Friday, March 18, 2011

One Link - High Search Visibility Regained for VMware

Yes, one link took from obscurity to domination under one of the industry keywords it wants to own. Years back, VMware's content and web marketing team and my team at worked to develop relevant, valuable content to describe the world of virtual servers, desktops and computing. The goal was to dominate search results under terms like virtualize and virtualization; to help define a new category and own it. We ensured that the new section was well linked within the world and the content was not just text but video, images, pdfs, etc.

Search visibility was instantly high.

Years Later...

Then, a few months ago, VMware was gone from Google search results under the keyword virtualization. Many 2-word phrases containing the word were still highly ranked but not the single word. There were no key indicators as to why this happened. [More proof that you should not rely on only Google organic results to provide all your visibility and website traffic.]

A few weeks ago, before the Google algo change, we selected one of VMware's recently acquired companies to use to regain the lost visibility. is a highly powerful site wrt to search. We added a link to the virtualization section in the footer of the home page of One link. One powerful site. Highly relevant.

Using Google Webmaster Tools (one of my favorite sources of information) we could see that URLs gained impressions for the search term virtualization. The change took approx. 2 days after the link was established.

Related Keywords

Using Google Webmaster Tools we also discovered that Google likes to relate virtualization with words like virtualize and virtualizing. Does this mean that an increase in keyword density (relevant content of course) for the word virtualize would help virtualization's increase in search visibility? Is this a clue that paid search should be very, very careful about broad matching the word virtualization because you may end up with paid ad visibility variants that don't make sense for your business? Maybe?

Navigation Word Change Didn't Hurt

A week ago we decided to change the top navigation word from Virtualize to Virtualization. Not just for SEO but it didn't hurt. Here is today's result on my computer. Right into the page we wanted.

Thank you to VMware for authourizing this case study. It was first presented at emetrics San Francisco on March 16, 2011 on the B2B and Search Analytics panel with (Barbara Coll/me), John Forrester of VMware and Andreas Stenzel of TRUSTe.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 1:24 PM     Permanent Link