IMDb case study: A Movie News Aggregator Website

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IMDb really needs no introduction, it’s one of the most successful websites on the Internet. The website launched back in 1990 (that’s not a typo), and now has pretty much every movie that’s ever been filmed in it’s database (not to mention TV episodes, video games, TV advertisements and more).

With such a massive database of pages, it’s little wonder that it’s a PageRank 9 website (there are only about 150 PR9 websites, and a dozen PR10 websites – source).

But did you know IMDb homepage is a movie news aggregator?

Millions of people go to IMDb each day to read movie and celebrity news, and all most none of the content is produced by IMDb writers. The aggregation has been put together very cleverly, so much so that many people don’t realise they’re not reading IMDb original content.

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Of course, IMDb isn’t just a movie news aggregator. And it’d be outright lying to say it’s what makes them a PR9 website! It’s actually a perfect example of where news aggregation can really provide added value to a website.

IMDb has lots of content and resources that attract millions of users each day. Their news article aggregator is just an additional way to keep users coming back to the site. Instead of movie buffs referring to IMDb just for movie details, and using other sites for the latest news, their daily film updates can happen on the IMDb website exclusively.

If you’re looking to set up a high traffic news aggregator website, you should be brainstorming ways you can add value and stickiness to your site, besides simply having automated articles.

Practical (free) idea: No, copying IMBDb is not practical. But let’s say you want to run a much smaller (but still very successful) movie news aggregator website… an idea could be aligning yourself closely with a handful of targeted subreddits on Reddit. You could design your WordPress website so that every page and post has easy access to related discussions on Reddit. Every now and then (in addition to the automated content that’ll be growing every day), you could also add your own articles or infographics relating to a hotly discussed movie or actor.
Over time I’m confident this would become a go-to website for a particular type of movie buff, and as the traffic builds you can branch out to a wider audience.

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