This guest post is by Ryan Shell of Fashables.
I won’t even begin to act like I’m some sort of SEO ninja, because I’m not. What I do know is that a particular post on one of my sites has ranked in the top three spots on Google, with a majority of that time spent at number one and outranking a major clothing brand.
Tumblr played a huge part in making that happen, and I’d like to share my almost accidental findings.
I’m a marketer by day, but one of my many side projects is running a men’s and women’s fashion blog called Fashables. I attended a Dockers event on April 7 for the launch of one of a new line of pants, the Alpha Khakis.
After the event, I went home, wrote a new post and scheduled it to be published the following day. The post was well optimized for the phrase “Dockers Alpha Khakis” and search engines have since sent my site a good amount of traffic for those keywords.
One of the reasons why I’ve received the traffic is because of keyword optimization, but another huge part of the SEO puzzle is what happened with Tumblr, and that’s the real story here.
This could get confusing, so keep I mind that Dockers Alpha Khakis is the primary post in question.
A recurring feature on the site is a street style fashion post that is published twice a week. One of the photos previously published is the one you see to the right—it’s of a young girl taking part in a break-dancing circle at Union Square in New York City.
One of Fashables readers evidently liked the photo enough to share it on Tumblr. Now, this is where the accident happened.
When they shared the photo on Tumblr they, for a reason unknown to me, linked the photo to the Dockers Alpha Khakis post on Fashables.
Once the photo hit Tumblr, it got reblogged and reblogged—maybe 40 or so times in total. Each reblog provided another link back to the Dockers Alpha Khakis post on Fashables and increasing the post’s Google juice.
Before long, I started noticing that searches for “Dockers Alpha Khakis” were sending a decent amount of traffic to Fashables.
In fact, for quite some time my post was coming up number one in Google searches and outranking the main Dockers website. This was a huge deal: my little fashion blog was outranking a major brand’s website. This had my inner nerd awfully excited, which made my mind curious about how these findings could be used, on purpose, in the future.
Contest your way to links
We can talk until we’re blue in the face about ways things were done or ideas about outcomes, but at the end of the day, you need to know how they can impact you.
For this Tumblr example, my immediate thinking is that this could alter the way bloggers, or anyone wanting to promote a specific webpage, run contests.
Currently a lot of people who do giveaways focus on email entries, comment entries, Facebook entries, and Twitter entries. The time may now have come for Tumblr to be part of that game. If you want a high search engine rank for Widget X, using Tumblr to have a link reblogged time and time again will add significant influence to a specific page and its keywords.
Keep in mind that the photo that was posted to Tumblr from Fashables had only one link that connected it to the Dockers post. To be clear, there wasn’t a mention of the product or keyword in the original Tumblr post, so this method can be used without appearing overly spammy or self promotional.
In the end, I didn’t plan on ranking so high for “Dockers Alpha Khakis,” but I certainly welcome the traffic that has been driven to Fashables from search engines. Do you think this tactic could work for you?