Over the last year, the search industry has seen a large rise in horizontal content sites. According to Lawrence Coburn, the President of RateItAll, Inc., these horizontal sites are trying to dominate the tail of search. At PubCon Las Vegas, Coburn spoke to WebProNews about the implications of these sites on independent webmasters.
According to Coburn, multiple businesses in the search space have struggled to find particular niches to make money, but now large businesses are coming in and trying to do everything.
To back up just a little bit, a horizontal content site is a site that is broad with no specific target market. One specific example of this type of site is Wikipedia. Instead of being a site that contains encyclopedia information about history, it is a site with past, present, and future information about everything.
Demand Media, a strong advocate of these sites, created an algorithm that reveals various long tail keywords. They take publicly available data and add in their own algorithm and keyword values, which allows them to construct priority lists for content they need to produce.
The rise of these horizontal content sites is scary for webmasters in the SEO community. In speaking of the implications on the search industry itself, Coburn said:
“I think the implications of this is that the tail of search is going to become more competitive as more of these big companies come in and that webmasters like us are going to have to find different sources of traffic where it starts to bring in things like social…”
What potential implications do you think these sites might bring for the industry?