An Ode to My Favourite Advanced Search Operator

For a short, Sunday morning blog post to keep things ticking over, I thought I’d write a brief tribute to my favourite (and often overlooked) search operation, related sites.

I use this search operation all the time. All Google does is throw up sites it thinks are similar to whatever you’re using as your base.

It’s perfect for:

  • Finding overlooked competitors
  • Looking for similar, relevant sites when link prospecting
  • Identifying quick-wins from places similar to where you’ve already had success
  • Throwing up new ideas when your efforts reach an impasse

What’s amazing is how often good quality prospects come up in related searches that haven’t shown up in your previous research (well, for me anyway).

Whenever pitching content at a website, I’ll always make sure I run a related search on the website like if you want to search Web Design Ireland, you need to have search operators to search that site.

The first few sites that show up are usually also good targets for the content, so I can increase the chance of it being taken by pitching it at them too.

I sometimes think the best sites to target are the ones that don’t rank well. As Paddy Moogan says here, they’ve not been already been hounded by other SEOs and tend to be more receptive to your approaches:

This is why Twitter and particularly Followwonk are so useful. (See John Doherty’s post on link prospecting with Twitter for more on this.)

Anyway, that’s my relatively inane tribute to related searches. I’m also looking forward to Think Visibility next week and hoping to get a few more substantial posts on here over March.