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How I Got a Number One Ranking on Google Search

August 19, 2011

I recently discovered that one of my blog posts is ranked at the top of a certain Google search, which, as you know, represents the pinnacle of blogging success.

God be praised!

That’s right, when you tap out “Feeling Stupid” into your Google search engine, my blog lands right up there at number one with the post, “Are You Feeling Stupid at Work? I’m Here to Help.”

What an honor, to be known throughout the world as the go-to resource for stupidity!

Not exactly what I was reaching for, but I’ll take it.

And what, exactly, does that do for me?

Well, first, I receive a staggering number of hits on my site from this lofty perch, anywhere for 50 – 100 a week! Holy crap! Hope all that traffic is not bringing down the WordPress servers!

Well, the important thing is not generating traffic, but that I am helping people in need. Go ahead and look at the post and see all the wise counsel I’ve been offering. There are 80 comments so far, and I also get a few private emails every month. I answer all of those, too. It’s become like the crowdsourcing center for Feeling Stupid.

Now, about how I made that #1 ranking happen…

Actually, I have no idea. Someone will have to explain to me, because I don’t have a clue. It’s not like I started this blog with the goal of getting a number one spot on Google search.

Although I am not hard-core, I have learned there are some basic things you must do if you want to get the #1 ranking swag:

1.Don’t Blog like its Facebook

Dear friends, I love you, but if you want to land high on the Google search engine, then you best tone down the personal story-telling details and begin writing with a more general audience in mind. For instance, no one is going to seek out your inner thoughts about tonight’s dinner plans or the latest scripture verse that revs your engine. That information is diffuse and generic, as far as google is concerned.

2. Write something useful and specific.

If you want to start angling your way into a search engine result, then write in terms that people are going to search for to begin with, then offer information that might actually be beneficial to the reader. Be practical, specific and direct, and don’t rant on and on, like I am doing here. Try to work it into the title, too. Look at all the headings of those snappy high-traffic blogs: “How to blah blah blah…” “Five Ways to x y
z…”

3. Write the desired search phrase right into the post.

This may have been my big Google-ticket item. In this particular post, I came right out and used the phrase that people were going to be typing into the search bar: “I feel stupid at work.” I even put it in bold, which show those SOB search bots that I’m serious!

4. Write about something that no one has thought of yet.

It’s not that I was the first one to write about this topic, but the fact is, there is a lot less competition for the “feeling stupid” category than, say, “Anderson Cooper” or “Lady Gaga” or “Celiac Disease Symptoms.” Now, this probably goes against the grain of most blogging advice, which says to go with the trends, ride with the tide, etc. But it worked for me.

5. Don’t try so hard

And finally, if all of this fails, then good. Don’t try to make a number one ranking on Google search your goal, because that’s lame and entirely misses the whole point of blogging. Which is, like, to build community and help people.

Right?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 6:31 am

    And don’t forget to add an exclamation point ! and a question mark ?
    Those bots love to hunt those down.

    I love how you wrap this up. Don’t sweat the rankings. Just write good stuff.

    • August 20, 2011 8:58 am

      Amen, bro. Let’s keep churning out great content. Although I seem to remember that you had quite a few hits coming in from a post where you mentioned Dog the Bounty Hunter or something like that?

  2. August 19, 2011 7:24 am

    I’ve never No. 1 on Google, but not long ago I had a post entitled “I Hate PowerPoint,” and the doors got blown off my blog as people poured in. It met all of your criteria noted above.

    • August 20, 2011 8:59 am

      And that was totally unplanned, right? IT’s like when you least expect it… something clicks in the internet galaxy and sends a bunch of traffic your way. That was a really good post, btw!

  3. August 19, 2011 9:52 am

    Search engine results are wild. I’m #1 for a certain phrase on my computer and my wife on her computer upstairs has me not even in the top 10 for that phrase.
    For a while, I was getting a lot of search traffic related to Bruce Lee. I wrote a post mentioning him (having very little to do with him specifically) and I keep getting traffic because of it. It was saddening in a way when people were finding my blog most often for things that had nothing to do with my blog.
    I try to use a little common sense like you, but I haven’t really stressed about my google ranking. It’s more of a “Oh, that’s cool.”

    • August 20, 2011 9:03 am

      Yes, I get completely weird search visits even related to the titles of some of my photo’s: “Screaming girl” “Barbie” — Who *ARE* these people?

      I only found out my post was ranked #1 because one of the readers emailed me and said that’s how they found my site… then I tried it on my computers and found the same thing…

      Now, for an experiment: Why don’t both you and your wife type “Feeling stupid” into your search egine and see where my post comes up? I am curious.

  4. August 19, 2011 10:28 am

    Maybe you need a vacation, Bradley. heh! During one particularly aggravating time at work I signed up for a copy writing course. When the materials came in the mail and I read the first page, I realized what I should have known already from the junk mail in my mailbox and the spam in my email. The first rule of getting attention, according to the experts: “Appeal to basic human emotions, which were identified as mainly fear and greed”. Without realizing it, you seem to have hit a mother lode in the paranoia that afflicts nearly everybody about their jobs. I can see that you have a knack for calming people down. We should collaborate. I’ll provide the fear and loathing. You keep calm and negotiate.

    • August 19, 2011 11:02 am

      Here’s a start: http://fearloathingwork.blogspot.com/

      Fear and Loathing at Work
      (or) My Job is a Pain that I Fear I might Lose

      I know you’re going on vacation, so I’ll have the advantage, and I’ll have enough fear and loathing in reserve to last a year by the time you get back.

    • August 20, 2011 9:04 am

      Oh, of course! Fear and paranoia! Or, just plain pushing people’s buttons.

      I checked out your brand new blog, and left a comment. I do appreciate that you think I am calming. Sometimes I have to calm myself down first.

      I leave for vacation this evening, so I still have some time for slacking off before we leave… Which is what I am doing right now, btw.

  5. August 19, 2011 1:12 pm

    blogging success? LOL!!!

  6. August 20, 2011 11:48 am

    This is funny and true and silly all at once. Topping the heap on “Stupid” reminds me of the time I won a game of “Trivial Pursuit” with the Literature response: “Horton Hears a Who.” And one of my game-mates was my former college English prof.

    That memory keeps me humble, yes it does.

    If I ever decide I want to write “for numbers” I’ll know just what to do 🙂 Thanks!

  7. August 20, 2011 4:27 pm

    Brad you make me smile. Seriously!

  8. August 30, 2011 12:17 pm

    Ha! Good for you 🙂

    I get lots of google high ranking on my cookAppeal food site, but still waiting to get rich! Heh.

    Need a smile, come visit the camel…you should write a piece on picking names for websites…or maybe the camel has…I will google it…if not, get on it when you get back…or when your ready…

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