LinkedIn = Good Google Juice for search engine optimization

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Education & Training with Build a Pipeline

Improving Google page ranking is high on many of our priority lists. Most of us know now of the importance of having an Active Rain profile and it's positive impact in Google rankings.  Through reading some of the top Active Rain bloggers, I have also seen a recurring message about the importance of LinkedIn.

To see what all the buzz is about, two evenings ago, I set up a LinkedIn account and 20 hours later my LinkedIn profile brought me to the 2nd place spot in a Google search!

If you haven't done so, you might find it worthwhile to join the LinkedIn community to boost your Google ranking AND...you may even see some fellow Rainers there!

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Rainer
24,320
Bill French
MyST Technology Partners - Dillon, CO

Kelly:

I have much to say about this "Google Juice" thread; first the obvious.

  • I have been a member of LinkedIn since it was founded (4 yrs + ago?). It's a great tool - very useful, and I have received many business contacts as a result.
  • Anyone who wants to build their personal brand and manage their online presence should consider LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is (by far) one of the more professionally designed social networking systems available, however, there are others that are pretty good at providing the infrastructure required to manage your professional contacts and relationships.

Google Juice?

Um, I think you're stretching it a bit.

The idea that "Google Juice" even exists is fiction. Google is a machine that makes recommendations based on queries and all content [known] to the search engine. Any attempt to create "juice" for the mere sake of engineering higher rankings or increased recommendations is not only a bad idea; it's misdirected energy that could be better spent doing stuff that produces sustainable business results. This is my opinion of course, and there's no shortage of people that think I'm nuts. ;-)

What isn't opinion is how search engines work; they help people find good content. The definition of good content is debatable of course, but what isn't debaeable is that search engines must satisfy the requirements of content consumers; if they don't make good recommendations, their customers abandon ship almost instantly because switching costs are almost zero. If there's any exact science at all in the SEO/SEM industry, it's good content seems to trump all other techniqus for creating sustainable and findable domains.

Being the vain person that I am, I frequently Google my name [Bill French]. Today there are 7.7 million pages in the Google with these two words on them (just 29,400 pages quoted); In contrast, your name [Kelly St. Germain] appears in only 141,000 pages in the Google index (just 29 pages quoted). At this moment, the three prime Google domains do not show your personal LinkedIn page anywhere near the top of the recommendations as it did when you made the screenshot. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is no longer in the top 100. Instead, your AR weblog seems to be consistently dominating the #2 spot for your name. My hunch is that Google was doing some reindexing and noticed your AR page would be a better recommendation than your LinkedIn page; this is not surprising -- I feel the same way. ;-)

There's no bad news here of course - it's great to have your name at #2 in Google because someday someone will most definitely try to find you and they'll use your name. But to suggest that LinkedIn is great Google Juice is probably an overstatement at best. I would characterize the use of social networking platforms in the same way I would characterize the use of AR - it's yet an additional means of creating increased findability in a sea of possibilities. Indeed, the sea of findability possibilities is growing very quickly and is already in the hundreds of billions of rocks that one might look under for information gems. This is precisely why we advise our clients to syndicate as much information as possible - syndicated content has the ability to get under hundreds or thousands of rocks with little effort. ;-)

As we ponder what might be the best outcome when someone searches for your name, the one that comes to mind is a recommendation for your own website (or blogsite) domain. It is your domain where you strive to create and manage your brand equity and it is the only immutable location on the web that you truly control. It is also [likely] to possess the bulk of the content related to you and [not surprisingly] significant weight is given to content density when determining which content sources should be recommended. Spreading your information across many domains was popular in 1999 (when search crawlers were less intelligent), but this is no longer a wise approach to creating greater visibility. Instead, focusing your information in few (or one) domain(s) seems to be a bit more successful.

Case In Point...

When you Google my name, my AR weblog comes up #16. My LinkedIn profile comes up #36. The home page of my web site comes up #1 and #2. My Blogsite comes up #3 and #4. My website comes up again at #6, and #7, and a reseller partner for Blogsite comes up #10.

Of the 7.7 million pages with "Bill French" in them, my two primary domains occupy 6 of the top 10 spots, and I'm referenced frequently by one more (Real Estate Blogsites). I dominate this search phrase even in the face of stiff competition (29,000 times more competitive than your own name).

Like I said - I'm vain. ;-) Indeed, if my mother were searching for me in Google, she would agree that I'm the most relevant "Bill French" on the planet. She would quickly conclude that Google was very smart indeed. ;-) But what about the other 29,392 pages in the Google index that may not be about me? Why are they ranked lower? (rhetorical of course)

I could certainly dive deeper into the reasons why I dominate the name "Bill French" - there are hundreds, maybe thousands of reasons; a big one is probably related to the presentation architecture of MyST Blogsite.

