3 ways to leverage Google's new blog search
One the areas I invest a lot of self-learning time around social media and online marketing is understanding (as best I can) Google's algorithm. Doing so is half the battle for social media success. Despite the prevailing wisdom that Google is super secret about its algorithm, it does leave good clues and SEO bloggers make good detectives.
The most recent breadcrumb was left within its most recent "This week in search" roundup. Google updated its Blog Search to make it a much better resource for finding more than just individual blog posts about a topic query, but a blog itself. This is shown in the following screen shot, which I generated based upon a search on "high-tech pr" from the main Google search page, then clicking on "Blogs" in the sidebar.
What this shows is a new section at the top called "Related blogs about "high-tech PR" and a list of links to the homepages of three blogs, ours included. Below that are links to individual posts related to the same search query, with a recent post by Don Jennings included in the results.
Clicking on the "Related blogs about high-tech pr" pulls up an expanded listing of just the homepages of related blogs.
What this means for you
As we typically do here, I want to offer three takeaways from these changes in practical terms based upon how you can leverage these changes to Google blog search now. We are here to help.
Use Google blog search to find bloggers worth linking to. A blog is a two-way street. The best way to grow traffic and influence is to pull in bloggers with similar interests through reacting and responding to their opinions and linking to them in the process. This change in Google blog search makes it much more useful to find the bloggers and subscribe to them.
An efficient way to do this is to get to the blog homepage search based upon the path described above and then searching on different terms from there. The blogs listed in the first few pages are ones that are most relevant and influential on that specific topic. What's nice about this new search is how targeted you can get with your search term to find bloggers on niche topics.
Search on your market/product category to determine where you rank. This can be done from the blog homepage search page that you arrive at when following the path described above. If your blog is not on the first three pages of results, it's time to review and tweak the SEO settings and options provided by your blog CMS, such as the meta description, meta keywords and blog title. Does it include those keywords for which you want to rank highly?
Just as it is important for your corporate web site to rank highly in regular search results, it will be equally important for your blog to rank high for more people to find it, link to it and use it as a source of information
Consider where else to strategically add keywords. SEO blogger Bill Slawski suggests that Google might be looking at information such as feeds, blogger bios, post titles and post content to determine the ranking of results for the blog homepage searches. Based upon my own testing using various keywords, it does appear to me that the search snippets (the result summary presented for each link) Google generates uses keywords from these various sources to determine relevance.
This requires even more diligent SEO considerations in ongoing blog writing, as well as a review of the elements of the blog that heretofore we might have thought was not important, like a bio page or field.
If you've tried the new Google blog search, what are your takeaways?