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How to optimize for short-window sudden-surge keywords?

 12:39 pm on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I work in a niche where my website gets information about an event (since it is difficult to explain the context with just 'widget' lingo, let's say it is something like say exam results) a couple of hours or so before others. Once the results are announced, every other website in my niche updates their content. Also, there is this sudden surge of traffic from the students for a short window of time.

I've noticed that despite being the originator of the content, we are unable to make it to the top of the SERPS soon enough to be able to reach out to the sudden surge of traffic who appear.

Any idea how to rectify this situation so that we, as the originator of the content, can see higher visibility in the SERPS?




 2:23 pm on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Post the content then ping it from your webmaster account. Might be a good idea to date and time stamp the page. Also link it from the home page.

[edited by: bwnbwn at 2:31 pm (utc) on Sep 4, 2012]


 2:24 pm on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

The thing is, you are not the originator. You are first reporter, which is a subtle but important difference.

If I were the first person to report the height of Everest, it would not mean I "owned" that fact, or that I should get special treatment because I was first.

That said, the fact you have a "scoop" should mean that you are able to take advantage. You need to concentrate on Freshness indicators. Personally, I would make use of things like Twitter- not just for the SEO benefit, but actually to drive traffic.

Do you have a Social Media strategy? Following your example, you could have your site and Twitter ID published in student-oriented online and offline locations. Drive subscriptions before the event, and then make sure you fulfil your promise of early notification. Tweet the headline, and a URL and encourage retweets.


 5:05 pm on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Bwnbwn...That looks like a good option. Maybe indicating the publishing timeline on the page should help too.

Thanks for the inputs. We have a tie up with the relevant 'authorities' who are releasing the 'results'. So technically yes, we are the ones who have the privilege to break the news. Also, I do not have problems ranking for the term in the long-run where Google realizes I was the originator of the news. But since the window between the publishing of content and the audience seeking it out is very small, I am having trouble ranking on top in that period. It seems like sort of Google dance during that short window.

Also unfortunately, my audience is not too tech-savvy and so a social media strategy may not work out.


 8:05 pm on Sep 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Create a Google+ page and post your link to it at the same time you publish your results. Even if nobody uses the Google+ page, make it look like you're active there.

I've had varied success with this - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But it doesn't cost anything but time, and for me, it's worked more often than not. Cause as soon as you do that, a bot comes and checks out the page.

Same thing with Twitter, even if you don't have a lot of followers yet.

(Also, it might take a few tries before you notice anything)


 5:26 am on Sep 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot netmeg. We'll try this out.

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