9. Reverse Archaeology
Archeology, of course, is the systematic method to uncover artifacts from the past that have been buried or forgotten.
One of our more famous clients is an archeologist who has been labeled a “real life Indiana Jones.” He’s author of a new book, Ten Discoveries that Rewrote History. What he and other archeologists do is examine artifacts that were lost and buried, and draw conclusions about how life was lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. When people search online, it’s a lot like sifting through thousands of years of junk and broken pieces of pottery in order to find the one intact tablet that solves your mystery. If you’re like me, you often see a lot of non-relevant results returned when you do a web search.
Google, as good as it is, isn’t perfect. You scan down the page, looking for the answer to your question. And then you suddenly see a link to a site that matches exactly what you’re looking for. Reverse archeology, applied to the Web, is a process that allows you to plant key information for people to find and discover. The article in the New York Times last weekend was an example of a reporter looking for fun, cool, hip and trendy information about Boulder. I’m not very hip, but my wife is. So when the reporter did a search for something like, “spiritual skiing” in Google, her site came up first in the list. I tagged along for the hike and interview, squeezed my way into the article, and gained the new label “Web site Guru” by the New York Times.
How does the process of reverse archeology work? Essentially you come up with keywords that your target audience is likely to use in a keyword search, and then you create relevant content on your site. When prospective customers or the press “digs” through the mass of web pages in a Web search, they can find your site quickly and easily. Reverse archeology is a different type of mindset for generating website content, but one that can be extremely successful.