Friday, July 18, 2008

Taking Advantage of The Long Tail

Google finds the long tail, and we fill it.

- Richard Rosenblatt, CEO of Demand Media

In Joseph Menn, "Demand Media Wags a Long Tail of Niche Websites," Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2008

"The long tail" is writer Chris Andersen's phrase for products that speak to very small audiences. Rosenblatt has been building a company that takes advantage of the ability of search engines to tap into the long tail--that is, to find obscure websites that deal with topics relatively few people would use--but that would interest advertisers to those who go to them. His company, Demand Media, has quietly amassed a network of thousands of websites such as EHow, Expert Village and a slew of special-interest sites including GolfLink, and Daily Puppy. ... Although none are huge hits, together they rank among the Internet's 50 most visited Web networks, according to rating service ComScore Inc." The sites use articles and videos videos created by experts on their topics for low cost. Because Demand Media's websites deal with relatively obscure subjects, they tend to show up high on Google results when people are searching for them. When that happens--and when people the go to those sites--Demand Media makes money from the ads. Demand Media seems to be a case where the long-tail idea is actually working to bring a firm profits.

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