As the nation’s leading search engine, Google allows people to find the information they need using a few keywords. For this reason, it is important that nonprofits, like any organization, are aware of how information about their work is made public on Google, specifically the organization’s website. Hopefully, when a person searches the organization name specifically, the website would be the first hit. But what happens when a person is trying to find an organization that offers a particular service using only general keywords? This is when understanding Google ranks can come in handy and be a significant part of an organization’s visibility and outreach. For more information about how to increase Google ranking, visit this website.
Using our World Relief Campaign project as an example: I was surprised to see that when I used a general search of “schools on Indian reservations” the website of the Red Cloud Indian School was the first hit on Google. However, when I searched “schools on Indian reservations in the United States” the website was not on the first ten pages of Google hits. When I specified the location using “schools on Indian reservations in South Dakota” Red Cloud was again the first hit. The moral of the story: search terms can affect the amount of information that people have access to depending on the combination and specificity of the keywords. When searching Google to better understand an online profile of an organization, test multiple combinations of search terms to get an accurate view of the organization’s visibility and Google rank.
This also highlights an important thing about the technological revolution. Don’t rely on technology to automatically increase the amount of information that people will have access to about a particular nonprofit. Though there are ways to manipulate the information presented online, don’t depend solely on online publicity. Instead, come up with a comprehensive outreach strategy that involves emails and Google searches, but also mail notifications and word-of-mouth.