Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 19, 2008
Scott Karp author of the blog Publishing 2.0 wrote a eye opening and somewhat startling report about the uber news site the drudgereport.com. In his article he is able to debunk aka discredit two major assumptions being pushed forward by marketing guru’s, website “experts”, and bloggers everyday: You should never send readers away from your news site by linking to third party content. Since we as bloggers are trying to deliver huge value, news, and new tips, the following is very important in your strategy.
“You shouldn’t send people away or else they won’t come back to your site.”
“A page with links that sends people away has low engagement, which doesn’t serve advertisers well.”
As Scott states, I support his statement 100%,: “But if you actually look at the data, both of these assumptions are completely wrong.”
Newspaper Association of America: Top 30 News Sites Ranked by Sessions per Person (May 2008)
Top News sites Ranked by Time per Person: Source CyberJournalist.net
The Results: Just the Facts
1. The top site has 2x as many sessions per person
2. The top site has almost twice as much time spent per person
Biggest Take Away of All
According to Scott and his logic is clearly supported here: “But the most important difference between the top site and all the other sites, is that this top site — Drudge — has nothing but LINKS.”
That’s right folks the Drudge Report is essentially a giant blog built on links to other sites with a little content thrown in for direction. Drudge beats every fresh content news site by a 2 to 1 margin.
More SEO gurus around the country are beginning to rethink the idea that fresh content is no longer king. Content in many ways is still king. What is important to understand is that it is better to send your readers away IF you provide them such great value that they will return to your site as a starting point for the quest for answers to their questions.
Note: Realtors need to understand that they can link to more successful agents, bigger companies, and experts in the field without fear of losing their readership–if they are providing great content even if it is pointing to other bloggers.
Scott’s Update to Objectors
Commenter’s objection “Drudge’s session numbers are worthless. Unlike every site on the list, Drudge has an artificially high auto-refresh rate of something under 3 minutes, I think it might even be as low as 2 minutes. The conclusions are fairly obvious– every person who leaves Drudge’s page open in a new tab, or leaves their desk for lunch created dozens or even hundreds of “new” sessions.”
“I find it ironic that most of these commenters came here from Techmeme, a site that has nothing but links and that auto-refreshes. Techmeme, like Drudge, is INDISPENSIBLE for its users, something any news site should want to claim. And Techmeme has found the key to unlokcing value for advertisiers (hint: it’s not display ads) — sponsorships in the form of content links, just like Techeme’s editorial content.
And really, what news site wouldn’t want to be open in a reader’s browser being refreshed all day, instead of hoping for drive-by referrals from aggregators?”
In my opinion, there is almost always a hidden agenda or motivation behind many objections. Before analyzing and supporting objections, it’s always best to understand who benefits and why. I believe Scott did a fantastic job here.