How to capitalize on buzz word searches for traffic

Lets begin with what exactly I mean by buzz word searches. Call it popular culture, paparazzi filth.. heck, call it whatever you want. It happens when interesting events peak public curiosity en mass, but most often when a famous person does something very out of the ordinary, spectacular, controversial, etc. The best example of this from very recent history would be Paris Hilton scandal or the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction”. These are extreme cases, of course, and there are many smaller, however still highly useful buzz word search opportunities.

Media buzzword examples

These opportunities work best when you get in at the very beginning, and when search engines have very few listings, if any, for the buzz words people are searching. Some of the smaller media blitz’s I’ve participated in were Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire, and when President Bush decided there were more than one internet (internets) during a debate. I also used his famous, incredibly bad debate joke “Need some wood?”

An alternate method of doing this (a more long term benefit) is to piggyback on a successful viral marketing campaign being performed by a large company or corporation, such as the Free iPods deals, or Google’s gMail. The only major thing to watch out for here is that you don’t get any domains or content infringing on copyright/trademark, because those can make all your profits and effort disappear in a flash.

How to maximize the traffic

This works by simply updating a page already indexed and crawled daily by search engines and doing some simple SEO for the terms you want to achieve. Blogs work great for this sort of thing! For the Presidential debate traffic courtesy of George W’s inept speaking ability, I updated my title to “Need some wood? Buy it on the internets!” and wrote an article on the debate, including the phrase “need some wood” and “internets” several times throughout the article.

The next day I was #1 for the search “Need some wood? Buy it on the internets!”, and #2 for “need some wood”. I was also ranked within the top 5 for a bunch of other search terms related to that. Eventually larger websites write about this stuff, and smaller blogs link to them, knocking you down the chart. However, the first couple days are when the most traffic is coming, and with such little competition for the keywords, it’s not hard to get top 5 ranking.

I got nearly 3,000 visitors from the search engines during that buzz in just under a week. The traffic was highly targeted, it’s not much work to do this, it’s free, and it gives your site great exposure. It’s also likely to get you linked on other websites who found it entertaining, giving you more free backlinks.

The importance of getting in early

During the days after the Jon Stewart on Crossfire buzz people were in search of the video clips of that Crossfire show, as well as the followup Jon Stewart did about it on The Daily Show. The best way to capitalize on this (if you can afford the bandwidth) is to get copies of the clips as soon as possible, and host them on your website.

Make offer for others to link to your site as a source for the videos as well, because many blogs will be writing about it and looking for a place that has the videos. I did the same normal SEO tactics, however I did not wish to blow lots of bandwidth on this one so I simply wrote about it and linked the clips offered on iFilm and Comedy Central’s website. I got in a bit late on that blitz, but still pulled a couple decent 2nd page rankings and got some respectable traffic for my efforts.

A warning for anyone thinking about hosting video’s or other high bandwidth material concerning one of these media blitz events: Be ready for some HEAVY traffic. It’s not guaranteed, however if you get linked by lots of sites and achieve a top 5 ranking for the most popular buzz term you will have a flood on your hands. This doesn’t account for getting plugged by major sites either, such as Fark or Slashdot – both of which can send enough traffic on their own to choke a normal server in minutes.

It’s not just about bandwidth either. The servers must also have enough processing power and throughput (bandwidth per second) to accommodate many people hitting the server all at once. If you aren’t willing to foot the bandwidth bill at the end of the month, make sure to explicitly instruct your host to cut it off when you exceed a designated amount.

Turning the buzz traffic into profit

Sometimes there isn’t much you can do with the traffic coming in to turn a profit, though that doesn’t mean it’s not worth using the buzz. For instance with the Jon Stewart on Crossfire buzz and George W’s “need some wood” I didn’t bother changing up my advertisements. I was happy to get the exposure, and I don’t believe the traffic would have converted any better with different ads. I did make a few bucks on T-Shirt sales.

However, for something like the Paris Hilton scandal webmasters used adult sponsor (affiliate) programs to redirect the traffic. All the people making up the Paris traffic were looking for the Paris Hilton video, so webmasters would put up links to a affiliate sponsor ID (with their referrer) saying “Watch the Paris Video”. Conversions were incredibly high since the traffic was so targeted, and as we all know sex sells.

Connections will make or break your efforts on the big media events

I often hang out at a webmasters forum where many of the webmasters deal in adult sites. It wasn’t always that way, but that’s been the trend over the past couple years. Though I didn’t do anything for the Paris Hilton scandal because I don’t deal in adult material, it was incredible to observe the absolute magnitude of the phenomenon. I can tell you many of the webmasters on that forum who got in right at the beginning of that ordeal made a serious amount of money.

I’m talking $xx,xxx figures (and up) here, not pocket change. A couple of the “big boys” of the forum who run adult sponsor programs on the net as a full time job were kind enough to show some of us some selective screen caps of their wire transfers made from the Paris Hilton tape and let me tell you, they were well into 6 figures. However the majority of those webmasters, some of whom made four or five figures out of this, are not rocket scientists. Most aren’t even experts, they’re just average folks like myself. For many of them web design isn’t even a full-time job.

Сapitalize unique seo texte word searches

What set them apart was the connections they had, and their well rounded knowledge of basic web design. Through sharing knowledge and technique on what was working to capitalize on the opportunity right away, and linking up with each other for added SEO benefit, they were able to dominate the search engines and most everyone involved had great success.

The old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and who knows you” is multiplied ten-fold on the web. Getting to know other webmasters and establishing yourself in several communities is crucial. Having a few friends with established websites willing to plug your new site and get things off the ground is such a great help. As far as getting the initial traffic flow and getting in the search engines more quickly nothing works faster or better than links from well established, indexed sites.