TechCrunch, the uglified beast that is Crunchbase, and a simple solution

29 Oct

For those that read TechCrunch download Agent Cody Banks , you are obviously aware of the ugly infestation that is Crunch Base.

The idea is simple – while TechCrunch covers the news, Crunch Base is where they keep persistent profiles on each company. This profile includes investors, revenue, press releases, etc. A decent idea. But what TechCrunch decided to do was every time a company name was mentioned, it linked to the Crunch Base site (instead of directly to the company).

Now there would be a simple solution to this – every time a company was mentioned, link to it directly, and then have a ‘(profile)’ link after it. But the dirty little secret was that it was a no-go due to search engines. Most of Crunch Base’s traffic is from people searching for company names. Linking using ‘(profile)’ wouldn’t give it the linkjuice it needed. I just bought a search analysis for Crunch Base on – and other than their own brand being #1, all of the other traffic-generating keywords were company names. Point proven.

But there was a lot of angry feedback. People were not happy. So they created a widget. While you read the blog post, you would also see information on each company. You can also minimize it so that you never have to see it again. Good idea.

The problem of course is that the underlying HTML still contains links (for search engine purposes) to Crunch Base. Not that I find anything wrong with. Except that it absolutely uglifies the RSS feed.

Thankfully, there is a simple solution. Add tags around the widget HTML. Then create a WP hack that makes sure none of the HTML in between appears in the RSS feed.

Voila! This way TechCrunch gives its (well-deserved) SEO juice to Crunch Base, all while sparing their RSS readers the HTML eye sore.

2 Responses to TechCrunch, the uglified beast that is Crunchbase, and a simple solution


Jonathan Cohen

November 2nd, 2007 at 12:30 pm

An easier solution would be a nice GreaseMonkey script that redirects the user to the company’s Web site instead of the silly CrunchBase entry. I wonder if it’s been done already…

Also, are you still hiring blog writers? Let me know :D




November 2nd, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Well – I have no desire to install GreaseMonkey :) Plus they changed it – now its just plain ugly.

And nein on the blog writers for now – see my latest post.