Today is Blog Action Day; a day when thousands of bloggers post on a specific social change topic in order to raise awareness of that topic and, eventually and maybe, cause a dent in the issue.
It's a day that sets me – and most likely you -- apart from the rest of "them" as I see the concept pass by on Twitter (that's how I became aware of it) and read the stats on the Blog Action Day home page: 9,081 blogs registered.
Wow, I think.
"Awesome social change a la Woodstock, dude!", high fives someone next to me.
Wow, the amount of backlinks… I think.
"Imagine, we got people talking man. Like, all kinds of peeps who're not even into this stuff, man!"
Wow, the optimized anchor text… I think.
The site is "powered by" change.org, a company established in San Francisco, 2005.
Climate Change SEO
This year's keyword issue is climate change. We're against it, apparently. "Tell the U.S. it's Time to Act on Climate Change", is the online petition you're encouraged to sign.
Climate Change with its 45 million phrase and broad search results may seem like a hard sell.
But things aren't nearly ever as dire as they seem to be at first glance.
Let's take a look at the competition, shall we?
There, already much less daunting although I must say the broad match results do look formidable:
You're going to need a lot of links here.
Linking back to blogactionday.org is strongly encouraged.
Badges come without the Google suggested demanded nofollow attribute.
No anchor text is suggested in the requirement to link back to blogactiontoday.org in your blog post but I expect that link to occur for "blog action today" and/or "climate change", right?
Climate Change Marketing
Isn't it interesting that we're talking about climate change?
Remember when climate change was global warming? Why aren't we talking blogging about that?
It's a perfect example of marketing in action.
Earlier this year market research by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing company showed that people are turned off by the term "global warming".
People, it found, associate "global warming" with political debates, junk science. A certain group of Americans read the phrase as a codeword for "progressive liberals", not always a good thing in political America.
So, the discussion, ecoAmerica said, has to be rephrased:
"[…]talk about "our deteriorating atmosphere." Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up "moving away from the dirty fuels of the past." Don't confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like "cap and cash back" or "pollution reduction refund."
[…] "climate change" is an easier sell than "global warming.""
Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus, New York Times
Whois … benefiting
PR5 dofollow backlinks can be found on the who's participating page.
It's a rolling page with 360 follow-ups, the last of which have no PR at all.
Of course that's not an issue for the link partners participants on the right with prominent image links.
"Follow The Money"
You can't come away from this article feeling I'm convinced change.org or blogactiontoday.org aren't after something.
Seriously though, I haven't given that any serious thought: somebody somewhere somehow always benefits. That much we know. It would be senseless to do something without aiming for a result.
Those involved in the global warming climate change debate benefit from the increased exposure.
Blog Action Today benefits from the thousands of backlinks.
Change.org receives additional exposure.
And you and I benefit from a lesson in marketing and SEO outpacing the Elf Yourself one.