After writing the last
on my plan for developing the sites, I took a step back and began to think about what the point of this venture was. The value proposition, the business statement, the eventual business model. As a developer I was so enamored with building the site and leveraging these cool new technologies, I didn't stop and think what need I was solving.
Now that it's live, and I've had time to reflect, I think there is a real need, a pain point that can be solved. And luckily for me, I think there is an opportunity that can exploited by these sites.
When it comes to using search engines, I find myself search one of two ways. Entering keywords related to what I'm looking for, or just entering a question fully flushed into google and seeing what is returned. I suspect I am not alone in this approach.
The problem with existing search results, is that although there are some good results, some are geared toward a single opinion, and you have to spend time going from site to site to figure out what to trust. Question and answer sites like Yahoo answers are great for this sort of thing, but you find yourself finding many variations of the same questions with different answers. There is no real authoritative resource that is "the answer" or "set of answers."
My goal for the sites is to become that authoritative resource. Related links worth looking at can be organized and voted on. Comments specific to that question can be posted and discussed. Even the poll can be used to give people a general sense of what sentiment on the different answers are.
While I suspected that I wasn't alone in typing fully flushed out questions into google, I was surprised to how frequently other people did it. When I used
to see how many people search for questions like this every month here is what I found:
- How often should you: 673,000 (broad), 201,000 (phrase)
- Where Could: 55,600,000 (broad), 40,500 (phrase)
- How Can You Get: 277,000,000 (broad), 110,000 (phrase)
Well you might think those are broad terms, but the keyword tool allows you to drill down even further and see the most common queries that include those terms.
I know these are the broad matches, but if you add up all the global monthly searches for the top 200 keyword phrases that begin with the question in the three sites there are over 500 million global searches for those phrases.
If I just focus on a subset of those to seed the topics with relevant data and work on SEO for questions I have a chance of ranking highly on, I could potential have a lot of traffic on my hands. Hopefully it will be enough traffic to be able to monetize some of that traffic with non intrusive advertising.
I know it’s a long road to get there, but that's the road I see. On the way, I know I need to build a community of folks who are invested in the site and it's content, and finding that audience will be difficult, but hopefully with perseverance, I'll get there.