What the MythBusters cannonball incident means for SEO


Well, by virtue of the fact that you’re reading this, if you didn’t get here from the home page or the RSS feed, I think the easy part of the question has been answered.

But this isn’t just a headline test to see where I can rank on a subject making the news right now.  I’m thinking about MythBusters, and shows like it, where the viewer has a choice of either watching an hour-long production that works its way to a conclusion or simply Googling the outcome.

Both choices have their role, and I’d argue both can be equally rewarding depending on your mindset and circumstances at any given time (quick: can you bulletproof a car by covering it with phone books? Wouldn’t it be great to know that instantly? Wouldn’t it be great to see the full story? Oh man, maybe there’ll be a cannonball…)

Sports are the same way.  We have NHL game highlights on Apple TV, where I can, in theory, watch a full game in just 5 minutes.  Other than checking out the feature, I never have.  I rarely have time to watch a full game, but I’d rather enjoy the full battle or just grab the box scores.

Search engine people already know all of this, and they watch the news stories just like I just did.  But the definition of “search engine people” is expanding to everyone who has a story to tell or a product to put in front of you, and Google’s going to have an interesting time, I think, figuring out who’s being opportunistic and who’s giving real value while still riding the wave.

And from the consumer perspective, it’s key to recognize that some people are looking for the Mythbusters summaries, and other people want to sit down and watch people build crazy stuff involving cannonballs.  It’s probably very easy to serve both if you watch for it.





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