Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land is helping Bill Gates get his blog higher in Google than the fake Bill Gates blogs, which means paying a bit of attention to (SEO) techniques.
The world's richest man shouldn't need free advice on "search engine optimisation" (SEO) that would lift his new blog in Google's search results, and Bing's. But since he could benefit from some, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has provided it in Some SEO Advice For Bill Gates, thereby giving the rest of us a free tutorial, too.
Danny takes us step by step through the process, with screen grabs. He points out, for example, that if you happen to have the world's only official Bill Gates blog then it's a good idea to exploit it. A title that says "The Gates Notes" doesn't do that.
It gets worse:
"Every page on your web site has the same title, even though each page is about a different topic. This is the same as publishing a bunch of different books, on different topics, but giving them all the same title. It hurts your potential to be found for what those pages are about. It hurts the chances for people trying to find the good information you're putting out to locate it."
Another obvious point is that a new blog will depend on incoming links, and Gates has access to some powerful sites including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation home page. These sites should have links pointing to his blog, and they don't.
However, it seems unlikely that Bill Gates is doing his blog all by himself, so it's a bit surprising that his staff are not more clued up about SEO. Danny says: "Can I suggest sending some of them to our SMX West search marketing conference this March 2-4? We've got an entire boot camp day designed to get them up to speed."
This could be good advice, because the Search Engine Land post is now only one spot below Bill Gates's blog if you search Google for [Bill Gates blog]. It will be even funnier if it outranks it.
If Bill feels suitably chastened, he can at least take comfort from the fact that Google also needed some SEO advice.
"Little story here," says Danny. "In 2005, the official Google Blog had been out for about a year. It had a title of 'Google Blog' and ranked sixth in the results for a search on those words. In number one was an unofficial 'Google Weblog' site run by Aaron Schwartz." He was so annoyed at having to hunt for it that he sent Google a note "suggesting it might be wise if they followed the same SEO advice that they offer to site owners." Today, the Official Google Blog is the top hit if you search for [Google Blog] on either Google or Bing.
Not everyone can get the top spot in Google, and that might not be Bill Gates' aim in life. However, he should be able to get the top spot when someone searches for [Bill Gates blog], which will make his blog easier to find when people look for it. For Bill and millions of other bloggers, that's worth a bit of SEO.
Posted by Jack Schofield