AOL Has Algorithm For Finding Content Topics For Reporters

The Columbia Journalism Review mentioned AOL's Demand/ROI tool and how it is being used to find topics that will generate pageviews and ROI -- along with the news that AOL is hiring reporters.

Demand/ROI is "used to suggest to writers topics that they should write about, either on a seasonal demand basis, or on a trending topic basis. While journalists aren't restricted to only write about demand topics, they are a good keyword / topic source of data for them," an AOL insider said.

Vice President at Laredo Group and Founder of Influence Collective LLC, Kendall Allen reported, "Demand/ROI, an algorithm that trawls the social networks and databases to get a beat on user interests through search patterns and other behavioral trending, which will be used by various divisions and sites within AOL. It is ostensibly able to predict the success of that content by dynamically monitoring user feedback and response to content. In today's world these predictions can guide strategies on fostering readership and site loyalty -- as well as help identify and quantify content monetization potential."

This predictive content is similar to what Demand Media is doing, though AOL has a better brand name - and a search partnership with Google - so may not face the "content farm" tag. The articles are written about trending inquiries so being labelled a 'content farm" could be a little unfair.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.