How to outrank Google for a keyword that has "Google" in it.
I thought that this would be impossible...
... but I outranked Google for a keyword that actually has "Google" in it.
Don't believe me?
Pearl Digital Marketing is one of my sites for the services I offer and I published an article back in June about how a local business can create a short name and URL in Google My Business.
I didn't think much of it at the time as I only intended to share it with clients, but I still created a keyword list from the article and loaded them into my position tracking tool.
A few weeks ago I got the notification that the blog had been picked up as a featured snippet, which basically means that it appears above the organic results.
That's when I took the above screenshot.
How I Outranked Google
You can see from the screenshot that Google is the number 1 organic result, but my blog had been picked up in the featured snippet spot. So technically, I didn't outrank Google in the organic rankings, but I was appearing above them on the SERP (search engine results page).
While it's impossible to know exactly why the blog made it to the preferred featured snippet spot, I can highlight a few of the factors that I think contributed.
1. It offered a step-by-step tutorial
If you read the article, it actually has a step-by-step walkthrough of how to set up a Google short name & URL in Google My Business. The steps are highlighted in the appropriate header tag with a short explanation in the paragraph that followed.
2. It used multimedia
Throughout the blog, there are images that outline important steps. I made sure the image title and alt text were relevant to the target keywords.
I also shot a video that I uploaded to YouTube. I embedded the video and also linked to the blog from the YouTube description.
This meant that the blog had written content, visual assets, and video content.
3. It answered questions
The first couple of paragraphs were establishing foundational knowledge, i.e. "what is a short name" and "what is a short URL".
I think that this gives the search engines context about the article so that they know exactly what I'm writing about.
This shows that if your content is helpful, then you'll be rewarded with organic traffic. My analytics for this website is showing that this blog has been a popular landning page since I published it.
I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.
What else could I do to improve the blog?
Finally, rankings change daily so I wouldn't be surprised if you were to search for "Google short name" and there was a different blog in the featured snippet section.
If you do end up searching for it, let me know in the comments where the blog is currently in the search results, I'd really appreciate it.