Within about a minute of me writing this post and hitting “publish”, it will be in the Google index, and will probably be ranking for an exact match of the title. That’s a combination of a number of factors coming into play and is a real eye opener for any marketer who wants to leverage the actual power of social media + real time search from Google to rank for something like “fast SEO results guaranteed”.
I publish via WordPress, which automatically pings Google when a new post is added to the blog. In addition to this, I also use ifttt, which has an automatic rule in place that sends a Tweet, and adds a bookmark to delicious.com as soon as the blog is published. This is backed up by a publicly accessible Facebook page that also takes a feed of new posts. Normally, because I’m followed by some really cool people on Twitter and Facebook, and I also have social plug ins on the website, I will also get a few re-tweets and likes from people. Together, these different things are the social signals that SEO people are so keen on talking about at the moment. Largely because they work.
All of the above happens because of Google Caffeine. Google’s ranking algorithm calculates the right order for websites for a given query on the fly. Any new information such as links that have just been found, changes to content that have just been made, major redirects that have just taken effect have an impact on your websites rankings almost immediately. That’s why if you look at the rankings for a particularly competitive term where there is a lot of activity, you will see plenty of movement in the SERPS over a relatively short period of time.
Can I blog for competitive terms then?
If you look at the SERPs for a lot of high volume tech or gadget terms such as “iPad Rumours” or “iPhone 5”, you will see results that are dominated by the big tech blogs like CNET, or TechRadar. But of course, these sites are very strong in general, having built up high authority and receive vast numbers of tweets and Facebook likes for every post.
A lot of the recent Google updates focussed on brand strength or authority as a means to determining which websites should rank well. Arguably one of the big undiscussed outcomes of the recent Farmer/Panda update was that relatively authoritative content aggregators such as Ezine Articles took a kicking. You might get a thousand new pages about a topic like loans posted on that site each day, and many writers would be using social bookmarking services to promote their content.
What would it take?
So, what would you need to do to get guaranteed fast SEO results using blog + ping + social media in a competitive niche like Car Insurance?
An authoritative domain
You would need a website with a bit of history to begin with – one that has a relatively large amount of relevant content on it, and probably one that gets a fair amount of brand traffic. Otherwise, you would not tick the branding boxes that Google considers important.
An SEO Friendly CMS
That’s pretty much a given, let’s say we’d use WordPress, but there are enough alternatives out there that you could do what you want.
A big network of fans
“Real” fans that is. People who will add the veneer of social respectability to your post by recommending it to their own followers.
Can You Fake it?
It’s possible to fake popularity and authority for your website by buying links, so why not fake social signals too? Given enough time and resource, it’s definitely possible to create a network of fake fans, but in most cases, it’s pretty easy to spot false social media profiles by way of the odd language, posting patterns, and asymmetric friending patterns that they have.
However, SEO people are pretty resourceful…
PS: It might be possible to get Fast SEO results using social media, but you can’t guarantee anything, and nor should you believe any company that proclaims that they do guarantee success.
About 30 seconds after posting this blog, I screencapped the following results from Google: