Would you like your blog post to appear on the first page of hits in Google?
Would you like your post to stand out among a million others on a certain topic?
I read blogs written by several social media gurus, one of them being Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.
Kristen knows her stuff. I took an online workshop from her and learned heaps.
One of many things Kristen taught us was the importance of using tags to label our posts. She suggests using our name as a tag so when anyone searches for us, our posts will appear in the results. She also suggests using search-engine friendly terms in our tags.
I put Kristen’s tag tip in practice last week and met with astonishing results.
On Tuesday, August 23, an earthquake rocked the Eastern Seaboard. I saw a reference to the quake in a blog comment. Knowing news hits Twitter faster than bugs strike my windshield in the spring, I opened TweetDeck and watched as the earthquake trended.
As soon as it became evident that this earthquake was not “the big one” and that injuries and damage to property were minimal, humorous tweets appeared. Some of them were so clever, I shook with laughter as I read them.
I copied some of my favorite tweets and used them in a blog post on August 24: Clever Tweets about the Quake. Following Kristen’s wise counsel, I added three tags to the post: Keli Gwyn, Virginia Earthquake, and Writers on Twitter.
The next day many blog visitors from the East Coast commented, saying where they were and what they were doing when the quake rocked their world. As a native Californian who has experienced a number of quakes, I couldn’t believe how far from the epicenter the Virginia quake was felt. Here in the Golden State, a quake is felt some 30-50 miles away. I live 100 or so miles from the San Francisco Bay Area, and yet we don’t feel the effects from a quake that takes place there.
Being a curious person, I hopped on Google to find the answer (the crust in the East is thicker and less jumbled than the crust here in the West), but I got a surprise as well.
When I input the words Virginia Earthquake in the search bar, my blog post appeared on the very first page of hits – #12 out of over 1,000,000!
Thinking my first-page experience to be a fluke, I input the words Virginia Earthquake in the search bar on 8/29, five days after my quake post first appeared. When I input the words without quotation marks as I did on 8/24, my post was no longer on the first page. Since the hits now topped 105 million, I didn’t find that too surprising.
Just for fun, I input “Virginia Earthquake” in quotation marks as shown in the image above, which narrowed the search to posts where the words appear together in that order.
Guess what I found?
The post still appeared on the first page of the more limited search–out of the 1,240,000 hits Google’s web crawlers found–right up there with the likes of Nova and Wikipedia.
My experience proves two things:
2) Tagging could get you in trouble with the police if done with spray paint on freeway overpasses, but tagging your posts will get you positive attention in cyberspace. 🙂
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Do you use tags to label your blog posts? If so, do you have any tagging success stories?