Commentary

Death To Corporate Blogging As A Search Tool?

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Buzz, Facebook, Twitter and other conversational tools killed corporate blogging, or at the very least moved the marketing tactic down a notch to let conversational blogging move in and take over. Some might think this especially true since search engines have begun to index real-time Fan updates and tweet streams, while others suggest it just isn't so.

In fact, more than 80% of blog traffic comes from first-time visitors who find blogs through search, referrals and other means. That's according to survey findings released Thursday from Compendium, an enterprise platform for social media and search . About 266 companies participated in the survey.

Chris Baggott, co-founder of Compendium, says that percentage sits in opposition to some industry opinions that suggest repeat visitors and RSS subscriptions are what contribute most heavily to corporate blogging success.

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Baggott, who has been lobbying in favor of corporate blogging for years, suggests marketers struggling to find the tools to advance paid search and SEO organic search results may want to rethink corporate blogging. Consider blogs, both long and short form, as tools that help marketers get found in organic search through keywords people search on, he says. With more than 80% of all blog visitors being new to the page, there's more opportunity to convert these visitors into new customers.

So I ask, when will Google integrate Buzz into real-time status updates, similar to Twitter streams and Facebook Fan page updates? The question seems to fall on deaf ears, along with the one about when Buzz will integrate with AdWords. Seems both should sit on the list of "Coming Soon" Buzz features.

DeWitt Clinton wrote a Buzz post March 4 describing how Buzz brought back fond blogging memories. The Google engineer explains that in the year since his last actual blog post, he sent several hundred Twitter messages, posted more than a thousand comments on FriendFeed, and left several dozen or so comments on Facebook, Disqus, Blogger, and elsewhere. But no blog posts.

Yet, since Buzz launched, less than a month before he wrote the Buzz post, he has written 47 Buzz updates, each one a blog post in itself, averaging 208 words per update. That's more than one post a day, which is far more than he wrote on his blog, according to Clinton. "I'm not exactly sure why I post so much long-form content on Buzz, especially after I effectively abandoned my old site," he explains to followers. "But I am doing it, so Buzz is obviously doing something right."

It's true people are using social tools to post short-form content on a regular basis, Forrester Analyst Sean Corcoran tells me. In fact, Forrester calls these types of people Conversationalists. Weekly, they comprise about one third of U.S. online adult posts to Facebook and Twitter and other social sites each week, Corcoran says.

"I don't think blogging is dead by any stretch," he says. "Blogging may lose some popularity because of these other tools that enable people to converse in short form on a real time basis, but they still provide users with the ability to post long-form content."

These posts, when indexed by Google, Yahoo or Bing, lead people searching for information on engines to content on Web sites. And for the stat junkies, I have includes a script Clinton ran that tells us exactly the number of words, characters, and other details since his first post on Buzz. (see chart below.)

Clinton also provides us with a few snapshots of archived social sites, compliments of archieve.org.:

Facebook on April 3, 2004: two months old

Twitter on Sept. 30, 2006: six months old

FriendFeed

Total words in 48 posts

9,933
Total characters56,685
Total newlines:332
Average words per post:
206
Average chars per post:
1,180
Total replies:1,339
Average number of replies:27
Average number of words per reply:57
Average number of characters per reply:
313
Number of unique authors replying: 304

1 comment about "Death To Corporate Blogging As A Search Tool?".
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  1. Chris Baggott from Compendium Blogware, March 12, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.

    The current and most effective corporate blogging strategy is to make your blogs the hub of your overall social media strategy. Keep in mind two things. For business, you need to have the ability to bring people to a place you own and control. You own your blogs...this can't be said for Facebook, Twitter or Buzz..things change there. Check out this hysterical video that highlights this point: http://tinyurl.com/yz3hoyj

    Secondly, not everything is appropriate for every channel. The 2010 Marketing Sherpa Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report does a fantastic job outlining what types of content are appropriate for each channel.

    Combine these for the real needs of organizations relating to control and management and you can see why Gartner has Corporate Blogging as the only social media on their "slope of enlightenment"

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