©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Google has been a traffic bellwether for more than a decade, enabling those who embraced search engine optimization (SEO) to disrupt those who didn’t. Now, Google seems to be turning on SEO in favor of social media optimization (SMO), launching several initiatives that directly disrupt those who have been able to game their algorithm. Sites like Huffington Post and Gawker, who recognize this sea change, stand to benefit greatly from Google’s moves while content farms like Demand Media, Associated Content and even hybrid sites like About.com are already suffering. Where do magazine and newspaper sites fit in the spectrum of winners and losers? We’ll look at today’s winners and losers later in this post.