smooth relation building with google search operators

Posts by Anthony

G’day Musers,

My head’s been down under the fold, busy at work, link building relation building, finding publications in which to propose a written piece.

To simply build links is passe.  We are…

The industry is seeing the light of relation building.  My last few guest posts, on using pictures for outreach, finding international peers, and conducting local SEO, explore link building building relations.

John Doherty  expresses think-beyond-link prose in his recent piece on content strategy and blogging, championing content for branding, relation building, traffic, and lead generation.

I agree and especially like relation building.  In efforts to secure a home for my mentioned piece, I must first initiate and create a contact/relation.  The web houses scores of relation building resources. BlueGlass is a great one.

Let’s find what BlueGlass offers in conjunction with outreach or relations.

Using this handy post penned by Pak Hou Cheung on search operators, I’ll master Google accordingly.

Pak Hou identifies the following as SEO operators (I’ll assume because of their usefulness in a number of industry-related projects.  Thanks, dude!)

[As added bonus, I include Sean Revell’s advanced Twitter operators post.  You’re quite welcome.]

I can search for web pages, URLs, meta titles, descriptions, and more, unearthing information related to BlueGlass and outreach.

Let’s use the following operator syntax:

(I’m going to place the term “outreach” ahead of my BlueGlass site search.)


The search elicits the following SERPs

Observe the retrieval of “outreach” within title/description data(there’s a separate search for that), URL syntax (separate search for that), and random on-page text (yep), grabbing wherever it appears within the site’s index.

The Maximizing the Success… piece is an outreach goody. Within, I’m reminded of a sound insight.

So, yes, it’s a positive to get an incoming link due to outreach efforts; however, as mentioned by Doherty above and oft encouraged by peers, we need to think beyond the link, focusing on relation building.

In efforts to search for possible receivers of my piece, I remember links are fleeting, much like single-day wins, but a dynasty is built on time passing, not in bolts of lightning, but emerging ocean currents.

I must be patient in:

- finding a sensible source (a “good match” to host the piece)


- crafting a sensible proposal

Let’s focus on finding a host.

As in perusing desired BlueGlass content, let’s use Pak Hou’s search operators.  We must use different terms (“remote workers” and similar variants), yes, but we’ll also use different operator functions.

There are a number of ways one can go about searching for possible content opportunities.  We’ll exercise a strategy here, searching for publications that have hosted content related to “remote workers.”

We want this search to render results where our key term, “remote workers,” is in a more prominent place, such as within the page title or page URL.

I’m going to do an all-in-title search for our desired term.

The topic is current (recently published stories) and popular sources (The Harvard Business Journal and Mashable) host related content.

These sites, hosting current written text related to mine, may not serve me well, but I could take note, later offering a case study, infographic, audio recording, or related video content to supplement the sites’ content, presenting a way to reintroduce and augment, attracting spikes in traffic.  (This may not be entirely feasible, but there is no harm in contacting an editor if you have something of quality to offer.)

I digress.  Our tactic here involves searching for dated content.  Let’s search for publications hosting content as seen above, but years old.

Using Google-given search tools, I’ve modified results to reflect SERPs ranging from mid October of 2010 to the same time in 2011.  (My thought process being some publications may be ready for a reprisal of the topic.)

All topics/subjects can be potentially-evolving stories, assuming they are publish-worthy/well-discussed in the first instance.  The central scope of my article relates to how  a manager/owner may leverage a remote workforce.  Therefore, I’ll mind sites that have covered related topics before, especially those presenting a segue to my article’s topic.

This is not air-tight logic; however, it’s a tactic to explore.  Not every topic is worthy of re-exploration.  Not all stories could focus upon Zuck’s hoodie, but I did preliminary research (using Google Trends-see Attia and Rae Alton in part one and two), also reading Agate’s proposed SEO agency solutions, which mentions leveraging remote workers.

Remote workforces are an emerging reality, and my piece focuses on actionable tools.  It’s not guaranteed, but I’m doing preliminary research, noticing and identifying existing discussions, connecting the dots toward a relation building win and possible publish.

Searching for dated content gives us a point of reference.  Writers, employed in larger publications, often target or specialize in subject areas, much like teachers.

For instance, we know AJ Kohn is a badass; however, if I wasn’t in the SEO industry, being a reporter or PR person, I may recall content he writes upon Google authorship.

Notice this operator search for authors, cherry picking for G authorship.

