Search Engine Optimization (SEO) all started with websites. Then came blogs, followed by press releases, maps, and profiles. And before we knew it, SEO was about more than just having a company website. With the recent explosion of community-driven sites like Youtube, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn to name a few, more and more companies and brands have jumped into social media to connect with their customers AND to increase their website traffic.
Word comes from a post on the Google Help Forum for Google Docs last week that in about two weeks there will be yet another “medium” added to the search index: Google Docs. All Google Docs that are published publicly to the web and that are linked to from a website that is crawled by the search engines will also be crawled by the search engines.
This will provide yet another resource to gain organic search engine rankings. And a non-technical one at that! What we don’t know is how the results will be displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). Will they be intermingled with all of the other web pages in the greater index? My suspicion is that the Google Docs will be treated as a group of results similar to the way Google handles maps, news, videos, and profiles on page one. But we’ll just have to wait until Google implements this change to know for sure.
In the meantime, get your Google Docs account set up if you haven’t already. Get your word documents optimized, uploaded to Google Docs, published to the web, and linked to on a website. I see a lot of opportunities, including:
- press releases
- company overview
- executive bios
- white papers
- product sheets
- and more!
If you’re already using Google Docs and have documents that you don’t want indexed, be sure to change the settings on those documents:
Go to the ‘Share tab’
For documents and spreadsheets, choose ‘Publish as web page’. For presentations choose ‘Publish/embed’
Click on the button that says ‘Stop publishing’
As Halloween approaches, be on the lookout for spiders crawling your Google Docs. It’s no trick; it’s an SEO treat!