So last week I wrote a blog post. It was focused on writing for Readers vs writing for SEO. Somewhere along the way I also had the idea of this blog post (which is about the power of Google +) and decided to tie the two together.
To do so, I needed to play a trick on you. Sorry about that.
At the very bottom of the blog post I wrote just a small snippet on the biggest trending topic I could find. I wanted to compete with the greatest amount of traffic for SEO. The book and the movie (The Hunger Games) was trending big time!
I titled the post “17 Ways Living in Walnut Creek Beats Living in District 12″ and published the post.
A few people read it, a few ‘LIKEd” it, a few tweeted it and 2 people clicked that +1 button (and one of them was me).
Later that day I went over to Google and did a search for Living in District 12. I grabbed the screen shot below, added notations and put it out on my Facebook Page.
And as I expected, I got a few “atta boys”. But I also got a few “Hey, that didn’t work when I search for it” comments too. Think about that… 1 post and I beat 2.5 billion other sites to nail the top page of Google for a hot topic. WOW! – right?
HERE’S THE CATCH
Maybe ‘catch’ is the wrong word. Here’s what you don’t know. I used a “Secret Weapon”. I didn’t do anything black hat or even grey hat. Actually I did very little to get there at all. I wrote a post, published it, and in the process of distributing it I +1’d it myself. Amy Cesario also +1’d it (thanks Amy!)
Google wants to deliver content to you that is most relevant. They have a complex algorithm that looks at what you searched for and determines the best sites and articles to meet your search. Much like the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm they have found out that many times what your friends have liked commented and shared is usually of higher value to you than articles they have not. They have said that it also includes friends of friends.
A while back Google quietly started adding these ‘Personal Results” into the algorithm. More recently they added the option to turn these results ON or OFF. You’ll find that switch on the top right on the search engine results page.
With more and more people using Google products, chances are when you search Google you are both signed in (as in Gmail, Google Plus or YouTube) and have the Personal Results turned ON. Am I right?
WHAT THAT MEANS FOR YOU
Want a Secret Weapon to use for your own? It’s yours and it’s free. If you are looking to conquer the local search market, here’s how I would do it.
- Set up your Google Plus Profile. Yes you’ll need to join that “Other Network”. It’s actually got a pretty cool video conference function.
- Sign in to “The Google”. It’s not so bad. It isn’t the Borg and you won’t be assimilated. Add everyone into circles. It doesn’t matter what circles – just make sure you add people into circles.
- Start using a Feed Reader. That would be Google’s Feed Reader. Go find the local bloggers in your area. Add these blogs to your Feed Reader so you can easily find local content and comment on it. When you see an article you like +1 it. Of course in commenting, use your real name and make use of the URL that most blogs will allow you to put. Make sure that URL is your Blog.
- Write Blog Posts. Yup, you’ll actually have to write blog posts. LOL! We have quite a few that have taken on my 21in21 Challenge. If they can manage 21 posts in 21 days you could at least write 2 posts in a week – right?
- Publish and +1. And LIKE and Tweet and all the other things that you need to do to distribute your post.
That’s it. Really.
If you are writing good content, giving back to the community, other people will +1 your stuff too. When they do, that directly effects the search results of their friends. Now your stuff is getting in front of friends of friends.