Last month, I asked: "Is Google News the Tail Wagging the News Search Dog?" Today, I'd like to follow up by asking: "Is Google Finance the dog that didn't bark?"
After my earlier article appeared, I asked LeeAnn Prescott, the Research Director at Hitwise, if she would run a custom report on the relative rankings of selected news search engines, financial sites, and social media.
Now, why would anyone what to compare apples, oranges and bananas?
Well, when you conduct a search in Yahoo! News, Google News, or AOL News, you will often find press releases in the results. And, if you use Yahoo! Finance or Google Finance, you'll also find press releases mixed in with news articles. And, advocates of the social media press release are urging PR people to included del.icio.us bookmarks, Technorati tags, and Digg widgets on their press releases.
So, if you check out this mixed bowl of fruit, which sites reach the largest audiences in the US?
Here is the custom chart that Prescott sent me, showing Hitwise market share data for January 2007:
How do I interpret this data?
First, the market share of Yahoo! Finance is 52 times larger than the market share of Google Finance. The market share of Yahoo! Finance is even 2.7 times larger than the market share of Google News.
And, you don't need to “optimize” a press release for Yahoo! Finance. You just need to include the company name or stock ticker symbol – which is generally standard operating procedure at most publicly traded companies – and your press release will get indexed.
Second, the two leading blog search engines, Google Blog Search and Technorati, both have a fraction of the market share of the major news search engines. This doesn't mean you should ignore them. But, it does mean that blog search isn't close to leapfrogging news search anytime soon.
Third, while it makes sense to include del.icio.us bookmarks and Technorati tags on your press releases, it makes 57.6 times more sense to optimize your press releases for Yahoo! News, Google News, and AOL News first.
While del.icio.us bookmarks and Technorati tags do not pass PageRank, neither do anchor text links in press releases. But hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content can still generate web traffic, so they are well worth including when applicable.
As for including Digg widgets, Lee Odden, the CEO and founder of TopRank Online Marketing CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and co-founder of Misukanis & Odden Public Relations, says, "Do not submit press releases directly to Digg, Netscape, Reddit, Stumble Upon, etc." Most users of social search sites feel all press releases are spam and will bury them without even putting them on "double-secret probation" first.
Ironically, users of Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance don't seem to share this negative attitude about finding press releases mixed in with other results. Do you think the financial community knows something that the Digg community hasn't learned yet?