…these guys could really use their contact info right about now!
The Internet decentralized your audience. Online publishing platforms created a million competitive sources virtually overnight, completely commoditizing content. Craigslist and Ebay killed your cash cows. Your remaining primary monetization model is the same dumb model and ad product that sucked in the late 90’s. And some blogger leaking Jose Cansceco’s new book might just have been the death blow (I’m kidding, for those not familiar with arcane American sports references).
Man, you guys are sooooo f*cked unless you start hiring actual Internet people. This bell isn’t going to be unrung.
What does this clause actually mean — to the new measuring metrics, to bloggers, and to the Media’s push onto the web? Let’s consider the ramifications:
1) This is nothing short of a naked grab to steal Blog traffic numbers, and artificially boost MSM web traffic numbers….
2) Nielsen Net Ratings and comScore Media Metrix data are soon to be — assuming they are not already – worthless bull$h%t.
3) This means that, very soon, web Advertisers will no longer be able to trust the data they get from publishers or these traffic rating agencies.
4) I don’t know the VCs behind the rating outfits, but I cannot believe the original pitch included anything like “And, our ratings can be easily traded and assigned, making them essentially worthless as a web metric.”…
I will bet you that the web traffic scores will soon be as informative and reliable as the S&P or Moody AAA ratings on sub-prime mortgage CDOs.
I’ll leave it up to you guys, my audience o’spammers, to figure out how to capitalize on all this in your own businesses.
“Yeah I’m in this business of terror, Got a handful of stacks better grab an umbrella.”
Ok, so you saw the light a few years ago and, rather than being a One-Trick SEO Pony, you began rounding out your knowledge of all the online audience building skillsets. Your inner spammer is strong, but that Armani shirt now drapes you softly.
Instead of aiming for $100/day in Adsense, you now have hundreds of thousands (if not millions and millions) of monthly visitors coming into your portfolio of web properties. And, even though you thank God (or your deity of choice) every night for this amazing life on the web, you know there is more.
It can’t end now, right? There has to be another Goliath for this army of former “SEO” David’s to take down to Chinatown. What is the final step in going from newly-minted Web Millionaire to Hamptons- or Montecito-ballin’ billionaire?
I’m here to tell you I’ve found it, this final level in the Legends of Zelda-like world of audience valuations. The last mile of the Yellow Brick Road of Internet Advertising is ComScore Optimization.
I’m not going to say how prevalent it is or throw anyone under the bus, but I would tell you that the people I know doing it now could be doing a lot more if they knew what we, as Competitive Internet Dudes (and Dudettes), know about affecting a methodology or algorithm.
As I spoke to friends at large media companies, newspapers, ad networks, and other Internet Blue Chips, I suddenly realized that the old SEO sales line of, “Spend an hour with me and you could grow another 30%”, pales in comparison to the kind of wholesale manipulation that potentially resides in Comscore Optimization. I mean, one only needs to look as far back as the Glam Media nonsense to realize how big a rather undisciplined campaign could go.
This is one of those things, for a variety of reasons, we will not be discussing in granular detail. But, at a high level, we know this:
a) ComScore has a panel of about two million users globally. Time to dust off your Global Audience Emulation playbooks, y’all. I’d recommend skipping straight to the chapter on “Showing Google As Many Unique User Signals As Possible” and just replace “Google” with “ComScore”. Like boxing or trying to steal candybars out of vending machines (ok, who didn’t try this as a kid?), you want to be the guy with the longest “reach”.
b) ComScore is heavily weighted to metrics that support its primary users…Ad Agencies and Media Buyers. Anyone who has spent five minutes with anyone from those two worlds knows exactly what metrics to influence.
With many M&A due diligence cycles and ad buys so quickly and heavily weighted towards what ComScore says about you, you can no longer ignore this. So you…big-time domain portfolio owner, competitive webmaster, ad network owner, traffic-trader, or even arbitrager…what are you doing to optimize your ComScore profile?
I leave you with what the kids are calling, “The YouTube” (uhh, if you don’t like bad words and stuff, this might not be the video for you):
Halogen Guides is a really great, fast-growing Internet media company that I advise and they have a slew of job openings right now. I know a lot of extremely talented people read my blog, so I thought I’d be a bit self-serving here to help build out the team.
“Halogen Guides is a web media company that develops niche properties to service luxury consumers in real estate, travel, and financial services.
In less than two years, our first property (http://www.halogenguides.com) has become the leading online consumer resource for luxury vacation home alternatives. The site is generating revenue and has more web traffic than competitors such as the Robb Report. We are about to close a significant round of financing.”
Responsible for all aspects of product/site development, audience development and revenue generation. Build small team to take this new venture to first year audience milestones and revenue traction. Implement pay-per-click and CPM advertising programs and sign first clients. Act as business development lead and sign syndication and media partnerships. Ideal candidate is proven player in a marketing/sales/product management role in a web media company and wants to take to step to general management, in a start-up environment. 7+ years relevant experience and MBA required.
If you were a thriving, early-stage internet media company (let’s say like Facebook 18 months ago) with equal gender mix, 18-50 year old demographics…would you rather come out of stealth mode via a segment on Oprah or a flattering post on Techcrunch?