“I’ve discovered that searching the Internet doesn’t necessarily get you only to the thing that you were looking for,” observes Vinton Cerf, VP at Google and a “father of the internet”.
“Maybe this is like wandering around the stacks in the library and pulling the book next to the one you were looking for, and discovering there was something interesting there.” Cerf says.
Of course, a reference to an old-fashioned library with paper books (gasp!) might seem out of date in these modern times. But most of us remember what it means to browse and discover delightful treats on accident.
I’ve pondered the same phenomenon about Internet search myself. As I and my Say It For You writers work on blogging strategy with our business owner and professional practitioner clients, we’re looking to use as many key words and phrases as possible that specifically relate to the audience each business is trying to attract. Actually, we’re trying to satisfy two “masters”, the search engines and the searchers. We know both of those are looking for the same thing–fresh, frequently changing, and very relevant content that has to do with the subject.
The way I picture it, there’s a boxing competition with two rings and two matches going on at the same time. There’s the PPC (Pay Per Click) and Sponsored Link side, which is where businesses have bought space. In PPC, every time someone clicks on the link, the business owner pays a fee to the search engine company.
The other “ring”, organic search, is where I and all the other bloggers and writers operate. We’ve chosen organic search, my clients and I (although some businesses also employ PPC as part of their marketing strategy), not only because it offers free placement, but because more than 90% of the action (the clicks) take place on the organic portion of the search engine results page.
Every once in a while, though, just as Cerf pointed out, there’s a “disconnect” between what the searcher wanted and what he or she actually finds. If this happens with your blog, even though it’s not one of your target customers that clicks on the blog link, it’s not necessarily bad news. That kind of “mistake” on the part of a reader (like pulling the book next to the one you were looking for in the library) can even result in you converting a searcher-gone-astray into a buyer. I call this “accidental organic donating.”
So, I tell blog content writers and clients, don’t for a moment worry that head of yours about accidental organic donations—just murmur a quiet “Thank you” to the search engine for the miscue!
Most of the time, however, you’re going to be writing content that you intend for people to find because of the keywords in the content. That’s not just helpful for the searcher, it’s also good practice for the writer and the company they represent. Organizing our thoughts around the phrases that matter is much of what helps us to stay on task.
But in any case, a sale is a sale. A new client is a new client. The process of blogging isn’t an exact science. But sometimes, mistakes can be sweet and bring us new connections and opportunities. So, don’t be afraid to click one more link. And don’t be shy if your search engine logs don’t quite match up with what you were expecting. The accident may lead to new business!