Organic SEO for Publishers Paying Dividends, Study Shows

SimilarWeb data determines that organic SEO for publishers is a strong play

Organic SEO for publishers is a key component of the Mequoda Method, one that can even permeate social media strategy and thus drive both direct and side-door traffic to your content on desktop and mobile. It’s a science, and one whose formulas take work and resources to master.

But the good news, all indications are that it’s worth it. A recent study from SimilarWeb is the subject of a MediaPost report that organic SEO for publishers is on the rise when it comes to site visits. Let’s take a look at some of the data.

Search Results: Good News on Organic SEO for Publishers

Organic SEO for publishers is increasing site visits, MediaPost reports.

“Publishers looking to increase traffic from search engines, specifically Google, should be very happy. SimilarWeb released numbers related to the top 20 media sites that saw an increase in site visits from organic search traffic in June. For some it looks pretty darn good. … If the data is broken down into categories such as Media and News or Finance, it tells a different story. Finance led all categories with 16% growth, the News and Media category followed with 14%, and games rose 13%,” Laurie Sullivan writes.

“Some categories experienced a drop in their organic search traffic, with Career and Education sites seeing a 25% decrease in organic search between May and June 2016. The How to/Ask an expert category dropped off 20%, and Books and Literature fell 13% in organic search traffic on a month-to-month basis. Apparently it’s all in the algorithms. Roy Hinkis, head of SEO and digital marketing evangelist at SimilarWeb, attributes the shift partly to the release of Google’s quality “Phantom” update in June, although Google has not confirmed.”

Branded Content Outperforms Pre-Roll Digital Ads

More native advertising content news, and it, too, is good for online publishers, at least those using sponsored or branded content and video as revenue streams. MediaPost reports that branded is beating pre-roll.


“Nielsen analysis says branded content generated an average of 86% brand recall among viewers, compared with 65% from the pre-roll ad,” Wayne Friedman writes.

In addition, the lift in brand perceptions was higher for branded content than pre-roll across other key performance indicators – affinity, purchase intent and recommendation intent. For example, affinity for branded entertainment averages 28% and 18% for pre-roll; purchase intent, 14% for branded content; 11% for pre-roll; and recommendation intent score 20% for branded content and 16% for pre-roll.”

Disposable Content Like Snapchat Media a Flash in the Pan?

In a word, no. But while there’s no question that Snapchat is a massive social media success that has redefined what platforms can do – and its grip on Millennials is tight – there is a growing sense that some changes are in order to expand its audience and maintain a monetization strategy. MediaPost has an interesting piece on Snapchat’s evolving model.

“When Snapchat turned one on Sept. 26, 2012, the company reaffirmed its position on the value of ‘ephemeral’ content — those moments that are meant to be ‘shared, enjoyed but not saved.’ Yet this month, on its same blog, Snapchat introduced its Memories feature as ‘a big change’ to its service because it’s all about saving snaps. Despite a shift in what’s been a fundamental core value of its platform, this a smart move by Snapchat. And it’s a really big deal,” Mike Proulx writes.

“Plain and simple: content shouldn’t ever be forced to disappear. Snapchat’s shift to more permanency is a signal that the days of ‘disposable’ are as numbered as an expiring snap – and this changes the game.”

SEO for publishers is one of our favorite topics. Read our take on it with your free download of The Organic Audience Development Strategy Handbook!

To read more about SEO for publishers and other industry news, visit MediaPost.


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