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Google Co-op as an SEO tool … who knew?

By | October 24, 2006 11:05 am

While performing SEO keyword analysis for a report, I noticed that when googling some of the targeted keywords, the results showed ‘Refine Results’ links. This happened for any searches containing the word ‘pain‘, in my case ‘back pain‘ and ‘pain patch‘. And so began the questions… If there is a difference between the results in the initial search, and the results contained in these links, how do we get the client to rank if you click on these links?

Is there a difference if you search for ‘back pain treatment’…

…than if you search for ‘back pain’ and then click the ‘Treatment’ link?

Looks like there is… but what is causing the difference in search results?

It turns out the answer lies in the Google Co-Op. Initiated in May 2006, the co-op is a place where you can list yourself as an authority in your field and rank under that specific heading so someone searching for specific information can find it easier than in a broad search. Those ‘Refine Results’ links are actually ‘labels’ that you create and assign to your webpage via XML tags and/or RSS feeds. Note in the screenshot above, in the search results listed under the url it says ‘Labeled Treatment’; and in this case, that url is also labeled for ‘Symptoms’ and ‘For patients’. These ‘labels’ also allow users with Google accounts to subscribe to you. So if they are logged in and search for a topic that is related to yours, you will rank at the top of their results as a ‘Subscribed Link’. The ultimate goal is to eventually gain the trust of Google and the co-op subscribers, which will allow you to affect your search rankings.

This can help a great deal in terms of SEO for keywords and terms that otherwise would be extremely difficult to rank highly for. For example, there is a HUGE difference between the number of results for ‘back pain treatment’…

…and the results for ‘back pain’, then the ‘Treatment’ link.

By adding the ‘Treatment’ label as opposed to just targeting ‘back pain treatment’, the number of pages (competitors) drops from 2,970,000 to 969! And these results show for anyone using Google whether or not they are logged into an account. The use of these labels combined with having users subscribe to you in the co-op and becoming trusted will only improve your ranking amongst the competition.

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