Bloggers - A Growing Market for Search Optimization Firms

Over the past couple of months i've noticed a steadily increasing interest in Search amongst bloggers. This isn't so surprising when you think about as the recent Pew Study showed a 58% increase in blog readership in 2004 and that 7% of American adults that use the net had created a blog. This post looks at the growing blog scene and what potential avenues exist for SEO's within it. Follow the title link above for the full post.

Bloggers Discover this odd thing called Search

I've bookmarked a few examples as i've been scouring my RSS for interesting stuff for Threadwatch and some of them will most likely make you chuckle - but don't scoff, these are the tech/marketing guys and the fact that they know little about Search and Search Optimization means there is a gap that needs to be filled. If these guys are in the dark then what about less technical businesses using blogs?

Jason Calacanis gunning for the Auto Sites

Quote:
a funny thing happened the other day when I checked our logs and Alexa for Autoblog.com. Turns out we’ve been breaking 100k webpage views a day (that doesn’t count RSS of course), so I thought I would see where Autoblog was in Alexa compared not to the handful of car blogs out there, but rather the industry-standard automotive sites.

Jason may be one step ahead of the pack as it turns out he may be organizing a search conference!

Venture Capital Blogger Discovers a new Search Blog

Quote:
I was alerted to a new entrant in this market today called SearchViews from the really smart guys at the search engine marketing company Reprise Media.

I like what I see. I've added it to my feeds.

Well, i liked it too and added it to mine :) but again this seems indicative of a certain amount of "discovery" of Search.

Jay Lipe is Hunting for Info on SEO
Jay tells me he's a lurker at HighRankings :-)

Russ and Tim Discover the Joys of Referer Spamming
Yahoo's Russ Beattie and Sun's Tim Bray have discovered referer spamming recently - again, just another demonstration of the growing interest in all this stuff.

Seth Needs some SEO Attention
Im reliably informed that Seth Godin spams the SEO industry for attention ha!

Here's the Scary one - Someone Beat you to it!
heh... this chap has a pretty cool site and is knocking out content on just about everything todo with blog promotion. See his Blog Optimization Page and for contrasts sake, here's a slightly lamer attempt

There is also a growing "Blog Consultancy" Biz

With all the hype and potentially millions of businesses wanting to blog its enevitable that a small consulting industry should grow up alongside the boom. Most of these guys dont do much with SEO of course - which spells out even more opportunities for search firms im thinking. Check 'em out:

And all of these: 646industries BigBlogCompany BloggingWorks Blogkits BlogSavant BlogSite BSpirit BusinessLogs DrydenMG EasyBake RadiantMarketing Wigley WordBiz BlogWrite (related to Wigley) WorkerBees LexBlog Moxie

Phew... lots of links heh.. thanks to BigBlogCo for compiling the original list.

Now, some of those are clearly shite, but some appear to be doing quite well and are professionaly put together so they're worth a browse.

They Have Their own Awards - Bless 'em!

Check out the:

Remind you of the web some years back? That's my point, there's soooo much growth here and it's all as if they're inventing the internet heh.. Personally im not going to be happy untill i see a spinning logo dammit! (they have hit counters too, but these are blog subscribers...)

And Summits, Conferences and Seminars

See the

Hell.. what can you say to that?

So What can Search Marketers do in this Space?

Lots of things spring to mind for me but first lets take a look at what we dont need to be doing IMO: It's no good thinking in terms of individual blogs unless you want to a) chase peasants for pennies or b) chase large corps along with the herds (see above list of links) - the trick here for search firms that want to get involved is to think much further upstream.

If i were running an optimization firm i'd personally be thinking along lines like these:

  • Making contact with the bigger blog consultant companies
  • Same thing with the blog vendors, you might not get far with Six Apart but there are plenty of smaller firms that would be up for a deal im sure.
  • Writing an eBook aimed straight at Bloggers
  • Providing Search optimized blog templates - complete with "10 tips" kind of deal
  • Writing **GASP** a Blog aimed at this wide group - more on this another time..
  • Adding specific, full featured blog optimization sections to your existing SEM offerings
  • Spinning off dedicated blog optimization sites - complete with some of the products above for sale
  • The list could go on, please add to it if i've missed anything obvious :-)

Many Bloggers with $$$'s with Search on their Minds

I hope all of the above has given those that havn't really thought about this something to think about. The overriding impression i get from the Search boys and girls I talk to daily is one of disdain or dismissel - im sure not everyone feels that way but i know that many do.

This stuff is not going away. At least not anytime in the near future so as of yet its a market that could be worked nicely by SEM's able to get inside the blogger mindset and sell them things they want - dont forget, these guys are very fresh to the idea of publishing and often quite technically savvy, just not search savvy so they should be enthusiastic about doing better in the SERPS and able to grasp the concepts you need them to understand perhaps better than some other types of clients.

A Final Note

This is not a particular exhaustive look at the field but im going to add to it over the next few weeks and hopefully it will fuel a little discussion here where we can all thrash out some ideas on how SEO's can target blogging businesses.

Go ahead and point out the bits i've missed, the mistakes, misconceptions or whatever - I think this stuff is important, so tell me what you think eh?