The Seattle Times Effect

This entry was posted by on Wednesday, 1 January, 2014 at

Do you read the “Best of” lists in December and think they’re premature? What if Justine Sacco left for Africa to celebrate New Years? Or if Oreo dropped a “dunk in the dark” calibre campaign late in the month? Even the bloggers with Most Popular Posts lists aren’t taking the full year into account.

I briefly considered making a list post, and joining the flow, but decided my posts we’re important enough. Also, a best/worst of list was only going to duplicate what others had already done.

It would have been for naught.

December 31, 2013

At 9am my iPad chimed alerting me to a pingback on TapDancingSpiders.com. Monica Guzman of the Seattle Times wrote a follow-up piece on show-rooming and referenced my post on the Elliott Bay Book Company’s response to the practice.

And Wow!

Traffic climbed, and kept climbing throughout the day, and into the next.

The-seattle-times-effect

It’s still climbing. An hour after this screen grab, it’s on 271 views by 204 visitors. Over the two days, 278 visitors arrived via the Seattle Times. If I did blog a list of most popular posts, you’d be reading about Google suppressing keywords, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It would have missed this. Now you know that the Elliott Bay Book Company is mature in their marketing.

How Did This Happen?

The post was published on June 7, 2013 – six months before it was discovered. It was promoted as normal via social media, and behaved as most posts do. Not very much happened. The post includes a link to the Seattle Times piece that the bookstore also linked to, but none of the search monitoring done by Monica, or the Seattle Times picked it up.

On Sunday afternoon I noticed the SEO wasn’t perfectly optimized, so I fixed it and moved on. I can’t even recall what I changed. Probably the image alt text, maybe the meta description.

Obviously it was enough.

What Did I Learn?

Sigh, this content girl is admitting that even with Google’s Hummingbird update and that content is king, technical SEO is still very important.

Bianca Smith (146 Posts)

Bianca is a freelance digital marketer in Seattle. She works with clients big and small, in the US and Australia, on digital marketing, branding, event communications, social media and website content.


2 Responses to “The Seattle Times Effect”

  1. Monica Guzman

    Hey Bianca – Haha! I didn’t even realize the six month old date when I first saw the post. I get notifications from WordPress when someone links to my Times work, and that’s how I saw your post – an alert that someone had linked to the article. I assumed it was new! Do you remember what you changed that made that link go live and ping me?

  2. Bianca Smith

    And I didn’t think the date important enough to mention. It did save my butt this morning walking. I’m doing some work with University Bookstore, so walked in this morning to say, “I don’t think your media monitoring is keyworded for this, but you should know I promoted our competitor”. They laughed and agreed it’s great marketing.

    I installed Yoast in October, but have only gradually updated older posts. Sunday’s update didn’t do anything that should have pinged you. Alt tags, meta description, nothing status changing.


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