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Targeting an Audience of Robots: Search Engines and the Marketing of Technical Communication Business Websites

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1 Author(s)
John B. Killoran ; Dept. of English, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY, USA

This paper explores the extent to which technical communication businesses with Websites are attempting to reach an audience of prospective clients through an intermediary audience of search engines. It draws on a survey of 240 principals of these businesses, brief interviews with half of them, and an analysis of their sites. Results show that search engines are among the most helpful methods leading people to these business sites and that higher levels of such search engine helpfulness are strongly associated with higher percentages of clientele who originate through these sites. Most businesses take search engines into account at least minimally; however, meaningfully pursuing that audience requires ongoing investments that some technical communication businesses are reluctant to make.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 3 )