by: Mark Rogers
We launched our “Search is Brand” whitepaper at the end of June, discussing how customers experiences of brands was increasingly dictated by search – and pointing out that the search gives a lot of prominence to detractors.
Our means of publicising the white paper was to blog it, and to email the key opinion-brokers such as Steve Rubel, Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Elizabeth Albrycht, Rok Hrastnik and Guilllaume du Gardier. We also talked to our good friends at New Media Knowledge, e-Consultancy and Net Imperative. The cash budget was zero (although it helped to know who the opinion-brokers were).
Prior to the publication of the white paper the “Search is Brand” search on Google turned up citations like “Yahoo search is brand new” in about 50-60 results. As of Thursday 11th August 2005 there are 846 results. 90% are references to our white paper. This process has taken six weeks. References are growing geometrically – when we checked on Monday the number of results was 737.
Our experience suggests that if you if you identify a unique idea or “meme” and decides you want to colonise it, blogging is a highly effective way to do so.
Conversely, although the white paper received coverage in PR week and Campaign, the influence of coverage in these publications was far weaker, partly because the journalist, writing in an offline format, didn’t link to us or use our exact terms, and when the article was published online, it tended to be cut and pasted, again without links or keywords.
To spell out our conclusions (at the risk of stating the obvious):
1) blogs offer you total control over your message and keywords;
2) blogs reward other bloggers for reusing your words and keywords because a) it is easier to link to something than copy or paraphrase it, and because b) linking offers a fellow blogger a chance to associate their comment with the original material and boost their own traffic;
3) off-line media tends to weaken your message because a) they paraphrase it, and b) they choose keywords reflecting their own agenda, and because they are off-line;
4) the combined effects of a number of different sites using the same keywords to link to your site powerfully impacts your Google algorithmic ranking on the message and keywords you have chosen.