Search Engine Journal reports that 28% of American adults use news aggregation services such as those offered by AOL, Yahoo News and Google News. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports newspaper influence dropped from 60% to 39% (1996 to 2004).
Explanations for this trend include increasing overall internet usage including RSS readers, blogs and vertical news sites.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project also reports blog readership increased 58 percent in 2004 and that approximately six million Americans read news via RSS news aggregators, a trend that is expected to continue.
The Search Engine Strategies conference last week had 1 session on search engine public relations and 3 sessions related to blogs and RSS. A definite trend.
An increasing number of online marketers are taking advantage of this trend by consulting with clients on¬†optimized press releases, developing blogs and¬†blog marketing initiatives and improving client/prospect/peer communications via RSS feeds.
Internet news, blogs and RSS present a unique opportunity in combination with search for both users and marketers. At TopRank, we’re working on developing metrics for success in each of these areas and I’ll be very interested in seeing what other search marketers are using.