Breaking the Norm with Search

I get this question over and over again: "How do we break into search?" This question is commonly sent from large organizations that need a ton of help with search.

One method that you may not have considered is to combine content of related items in new ways to capture traffic from searchers looking to use two products together, or link them in some other way. Many engines, especially Google (and frankly, the only important engine), are looking for uncommon combinations of content that typically don't exist together.

Educating and Comparing Content

If you take two products that typically don't live together and combine them with a common factor, they'll do very will in the index. Imagine a TomTom GPS and a cell phone, for example. These products link together based on a simple factor: Bluetooth.

Usually, you won't see products side by side based on such a comparison. However, it could be based on how simply to connect the two, or troubleshooting issues with certain phones. These articles don't exist and the search engine will provide a very large amount of credit to any article with this type of writing.

You could expand on this type of document by writing about how to integrate your cell phone(s) into certain make and model cars. Not much is written about this topic and people are searching for it like crazy.

I have a car with an after-market Bluetooth speakerphone that wigs out with the iPhone 3G. Little to no data is available for this combination and the manufacturer is vague. But you could easily capture this traffic.

Now the question comes: How do I make money with this traffic. Do you have a service locater? Can you sell a lead? Can you put up a banner ad and make money on the impression? Can you sell AdWords on your page? These are just a few things that you can do, along with sell your cool product that will make sure this connection will work.

Making This Work in Your Market

Say you're a real estate broker. OK, this is easy! Take the listings, prices, changes in prices over the years, costs of taxes, schools, restaurants...I could go on forever.

Create a page that makes it easy to find everything you want to know about real estate in your area and write about it. There's no excuse in this market -- it's so easy to write decent content!

By creating common social patterns in your content writing and style, you'll get the attention of the crawlers. You should rank very well not long after launching, regardless of how many links you've got. Just make sure that the content combinations are new and unique.

It will be very hard to get very common patterns that are highly saturated to rank quickly. For example, if you start a site about laptops, this will be overly crowded and almost impossible to rank in. However if you have laptops that are waterproof or that can double as a stepladder, now you have new and unique content.

I'm not sure how many people need a stepladder laptop, but hopefully you get the idea!

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About the author

Aaron Shear is a partner in Boost Search Marketing, an enterprise-level global consulting firm. Offering expert advice to many of the most trafficked sites around the world. Aaron has been optimizing websites since the late 90's, and has provided hundreds of businesses with countless top SEO and SEM returns.

Previously Aaron was the Global Director of SEO with Shopping.com, an eBay Company. At Shopping.com Aaron spearheaded the global optimization efforts of Shopping.com, Dealtime and Epinions. Prior to that, Aaron was the CTO at SEO Inc., where he spearheaded optimization efforts with clients such as IGN Entertainment, VEGAS.com, Sierra Trading Post, Sony Motion Pictures, Archer Daniels Midland, and Alliance Business Centers Network.

Before becoming an SEO Aaron worked at Inktomi, as a Technical Account Manager, where he learned SEO from the creators of the search engines first-hand. Aaron's primary responsibility was managing client relationships such as MSN, IWon, Hotbot and HP to name a few.