James Finlayson

Head of Innovation, Verve Search

Session: Lessons From Crawling The World’s Largest Newspapers
- , April 8th 2024, Deep dive
As marketers we think we know what journalists want, but could we be doing better?

This year we put our intuition, assumptions and perceived best practices to the test by analysing millions of articles from the world’s largest publishers to find out:

  1. Quite how much content these major publishers are producing each day.
  2. The incredible amount of content some journalists, individually, now create.
  3. How radically different this is from section-to-section.
  4. What percentage of newspapers now no-follow all external links.
  5. What sections of newspapers are most likely to link out.
  6. What companies are achieving the most linking coverage.
  7. Are newspapers linking out less than they used to?

In the talk I’ll share a reproducible targeting methodology to increase not just the chances of getting a link, but the value that link provides. By understanding the above, marketers creating their own content are better equipped by learning from the biggest publishers. Meanwhile marketers outreaching know who’re the right journalists to contact and when to do so.


James Finlayson is the Head of Innovation at Verve Search, where he concentrates on answering the ‘what next’ question and working out how to get there faster. He's been in the industry over a decade and is creatively geeky - spending as much time on technical SEO as creative campaigns. Verve Search is a multi-award winning SEO agency based in London who has worked with brands including Bentley, the BBC, Uber and Expedia. Last year we built over 5k links from some of the biggest sites in the world - plus tv, radio and newspaper coverage - in over 90 countries.