My friend, Tan Kian Ann the Blogopreneur, was recently excited over a new blog post getting indexed on Google’s 1st page within 17 minutes.
I still remember when I just got started with regular blogging, blogopreneur.com is my first personal case study as I try to observe what works. In terms of Alexa ranking, blogopreneur.com shot up very fast in its early days.
I am definitely grateful for what he did successfully so that I am able to follow suit. Out of gaining insights about his blog, I have formed 2 of my own tips, very fundamental and simple ones, which you can take away and apply consistently everyday into your own blogging activities. These 2 tips are not so much techniques as they are about the mindset. Tell you soon.
I don’t want to sound like a party pooper, but the blunt truth is search engine results have always been fickle. One day you’re on first page and the next, completely drop out of sight. So upon reading Kian Ann’s achievement, I am beginning to form personal doubts about the TRUE result of the post.
If I should just type in “SPH search” (without the inverted commas), as I see from my screen here, the key phrase is ranked no. 9 today. But if you are a U.S. resident, you may see the phrase ranked at no. 11. Please do a search and comment to me if I’m correct.
Why is there a difference?
I can’t remember how it exactly took place; the cause of this difference lies either with how you configured your time and location settings on your PC, or at that time when Google asked for your configuration online when you first installed the Google toolbar (I think it’s this one).
What happens is as I, a Singaporean, access the search engine by typing google.com, the browser jumps straight to google.com.sg on the presumption that the resulting search will ‘fit’ closer to my ‘local’ taste.
You see, doing a normal search based on your location in different countries can unknowingly throw up completely different set of search results if you’re not aware of what’s going on. AdWords advertisers are a lot more sensitive to their ad performances since AdWords give them geographical control over where they want their ads to be targeted, down to city level.
So let’s say I do a quick search for “SPH search” and the Google SE just throws me a “1st page”. If I want to check how Kian Ann’s post ranks in U.S. context, add &gl=us to that whole string of URL in the address bar:
‘gl’ is the geographical parameter for the Google SE. You can apply all possible 2-letter abbreviations like uk, ca, my, sg, au, etc. I’m not exactly sure if it works with Yahoo! and MSN. Any SEO geeks out there can tell me?
Now, searching “SPH search” WITH inverted commas yields slightly better rankings because there’s a tighter definition for an exact phrase and you also filter out competition coming from web pages with scattered keywords.
I am also prompted by Kian Ann’s post to revisit a previous post I have published. Please have a read. In that post, I mentioned the ranking result for 4 search terms. As I review these 4 terms today:
1) blog announcer pro (drop out of sight)
2) google wealth wizard (5th page)
3) desktopbucks (still 1st page)
4) auction traffic mastery (drop out of sight, scattered keyword results on 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 14th page)
Note: no ‘gl’ mode.
The results for “auction traffic mastery” are quite interesting. I once had a friend who laughed at all the buttons I had in my sidebar thinking I fancy at becoming an “army general”. If you had somehow arrived at my blog by doing a search but coming from a blog directory directly, that’s what happens when some of the SE rankings I can claim are dependent on the PageRank of 3rd-party sites and how that PR translates into a boost for its internal pages.
In recent weeks if you have caught up with Howard Schwartz’s Google Domination event, that’s exactly what he did essentially: rank for a consistent key phrase in every possible social networking/bookmarking site and take up all 1st 5 pages of the Google SE! Ranking on 1st page ain’t enough; I gonna blanket my presence from no. 1 to no. 50!
What this tells you is blog submission, like article submission, link submission and other forms of submission, is crucial in the long run. Before submission takes place, you must:
1) Blog everyday (or do advanced posting for 1 post a day).
2) Know all the relevant keywords of your industry that are supposed to HELP your business. I can try to rank for “SPH search” if I want to, but I won’t.
These are my 2 key tips for you, and see if you can reach at least a PR4 one day.
That’s the end of my story. Of late, I gleaned 2 interesting SEO facts.
Sometimes when I do a search for some products, I see a search result title like “Is so-and-so a scam? Read this first before you buy.” When I click to read the content, what the hell, it’s a pre-selling review asking you to buy at the end.
Perhaps it’s just my illusion, but I have the impression that Google seems to place some kind of importance on scam warnings, so they rank such pages highly.
Another friend, Uncle Jolly, published a website on parenting about 4 months ago. It ranks no. 2 for “parenting tips singapore” (no inverted commas). If you go to the home page, not a single “singapore” word appears in the main body. Only by going through the “Page -> View Source” option will you find “Singapore” in the meta-tags.
The current situation right now is most webmasters are ingrained with the idea that “meta-tags are no longer influential” on search results, but Jolly’s site shows otherwise.
I thought of something that I want to rank for…”ron paul”. Who wants to compete with me?
Feel free to say whatever you want to complement my “2 cents”. Thanks!