Sarah Palin Breast Implants?! – Using Google Trending Topics
Ian Lurie Jun 9 2010
Made ya look!
I’m shameless, really. But I come to teach. You can use Google’s Trending Topics three ways:
- To determine the time remaining until civilization collapses. Soon, apparently.
- To try to stay trendy. No thanks.
- To take advantage of Query Deserves Freshness, wreak a little havoc in the rankings and give your site a nice SEO butt-kicking.
So, I grabbed a few trending topics from today and ran through a few scenarios. Here’s how you could use ‘em:
Is there silicone in them thar hills?
We’re going through the worst environmental disaster in US history (maybe the worst ever?). We’ve got the Tea Party Movement, unemployment and, of course, two wars. But the real issues right now is whether Sarah Palin had breast implants.
But that’s OK! As marketers, we can work with this. No, I can’t. Wait! Yes I can dammit! I’m a professional.
OK, here goes:
This is a hot topic – it’s rising fast. Apparently there’s nothing I can write about this that won’t end up as a horrifically bad pun. Even the Huffington Post got into the act. FOX News did, too. Between them I think they bring a lot of credibility to the story. Cough.
If you’re a PR professional, you can write about how Ms. Palin’s team can get out in front of this story. OMG there’s another one.
If you sell a solar charger, you can write a story about how the first person to shoot a photo at the Belmont Stakes couldn’t upload it because their phone was dead. So they lost a shot at a great story.
You get the idea. Now, I’m going to go sandblast my psyche. Back in a minute to try another topic….
Globe Magazine stoops so low they make themselves look good
Globe Magazine publishes photos of Gary Coleman on his deathbed, thereby making any other sleaze they’ve pulled look downright innocent.
If you’re a publication in any form of journalism – hell, if you write resumes for a living – you can write a blog post flinging hate and disgust at Globe Magazine. Not that they’ll notice. Or, you can wonder if anything is off limits any more, and write 10 Reasons I’m Moving To A Cabin In Montana.
Run a business coaching consultancy? Easy. Write about crappy business decisions, and what you would’ve told the folks at Globe.
I feel somewhat dirty at this point, but I’ll keep going.
Playstation Network Down
Ah-HAH. Finally, a trending topic that doesn’t make me flinch.
Anyone in IT, cloud computing or whatever the newest trendy term is can easily write how Sony might manage their maintenance process without downtime. Cite the Playstation outage and you have instant trendworthiness.
And of course there’s the generic business communications angle.
Or, you could write about how this is an opportunity for the average fat-arsed American to drag their ponderousness out the front door and stand, if only for a moment, blinking owlishly in the light of day.
It’s like LOLCats
Working with trending topics is a lot like LOLCats. People attach all sorts of quotes to photos of kittens. Those quotes have zero relevance to the kittens until the writer creates it. The result is very compelling. Same goes for working with trending searches.
All you really need to do is think about it, and you can use any hour’s trending topics to craft great QDF-worthy content. Yes, the examples I’ve given are a little silly/tasteless/painful. But think about them again. They may be silly, but they also give you a shot at teaching your audience through current events. And, if I can make these work, you can take slightly more relevant trends and work real magic with them.
Just make sure you have that psychic sandblaster available.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More