Lately I’ve been using blogs (or web logs) as experiments to test the markets of information. As the web (read Google) evolves, it gets better at rewarding good content. While email systems have trouble routing out spam, Google seems to be doing a good job of it. You can’t “trick” search engines for long before they are on to dubious ranking schemes. So the best way to “optimize” a site for search engine success is the “old fashion way”… you’ve got to earn it. Earn it by writing relevant content.
Write about the right thing* and the world will beat a path to your door. Literally. And weblogs seem to be playing a large role in how information is disseminated among the powers-that-be in netland. (That’s why I’ve launched an entirely new web log, called Big Needle, to use for experiments and selfish acts of search engine optimization, information dissemination and self promotion.)
It’s also interesting to test the markets of information by “info-fishing.” An interesting experiment (you can do yourself at home) to chart the mood of the marketplace is to go to Daypop and track “word bursts” or “news bursts.” It’s also interesting to track what Google pulls on a particular phrase and what Feedster, which searches exclusively web logs with RSS feeds, pulls on the same bait. Which cast pulls in the more valuable fish?
As an optimizer/marketer/snake oil salesman, if you use the right bait (content on your web site), and cast it well (properly tagged and optimized), and have patience to wait… you may get a big bite. Don’t be discouraged by small bites. They all add up and, as we know in the fishy food-chain, little fishes leads to big fishes.
* and optimize it properly.