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About The Authors

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

Email Suw

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for BBCNews.com.

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

Member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup
Dark Blogs Case Study

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Interview series:
at the FASTforward blog. Amongst them: John Hagel, David Weinberger, JP Rangaswami, Don Tapscott, and many more!

Corante Blog

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Search useless for blogs

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Interesting little piece from eMarketer about how people find the blogs they read. It’s really no surprise to discover that 67% of respondents find blogs through links from other blogs, and 23% via recommendations, but I like the way they analyse this for the benefit of businesses used to dealing with old-style websites who try to use search engine optimisation techniques to make their site more visible:

The fact that blog awareness is effectively spread by word-of-mouth is key for anyone using one in a campaign. Not only can you not build it and expect them to come, you cannot even build it and optimize it for search and expect them to come. Blog launches must be accompanied by links on established blogs, and some good recommendations from established, influential bloggers.

My only quibble with that advice is that you have to launch your blog without links from established blogs - you can’t just go round emailing influential bloggers and asking them to link to a blog they’ve not yet had the opportunity to read! Trust - and links - have to be earnt over time and there’s just no way round that. You can’t have a “launch accompanied by links on established blogs”, you have to launch, write what you write, and the links will come if you are good.

Another quote:

Two-thirds of blog readers said that they read to be entertained, and 43% said that they read to keep up with personal interests or hobbies (multiple answers were allowed).

Businesses really need to understand this point. People don’t read blogs to be marketed at, they read blogs to be entertained and kept up to date with stuff they are interested in. If your blog doesn’t do either of those things, it just won’t be read. Bunging any old crap up on a blog isn’t going to cut the mustard - you’ve got to be passionate, interesting, and entertaining.

Of course, none of this is news, but it’s good to see some statistics to back it up.

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3 Responses to “Search useless for blogs”

  1. BillDunc Says:

    I was interested in this post and the suggestion that very few people find their way to blogs via search engines and that growth is to a large extent an organic process of “growing” a blogs readership through links with other blogs. This is exactly how I found this blog - through another blogger.
    Part of the reason for this in the case of Google at least is that to do a specific blog search you need to go to their news tab then down to the bottom of the page and find ” Search blogs”. Blogs will come up in an ordinary web search but (I dont have “scientific” evidence for this) they rarely come with a high rank in a web search.
    Google therefore treats blog searching mainly as a subset of news searching it seems to me.

    Does this accurately reflect the role of blogs on the net? I wonder. Some blogs are essentially used as personal and social sites, while others are used more as tools in a dialogue of ideas and opinions. The reasons people use blogs and the relationships reflected in the links that they have seems very wide. I am not convinced that the present search engines presently deal with this rich diversity of blogs in the way that they deliver their search results.

    While I am here - another thought - no matter how busty a blog site many seem to suffer a dearth of comments. (I thought I would break your recent run of zero’s). It got me wondering if there are some strategies for writing posts that are more succesful in attracting a higher percentage of readers to make a comment. A case in point - I bet some of you reading this will visit the link to my site - what do I have to do to get you to comment :-) or http://scotlandthedamp.blogspot.com for something less serious.

  2. BillDunc Says:

    Alert readers will have noted my mispelling in the first line of the last paragraph of my previous comment. The use of the word ” busty” rather than “busy” was, I can only assume, brought on in a Freudian moment triggered I suspect by the alluring photograph of Ms Suw Charman. My apologies for allowing the darkest recesses of my mind to intrude on an otherwise cerebral site.

  3. SideShow Surfer Says:

    Magazines and Newspapers have to sell or else they are gone.Bloggers don’t have to sell what they write and they are still there and write whatever they wants.Maybe this is why the media looks at the bloggers with some kind of envy and stupid comments!?.