Dusting Off the Archive for the Web: Sports Illustrated is following the lead of the New York TImes and putting everything they ever wrote — all 53 year’s worth — on the Web for free. Their old content is a huge asset in terms of their abilityt to capture eyeballs and random search terms.
SI.com already draws more than six million unique visitors each month, according to Nielsen Online (publications insist that the true numbers are much higher than Nielsen’s ratings), and executives of the magazine predict the Vault could add five million monthly readers.
“The real hidden value of this is what it does for search,” said John Squires, executive vice president of Time Inc., the Time Warner subsidiary that publishes Sports Illustrated. The move quadruples the site’s volume, he said. “We’ll have to work our way up the search algorithms over time, but eventually, someone searches Johnny Unitas, and SI.com is going to pop up.”