Hot Topics: Volcano in Iceland, Ash Cloud Over Europe, and Air Traffic

According to Google Trends, three of the latest Hot Topics are volcano in Iceland, ash cloud over Europe, and air traffic.

State of the UK search industry panel at SES L...

Image by SESConferenceSeries via Flickr

So, what’s this mean to you?

Well, if you’re planning to fly from the United States to the United Kingdom to speak at the International Search Summit at the Barbican, London, on May 13, 2010, then it means you’re in the same boat that I’m in. Okay, so maybe “boat” is the wrong term.

But, among the American speakers who are confirmed to be at the International Search Summit are Steve Capone of Nokia, Shari Thurow of Omni Marketing Interactive, Gillian Muessig of SEOmoz, Anne Kennedy of Beyond Ink, and me. Who knows, maybe is it the constant queries by the five of us on the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the closure of British air space that is driving the Hot Trends.

But, I suspect that there are lots of other people in the same boat. Okay, so maybe “boat” isn’t the right term.

So, let’s say you’re the SEO at one of the airlines that wants to book a bunch of tickets on transatlantic flights. Here are some search engine optimization tips just for you:

Optimize a new page on your website that reads: “Volcano in Iceland creates ash cloud over Europe impacting air traffic.” Yes, yes, the page should be designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations a secondary concern. It should contain original and unique content of genuine value. It should include hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content. Oh, and the metadata (including title and description) should accurately describe the contents of the web page. But, create it tomorrow.

And don’t stop there. If you look at search engine results pages for these three terms, you’ll also see news results, latest results, image results, and video results.

So, create some optimized press releases, Twitter tweets, Flickr photos, and YouTube videos. No, this isn’t duplicate content. Trust me. This is how you roll out the latest news and information about hot topics in an integrated and comprehensive way.

In other words, universal search and real-time search have changed what an SEO can and should do.

Get it? Got it? Good.

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