While it's great to participate in as many ways to achieve better findability, it's not wise to focus attention away from your prime domains.

Nov 25, 2007 11:39 AM #15
Rainmaker
289,500
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

Linked-in has a lot of potential, but I don't see any advantage in linking to other Realtors. After all, if anyone linked into my network searches for a real estate agent, I don't want hundreds to pop up, or is there a hidden advantage to linking with other agents that I don't see?

Sandy

Nov 25, 2007 02:08 PM #16
Rainer
24,320
Bill French
MyST Technology Partners - Dillon, CO

Sandy:

"I don't see any advantage in linking to other Realtors."

Well, there may not be any direct advantage to linking to other realtors (or is it Realtors(r)? - I'm not a real estate agent). However, there may be some indirect benefit in terms of future search recomendations and overall findability.

  • Imagine a search engine that gives higher recommendations to realtors that collaborate. I'm not sure there is [or isn't] a hueristic in the Google crawlers that measure your collaborative quotient, but such ideas are not far fetched. A good indication of someone that collaborates is evidence they link to other people, refer other people, or generally engage in social interactions and participation.
  • What if Google develops a search engine optimized for social networking? This doesn't seem like a remote idea if you consider they already have specialized search engines for video, images, and blogs.

I have a hunch that if you exhibit transparent behavior on the web, you will create a competitive advantage for your personal brand (however slight it may be). In many businesses, the lightest advantage could mean the difference between no sales and an abundance of sales.

Nov 25, 2007 03:00 PM #17
Rainer
105,008
Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
WHOa.. this is so good Bill, it comes close to a hijack...I would just copy and paste it into a post wher emore people might take advantage of the info...Thanks to you for your time....and Kelly....He is right, but I would like to hear some of your other ideas...
Dec 03, 2007 09:29 PM #18
Rainer
105,008
Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
Kelly, if you type in Mike Norvell, you get some results, Mikenorvell is much better(pages) and MIke NOrvell Sr gets a few...  Mikenorvell.com  gets a bit too...any suggestions
Dec 03, 2007 09:32 PM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bill French

Mike:

"WHOa.. this is so good Bill, it comes close to a hijack..."

Yea - I got carried away - if I had more time, it would have been far shorter. ;-) No intent on hijacking, it's just that whenever we discuss search engines and their behaviors, the conversation is typically abrupt and it leads to great misconceptions and lots of ambiguity. Detailed expression seems to be the only way out of the trench (or is it a gutter? ;-).

Unfortunately Internet findability is far more complex than most humans want to admit (or have time for), but dealing with the challenge of findability in ways that produce good results should (ideally) be very simple. This is not only possible, but highly recommended because (for example) a real estate professional should never have to worry about an HTML tag attribute called "rel" or "nofollow". These are details that should be outsourced to machinery that knows how to carefully employ them for the best possible result. Any attempt to be an SEO expert and a very successful real estate professional (at the same time) will likely defocused you away from that which earns you the greatest profit.

This is why my co-founder and I spent two years designing Blogsite and two more building the infrastructure. It's comprised of hundreds of details - behind every detail, is another detail. Our customers simply write good content and express their domain expertise. This is also partly the reason we encourage our clients to write less - yes, you heard me correct; less is more - this eBook explains why.

Oops - off subject - I need to co back to the coding cave. ;-)

Dec 04, 2007 12:53 AM #20
Rainer
6,330
Kelly St. Germain
Build a Pipeline - Walnut Creek, CA

Hello Bill and Mike.  The first thing I did upon reading Mike's comments was to re-read Bill's initial comment thoroughly - word by word. There is so much information in this post that I encourage everyone to read it through. Second thing I did was to visit Bill's website MyST Blogsite.  Although I am very new to the blogging world, it is not taking me very long to realize that blogging, like website development has several core components; two core components are 1. content development and 2. blog infrastructure.  I agree with Bill's encouragement that most realtors should worry less about html coding and more about writing salient comments for our clients.  That is why the third thing I will do is download this eBook

Thanks gentlemen for your comments on this post!

Kelly

Dec 04, 2007 10:11 AM #21
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bill French

Kelly:

Your comment sparked another thought - the changing nature of the underlying technology that supports the core values you mention.

