize by utilizing their greatest asset––their content.