Independent bloggers doing reviews or other commentary can have a large influence on the products and companies they write about. Sometimes the bloggers are more important than the company itself, at least as far as search engines are concerned: it's not unusual to see a blogger's page have a higher listing than the company's own page for related searches, or even searches on the company name.
Yet the company so upstaged is often pathetically unaware of the blog that writes so popularly about it and its products. I say pathetic because you could liken this to any politician being unaware of what CNN is saying about them: they should be aware, because a lot of people are hearing what CNN has to say, and in the case of blog pages, a lot of people are reading.
You'd think that companies would seek out such bloggers, would read their pages, would offer corrections, their own point of view, etc. That rarely happens. You'd think that in the case of product reviews, the companies would work to inform bloggers of changes, would provide opportunity to review new products, etc. That happens a little more often, but usually only if the blogger seeks out the company and even then they may get ignored.
Remember, I'm not talking about back water blogs on page 2,317,535 of a Google search. I'm talking about the folks who turn up on page one or even in the "I'm feeling lucky" result.
Bloggers and the companies have complementary interests: Bloggers make money writing about products, the companies make money selling the products. Very few companies understand how influential bloggers can be, because they aren't used to a little one man outfit having much influence - they think that they have to be dealing with a good sized corporate entity, and that just isn't the case nowadays.
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