EveryZing’s Platform Opens Search-Friendly Side Doors to Multimedia Websites

2/27/08Follow @wroush

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a link to a page created for Boston.com by ezSEO, listing audio and video clips about the quarterback that Boston.com has assembled from the New England Patriots’ website and local radio and TV stations. Each clip is accompanied by a time-stamped text snippet (one of which contains the key factoid that Tom Brady masks and helmets were the most popular Halloween costumers around Boston last year; a phenomenon unlikely to be repeated in 2008).

Then, of course, the Brady landing page includes a multimedia search box powered by ezSEARCH, a list of related topics for which multimedia content is available, related articles from Boston.com’s sports section, and a few ads. “The key to SEO is that you can’t just focus on the search engines—the pages have to have value for the end user,” says Wilde. “So this page itself is a very useful page. Every one of these results has a video snippet. They’re time-stamped according to the keywords. It’s all above-board; it’s of high value to users and therefore of high value to search engines.”

At the same time, the Brady page clearly has the mark of something assembled by software. No human would have the patience to listen to dozens of audio and video clips and call out the mentions of Tom Brady, then assemble them into a page. And unless you search for it or find it on another landing page, or an editorial staffer happens to link to it from an article, you can’t navigate to the Brady page from inside Boston.com; it exists mainly for the benefit of the search engines. “These are meant to be ‘side door’ entry points to our customers’ websites,” Wilde explains. “Publications are used to thinking of people coming in through the front door, and their editors have a lot of input into what the front door looks like. But editors aren’t typically good at building these side-door entrances that people find based on their searches for content.”

EveryZing’s argument is that what editors can’t do, software can and should be doing for them—if Web publishers really want to maximize the amount of inventory they can sell to advertisers. “Studies show time and time again that better search drives more consumption,” says Wilde. “If users can drive to what they’re looking for quickly and productively, they will consume more.”

While the editor in me rankles at the concept of a supposedly editorially driven website full of landing pages that were constructed without human intervention, I suppose it’s because I spent the first 80 percent of my career in print journalism, where somebody has to labor over every page. The Web has changed the rules of publishing—and EveryZing is helping publishers adapt to that fact.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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