John Battelle posted today about his new search referrer widget he’s added to his blog. It’s simply some code that grabs the referring search string from a Google or Yahoo search and greets the user with a front and center box on the page that lets them know that John knows where they’re coming from and what they’re looking for, and that he has some additional posts they may be interested in.
First, I don’t really know if this classifies as a widget or not, but that’s mostly semantics. Lijit also has this already productized in their Wijit. In reality, what’s cool about this is that it’s an example of how analytics and smart programming can come together to create a better site experience for the user, and perhaps help marketers create more persuasive marketing funnels.
There are a ton of different things you can do to customize your site and messaging based on where users are coming from and what they’re doing. Some of the top ecommerce sites have been doing this for a long time, but it’s cool to see blogs and smaller publishers catching on to the technique. One obvious thing that bloggers could do is promote their RSS feeds or invite people to take part in the comment discussions. I also know of a blogging platform that only shows ads to users who come in through search engines and haven’t visited the blogging platform domain name before. They do this because they know the users are just searchers who are not likely regular users who might get annoyed with ads. Whether that logic is correct I don’t know, but at least this kind of implementation allows you to test and do those sorts of things.