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Google Shifts Search Algorithms, Monetizing Blogs, Oprah Network Grows


January 9th, 2013
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The Strategist picks the day’s most relevant and interesting stories about the world of content from around the web. Here’s what you should be reading today:

Author Rank and Google+ Results in Search Algorithms

Google has changed its search algorithm with the introduction of Author Rank and Google+, Pando Daily’s Erin Griffith writes.

Now, verified writers with authority in different niches are going to be prioritized in the rankings. These writers will be verified through social networks including Google+.

She writes, “if a website has connected its writer accounts with their Google+ accounts, search results show a writer’s headshot and byline next to the result for their article. Bylined stories rank higher, and they get more real estate.”

There are two sides to this: Some say that Google is improving its search results, while others say it’s just trying to compete with Facebook in terms of social media.

Svbtle, Medium, and the Problem of Finances

Mathew Ingram of Paid Content writes about Svbtle, a blog started by designer and developer Dustin Curtis, and Medium, which was started by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams. 

While Curtis raised enough funds for his site, he doesn’t know how he will make money on it. On Twitter he posted, “You can’t make money in publishing by monetizing the content. You have to monetize the delivery system.”

Medium, on the other hand, is an invitation-only site. Writers will blog, post the content on Medium, and find other ways to distribute that content (in ebook form, for example). However, Williams hasn’t given clues on how this is going to make money.

Oprah’s Network Adding New Series

According to the Wall Street Journal, Oprah’s OWN Network has introduced six new series to increase viewership numbers.

Two shows are being produced by Tyler Perry, and the other new programs include documentary “Blackboard Wars,” “Raising Whitley,” and “Dogfellas.” Viewership numbers increased over the past 12 months by 28 percent, but the network “still pales in comparison with the ratings at other cable networks targeted at women.”

Vocab for Freelance Writers

Kristen Fischer of Media Bistro compiled a list of terms every freelance writer should know.

There is “FOB,” which is front-of-book, and “BOB,” or back-of-book — news and short articles that are either in the beginning or end of a print magazine. “Slush pile” is a bunch of rejected articles or deleted emails, and “kill fee” is the term for how much a writer gets paid after a story is killed and doesn’t go into publication. The “well” of the magazine is where long, in-depth pieces are located, and “on spec” is writing without the guarantee of publication.

Gaining Attention with Email Subject Lines

ClickZ’s Justin Williams writes about what goes into a captivating email subject line. He says that marketers can put the customer’s name in the subject line, or use another trigger word like “free,” “urgent,” “need,” etc. They should also try and stand out by using different subject lengths, typing in all lower case letters, and including icons.

Wikipedia’s Losing Editors

Mashable reports on why the number of people writing and editing for Wikipedia has been on the decline for the past six years.

According to Wikipedia officials, there is now less opportunity to create and edit, after the site gained four million articles in 10 years. Aaron Halfaker, who authored a study on the decline, said that it had more to do with the algorithm: “Our results suggest that the algorithmic reverts are the stronger predictor of churn.”

Becoming a Popular Ghostwriter

WordCount’s Michelle V. Rafter interviewed ghostwriting expert Claudia Suzanne on what it takes to make it in her profession.

Rafter says that opportunities are good right now because we live in “a world in which people are determined, sometimes even desperate, to share their stories, their opinions, their experiences, their insights, their knowledge, their teachings, their legacies.” Successful ghostwriters can earn $75,000-$250,000 per year if they find the right clients.

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