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The search for “About Us”
Posted By Erin On March 17, 2011 @ 12:35 pm In Nuts & Bolts of Optimization | No Comments
Last week, a friend brought to my attention some interesting search results. He asked me to simply type the phrase “about us” into Google and see what showed up. That is it, two simple words. Guess which website was at the very top of the SERPs? Much to my surprise, it was Starbucks . The second on the list? A site called Common Dreams.org .
Yesterday, roughly one week later, I performed the test again wondering if Starbucks would still be the winner. I was once again surprised to see the results. Starbucks had fallen off, in fact it wasn’t even found on the first page of the results. This time it was Mashable  but the second result remained consistent with CommonDreams.org.
I waited about 10 minutes and then searched again, just to see if it would change, as if this was a random fluke. While the top result remained consistent with Mashable, the second and third results swapped places as well as the fourth and fifth positions. The American Red Cross , was now in position five instead of four.
This little experiment really got me thinking about all the different factors that go into determining rankings and what does it all really mean. What makes Starbucks the “authority” on something as general as “about us” one week and then Mashable is the “authority” on it the next? How do these sites rank at the top for a term that is so general, that is found on almost every single website?
Out of curiosity, I ran a quick SEOmoz Linkscape Report  just to see if there was something I was missing that could help tell me what the real difference between these two pages was. What I found was that Mashable has a ton of links (duh!) which is the key differentiator that impacted most of the metrics. But if that is the case, and overall Mashable comes out ahead on most metrics, why was Starbucks at the top last week?
We all know the factors that help determine if and where your page will rank:
But this experiment proves to me that while those things continue to be important, some of the other factors could be having a larger impact and they may not be top of mind.
Bottom line – you need to put together a holistic approach to your SEO efforts. While the SEO fundamentals  are important (such as keywords, content and link building), there is so much more that needs to be considered. By stepping back and developing an SEO strategy  that includes things like a social media plan along with PR efforts, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of everything you do for your website. Who knows, maybe your site can be the next top result for “About Us.”
Erin is an Account Supervisor at Hanapin Marketing , a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.
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URL to article: http://www.seoboy.com/the-search-for-about-us/
URLs in this post:
 Starbucks: http://www.starbucks.com/about-us
 Common Dreams.org: http://www.commondreams.org/about-us
 Mashable: http://mashable.com/about/
 Image: http://www.seoboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/About-Us-Serps.jpg
 American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/aboutus/
 Image: http://www.seoboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/About-Us-Serps2.jpg
 Linkscape Report: http://www.seomoz.org/linkscape
 Image: http://www.seoboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/SEOMoz-Linkscape1.jpg
 SEO fundamentals: http://www.seoboy.com/search-engine-optimization-check-list/
 developing an SEO strategy: http://www.seoboy.com/seo-strategy-development-for-online-offline-efforts/
 Hanapin Marketing: http://www.hanapinmarketing.com/
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