BusinessWeek has tried it all — comments, blogs, podcasts. But with its latest online strategy, it's really giving up on the idea of serving up quality content. Instead, its new site, Business Exchange, will specialize in gaming Google. Sort through the gobbledygook about "aggregation" and "verticals" and "user-generated content," and you arrive at this vision for the site:
Roger W. Neal, senior vice president and general manager of BusinessWeek Digital, said that as Business Exchange pages work their way up through search engine results, the site should double BusinessWeek’s traffic on the Web within two years, allowing it to sell more ads.
There you have it, bluntly, from a senior BusinessWeek executive: Business Exchange is a search-engine spam trap, meant to capture Google users on their way to actual information. What makes the plan brilliant: In the short term, ad salespeople will sell these pages at BusinessWeek.com rates, raking in a fortune on throwaway content. In the long term, though, BusinessWeek risks turning all of its online inventory into junk by association. (Photo by Chester Higgins/The New York Times)