I conducted a test last April (almost 10 months ago) in which I added a phrase to our SearchRank MySpace profile that at the time produced no search results at any of the four major engines. I linked the phrase to Justin Timberlake’s official web site to see if I could get the site to rank for that phrase even though it did not appear anywhere within his site – a Google bombing of sorts. I won’t repeat the phrase here as I don’t want any more pages ranking for it but you can read about the results of my experiment 4 months after link was originally placed.
At that time it only worked for MSN. Go figure. However, someone named Rebecca emailed me recently through MySpace and said that the link was in fact now ranking Justin’s web site for that phrase on Google. Awesome! As of today, it still ranks on MSN but no dice for Yahoo or Ask.
This leads me to believe that links in MySpace profiles can help rank web sites. Originally I had wondered if the engines would completely discredit links from MySpace due to the potential for abuse by spammers. Apparently Google and MSN do not. It just took quite some time for the site to rank on Google which may be due to the fact that the SearchRank MySpace profile was new at the time or it just takes a lot longer for Google to actually give credit for links.
Now I will change that link to another unheard of phrase that produces zero search results, link it to the same site and see how long it takes for the site to rank at Google. If it takes the same amount of time then we can be confident that it take a lot longer for links to work at Google than other engines. On the other hand if it ranks quicker, then we know the original link took so long because the MySpace profile I was linking from was new.
What is the purpose of this silly test? Well as more and more companies set up social networking profiles at places like MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc., they no doubt can use those profiles to link back to their original web sites in an attempt to help the organic search marketing process.