Frank (On the Beach) Wilson Needs a New Gig - An Experiment

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Frank (On the Beach) Wilson Needs a New Gig - An Experiment

Post by rogerwimmer » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:46 am

Doc: I have been reading your column for many years and you have said a few times that you like to amuse yourself. Well, I'm the same way, and since I'm now on the beach looking for a new gig, I have some time to kill and thought of something that may be amusing, but it may also help with my job hunt. I don't know if you'll post this, but here is my question . . .

A while ago, you mentioned that when you post a new question on your column, it takes Google, and probably other search engines, about 15 minutes to "find" the new post. You said you didn't know enough about website design to know why that happens, but the quickness of a search engine finding the new information on your "Research Doctor" column gave me an idea.

What would happen if I sent you a question that had my name in the title and something about me needing a job? Something like, "Frank (On the Beach) Wilson Needs a New Gig," as I titled my question. Then I could include a short description of myself, the type of gig I'm looking for, and also include my email address. If it's true that search engines would "find" the information almost immediately, I could then have the possibility of reaching many potential employers very quickly way.

What do you think, Doc? Would this work? Also . . . would you do this for me if it does work? I could then tell people to go to Google and type in, "Frank Needs a Job" and they could find out all about me. - Frank


Frank: I have to admit that I'm laughing while I'm typing this. I have answered thousands of questions since I started this column in January 2000, and I have never received anything even close to the question you sent. I have seen many people try unique approaches to getting exposure, but this is a first for me. Since you are such a creative guy, I decided to post your question, with a few changes.

You'll notice that I made some significant changes to the note you sent. First, I changed the name you included even though I don't know if that is your real name. I decided to use the name "Frank (On the Beach) Wilson" and included that name in the title of your note as well as in the body of your note. Second, I made some significant changes to almost every sentence you wrote. I hope you won't be offended at that, but your original note needed some clarification. On to your question . . .

Yes, I have mentioned that the material I post on "The Research Doctor" column, as well as all other information on AllAccess.com, appears almost immediately on search engines. I know that the immediacy doesn't happen when I upload new material on my own websites, but I didn't know why there is a difference in the amount of time it takes search engines to "find" new things. I decided to correct that lack of knowledge.

I wrote to Joel Denver (President & Publisher of AllAccess.com) and asked him about the search engine "speed thing." He referred me to Mark Capuano, Director of Business Development for AllAccess.com. I need to say upfront that Mark's knowledge of websites and search engines is light-years ahead of me, so I will not simply copy the explanation of the speed differences he sent to me. Instead, I'll summarize what he said in my own words.

Mark explained that all search engines use proprietary software called "spiders" to continuously search the Internet for new information to include in the search engine's "Index." One way to help spiders find new information on a website is to use a website sitemap. If the sitemap is updated frequently using a few special gimmicks, the spiders will find new information more quickly. I don't have a sitemap on my websites, which is why it takes much longer for spiders to find any new material I upload...even several days to find something new. That is a very simplistic summary of what Mark told me and I want to thank him for helping me.

So, there ya go. I'm not exactly sure how you would use this gimmick to contact potential employers, but your idea does work. Shortly after I post this, you'll be able to see it listed first on Google or other search engine. Try it now: (1) Type in "Frank (On the Beach) Wilson Needs a New Gig" (with or without the quotes) when you click on this link to Google, or just click here to see the results of the search I already conducted.

Finally, although your experiment does work, I'm not going to post this with your real name because, if I do, I will certainly receive similar requests from many other people who are also On the Beach. I empathize with everyone looking for a new radio gig, but I'm sure Joel Denver's shorts would be frosted if "The Research Doctor" became a job-hunting source.

PS: This post took 28 minutes to show up on a Google search. The link will appear at the lower right side of the page in the "Forums - New Posts" section, or the actual post will appear.

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Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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