There are many influences that go into play when developing and executing your SEO strategy. Many of these things might include producing high quality content, checking headings, creating backlinks, blogging, etc… But who or what ultimately has control over how all of this is influenced in search engine results pages (SERPs)? Google?

It might seem that way 99.99% of the time; however, there are many instances where it’s the public that takes control. Many of us might define this as going viral, but in some cases, it’s more than just that. Search results can be heavily influenced based on whatever people on the Internet decide should trend.

3 Recent Examples of Trending Topics Taking Over

Beyoncé – Lemonade

This was the most recent and dramatic change I think we have ever seen in SERPs. Overnight, Beyoncé managed to change Google’s search results for the word LEMONADE. This ultimately turned the focus from everyone’s favorite summer drink to her newly titled album. Although this change didn’t happen overnight (it doesn’t really work THAT fast), over time the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd page search results were changed from generic lemonade pictures and lemonade-named companies to Beyoncé’s website, her Lemonade album Wikipedia page, and other famous album reviews left by reputable platforms.

While overtime, this change has ceased and in some ways returned back to normal, it is still a heavy influence on the 1st page and it doesn’t show any signs of going back to what it was before.The real question, however, is how much of an effect this has had on our favorite summer drink or the companies that depend on the term “lemonade”?It’s not completely certain, but what you could probably expect is a change in how people are now searching when it comes to the word lemonade. For example, all you needed to type in to find results of the actual drink before Beyoncé was “lemonade”.Now, searches may be influenced to change to more long-tail focused keywords such as “lemonade drink”.

Alex From Target

We all know Target as the place where you walk in hoping to only spend $20 but always end up spending more than $50. While online and in SERPs, Target has stayed pretty close to generic results varying from their corporate site and other local target maps results, back in November of 2014, that briefly changed. An overnight phenomenon called “Alex from Target” quickly became a sensation changing the 1st page SERPs from store locations to the infamous cashier who caught the eye of young girls around the world.

In this case, it didn’t necessarily negatively hurt Target’s search results, but highly altered the 1st page results from more informational links and resources to news and entertainment driven results about “Alex From Target”. While this effect didn’t have as much as an affect as Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, 1st page searches for Target were altered for a short period of time.

The Dress

As probably one of the biggest Internet shakes of the decade, “The Dress” definitely made waves way beyond just SERPs. With the trend of this famous Black and Blue or White and Gold dress dramatic results were taken with searches having to do with “The Dress”, “Blue and Black”, and “White and Gold”. Searches that used to come up with department stores and other name brand clothing stores showing results for their dresses were now funny blog posts, new articles, video’s of families arguing over “The Dress”. But how much of an impact could this of had?

While it’s hard to tell a year later, we can still see lingering results including a whole wikipedia page for “The Dress”, old entertainment posts, news website articles, and even YouTube videos over the 1st page of Google. It’s not until the 2nd page of Google search results do we see shopping websites and name brand department results showing.

As fun and harmless as these changes might seem, they can ultimately have a powerful effect on businesses relying on these basic searches to get their business found. And while we can’t predict these changes either, it’s always fun to watch and see the effects they have even if you’ve never realized the impact they might be having.

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About the Author

Mary Beczak is an SEO Specialist at OMNI Online Solutions. Using her skills of problem solving and research, she helps provide clients with SEO best practices and profiles optimization.

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