Thursday, 29 November 2007

Newspapers abandoning subscription models and using Search Engines to deliver higher traffic to free content

I recently had a long conversation with Olivia Solon at M&M Europe magazine for an article that has been published in the November edition called 'Ahead of the pack: how publishers are tackling Web 2.0.' (

We discussed how newspapers are changing their business models online, with particular reference to how newspapers are using SEO and search engines to increase their traffic.

This was picked up in the article:

"Most publishers have embraced search-engine optimisation, with some retraining journalists to write in an optimised way, focusing on key words that people might search for, so their sites are indexed more highly. Publishers need to decide how much of the information they will allow search engines to 'see', and how much is protected behind their walled garden.

Subscription models can often mean that Google search spiders cannot access the content, and bloggers too are unable to link to the content. This can result in sites with subscription models losing out on the traffic that would be generated from appearing high in the natural search rankings.

Quality content drives search engines' ability to find you, but publishers must seek a balance between offering free content and keeping the exclusivity of their product"

A direct quote was attributed to myself:

Nick Burcher, a board director at Zed Media, says: “It is a commercial decision to move from a subscription model to a free model. The balance has shifted from a couple of years ago. Titles can now make more money from advertising being free."

Interesting topic and there is a clear need for newspaper publishers to ensure their content works well with Search Engines (especially Google).

No comments: