Link Building

Combine Search Engines and Social Media for Link Building

I recently spoke at an Internet marketing conference about that state of search engine optimization in 2010. One of the points that I made during the presentation is that search engines and social media networks are converging. In 2010, if you want to rank well in the search engines, you need to start combining your efforts.

Search engine optimization is not what it used to be. Sure, we still need to get the more “trusted” links in your industry, and hopefully by now you already have done that. You may, in fact, already be ranking well in the search engines and doing quite a good job. But what can you do to use Google and the social media websites to stay ahead of your competition and start securing even better organic search engine rankings? Let’s turn directly to Google.

Use Search-Results “Options” to Build Inbound Links

If you are not aware of it yet or have not seen it, Google has recently added “options” to its search results. You can use these “options” to change the search results and see “live” or “real-time” search results that will help you build links and traffic to your website. For this example, let’s use the keyword “iPhone” and assume I am looking to build links to a page or a site about Apple’s iPhone.

First, I would start with Google and search for the keyword “iPhone.”

Screenshot of Google search for the keyword "iPhone."

Screenshot of Google search for the keyword “iPhone.”

As you can see, it would probably be pretty tough to rank well for “iPhone.” But, here is where it becomes pretty interesting, and where you can build links to your website and possibly gain some additional on-topic traffic. After you search for the keyword “iPhone,” click on the “show options” link and then “latest,” as shown below:

Screenshot of Google search for the keyword "iPhone" after "show options" and "latest."

Screenshot of Google search for the keyword “iPhone” after “show options” and “latest.”

Capitalize on Real-Time Search

Once you get to the “latest” search results, for the more popular keyword phrases you will see the “real-time” search results. In fact, you will probably see the search results scrolling every few seconds, as with the “iPhone” keyword search. There are several things you can do here at this point, such as:

  • Respond and Talk to Others. Using this search results page in Google, you can start responding and talking to others who have mentioned the keyword. If you have set up a Twitter or other social media account for your company or brand, you can start responding to those who are posting about the keyword. Google and the other search engines like Bing are “watching” the real-time searches. They are watching who is talking about the keyword. Google is watching who is talking about certain links and they are following links on the social media websites.
  • Look at the Top Links. This is a new Google feature that I originally wrote about on my blog at This is a gold mine, really, for those of us who want to know about the best or “top links” for certain keywords. If at all possible, you’ll want to check out those “Top Links” and comment on the blog posts that appear there. If it’s not a blog, then you might consider advertising on the page or even contacting the site owner to see about getting a link to your site on their page. In any case, Google is identifying those URLs as being the “top links” right now for your keyword. Make sure you take advantage of this.
  • Consider Writing About Issues You Find. If you’re looking to get some additional publicity, you might consider writing a blog post on your website and linking out to some of the “top links” that appear in these Google search results. Or write a blog post about the issue(s) that people are talking about “right now” related to your keyword. In the case of the iPhone, recently there are people talking about the next generation 4G iPhone. Perhaps writing an article or blog post about that topic and publicizing it on the social media websites such as on Twitter and on other sites will get you some links and some publicity and traffic.
  • Consider “Tweeting” About It. Even if you were just to take the “top links” and tweet on Twitter about a “top link” that Google is reporting will potentially get your Twitter followers to “retweet” it, and you could get some additional publicity from those retweets.


As you can see, there are lots of different options for link building and real-time viewing of what’s going on “right now” based on your keyword search. Not only can you get some ideas for an article or a blog post, you’ll see what Google thinks are the “top links” right now for your keyword.

Bill Hartzer
Bill Hartzer
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