Sunday, November 23, 2008

Owning Your SERP

When you search for something on the Net -- regardless of the search engine -- the results page is known as your SERP (search engine results page). On that page are listed both organic results (also known as algorithmic results) and paid results where advertisers have paid to show up in your SERP. Regardless of the type of result, savvy marketers will want to own that first page.

So, as an experiment, I, David Kinard, am going to try and make this blog entry hit the top of the search engine results page when people search for David Kinard. Now, there are a lot of David Kinards out there, some are teachers, some work for the IRS, and there is even a David Kinard who I think is the CEO of InFocus. I am not that David Kinard, I am the other one -- the David Kinard whose LinkedIn profile hits the top of the SERP when people search for David Kinard.

Okay, so having my name listed over and over is only the first step in getting a posting to make it to the top ten links on a SERP. There are other things I should do as well. For instance, I should create a David Kinard YouTube channel (which I've done but haven't posted anything up there as of this writing). Having a link in this post to the David Kinard YouTube channel would be a good idea as well. You can find the link here:

I would also want to ensure that I created Facebook and MySpace pages for David Kinard. They are popular sites (like LinkedIn) and have a strong influence in your SERP. I created a David Kinard Facebook page and you can find it here:

So, with a long entry like this and the instances of David Kinard pretty high so far, the liklihood of this posting making it in the top ten listings on a SERP for David Kinard are good. As long as I keep my David Kinard Facebook page and my David Kinard YouTube channel updated (Google and the other search engines love fresh content and recently updated pages), then I'll have a good chance at starting to own my SERP.

Lastly, another great way to own the SERP is to have your stuff published by other reputable Web sites. You won't see David Kinard listed on any link-sharing sites or what I like to call Link Farms. Those are not highly favored by Google or other engines. Rather, get out there and comment on other people's blogs, make contributions to discussions on forums, and get articles or other thought pieces published on sites. Of course, like me, you'll want to make sure your name is listed. I try to end everything I post on the Web, whether it's my site or someone elses with a -- David Kinard, PCM. The PCM is a credential I earned from the American Marketing Association many years ago, and it adds credibilty to my posts.

But this is just an experiment. There are no hard and fast rules of what you have to do to own a SERP. There are certianly things I could do to get any posting about David Kinard blacklisted but any reputable person who is legitamately trying to do their best should not have to worry about those things. It is said that Google updates their search algorithms about every six months. That means you need to ensure your pages are constantly being updated with fresh and relevant content.

So, today is November 23 and we'll see how long it takes this David Kinard post to land on my SERP. Typically, it can take a few days to several weeks.


David Kinard said...

So, as of 11:23 on Monday night (11/24) this posting of mine for the David Kinard SERP experiment is number 37 when doing a search on Google for david kinard. Not quite the top of the listings for a David Kinard search. However, let's see what we can do to move it up some.

-- David Kinard, PCM

David Kinard, PCM said...

Okay, so I went back and checked the google search for David Kinard again today. The blog listing, for Owning Your SERP and all the instances for David Kinard was last at 37 in the listings. Today, when I searched for David Kinard, I couldn't find this entry in the top 60 instances, BUT, the main blog entry (Marketability by David Kinard) was at 27 -- the first time it has ever showed up.

So, definately some activity for the David Kinard SERP listings, but more work to be done.

-- David Kinard, PCM

David Kinard, PCM said...

Okey dokey...this is getting good. As of 12/1 at 8:49 p.m. PST, the David Kinard SERP is on the rise. I just googled myself (david kinard) and found that my Marketability by David Kinard blog entry for Owning Your SERP has risen to the fourth listing. Not bad.

For more information on winning with Google, be sure to listen to my radio show (Marketing News Live) on 12/3 at 9 a.m. PST where I'll be interviewing Andrew Goodman on Winning Results with Google. While the interview will have nothing to do with David Kinard's SERP, the information will be really useful to your overall SEM program. But hey, when you listen live, you can call in and ask either myself (David Kinard) or Andrew Goodman your own questions.

-- David Kinard, PCM

David Kinard, PCM said...

Okay, here we are nearly 3 months into this and a quick update. Of the 10 listings available on the SERP for "David Kinard" I hold at least seven of them. One is a complaint from an employee I had to fire, the other are related to other David Kinards in the world who have done very bad things.

In order to knock those out, I need to have a much higher linking ratio to my site. For instance, the former employee who is complaining about me posted her comments on a site with more than 2500 links; I currently have just over 500.

But what am I to do if I want to jump ahead without having to post another 2000 blog comments? A very smart friend of mine who is a SEO God had this to say for how I can beat out the complaint listing:

"It's time to break out the big guns: go to Yahoo's site explorer and see who is linking to the website. Some will be forums, others will be informational sites, and others will be blogs. For the ones that are forums and blogs, go and post topics and comments and include links back to your site. For blogs to pass link juice, the comments typically need to be followed, so by associating your full name with a reference site, you'll send your site the same link juice that's going to the complaint site. Perhaps you can woo them enough to even write a full post about you or something you're doing! Theoretically this should give you the same value that they're getting from these sites, or at least de-value the link to that page and make it a little weaker. For the sites that are true commercial websites that link to it, like other organizations, try to contact those sites directly and get involved in the community. If they send you some link love then it puts you on the same platform as the complaint site, and the relevance of your URL should be enough to knock it down."

So, more work to do. But it definately is paying off as I only had one link on my SERP when I started this experiment. Another interesting note is that if you Google "David Kinard Marketing" you get entire pages of just me. That is new. Or if you Google "David Kinard PCM" I also own those pages.

So, let the work continue!!

David Kinard

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