Andrew Wilcox – Cabre presented his experiment to see how a mind map would perform in Google search results and how in general mind maps were performing in search results.
He loaded it on ConferenceREACTION, Maps for That and Biggerplate. The latter two are uploading and displaying sites like YouTube or Flickr but for mind maps. Maps for That is just for Mindjet MindManager maps. Biggerplate covers an ever increasing range of mind map software formats (paper based mind mappers are dissapointed they can’t upload there as well!).
- First he reviewed how mind maps are seen by Google and more specifically the three sites mentioned above. They were very different.
- Secondly he looked at the search results. ConferenceREACTION was at No. 1, Biggerplate has crept up to the top ten and Maps for That are not in the top 100 for this map.
- Thirdly he looked at search results for “Visual Project Management”. He thought mind mapping software vendors would want to dominate this search phrase. They didn’t.
Here are the details:
Search Friendly Mind Maps – Some observations
Firstly maps as images, files or dynamic flash objects are virtually invisible to search engines. They must be wrapped with text or filled with meta text and tags that Google et all can see.
Secondly the three sites are dramatically different in the way they are presented in a tool which attempts to represent what a Googlebot would see.
- Maps for That appears to be invisible
- Biggerplate appear to have most of the content
- ConferenceREACTION is represented as it would be when visting the site
He doesn’t know what technology Biggerplate and Maps for That use for their web sites. ConferenceREACTION is using WordPress. The testing tool used may be out of date but let’s just take away the message that they are different.
Where are they in the Top Ten, map pickers?
The three sites have a range of Google page ranks going from ConferenceREACTION the lowest at 2, to Maps for That the highest at 5. Sites like the BBC and CNN have 9 and 8 respectively. You would expect based on the page rank that Maps for That would be No. 1 in Top of Maps. Wrong! The uploaded map does not appear in the Top 100. Biggerplate has been creeping up the chart reaching its highest position of No. 25 after this snap shot was taken but it is now falling back to No. 75.
How can it be that a lowly Page Rank 2 web site is Number 1 or very close compared to two higher ranking sites:
- The ConferenceREACTION page has a full text outline of the map.
- The others have the title and description I gave them.
- The catalogue sites are great for visitors who search on the site but Google seems to reduce their value compared to a focussed site.
- Perhaps all the other messages on the Maps for That and Biggerplate sites swamp the map’s content.
Just before the event he uploaded the map to MindMeister. It came straight in at No. 2! And stayed there! Could this be because he was MindMeister’s first paying customer in 2007? No, its got something to do with the way they present their maps to Google. Perhaps you should upload all your maps to MindMeister and appear twice in the Top Ten!
He noticed something else – Pages Indexed by Google:
- MindMeister 328,000
- Biggerplate 25,800
- Maps for That 951
- ConferenceREACTION 371 (All his own work )
Visual Project Management
Surely this must be the dream search term to be found for by mind mapping software: vendors, consultants and trainers? On the day he looked there were three mind mapping software entries in the Top 100.
- No.1 wasn’t a mind map entry but it was a blog entry from 2011 comparing Kanban and Gantt Charts. It had a few comments, images and links.
- At No.3 as an image in the standard search results (not images search) is mind mapping software company but MindVisualizer is not a mainstream one.
- No. 12 was Mindjet their home page rather than a specific visual project management page.
- No sign of anyone else who attended Biggerplate Unplugged.
Perhaps we just need to mention “Visual” more often in our blogs.
This does not pretend to be a definitive piece of research. It is intended to be a stimulant to the mind mapping software community. If you are not in the top ten, you won’t get work from the Search channel. Find out how you are performing and do something about it.