Archive for September, 2009

Viral Content and SEO

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

There are various factors taken into consideration by search engines when determining what websites will rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results page) for a given keyword or key phrase. While these factors are not 100% known, shared experiences among SEOs help establish what factors do play a role in the algorithms used by search engines. The whole point of search engine optimization is to help a particular website rank higher in the SERPs for different keywords and key phrases in hopes of generating quality traffic. There are different reasons for driving traffic to a website, but that is a new discussion entirely.

An SEO can use different techniques to help a website climb the SERPs. Usually, these techniques can be categorized into on-page or off-page optimization, sometimes referred to as on-site or off-site optimization. An example of on-page optimization is using keywords or key phrases in the title tag or the content of a page. An example of off-page optimization is seeking out backlinks to a website. Some optimization techniques can be positive efforts in both categories, either directly or indirectly.

By creating a blog on your website, you can keep content fresh on-page. If your content is unique and something people will want to share, it can become viral content and indirectly affect your off-page optimization efforts without any additional time consumed in the process. Viral content has been listed as one of the most important factors (if not the most important) in efforts to climb the SERPs. By spending the time creating quality content on your website, over time you will reap the benefits of doing so. There is not a science to creating viral content, but I will share some ideas that have worked in the past.

1. Research – Do your research and find out what the buzz is in your industry. Also, find out what is currently driving traffic to your website by researching keywords visitors are using to get there. Visit sites like Digg and find out what type of content is making the headlines. What do you find intriguing about the more popular articles and what makes you fall asleep?

2. Revolt – Find something you feel very strongly about that could be better by implementing your own ideas. There are other groups out there with your same ideas that have not been heard and will want to link to you in hopes of spreading the word. Seek out these other groups and let them know.

3. Refute – Create content that will cause much debate with evidence that will surprise the reader. Invoke questions in the mind of your readers.