A little search competition could go a long way toward quality content

Posted on 23. Apr, 2012 by in Digital Marketing, Thoughts

OK, first – I have something to admit: I may be in love with Jolie O’Dell.

Readers may not know who she is, but I’ll source her journalism later – journalism that has appeared in Mashable and, most recently, Venture Beat.

Tech journalist Jolie O'Dell

It doesn't count as stalking so long as you link back

When I started working at LBi bigmouthmedia, I began following her news stories because they generally offered good insights into all things tech (helpful when you work for an SEO company and with technology clients). It didn’t hurt that she seemed super cool.

But, veering away from coming across as a complete stalker, I can also credit the quality of the stories as maintaining my readership. Well written, engaging content that was actually applicable to my interests and needs.

Do you see where I’m headed with this?

Google’s Goliath problem

Long-gone are the days where people said: “Let me search for that on the Internet.” It’s been “Google” for as long as I can remember.

nom nom nom

Mountain View pretty much ate the search market some years ago, leaving a few scraps for competitors like Yahoo. Bing’s making good ground, sure, benefitting from alliances with Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter, but many an SEO looks down their nose at the Micro-search engine.

In the meantime, niche search sites come and go, with some making considerable ground. Duck Duck Go made a pretty convincing case attacking search ‘Filter Bubbles’ and Blekko continues to rack up users. MC Hammer now has a search engine, and Jolie (swoon!) even recently reported on yet another search challenger: Ecobe.

The site, developed by Seuk Weon Song and Joseph Lee Stanfield, presents an entirely different business model to Google, even proposing to share up to 40 per cent of its profits with website creators.

However, profit is only one of the things the Ecobe founders hope drive users to their site. As reported by Venture Beat, Stanfield said: “Content providers are [currently] not motivated to create better and higher quality content for the web, resulting in a dire situation.”

Successes for the little guys, then, aside from just meriting a fist-bump against monopolisation of the Internet, should be looked at for a benefit with a much, much wider scope: An increase in the importance of quality content.

It’s already happening

The universal beef with the status quo (that being everything Google) by all these challengers seems to be the way Mountain View takes signals and turns them to rankings. The thinking is, rubbish content can be produced and, as long as it ticks a few of the boxes that tickle Google’s fancy, they’ll be pushed up in the rankings.

Jean Claude Van Damme Is: Larry Page, Cagefighter


Well, most searchers, the critics say, don’t want rubbish content.

So, while these multiple Davids line up to sling rocks at the Googoliath, the search leader’s already looking to stave them off. These initiatives started with Panda and most recently came to the announcement that spamlinks would be cleared out of search like cobwebs.

Wait, why is this good again?

Refinements of this nature to search engines can only make good news for consumers, users and customers. The emphasis will now be on mind-blowing web content and how it can be of use to searchers, and those in the know will be able to capitalise on this new emphasis.

Since we in the LBi bigmouthmedia media content team are well-versed in quality content, what with our web copy, news services and deluxe blog content, I can only assumed we will be heralded in this new era as some sort of royalty.

Then maybe I will have the courage to chat up Jolie.

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