Minneapolis Tomato T-Shirt

“How can I get my site to show up higher in the results on Google?” We hear this question about once a week. It's known in the biz as Search Engine Optimization, SEO, or alternately, “Can you fix Google for me?”

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Sadly, we can’t fix Google for you.

But! I will provide you with the magic words: Minneapolis, tomato, and t-shirt. Say these words three times forwards and backwards while shaking a rubber chicken over your home page. Please note this only works in Firefox.

Just Kidding. Let me explain.

A web developer friend of mine, some time ago, decided to put what he knew about SEO to the test. He wrote an article about SEO, and made several excellent points. You can read the article if you want to get them all, but a good one to start with is:

Pick your keywords and use them

  1. Read your website text.
    I assume the text is web-friendly, well-written, relevant, helpful, and well-organized. If is not, please rewrite your content and then read the rest of this article.
  2. Determine specific words.  
    I have determined I would like to be known for that obscure novelty, the “Minneapolis Tomato T-shirt.” You might choose “sleep breathing problems” or “esophageal atresia.” The more specific, the better.
  3. If your keywords aren’t written into your text, rewrite your text.
    Include the specific words you have chosen in helpful, relevant places. Give them top billing in the content, like placement in page titles, image captions, and navigational terms.
  4. Be realistic.
    Pick your top five words and don’t expect to be known for “Minnesota Red Fruit Tank Top” if the words you use are “Minneapolis Tomato T-shirt.”

The best part of the article is that he weaves the words “t-shirt,” “Minneapolis,” and “tomato,” in and out of the content of the article, and then gambles: “If I’m right,” he says, “in a few weeks a Google search for 'Minneapolis tomato t-shirt' should bring you right back here.”

After One Day:

The article was in the second page of Google search results for “Minneapolis Tomato T-shirt.”

After Two Days:

It was the NUMBER ONE search result.

More Gambling:

If I’m right, this article should start moving up in results right along with his. I’ve even added an image of a t-shirt with “Minneapolis Tomato” on it to see if we get a spot in the image results. It might take a while. We should check back in a month or so.

If you are interested in SEO, it’s a great no-nonsense article to read:

A little note: This article refers to results on google.com. Yale also has a Google Search Appliance that is called the GSA and searches only Yale websites. We’ll talk about that in some other news article.

Update after TWO DAYS:

This article was posted on 8/13/2012. On 8/15/2012, the article came up third in search results on google.com for "Minneapolis Tomato T-shirt" and FIRST in image search results. IT CAN BE DONE. YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

This article was submitted by Lena V Smith Parker on August 13, 2012.

Related People

Justin Fansler

Director of Operations, YSM Web

Lena V Smith Parker

Director, YSM Web