Let’s use another SEO dude as an example.  No, not Fonzie, but Danny Sullivan, an incredible reporter; outside our microcosm of search, I would approach Danny as a thought leader/source within the tech space, as publications do.  Danny often introduces, follows, and/or rehashes the story/evolution of particular topics, such as all things Google, may they be broad, specific, black, white, or read all over.

For our particular project at hand, we may do well in identifying a reporter who focuses on “remote workers,” yet that topic is mighty specific.

Perhaps a topic in which to leverage as a hook or segue.  For example, business management or tech tools would match well.

Let’s forward time a bit.

I’ve located a person of interest, Anthony Balderrama.  Conducting an author search, we can see he focuses on topics closely related to our central subject of “remote workers.”

Notice a number of URLs point to The WorkBuzz site.  Let’s see what’s going on there.

Looks like Anthony and I have saints and snark in common; perhaps both commonalities will help in creating a relation.

Just out of curiosity, I want to see if Anthony ever explored the remote worker topic himself.

Yahtzee!  He certainly has; perhaps he is a fit.

I’ve mentioned mind mechanics, helping to find possible suitors,

and now on to contact and proposal.

Are you willing to read more?

Let me know how I’m doing.

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18 thoughts on “smooth relation building with google search operators

  1. Hey Anthony,

    Great post, this will change the way that I search for people to connect with!

    I’ve gone back and forth trying to decide whether it’s best to write a piece of content and then find a home for it, or whether to find a home first. Seems like you write the content first, is that right?

    1. Thanks for the read. Definitely take the time to search for options and find good fits.

      It does require time and effort, and perhaps does not lend itself to scale, but is aligned with long-term thinking and traction.

      Yes, in this case, I crafted a piece beforehand as opposed to reaching out to a reporter and hoping they take interest in reviewing a product or offering only a synopsis of the to-be written piece.

      I find a proactive approach works well at times. Editors are busy; presenting them with a full piece may expedite the acceptance process as well as make a greater initial impression.

      It’s not a guarantee, but a different strategy to work with.

  2. I definitely want to read what you have to say about the proposal. I’m all about building relationships and talking to people, but I get too wordy. In my mind I’m just being personable and trying to start a conversation, but other people seem to say “you flap them gums too much, boy!”

    Everyone’s advice is “keep your outreach short” but how do you make a meaningful connection/first impression with someone you actually want to work with in two or three sentences? People say follow on Twitter, connect on G+ before you email, etc. and that’s awesome, but sometimes you just have an idea, see a great site that’s run by someone you respect and you have to make the cold call. Right?

    1. Understood about the balance of being succinct and nearing areas gum-flapping.

      A benefit is taking a breath and a step back, understanding it must be mutual.

      I have a written piece. Editors have readers who desire fresh information. There’s a demand. You must supply it. It’s not a guarantee you will, but researching publications and personalities helps x-ray whether it is a potential match.

      Relations are much like bartering. Leading with expectation does not make one’s company agreeable. Leading with a helpful and inquisitive tone is much more inviting.

      Sure, it’s not a game. If you have something of quality to offer, be confident, but don’t expect. Illustrate why you identified an opportunity and your impetus for the contact. For instance, you must have intrigued Revell for him to accept your post.

      1. Sure! I mean, that was a case where we just sort of made friends on Twitter/through his site and it happened organically.

        I usually have good luck with my outreach, but the common complaint I hear is ‘make it shorter.’ Taking a step back is good advice, and so is leading with an inquisitive tone. I just need to be more proficient at the whole brevity thing.

        Thanks for your good advice and I look forward to the contact and proposal article.

        1. Hey Dustin, one quick question: who is the one complaining about the lenght of your proposals? I always recommend link builders to be concise and clear with what they’re looking for, not because they write too much, but because they tend to lose sight and end up sending messages that are confusing.

          You say that you have good luck with your outreach, my guess is that you’re doing it right.

          1. Hi Gisele. ‘Complain’ might have been the wrong word, but I often get notes that say ‘I do a fair amount of pitching for articles, and I’d recommend shortening yours. If I was someone else I might not have read the whole thing.’

            And these are people I respect, so I imagine it’s advice that I need to look into. Even if I do okay, there’s always room for improvement.

  3. Hi Anthony, you’ve just opened up my mind to [inpostauthor:author name]. I was only using it for doing research on topics I was interested in a personal level, but now I can see how to include it to my daily tasks. Awesome, man, thanks!

    1. Thanks Gisele – I appreciate your read and comment. There’s a lot to be done with operators..

      kinda like legos.. new, flashy toys can be all the rage, but one could really spend all day creating new things from basic legos. (this comment sponsored by SEO Zombie LEGO play set. Get yours today!)

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