a whole list of spamming activities that can still sometimes succeed, temporarily. Organizations
should stake out their keywords carefully and aim for those that are realistically achievable. For
example, a web site selling shoes has a better chance of achieving top results on a phrase, such as
“women narrow shoes” or “child sport shoes” than if they go after “shoe” and “shoes.”
As part of this method of SEO I stumbled upon the concept of branding through search results. I’m
beginning to hear more of this idea in industry discussions. I think this will be the next big thing
Jerri: Explain how branding through search results works.
We use the kind of narrowing of keywords described above to reinforce our client’s brand.
For example, my own company, Rapport Online, is very small, and how do you compete on key-
words like “search engine optimization” without a staff member to work on that full time? We are
staking out the concept of building rapport as the online marketing approach. Our site ranks on the
first page of Google results for “keyword ad calculator” and other more specific phrases that relate to
a cost-per-customer-acquired approach to online marketing.
Jerri: What strategies should companies be using to create their brand in search results?
Stake out the desired keywords.
Use pay-per-click advertising to get your sales pitch across.
Optimize top-level pages for the desired brand keywords.
Get linked in to the most popular and industry-related directories, using the brand
concepts in the description.
And are there some branding opportunities that are better than others?
Certainly, less competitive brand concepts and more differentiating concepts are better. Our client
Powder Technology, Inc., produces test dust for testing of engines, filters, etc. We have staked out
the keyword “test dust” (not as easy as it sounds) and if you search on that keyword in Google you
see that they pretty much own the top of the first page of results.
Niche brand concepts are easier opportunities than more general concepts, such as “best shoes” but,
if you can pull it off, the more general concept will get much more traffic because more people will
be using it in search. Just remember that if you are promoting your product as the “best” and it is
inferior, you undermine consumer confidence in your company and the search engine that was used.
Jerri: What are the coming trends that you see affecting search engines over the next
Ask Google. People have been waiting for mobile search to take off and maybe that will
finally happen. It is hard with the small screen to effectively browse the net — it’s a whole different
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