Just Get People to Talk About You

Outside of hand edits, most search engine relevancy and trust scores come from looking at third party votes. You don't even have to be a subject matter expert to get tons of traffic if you can just come up with ideas that get authoritative channels talking about you. If you are good at public relations that will be reflected in the search results, both directly and indirectly. Trusted sites that link to you flow trust your way. Even if Google decides to manually edit your site out of the search results, you still have a defensible stream of traffic if you obtained coverage on high authority websites.

Those visitors are going to be hard to monetize unless the other site was reviewing your products or services, but many of those visitors may still link to your site or help push your brand in front of other people. If you have a strong affiliate program or a large set of legitimate organic mentions you don't need search engines.

A site of mine that got hand edited was mentioned in LifeHacker about a year ago. So far today that mention sent 22 visitors. Those visitors are highly qualified since they likely searched on a search engine or via LifeHacker's internal search, found that page on LifeHacker, read that page, then clicked through to my site.

The key with building up a strong link profile on trusted sites is to think about your idea from the perspective of creating something that is useful, wrapped in a story that has a self spreading mechanism, and biasing it to the target audience which is going to spread your message.

Conversation is the #1 signal of quality to search engines. That may change at some point, but for it to do so search engines have to try to change human behavior that has been built, marketed, and reinforced for thousands of years.

Published: August 22, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


August 22, 2007 - 11:58pm

Yes, building brand is far more important. Building social networks is great :). I'd have to say social networking on the web is the most powerful est form of marketing if you ask me.

Ed Welch
August 23, 2007 - 4:28am

Hello Aaron:

Good stuff as usual but I do have a question if you will excuse my lack of understanding. When you say

"wrapped in a story that has a self spreading mechanism"

what exactly are you talking about? Can you offer an example?



August 23, 2007 - 4:34am

Hi Ed
Look at the Salary.com mom calculator. Also lookat other ideas that spread well on the web in general or amongst your community, and look for patterns amongst them.

August 23, 2007 - 3:14pm

Hi Aaron - This topic is key to my site's success, but I have not yet found the best way to communicate to others.

My site is dedicated to raising money for children's charities via affiliate links, adwords, and coupons. I've spent around 24 months of time as a volunteer to develop the site (that's the point of the site, philanthropy fundraising for children's charities!), but am not currently getting the links, or exposure I was hoping for. One of my site's competitors is www.igive.com, which takes a portion of the sales commission as their own cut..my model is to give everything away. They have been able to raise millions of dollars for various charities. I wanted this site to be focused on children (I have two of my own). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get the "buzz" necessary to really make this site a viable fundraising option for children's charities.

I've bought two books on SEO (including your fabulous SEO eBook), and am reading blogs, trade rags, etc..to learn and try as much as possible.

Would you (or anyone else reading this post) be able to help me identify concrete steps that can help make this site a success for children's charities?

Deeply thankful for anyones assistance or advice.

Paul Gustafson

August 30, 2007 - 11:05am

that is not bad

August 23, 2007 - 4:00pm

Google can easily transform human behavior, traditions and customs, laws and even the name of the planets. If they were to add a tenth planet named "GPlanet" to the solar system, many would swear it is true.

Think about it. :P

August 24, 2007 - 12:19am

Wow Aaron,

Google sure put a bee in your (very manly) bonnet about this hand-editing. Seems like I've seen it in every other post for the last few days. I'm with you though. That's shady, especially when they talk such a good game that they don't.

Backing up your point, those conversations are gold and often convert at wildly successful percentages, even if the traffic isn't that high. I've had mentions on blogs for sites of mine that sometimes convert at up to 50%. Well worth the time and effort.

August 24, 2007 - 2:49pm

I agree 100% on all points. Very well stated Aaron.

August 24, 2007 - 11:34pm

The mar/com staff at all companies can rest easy if their bosses understand the value of this strategy.

Search and visitor traffic success is a byproduct of good solid marketing and PR efforts optimized for the online space.

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