'markmclaren' in My LinkedIn URL Put It on Page One of Google

Here’s a deceptively simple search engine optimization tip: whenever possible, put the relevant keyword into the URL (web address) of the page you want to optimize.

You may have noticed that on a Google search results page, whenever keywords appear in the URL of a listed page, they are in bold. For example, in a Google search for “mark mclaren”, whenever the words “mark” or “mclaren” are in a URL, they are in bold.

Mark McLaren Search Optimization - Google Search Results

Several Google results for “mark mclaren”. The keyword terms that appear in the page URLs are always shown in bold.

Google looks at a number of things to figure out what a page is about, and the URL is definitely one of them.

I did a little experiment lately to prove the point. My LinkedIn profile has a custom URL — as they all do: you can change your LinkedIn URL from a generic numerical URL to whatever you choose. Mine used to be http://www.linkedin.com/in/mcbuzz and it was nowhere near page one of Google results for “mark mclaren”.

Then I changed it to what it is now: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mcbuzzmarkmclaren and a few weeks later, there it was on page one. To the best of my knowledge, all other factors remained unchanged, so this stands as pretty good evidence of the power of putting keywords into a URL when you want to improve a page’s rank in search results.

If you try this technique with your own LinkedIn URL, be sure to put the new link somewhere where search engines will find it. One good place is in the sidebar of your blog or website using one of the “View My Profile” buttons LinkedIn provides. See an example of a LinkedIn profile button on the McBuzz About This Site page. If you already have one of these, you need to update the URL to match your newly customized one.

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