Great question that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately…here is my current thinking and why I deeply believe gawk.it is something everyone who blogs needs and should want:
1. gawk.it provides the most comprehensive blog search available.
gawk.it is the only search engine that includes the ability to search both the blog post and all it’s related comments.
The days of top down broadcasting are coming to an end. The atomic unit of today’s internet is the conversation. So, when you are looking for something, shouldn’t you be able to search the entire conversation? gawk.it is the first and only solution that actually provides that ability.
2. gawk.it rewards your most active and engaged community members by treating their contributions/comments as top-level, searchable, content.
The most successful blogs are really just active conversation hubs. They become active conversation hubs by doing everything they can to foster, engage, and grow their community.
By having gawk.it power your blog’s search feature, you are signaling to your active community members that you value their part of the conversation.
You are also giving their contributions an opportunity to be discovered when and where they are most relevant to the rest of your community, and this helps them to build and grow their own presence within the community.
The advantages this brings go far beyond any simple metrics or increased usage as they actually help foster the emotions that drive true community and repeat quality engagement.
3. gawk.it provides detailed query and click analytics.
What are people actually searching for within your blog? What results are they actually clicking over to? These are important questions whose answer can help you identify the true intent and interests of your readers (and therefore better target your future content and conversations).
gawk.it gives you these detailed answers in a simple, no fuss, way.
4. gawk.it alerting helps keep ‘casual readers’ engaged.
Outside of the rare mega-popular blog, nobody reads every post published to a given blog these days. In fact, social platforms like Twitter and Facebook along with search services like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo have made dipping in and out as relevant posts come across your stream the 'norm’.
So a big part of today’s challenge to engage users is all about getting your relevant posts into the relevant streams at the relevant times.
gawk.it alerting let’s users define what they are interested in (think saved and learned searches), and then monitors all the incoming conversations on their behalf for those interests. Whenever a new, relevant, post or comment is encountered the reader is alerted (via email).
This means readers can rest easy knowing they won’t miss out on interesting and relevant conversations, and bloggers can rest easy knowing that they don’t have to work quite as hard to make sure their most-likely-to-engage readers are aware of their new content and conversations.
5. gawk.it offers cross promotional opportunities.
gawk.it has a 'you might also like’ feature that helps introduce readers to other highly relevant blogs and conversations beyond those they are directly searching. This means additional intent-driven traffic for all blogs involved in the gawk.it platform.
gawk.it also offers 'sponsored results’ which are paid opportunities to promote relevant results and drive more traffic. (for more information about the gawk.it sponsored results program, check out the details at http://gawk.it/sponsored_results )
Finally gawk.it offers the ability to search 'topic groups’. Basically this is a feature that let’s users and/or bloggers define a set of blogs that they want to treat as one group to search across for a given set of interests. While a bit hard to understand at first, this feature turns out to be incredibly powerful and useful for readers and a great way for bloggers to share traffic and build out a much larger and more engaged community as well.
I think an example is the easiest way to help people understand this.
So for example, if you are interested in venture capital conversations around 'equity’ wouldn’t it be great to be able to do a single search across the blogs of Fred Wilson, Andy Weissman, Albert Wenger, Brad Feld, Mark Suster, Bijan Sabet, and Chris Dixon?
Gawk.it groups makes this sort of thing, not only possible, but actually simple. In fact here is a link to for that specific search: http://gawk.it/search?search_type=blogs&forum=avc+OR+feldthoughts+OR+continuations+OR+cdixon+OR+aweissman+OR+bijanblog+OR+bothsidesofthetable&sortby=&query=equity )
NOTE: The tools to create, save, and share these sorts of groups is not officially released to all gawk.it users yet but is in the works and coming very soon.
6. gawk.it offers additional revenue opportunities.
The gawk.it sponsored results program and subscription options provide a new revenue share opportunity for bloggers that choose to have their content participate in these programs.
Are these compelling enough reasons for bloggers to want gawk.it to power their search?
I think they are, but of course I’m biased. Only those of you that blog can really answer this question…so I’ll leave it up to you…are you ready to gawk.it?
If so, you can get started by submitting your blog at http://gawk.it/suggest_blog
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).