Because of new commonly agreed-upon technology (such as XML standards), the rate of change in just about everything internet continues to increase. What does this mean for business professionals? Here's a short list, but it's a start:

  • Search crawlers will morph their algorithyms faster and more frequently;
  • The number of places where your RSS should be submitted for optimal findability will grow by 20 times in the next two years;
  • Real estate search engines will soon accept only XML data;
  • Mobile data requirements by customers will dominate the task list for web developers as 3G services take shape in the US;
  • Write once, publish everywhere will quickly become a requirement to remain competitive.

How will business professionals deal with this rapid change?

  1. Automation of services, updates, content development and publishing processes.
  2. XML - the only clear path to integration with web services that wait for no one.
  3. Repeatable publishing processes that automatically optimize content for search and discovery.
  4. Automated integration with directory services that embrace awareness of high-velocity information.
  5. Location and identity information coupled with content (social networks won't see you without this meta data).
Dec 04, 2007 10:29 AM #22
Rainmaker
225,586
Pete Sabine
Pacific Union International - Lafayette, CA
San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate

Hi Kelly. you recieved a lot of comments on this post. I need to join Linked-in ASAP

 Pete Sabine

Dec 05, 2007 02:21 PM #23
Anonymous
Anonymous
john paul
ok ill try this one .. ill post listings there .. i try this one with my cebu real estate website www.johnvill.com
Dec 08, 2007 06:05 PM #24
Rainmaker
33,292
The Real Estate Group Luxury Home Specialists
Keller Williams Realty - Studio City, CA
Linkedin has absolutly helped my rankings on google, I now come up first when doing a straight name search
Mar 24, 2008 02:25 PM #25
Rainer
67,669
Sandra Carlisle
McMonigle Team - Corona del Mar, CA
Residential Sales & Property Management
I should go make sure my profile is complete.
Mar 24, 2008 03:37 PM #26
Rainer
55,863
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional
Linked In is great.  Haven't generated too much business from it, though I am relatively new.  I reconnected with a few classmates from back in the day.
Mar 24, 2008 05:25 PM #27
Rainer
19,613
Optimum Real Estate Group
Newport Beach, CA
Great post, linked is a great source, I recnetly signed up as well
Mar 24, 2008 05:40 PM #28
Rainer
10,284
Lisa David
Re/Max Olympic - Haymarket, VA
I have a Linkedin account and the exact same thing happend to me (I ranked much higher when you entered my name in Google). It works!
Apr 29, 2008 12:36 PM #29
Rainer
24,320
Bill French
MyST Technology Partners - Dillon, CO

Lisa:

Indeed - it does work pretty well, and your name is also pretty popular so you are competing with lots of people with the same name.

LinkedIn is really working well lately and I've seen lots of requests from companies that want to build gadgets related to LinkedIn. If you are looking for LinkedIn training, there's a gadget on my personal blogsite that has links to various courses and webinars.

bf

Apr 29, 2008 01:18 PM #30
Rainmaker
171,907
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Thanks Lisa for sharing.  powerful short message

Jul 14, 2008 10:27 PM #31
Rainmaker
171,907
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Thanks Lisa for sharing.  powerful short message

Jul 14, 2008 10:27 PM #32
Rainer
21,040
Joshua Barré
LA West Real Estate - Pacific Palisades, CA

Bill, Thanks for your detail explanation and demonstration in related to "Google Juice" and clarify the misconceptions that many of us have. I learned a lot from your valuable comments. I'll certainly shift my focus on my content. One question though, does constant update on my website will put me on top of the Google search?

-Josh

Jan 27, 2009 07:05 PM #33
Rainer
24,320
Bill French
MyST Technology Partners - Dillon, CO

Josh:

"One question though, does constant update on my website will put me on top of the Google search?"

Um, no. ;-) Like the many hundreds of reasons Google uses to measure which pages are good pages to recommend, no single tactic will accomplish what you hope to achieve.

If were visitong your town and I asked you for a good hotel recommendation, would you use one metric to decide? Probably not. Imagine suggesting the Sheraton because they put that little chocolate on the pillow, but they also had torn drapes and broken windows. It would be difficult to overlook these drawbacks because your own reputation would suffer.

Google is in the exact same position - it must make a recommendation - indeed - the best recommendation, else, we will not use Google. The rate of update on a page is one favorable attribute of a website, but I can think of about 400 more because I've actually developed a platform that addresses about 400 important hueristics of site quality. I have a hunch that Google has come up with about a thousand ways to decide if a given page is worthy of a recommendation.

--bf

Jan 27, 2009 07:18 PM #34
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Rainer
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Kelly St. Germain

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