In a Social-First World, Finding the Algorithms that Fit Your Business is Important, says Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel



“Social media is great for marketing, but you can’t always tie your business outcomes to it.” — Neil Vogel, CEO, Dotdash


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Dotdash was recently named Digiday’s Publisher of the Year and just surpassed $100 million in revenue, but when it comes to social media, the digital publisher doesn’t solely focus on the traffic it generates from social media networks like Facebook.

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At #SMWNYC, Neil Vogel, CEO of Dotdash, discussed how he and his team have been able to scale its digital publishing business in an era where being “social first” is considered the only path to success.

The best content

What matters most for Dotdash is making the best content, on the fastest-sites with the most respectful advertising. Vogel highlighted that ‘there is no place on the internet for crappy or mediocre content’, and shared how Dotdash’s portfolio of websites focus on utility publishing ie creating content that answers questions. He also underscored the importance of updating evergreen content regularly.

The less fun the thing, the less it’s going to work on Facebook

Facebook, Twitter is great for certain types of content, said Vogel, but not utility content.

People don’t engage with Dotdash brands every day, only when they need us, explained Vogel. Search engine algorithms are better suited to helping people find the content they want, content like ours, than the social media platforms. Our content isn’t always ‘fun’ and the “less fun the thing, the less it’s going to work on Facebook.”

It’s dangerous to chase shiny new objects

A further element in the challenge to find algorithms that work for your business is the fact that they are always changing. It’s a big frustration for many publishers, and “building your business on the back of other people’s platform is very dangerous” highlighted Vogel. It’s dangerous to chase shiny new objects.

Using social media to build relationships

For Dotdash, each brand team runs its own social media activity, where the focus is on building relationships with users outside of what is utilitarian content. “Social media is great for marketing, but you can’t always tie your business outcomes to it,” concluded Vogel. You need to work hard to find the algorithms that work best for your business.

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