NY Times About to Relaunch About.com
Mickey Kahn at DMNews is reporting that the New York Times is about to relaunch About.com and pitch About.com to high profile national advertisers. The New York Times purchased About.com for $410 million nine months ago, and has since been working to reluanch the site and its 57,000 niche topics.
“We’re probably the biggest site that is least known in terms of what we can deliver to advertisers,” said Scott B. Meyer, president/CEO of New York-based About.com and a speaker at this week’s Search Engine Strategies show.
An excerpt from the DMNews story, Times About Ready to Relaunch About.com Brand
What makes About.com especially different, now as well as before and under previous owner Primedia, is its personal attention to information. The company’s content is produced by 500 guides — experts who run vertical sites within About.com for a CPM fee based on the page-view traffic they attract. Of course, these independent contractors follow church/state separation guidelines monitored by About.com.
“Their job is to create a 360-degree view of whatever subject they’re covering,” Meyer said.
This depth of original content attracted the Times to acquire About.com. Another reason was revenue diversification. Almost half of About.com’s revenue comes from Google’s contextual search AdSense program. By contrast, the Times’ online revenue is generated mainly from display ads and classifieds in addition to its own AdSense partnership with Google.
“We’re one of Google’s largest AdSense partners,” Westlake said. “[The Times’] cost-per-click revenue is very small, and for us it’s half the business.”
About.com has another charm. Its guides are experts at search engine optimization. The content they generate is found on engines, which means search referral traffic is huge. While a typical news site gets 40 percent to 60 percent of its traffic on its home page, About.com receives 80 percent of its traffic through search engines, Meyer said. Less than 5 percent comes through About.com’s home page.