SEO Contingent Business Models

October 20th, 2006 | Categories: SEO, marketing, off topic, strategy

Several business models rely on SEO to operate. These include diversified Internet marketing firms, as well as search engine optimization specialists. However, outside these obvious examples, there are several other types of firms that depend on SEO that may not be so apparent.

Certain Internet websites and web business models, most notably song lyric sites, are nearly 100% reliant on SEO as their number one way to drive traffic. Other similar examples include male enhancement products and home-based business opportunities (although these two examples are more illegitimate and shady). In the case of the song lyric sites, someone searches for say, ‘michael jackson thriller lyrics’, on Google. The searcher will then follow a search result to the desired lyrics without any attachment to brand loyalty. This is the key point I’m trying to make. Any Internet service or site that depends on SEO, usually lacks brand loyalty, awareness, and recognition. Quick… name 5 song lyric sites. I know I can’t. When I’m searching for song lyrics, I just want to find the text - I don’t care about the site itself. I have no attachment, nor do I feel there needs to be one.

Song lyric sites drive revenue strictly from ads. No-one is going to sign up for a subscription-based lyric site when the next site has the lyrics for free. They are simply looking to accumulate as many page views as possible - and cram each page with as many ads as possible.

In other cases, a product (male enhancement pills) or a service (paid e-book dowload) is the end goal. But because there is so much competition, market share is tight and wiggle room is scarce. Achieving a placement among the top organic searches is highly critical in these instances, as search traffic for these terms is enormous. And once again, brand loyalty and recognition is low.

Other popular sites that rely on SEO a great deal, but do harness a certain level of brand loyalty, include Wikipedia (I think we all know this), IMDB, and Also, the YellowPages and other local directories and listings benefit immensely from the strategy.

My conclusion - any site with a strong hierarchical structure or directory-like listing system will benefit greatly from strong SEO techniques and a well-rounded optimization process.

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