Thursday, October 9, 2008

They got 30,000 hits off Google Trends! Me? 78

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch doesn't need Google Trends to boost his traffic. He makes trends. In the post Some Big Sites Are Using Google Trends To Direct Editorial, he accuses major media sites of abusing Google Trends.

Some are getting 30,000 extra hits a day by embroidering that day's top search terms from Google's Trends into the copy and headlines whether they're relevant or not.

"The goal isn’t to tap into what Internet users think is interesting and write about that. Instead, it’s all about getting more hits from Google, " Arrington writes.

He refuses to "out" these sites, but says you can probably spot them. They're the ones with headlines or copy that doesn't quite make sense because it cobbles together hot keywords.

Oops. Like me today.

Our blog is small fry compared to the sites Arrington is talking about. But inserting the keywords, "Maverick family disowns McCain" in the post about Google Trends, A Peak Under the Covers with Google Trends , worked within minutes, giving my traffic an immediate lift. Not 30,000 but 78 visitors used those exact keywords.

The biggest problem is this sort of visitor is like a wombat. He eats roots and leaves.

In other words, people who are only interested in this particular keyword phrase are unlikely to return. They're probably pretty angry at the waste of time. (And I would like to apologize to those of you who have to come to this blog looking for "angelina jolie breastfeeding twins" or the "twilight movie." In my defense Mr Arrington, I am a mother of twins and I did breastfeed (TMI?) and I do look like Angelina Jolie except my lips are normal. But I will admit to never ever having seen the Twilight Movie.)

But those who searched for "Your home page" (another hot trend Thursday) may come back because this blog is relevant to them and the use of this phrase was appropriate.

Yes, journalists and bloggers that plunk inappropriate keywords down are bad.

But connecting stories to the latest trends is what we reporters and bloggers do. It is like adding bubbles to your bath, it gives something routine a bit of extra fizz.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power Thursday October October 9.


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