My blogpost, Tony Blair: A Journey for the showman prime minister, on Wednesday night about Tony Blair's autobiography, A journey, has proved a hit on Google. if you Google 'a journey tony blair ipad', my post comes first out of a staggering 211 million search results, beating huge media organisations. And it ranks highly on searches about Blair's book on iBooks and Kindle. (I'm on page two of results for a straight search for 'Tony Blair A Journey.)
I only discovered this when I looked at what had brought a flood of visitors to the Ertblog post.
My blog is purely for fun, so I've never set out to optimise it for search engine results. But every now and again it scores very highly on Google. My post on why I love my iPad scored third out of 47 million under the search term 'I love my iPad'. And my 25th anniversary account of the Falklands war in 2007 did almost as well.
This latest, unexpected success prompted me to think seriously about the dark arts of search engine optimisation, or SEO. What prompted Google to rank my post so highly against the torrent of other articles and blogposts about Blair's book? What gave me the edge over all-powerful media groups?
I am no expert on SEO, but I suspect the reason is that I wrote about a specific aspect of the publication of A Journey: its absence from Apple's iBooks store, which has puzzled many iPad owners. They've Googled the subject - and hit upon my blog. (Surprisingly, I'm still as high as the second page of results for a straight search for 'Tony Blair A Journey.) The title of my post was also highly descriptive (including Tony Blair and the name of his book), while I also included a number of hyperlinks, which may have helped.
As a PR professional, I need to know more about SEO, and this experience has prompted me to learn. In the meantime, I'd welcome any comments from SEO experts about what I did right - and wrong!