The Most Unorthodox and Creative SEO Strategies
SEO is an incredibly fascinating industry. The ability to utilise an inventive SEO strategy to grow organic traffic allows for an infinite range of opportunities.
Today, we will be looking at some of the most unorthodox and creative methods used to dominate the search results. From football clubs to television stars and media giants, there is no limit to who can benefit from an unexpected SEO solution.
How Jeremy Clarkson used “Google Shunting” to demote rankings of unwanted stories
Back in 2013, the former Top Gear host shocked the media by taking to Twitter to announce his consideration to stand as an MP. Quite the career change, right?
I’m thinking I might stand in the next election as an independent for Doncaster North, which is where I’m from. Thoughts?
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) September 14, 2013
Despite the tweet, Jeremy Clarkson had no intention to stand in the election at all. His motive was to push negative press about him away from the top of Google search results.
Digital PR specialists may be familiar with online reputation management strategies. Jeremy Clarkson’s explanation of “Google shunting” puts reputation management in this sense into layman’s terms.
During an appearance on the Jonathon Ross show, Clarkson was quizzed about his intentions to stand as a Member of Parliament.
Clarkson said, “That’s Google shunting. When somebody writes a story in a newspaper that you don’t care for, you just think I’d rather that wasn’t sitting at the top of Google”.
When elaborating on how to tackle this issue, Clarkson continued to say, “You need to come up with something more modern and more fresh.”
As a result, this fresh and timely content appears at the top of the Google search results, subsequently “shunting” the unwanted results further down the pecking order.
In this specific instance, it appears Jeremy Clarkson may have intended to “shunt” search results about a “pink tie jibe towards a labour MP”.
Why Warner Bros. changed the name of a movie post-launch due to SEO
In February 2020, Warner Bros. launched their latest superhero film, “Birds of Prey”.
According to The Verge, the film’s opening weekend only generated $33 million, falling short of investors’ projected $50 to $55 million.
Many criticised the film’s marketing efforts due to its title not being search-friendly. The initial title, “Birds of Prey”, was incredibly generic and didn’t provide much insight into what the film would be about, giving their target audience little to go on.
A simple Google search for ‘birds of prey’ shows how mixed the search intent is for this query. Even now, Google returns a mixture of results. While some of these results relate to the film, the most prominent (such as the featured snippet) relate to birds of prey, as in wildlife.
Following the below-par launch with a generic film title, Warner Bros. changed the movie’s title to “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey”. With Harley Quinn being a popular and well-recognised name, this made for a more specific and recognisable film title.
This shows how critical it is to ensure non-complacent SEO is a consideration for all businesses, including the well-established media giants.
How Chelsea FC use transfer rumours to grow traffic and “make sponsorship more attractive for prospective partner brands”
Transfer business for most clubs in the footballing world is incredibly confidential. By keeping these negotiations low-key, clubs can get a jump on their rivals to that next big signing.
With transfer information being so sensitive, it would seem incredibly bizarre for a club to write articles on their official website about rumoured transfer targets. This is not the case for several clubs in the English Premier League. Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal are all doing exactly that as part of their content strategy.
As part of a regular feature called “Media Watch”, Chelsea produces a roundup on some of the top transfer targets reported in the media. By strictly including information that already exists in the public domain, they are not necessarily revealing their hand to sporting rivals.
While this approach may seem slightly confusing to some fans, this angle opens up a whole range of relevant content opportunities on trending topics.
Dom Rosso, the Vice Chairman of the Chelsea Supporters Trust, spoke directly with the club about Media Watch. Following these discussions, he shared some incredibly fascinating insights via Twitter.
— Dom Rosso (@DomTheRosso) January 30, 2020
Key Takeaways from Dom’s Tweet:
- Media Watch accounts for 14% of total visits to the Chelsea website and app.
- Digital visits increased by 20-25% Year on Year. This includes an approximate increase of 40% within the US market.
- High-quality content, including features such as Media Watch, makes sponsorship more attractive for prospective partner brands.
It’s fascinating to see how a football club and global brand like Chelsea is utilising Media Watch as part of its content strategy. With the potential of making the club more attractive to prospective sponsors, this certainly fits the bill of being an unconventional yet potentially lucrative content strategy.
These examples demonstrate how critical it is to remain innovative and creative in SEO, or in the case of Warner Bros., how vital it is to ensure the search team are consulted on all upcoming releases.
Or, if you’re looking to spice up your brand’s SEO strategy, please get in touch.
By Jamie Grant - 06/08/2021