Read/Write Web writes how About.com has mastered search engine optimisation — 80% of its traffic comes from search engines.
About.com is made up of 500 “Guides”, people who are experts on a certain topic. In a way About.com was the precursor to topic-focused blogs. Only the guides are more renowned for writing how-to articles, rather than the analysis and commentary of the best blogs. About.com these days also has a lot of reviews and product comparisons, similar to a site like CNET.
In terms of stats, Scott told me that About’s total revenue is growing slightly faster than their page views – so revenue grew 40% last year, compared to 30% increase in page views for the same period. On the 80% of total traffic from search engines, when you consider that About specializes in writing how-to guides for hundreds of topics – then 80% sounds reasonable. I myself often bump into About.com webpages when I need to find out how to do something. But 80% is still a huge amount and illustrates plainly the difference between About.com guides and bloggers (most of whom rely on incoming links and subscribers for their traffic). It also shows how well About has mastered the art of SEO!