I noticed what may be a new search engine optimization (“SEO”) effect today. Since I spent the weekend enjoying the Daytona NASCAR action, I spent a good deal of time hearing about and observing the current NASCAR trend called “bump drafting.”
“Bump drafting” is a form of traditional drafting in which, as crazy it might seem, the following car actually bumps the lead car. The “bump” pushes the lead car forward and while the following car falls back a bit, it can apparently take advantage of the airflow dynamics so that both cars end up going faster. It’s a little dangerous, not surprisingly.
What does this have to do with SEO?
Today, Denise Howell, who coined the word “blawg,” posted about her finding that there were 299,000 instances of “blawg” in Google. I ran a few test searches and drew some tentative conclusions.
If you run the “blawg” search, you may get a slightly different number. If you eyeball the results, you’ll see why people now think that Google’s rankings put a strong emphasis on placement of words in page titles. For example, The Blawg Channel is the #4 ranking.
On the other hand, none of the results will immediately show Denise’s role in coining the word “blawg.”
If you do a search on “dennis kennedy” (but without quotes), you will see 1,750,000 instances of the term. Hey, I’m the first one and two. In fairness, the name “kennedy” will generate a lot of instances. So, I searched “dennis kennedy” (in quotes). Slightly over 60,000 instances. Interestingly, you will see the priority given to placement of words in the page title.
I also took a look at searches on “blawg,” adding the word “dennis” and then the word “kennedy.”
Here’s the bump drafting concept. In both cases, posts on Jim Calloway’s blog that had my name in the title were the #1 ranked items. My blog was #2. As you may recall, when Jim launched his blog, a good number of legal bloggers, including me, mentioned Jim’s blog (because we like Jim so much) and his blog shot up the charts in Google. In a way, we gave Jim the “bump” and drafted in behind him in the rankings. It’s a fascinating phenomenon. The irony is that, in some cases, you might “bump” someone else farther ahead of you than you expect.
I want to do a little more research on the concept to see if it is a real effect or just an anomaly.
I will note that in the blawg + dennis and blawg + kennedy searches, you will find my post mentioning Denise as the coiner of the term blawg.
Another interesting development. For the first time, I made the first page of responses on a search on the name “dennis.” It’s unclear whether that’s a blog effect or a reflection of a downward trend in the popularity of Dennis Rodman.
By the way, none of this increases my confidence about the use of Google to actually find the information I want.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]