SEO in action


So an interesting thing happened yesterday.  I have this cool plug-in installed on this blog.  It's called StatPress, and it all but lets me look back through your screen at you.  It logs all traffic to this blog, IP addresses, referring links, what OS and browser you're using, and what search term you entered into Google to find my blog.  If this is creepy to you, you should know that every time you're on the internet you are broadcasting this info with every single click of the mouse.  It's not that big of a deal.  I don't know who you are, just what ISP you use and in what general area of the world you live.  I know that there's a 6 to 1 chance that you're reading this on a computer that has Windows XP on it.  I know that you are most likely browsing on Firefox 3, and that if it's not that it's IE7, and if it's not that, then you're probably on an iPhone.  Good thing I installed that mobile plug in...

This is all just info that entertains my analytical mind while sitting in a tour bus on the way to DelFest.  Usually when I throw up a new post there's a little blip in traffic unless I post a link on Facebook, in which case there's usually a big blip.  I try to save those for the really good ones.  The ones like "Coolest iPhone App Ever".  The act of titling that post that way was an unwitting example of what the social marketing dorks, I mean cool people, call Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.  It didn't occur to me until a few days later when someone in France googled SimpleMindsXpress, and amazingly my blog post was the first one that popped up.  On the French Google.  The internet is weird.

So, briefly, how Google Works...

Google is constantly scanning more or less the entire internet to add pages to it's humongous database of searchable content.  The automated robot that does this scanning is called a "Spider".  The Google Spider is my blogs most frequent visitor.  It's already been here 9 times today, and just fetches a blog post at random as far as I can tell.  It scans the content toward the top of the blog post and then moves on.  It adds that content to it's database and then that post is searchable.  Google weights pages that have more links to them as being more important than others that show up with the same search terms with fewer links to them.  I once read hyperlinks as being described as the "currency" of the internet.  Makes sense if you consider that the more links a particular page has pointed at it, the more wealthy it's likely to be in terms of traffic, especially search traffic.  Why this is important to you and your band is that you better put the pertinent info that you want Google to notice toward the top of the page.  If you don't have the Page Title/Info/Author metadata correctly filled in (ask your web guy, or better yet, ask me), you're making yourself harder to find.

So anyway, yesterday some marketing guy in South Carolina went and googled up "coolest buiness related iPhone apps (sic)".  Somehow, misspelling business made my blog post show up in the top ten list of results.  I didn't misspell business in my blog post.  I don't know.  But anyway, this guy hops on Twitter and links to my blog post.  I get on StatPress a couple hours later and notice a spike in traffic to that post.  So I dig a little deeper and notice the referring link to this guy's Twitter update, and the beauty and utility of SEO becomes a factor in my life for the first time.  I've only been blogging since February, and I'm writing this most for my own edification and partly for my friends and associates.  After yesterdays incident it occurred to me that I should probably put my email address on here somewhere.  So I did.  And now my brain is humming along about how and why SEO is an important thing to you and me.  Oh, and trying not to put an obnoxious amount of hyperlinks into this post.

Now how can I get this other Johnny Grubb to let me in the top ten.  Is that Carly Simon I hear?