Informing people is a basic goal of any Web site, but some sites exist for that sole purpose. During the Web's "Content is King" phase in the late 1990s, many sites arose offering visitors just another form of media, much like TV or magazines. Some of these sites are adjuncts to offline media, such as CNN's Web site or Sports Illustrated's. These sites exist in part to increase market awareness of the mother ship, as discussed earlier. However, an information and entertainment site can also be an end in itself, existing only to provide information on a particular subject.
Your information and entertainment business might be based on a combination of ad revenue and premium subscriptions, for content that is not available to the general public. CBS MarketWatch is a good example of such a site, with business news available to everyone, but "premium products" that offer more exclusive analysis or investment management tools to subscribers. Many interactive game sites offer some free games, but offer multiplayer games by subscription only.
The few well-known information and entertainment sites, such as ESPN, should focus on navigational queries, but informational queries are the lifeblood of all information and entertainment sites. MarketWatch might capture new visitors with its breaking business news, but makes a profit on premium services. Similarly, game sites might capture traffic for a "multiplayer games" query, but they make money only through subscriptions.
Because the queries for information and entertainment sites are so varied and so topical, paid search often does not pay off. Organic search optimization techniques can be built in to the process of creating each news story and the search engines learn that these sites change quickly and the spider visits frequently.
One specific paid search service is of interest to information and content sites. As discussed in Chapter 3, Google AdSense and similar services can place contextual advertisements on your site's pages that relate to the content of each page. Whereas other kinds of sites buy contextual ads as part of their search marketing mix, information and entertainment sites sell them, with search engines acting as a broker between the buyers and sellers.