Friday, January 9, 2009

Try this out

Go to Yahoo! and enter the name of a city -- any city -- into the search box without hitting return. Picking at random I entered Alamogordo. The first suggestion offered by "search assist" is Alamogordo Daily News. That suggestion is followed by nm, new mexico, county and high school. I tried this pulling various and sundry city names out of my head. Invariably, the newspaper was in the top 5. Actually, the only city that didn't suggest a newspaper is Brunswick.
Paul Gillin tells of a Boston Globe online group meeting in which it was asked:
Is brand important? Maybe The New York Times brand is, but does the Boston Globe’s brand strike enough of a chord in people’s minds to distinguish its value? Brand may be the only thing newspapers have left in the long run, so that’s a critical question.

This little experiment, if it is, like the Yahoo site claims, based on actual searches, tells me people are looking for newspapers when searching a city.

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