Jockeying for Position on Google

April 28, 2008

I would say that on an average day, 20% of my time is spent making sure the new content I’m creating is keyword laden. It’s no secret that sites try to game search engines, and it’s not secret that it’s a difficult balancing act between creating solid readable content and falling into the oblivion of crap squatted domains. What makes this suprisingly difficult is that every couple of weeks a new site will pop up, vying for that coveted first spot on google’s search results for “barcode scanners“, “homing pigeons“, or “words ending in q.”

Last week we dropped off the first page, and our best guess was that the product spotlight feature was not adding to the overall SEOness of the page. It was a few images with links to complete solutions with no real content. So it was up to me to hammer out a few paragraphs about some products that are fancy and try to pepper it with our keywords. Normally it takes me a couple days to pick the products, find an angle, and then write about it. Around Groundhog Day, I wanted to do a whole thing where I wrote a description then repeated some text. Apparently that joke was too esoteric for mass appeal. Though claiming our product listing scheme involved trying product names to homing pigeons and racing for what gets top nods is okay.

I’m extra worried at this point but manage to hammer out something in about an hour that makes sense to people and is still seasoned with keywords appropriately. I was proud of that speed, I’m really putting my Math background to good use. The day after the content is put up on our local site for review purposes, I notice we’ve jumped back up where we were in google rankings. I’m stoked about that. Extra stoked. Turns out one of the sites taking up two spots (I still want that sub-link below our main listing on google. That’d be so rad.) had identical content to yet another site right above it. Suffice to say, it fell off pretty quickly.

But I would be remiss to leave my 3 hours of work off the site, so there’s a whole deal on cordless barcode scanners up on the site. Pretty sweet deal, they use RF or BlueTooth to give you extra range from your equipment and to prevent you from tripping or getting into a wicked game of double-dutch. So if you got heavy products and don’t want to drop a nut, or if they’re hard to reach, Costco Employees, these cordless scanners provide a fair bit of convenience.

And, as a sidenote, in the couple days it took me to write this, our position went from 10, to 5, to 9, to 6, and now to 8 on our preferred keyword.

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