Monday, November 01, 2004

Tell your readers to go away

Robert Scoble posts about the value of directing traffic off of your website:
    Yahoo. How did they start? Two kids in college telling their readers to go away and check out some other site. Craig's List? He took the Yahoo concept further. His list sent readers away to check out jobs, housing, and other stuff.

    And, then, there's the now famous Google. They couldn't find enough ways to send their readers away, so they started selling advertising to companies and people who'd pay to have Google's readers come to them.

    It's the new marketing ... Instead of being desperate and saying "look at me look at me" you tell your readers to get lost. Go someplace else.

    The evidence is clear. Want some attention? Tell your readers to go away.
Although Scoble mentions Yahoo as a positive example, nowadays Yahoo tries to keep people on the Yahoo site. Larry Page (co-founder of Google) had a great quote on this in an interview with Playboy a while back:
    PLAYBOY: With the addition of e-mail, Froogle -- your new shopping site -- and Google news, plus your search engine, will Google become a portal similar to Yahoo, AOL or MSN? Many Internet companies were founded as portals. It was assumed that the more services you provided, the longer people would stay on your website and the more revenue you could generate from advertising and pay services.

    PAGE: We built a business on the opposite message. We want you to come to Google and quickly find what you want. Then we're happy to send you to the other sites. In fact, that's the point. The portal strategy tries to own all of the information.
Findory is built around a similar philosophy. You come to Findory to find what you want, then we're happy to send you to other sites. We help you find information. We don't try to control information.

1 comment:

Nathan Weinberg said...

The better job yo do telling your users to go away, the more they come back for more. Its like a twisted abusive relationship.