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Inside BW: personal brands versus SEO

Ulli Muenker, Our search engine optimization expert visited my office last week. As we talked, she let drop that Blogspotting was a most search-engine-unfriendly name. Who, after all, sits down and decides to look for some “blogspotting?” Other bad SEO titles? Ones with the bloggers’ names in them, like Fine On Media and Nussbaum on Design.

But, I said, those were my idea! I urged Bruce and Jon to use their own names in the blogs. It was a way to build their personal brands. Yes, but who looks for a Nussbaum or (tougher for Google) a Fine? Well, I said, I’d bet plenty of people look for NYT brands like Friedman and Dowd. It’s in Nussbaum and Fine’s interest to have their own brands, and not just be the interchangeable BusinessWeek person covering one thing or another.

But what happens to BW if they leave? she asked. They take their brands with them, I said, and BusinessWeek encourages others to build personal brands. We went back and forth. I never convinced her. But I think this branding battle, between the enterprise and its bloggers, will continue. David Armano, captures some of this dynamic with this illustration:

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