Watch your backs - the Press are starting to Get It..

Thread Title:
The Importance of Being Permanent
Thread Description:

Simon Waldman of the Guardian is talking about a lot of the things that SEO's and web devs in general have been doing for years, and thought, untill now(ish) that maybe they were onto a good thing as most of the big players clearly didn't get it.

You might scoff a little, i know i did, but then why? The press are allowed to bee n00bs aswell and Simon is a good chap, i've been reading his blog since he started it and like what he has to say on many things.

He's talking about some concepts many of you will be very familiar with, such as:

  • Authority sites
  • Long term Search rankings
  • Getting other sites to link to you (oh my...)

It's a long read, but a good one. Here are a few snippets:

Why should you want today's news to be read in 12 months time when everyone will be focused on the next disaster, explosion or election?

It's important for a number of reasons, but they all move in the same direction: permanence is about ensuring you have a real presence on the Net. It is a critical part of having a distinctive identity in an increasingly homogenous landscape. It is about becoming an authority and a point of reference for debate.

Here's another example. Think of all the millions of words written by news organizations around the world about Abu Ghraib during 2004. Now go to Google and search (as suggested in the Wired article above) for Abu Ghraib, and you will find only a handful of traditional media outlets mentioned in the first few pages (fortunately, the Guardian is one). This isn't just a quirk in Google's search algorithm; this is about traditional media ceding responsibility for providing the definitive, permanent record of major events.

All that reporting effort, all that insight and expertise, all those contacts: now completely invisible to the millions who decide to use Google as their first and final tool for researching.

Terrifying isn't it?

Over time however, it is our truly distinctive and original content that comes to the fore. It is this that is linked to and discussed and then appears on search engines. And it is this that gives us a real identity

And there's more, go check it out.

In so many areas of the web we as web devs have really had rather an easy ride with only other web devs to really compete with. Now, just becuase Simon is starting to get it doesnt mean that our nice little cash cow is going to run dry tomorrow, but it sure will be tougher as time passes by...