Blogging Basics: The Importance Of Being First

by Ed Lau on April 5, 2007

As Will Ferrell’s Dad in Talladega Nights (played by freakin’ Lumbergh from Office Space) once said: “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

I’ve been wanting to find a specific search engine phrase I want to target since John tells me of his success with associating his blog with the phrase “make money online” but I haven’t been able to think of anything specific because my blog covers so many subjects and, to be quite honest, I’m probably not a leading authority on monetizing a blog. Prior to this blog, I’ve had very little experience with SEO and such. However, I’m glad to share the bits that I do learn along the way.

While I haven’t thought of a specific phrase I want to target on Google for my entire blog, I have thought about other specific searches I want to target for single posts. Let me just say, however, that it is never a good idea to write anything specifically for the purpose of getting on a front page of Google. Your post will sound uninspired and, let’s face it, people know when you’re writing for SEO. No, the idea to write something that either no one or very few people have written about before and then back it up with solid optimization.

I’ve got two examples. The first is my on-going research of the new izakaya restaurant outside my house. To date, I’ve written about Dozo Izakaya in Richmond three times and as far as I know, I’m one of the very few to do so. In fact, the restaurant itself does not have an official website (although I believe it is associated with the one in Taiwan), which puts this blog at the very top of Google for the phrase “Dozo Izakaya Richmond” and #2, only below the official Taiwanese site, for “Dozo Izakaya”. Because Dozo Izakaya is very new, people want to learn more about it online and although initial comments are quite poor, hey, it’s new…so most will want to try it anyways. Considering the population of the Lower Mainland that has internet access, it does send a decent amount of traffic, and everyone that visits learns more about the restaurant…in English. However, as of today, I see that they still haven’t got their liquor license and…eating izakaya without alcohol is just wrong.

The second was my review of the new Timbaland album Shock Value which has brought in a very good amount of traffic this week since the album was released on Tuesday, April 3. In the week prior and this week, that one post accounted for an average of 500 unique visits per day. Currently, I’m #4 on the first page when you search for “Timbaland Shock Value Review” but I was #1 before Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media released theirs. I’m still #2, only behind Rolling Stone when you search “Shock Value Review”, still ahead of Pitchfork, which is quite a win, I’d think considering how big of a site Pitchfork is. I’m also on the first page for any searches in regard to Mick Boogie and Terry Urban’s Notorious B.I.G. mixtape Unbelievable but since it’s a quazi-legal release, there’s much less traffic for that.

I had a review for (and a much more in-depth review, I might add) for Shock Value almost a week prior to the big boys and only a couple other blogs had posted very brief blurbs about it at the time. This resulted in a decent wave of traffic. I predict that my spot on those searches will probably go down as more large sites get their takes in but the peak for that particular search has already passed anyways. I had my most successful Google Adsense week since I got Dugg back in November.

So if you happen to be an insider of…anything, be sure to take full advantage and use that information to it’s full potential. Getting information out first is a good, short term way to get a big wave of traffic. Heck, be the first to publish anything about anything and chances are, you can get a good spot on Digg. It also provides a strong bunch of backlinks and hey, even if it’s old…someone will search for it on Google sometime.

in Tech and the Net

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Lee April 5, 2007 at 4:06 pm

I totally agree . . it’s all about getting the scoop first or at least keeping up with the news so that you’re not blogging about it 2 weeks after the fact!


Gdog April 5, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Yup, this is very true. Google has become my best friend when it comes to all topics Korea related.


msdanielle April 8, 2007 at 9:59 pm

are you getting clicks for searches on “dozo izakaya”? just curious…


Ed Lau April 8, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Sure am. It’s not a massive amount but I do get a decent amount of traffic from that term. I’m tops for quite a few strange search terms.


Search Engine Marketing June 29, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Ed … sometimes a bunch of little clicks can add up to just one big term of clicks!


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