Interesting commentary today from Mirror's associate editor in the Guardian in which Matt Kelly outlines why the online version of the red top is moving away from generating a much traffic from SEO as possible and concentrating back on quality journalism.
Matt commented "We've listened to our fair share of SEO experts at Mirror Group, but when we relaunched Mirror.co.uk about eighteen months ago, we fought very hard to put SEO to one side and focus instead on trying to reinject some of the brand values that had served the newspaper so well for more than one hundred years.
Some of that bold tabloid panache, the dynamism, the straight-talking, entertaining view of the world so familiar to readers of the Daily Mirror newspaper. And the relaunch was a great success."
My take on this is that the Mirror are clearly re-focusing on quality journalism (were they not before?) which will deliver quality users who will provide a better quality of advertising.
Having developed one of the biggest entertainment portals in early in my career this was a debate I was having in 2002. However its possible to do both - obtain high numbers of engaged users to your site using SEO - the important aspect in is the targeting. Your content strategy needs to be perfectly aligned to your sales strategy. Which leads us on to the next quote.
Ah .. well, actually, there was a slight problem there. As any first-year economics student will tell you, massively oversupplying a finite market generally leads to a collapse in value. Great swathes of newspaper website inventory - sometimes as much as 90 percent of page views - went unsold.
Strange statement this one for me - how does Matt expect by reducing the people visiting (in a marketplace were adverting spend is becoming increasingly scarce) the site will generate more income? And is 10% "normal" for display adverts on large volume sites? In my experience its quite low - but would be interesting to see how they compare against the Guardian who have always embraced its online channel.
I found Matt's article by searching in the natural search results - unfortunately it was on the Guardian's website - Arr the irony!
Your can read the full interview with Matt Kelly @ http://bit.ly/6A1lB3