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Political SEO

10/17/2010

Five years ago, I wrote a post on the Daily KOS about political SEO. At the time, there just wasn’t much interest. Now there is. Chris Bowers has started a series called Grass Roots SEO. That link goes to the first article, in which Chris lays out the overall scheme of things.

The goal of Grassroots SEO is to get as many undecided voters as possible to read the most damaging news article about the Republican candidate for Congress in their district.

By gleaning news reports for the most damaging news and then having a large team of bloggers linking to those articles, Chris is moving those articles up in searches for particular candidates.

In the next article of the series, Chris is encouraging people to simply click on the most damaging stories. While this might make a difference if you have hundreds of people clicking, clicking is a very small part of the Google algorithm. I certainly don’t recommend it for small SEO outfits. Without tons of clicks from different IP addresses, it’s just not going to make much difference.

The second article is about anchor text, and I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes. In this case, if you’re trying to move an article up the SERPs (search engine results pages), you need to make anchor text using the exact words someone would use to search for those results. So, if, for example, you’re writing a story about the Republican Chris Gibson in NY-20, you’d want to link as I just did, since that’s a likely phrase used to search for him. Note that I also included the title tag in the link as well.

How important is Anchor Text?
Hugely important. In fact, it might be the most important way you interact with search engines, whether you are a blogger or a commenter. The words you include in your anchor text will impact every keyword search on those words in Google and other major search engines.

Chris is a wiz at this, and very good at explaining in ways that even amateurs can understand. I recommend keeping up with this series even if you’re not politically motivated, as the SEO advice here is sound.

Of course, it helps if you have a large team of bloggers with highly ranked sites out there linking to the pages you want to move higher in the SERPs! We solo fliers just have to work that much harder, or find ways of enticing a large group to work for us! By encouraging a group to do this work, it seems the politics of SEO have a large impact on the SEO of politics. Talk about your link bait!

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