Geosign update

A few people have asked if I plan to continue researching this Geosign story and the answer is yes. I just got sidetracked by a few key deadlines.

As I’ve mentioned before my curiosity about Geosign stems from my interest in online content that pays.

I still want know whether American Capital and others really believed that Geosign, the little Guelph ccompany no one had heard of, had discovered the secret eluding so many traditional publishers – namely how to make pots of money while giving away free content online or if they knew it was just a short-term arbitrage play.

All this has led me to a few follow-up questions:

1. Does PPC advertising systematically reward bad content while penalizing good content? I think it does and that’s a major structural flaw. While lots of SEO types like to say, build good sites and the ad revenues will follow, this seems not to be the case due to certain specific characteristics of online reading. For example, a good site should have relevant related links, but if readers click on them, they are less likely to click on relevant ads. The better your site is for readers in terms of both content and design, the less likely you are to reap advertising revenues. Any comments?

2. Also, all you Deep Throats out there, please come back. I especially need someone who can tell me how Geosign constructed its junk pages. Did they start with the high-paying ads they wanted to put on them and work backwards? Who could look at a page and explain just how all the numbers were crunched, etc? Please get in touch with me via the e-mail link here.

2 thoughts on “Geosign update

  1. I’ve heard the only people making money on the web are e-commerce sites. Might be worth looking into.

    As for “good content” — I think the Internet is seriously lowering our standards for quality writing.

  2. According to colleagues in the magazine industry, the websites associated with major consumer titles do indeed break even or better.

    But the major magazine companies often have deals with portals that drive traffic, as well as their established brand names. I also suspect that their accounting system allows them to use a lot of the content from the paper magazines while not having to pay for it.

    As for “good content,” I personally have way more good things to read now, thanks to the internet. I don’t buy this idea that it’s lowered standards at all.

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