Saturday, June 20, 2009

Make Yourself Googleable

I don't know if this is a real word, but in the last couple weeks I realized that anyone trying to build a business on the internet needs to make sure they do something to make themselves "Googleable."

For reasons I have yet to figure out for myself, I like to experiment with different personal finance software for making budgets & keep myself on track to make progress toward my goals. Two that I have have the best like with are Budget and YNAB (You Need a Budget).

Do a Google search (or really search on any search engine for Budget) and you will end up with tons of completely unrelated search results and product links before finding the site for Budget. The only way searching for "Budget" will bring up the product you are looking for is if you are on a site such as or any other software download site that searches by program name first.

In contrast, Budget is made by a company called Snowmint Creative Solutions. At this time, searching for Snowmint hits the company's homepage as the first search result because it is such a unique name.

Now try YNAB or You Need A Budget. Searching for either brings up at least a couple pages of results including the company & product website as well as many blog entries & reviews.

As more people find out about YNAB and write about it, more people try it out to see what the big deal is. The forums have been starting to be quite active, especially with Microsoft's announcement that they are discontinuing MS Money. The forums are constantly pulling in more users who are becoming more & more active. People will discuss their goals and struggles with finances. There is also a journal area in the forums that many use as mini-blogs.

Budget, on the other hand has a very small community on their forums, and the only activity seems to be only the rare posting when someone new to the program has problems or someone finds a bug in a new version. Both of these cases are fairly rare occurrences but the developers and the users are quick to respond and very helpful.

Both great products with helpful users and developers, but one is simply a great useful program with a small group of users and one is a great useful program with a quickly growing community surrounding it. And the difference could be mostly due to choice of names.

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