Jun 15th, 2009 by Richard
Deep back links, using relevant anchor text, from trusted sites, used to be all you needed to get ranked and stay ranked in the SE’s.
There’s a new trend rising to the top of the bucket these days.
Ranking with trust
It has widely been believed that the SE’s would trust your site and rank your pages based on the number, and velocity, of back links you achieved - preferably in a natural way. haha
This is open to gaming and of course the SE’s don’t like to be gamed so there’s a new ranking trend that is emerging. It’s called Influence.
What is Influence?
Think about your friends, your circle, your group. You’re good at something. The people that are a part of your circle are either good at the same thing you are or else they are interested in the what you’re good at.
Now let’s apply this to the internet.
One guy who “gets it” is Gary V. Gary is fun to talk to, his videos are great and he’s very engaging. If you drink wine or are interested in wines, then Gary’s your guy.
If you’re not sure what wine you want or you want to try something new, Gary does a daily wine video blog , hopefully influencing you and then engaging you to buy wine from him.
And wait, Gary’s got a book coming out too. It’s on PRE-ORDER. He’s got 1000 fans on his facebook page for the book. If you’re a fan of his videos and his wine, surely you would be interested in his book as well, right?
Gary’s got half a million followers on twitter. I bet lots of them are interested in wine or his book!
Gary GETS IT. He understands how to be the best in his field. He understands branding. For anything related to wine, he has Influence.
Gary is also using linkedin, tumblr, myspace, the list goes on.
How to build your Influence
So you’ve got a niche and you’re doing pretty well. If you don’t start building your own influence, your competitors are going to beat you to it and eat your lunch.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Decide what “phases” best apply to your niche. Presumably you’re already using good phrases in your back links because you’ve read my post on how to make a keyword matrix. You’re going to use these phrases for your profiles and branding.
2. Get social media profiles on sites like twitter, linkedin, myspace, facebook and use your phrases for your profile names. If you want to make connections and build influence around your niche, then use profile names that are easy to understand and follow like “carexpert” instead of “jsmith3462″. Make sure your main site URL is on your profiles.
3. Use the search features in the social media sites and find people talking about your niche, and reach out to them. Friend them, answer their questions, offer advice if they ask for it. Don’t be pushy, be helpful. Once you’ve made some friends, share your latest articles with them, give opinions on the latest product in your niche, start to build your influence as the “expert” in your niche.
4. Get profiles on bookmarking sites like stumbleupon, digg, sphinn, delicious and use your phrases again in your profiles. Search for pages that are related to your niche and start bookmarking them. Bookmark your own stuff every once in a while too. Don’t be spammy. Make sure your main site URL is on your profiles.
5. Update your profiles regularly (i.e. weekly) with useful content, related to your niche. It’s important to keep your profiles active so that your sphere of influence stays interested in you, keeps following you and is sharing your tweets or articles or bookmarks with their sphere of influence.
What does all this mean?
Let’s say that you set up 10 profiles. You used a phrase of “carexpert” as your profile name. Your main site URL of “carexpertforum.com” is shown on all 10 profiles. And you’ve got tweets, articles, bookmarks galore on all your profiles about car-related phrases. You’ve got 5000 twitter followers, 1000 friends on facebook, people stumble and tumble your stuff all the time, you get the idea.
When the SE’s spider your profiles (and the profiles of others in your group) and see all that great content about car-related stuff, and your main URL of “carexpertforum.com” shown on all 10 profiles, they’ll understand that your web site an influencer for all things car-related.
Just like Gary V is an influencer for all thing wine-related !!
Here’s an interesting side bonus. If you set up good profile names chocked full of useful content, google is going to start ranking your main site URL - plus your 10 profiles - for your phrases. So it’s very possible that your site AND your profiles could rank in 5 of the top 10 positions for your niche.
Isn’t that sweet!
PS. Elliot, your wish has come true!