How to be a world authority on anything

If you go to Google and search for “how big is a shipping container?”, this is your first search result:
Screen shot of Google search results

I am delighted by this, both as a prideful parent of a useful post, but also because the Google abstract of the post actually provides a complete answer to the question.

If the sum purpose of my life is to help people find out what the size of a shipping container is, perhaps I will have lived a useful life. So far, 171 people from around the world have been so-helped.

And I think there’s a useful commercial lesson to be learned here: the best way to drive traffic to your commecial website us to honestly and completely describe what you have to offer the world.

For example: my post-competitive-society officemates at silverorange have engineered an excellent website for Veseys. And Veseys’ Big Thing is Seeds for Shorter Seasons.

But if you search Google for where can I buy seeds for shorter seasons?, you’ll find some links that mention Veseys by name, but no link back to Veseys’ own website. I suspect that much of the reason for this is that Veseys only uses the phrase once on their website.

I’m not holding this up as a failure — I’ve no idea if Veseys really wants to drive home the “short seasons” thing on the web at all, for example — but simply as a situation where it would be very, very, easy for Veseys, at no cost, to own Google searches for “where can I buy seeds for shorter seasons?” in the same way that I own shipping container size questions.

And just to demonstrate that I am the pot calling the kettle black, a search for where can I buy the old farmer’s almanac? doesn’t highlight the website of the publishers as well as it might.

And that’s simply because the words “buy the old farmer’s almanac” don’t actually appear on the front page anywhere.

Now that I own shipping containers, I’m going to try and branch out into particle beam weapons and goat herding aftercare.