BusinessWeek.com has looked to data from its web traffic to update a story originally published in 2005 (pointed out by The Bivings Report).
After seeing that their article ‘Blogs Will Change Your Business‘ was continuing to attract significant traffic, authors Stephen Baker and Heather Green decided the demand for the information meant an updated version was necessary.
“Type in ‘blogs business’ on the search engine, and our story comes up first among the results, as of this writing. Hundreds of thousands of people are still searching ‘blogs business’ because they’re eager to learn the latest news about an industry that’s changing at warp speed. Their attention maintains our outdated relic at the top of the list. It’s self-perpetuating: They want new, we give them old,” wrote Baker and Green.
The article has not only been given the new headline ‘Social Media Will Change Your Business‘, but now features annotations and updates from experts.
An editor’s note at the top of the revised piece openly explains this strategy (emphasis is mine):
“When we published ‘Blogs Will Change Your Business’ in May, 2005, Twittering was an activity dominated by small birds. Truth is, we didn’t see MySpace coming. Facebook was still an Ivy League sensation. Despite the onrush of technology, however, thousands of visitors are still downloading the original cover story.
“So we decided to update it. Over the past month, we’ve been calling many of the original sources and asking the Blogspotting community to help revise the 2005 report. We’ve placed fixes and updates into more than 20 notes; to view them, click on the blue icons. If you see more details to fix, please leave comments. The role of blogs in business is clearly an ongoing story.
“First, the headline. Blogs were the heart of the story in 2005. But they’re just one of the tools millions can use today to lift their voices in electronic communities and create their own media. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace, video sites like YouTube, mini blog engines like Twitter-they’ve all emerged in the last three years, and all are nourished by users. Social Media: It’s clunkier language than blogs, but we’re not putting it on the cover anyway. We’re just fixing it.”
The original version still exists on the site, but directs readers to the updated piece. The writers have also been using their blog on the site to gain feedback from readers on what should be changed.
So that’s re-optimising the article for search engines, meeting the demands of readers and promoting the site as an up-to-the minute information source, all rolled into one.