CNET Refreshes Brand, Leverages SEO To Reinforce It

CNET, one of the most respected and oldest network of technology publications, announced a refresh of its brand on Wednesday, which aims to support the 99 million monthly visitors worldwide of which 67 million monthly visitors are in the United States.

The changes meant to highlight its expanded areas of content feature a new identity, logo and site design, as well as ways the company presents photography and any video or visual pieces of content. It’s all aimed at CNET’s continued expansion beyond technology, such as coverage that includes wellness, money, culture, home, gaming and cars.

“About 40% of the coverage is what we consider ‘non-tech-endemic,’” said Lindsey Turrentine, CNET executive vice president of content and strategy. “When people think of CNET, they know how committed we are to cover technology, but that coverage has changed.”

The content aims to help readers understand how technology impacts their everyday life that might influence categories such as wellness or home. A strong commitment to search engine optimization (SEO) helps readers find that content.

Driving viewership, a team of 10 SEO experts work with CNET’s editorial team, a group of reporters who produce more than 10 articles an hour across a variety of categories. 

CNET makes most of its revenue through contextual targeting, and “that is the way we will continue to generate revenue,” Turrentine said. She said the company relies on two types of SEO--demand and discoverable--to help readers find content.  

The refresh includes a branded search campaign targeted on some keywords to promote the project. “For this campaign, we will run display media across our own network of websites, such as Bankrate, Lonely Planet, and other Red Ventures sites,” Turrentine said.

Red Ventures, formed in 2000 as a performance marketing startup, acquired CNET Media Group in 2020 from ViacomCBS for $500 million. The venture company has since grown to include more than 100 digital brands with more than 3,000 employees across 10 U.S. cities, the UK and Brazil. It has two sides to its business, one a platform for performance marketing, and the other a consumer-centric platform for digital brands.

“If you go to a news page on CNET you will likely see at the top of the page something explaining why it matter, why we care and what’s next,” she said. “We care about giving our audience something actionable. Helping them understand and demystify the change.”

The process to determine the change took about a year. After the acquisition by Red Ventures, the company surveyed more than 3,000 of its readers to determine the most important content and services. The data, analyzed across the CNET group of companies, would assist in determining the brand’s direction. CNET also partnered with the brand agency Collins based in San Francisco.

In the past year, CNET has hired more than 100 employees and integrated employees from Red Ventures into the team.

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