June 18, 2014 at 11:25 PM by Dr. Drang
Of the 2,000-plus posts I’ve written here, one stands out. Not because it’s particularly well written, and not because it covers a favorite topic of mine, but because it’s the one post where I somehow managed to hit the SEO jackpot. It’s a small jackpot, to be sure, but it’s mine.
The post is “Camry smart key battery replacement,” and it is consistently among my daily top hits, even as it approaches its fifth anniversary. It’s all due to Google, of course. Somehow, instead of following my habit of using an oblique or punning title, I gave that post a title that has all the words a person would use when searching for instructions when their Camry’s smart key dies. You’d think I’d have learned from that.
Anyway, last night, when I noticed that old faithful was still piling up hits, I ran a Google search on “camry smart key battery” using Todd Ditchendorf’s Fake browser, with the hope that Google wouldn’t know it was me.1 My post was the top hit, but there were a couple of others on the front page that got me curious.
This eHow page is about what you’d expect from a content farm: a summary of my post written in a hurry by someone who’s probably trying to make a living at $10 per post. At least there’s a link to my post buried down in the ads.
This page, however, was different. It’s clearly a copy-and-paste job with a bit of light editing2 and no attribution, but what struck me were the photographs that went along with the instructions. They looked even more familiar than the words.
They’re actually good photos—well lit and illustrative. Just the kind of photos I’d like to take if I hadn’t already.
Honestly, I’m not sure it’s possible to keep Google from knowing it’s me and returning pages it thinks I want, but I did my best. I wasn’t logged in, and I used a browser that shouldn’t have a Google cookie and that presented itself as IE 9. ↩
Really, how many people other than me are going to use the phrase “the narrow slot that’s perpendicular to the hole you just pulled it out of”? ↩