A primary focus for marketers and businesses in their online efforts is increasing exposure. For many, this comes in two forms: search and social.
The fact that the Tumblr platform offers an opportunity for brands to build a supportive audience that can engage with them using traditional social signals, as well as familiar blog-style setting. It allows you to create exciting Image, Text, Video and Audio content that appears in search results; seems like an ideal marketing opportunity for businesses.
With so much potential, is Tumblr undervalued? We set-out to answer these five questions:
- Is Tumblr any good?
- How quickly does Google crawl and index Tumblr posts?
- How quickly do Tumblr posts show in search results?
- Can new Tumblr posts outrank more established and/or authoritative websites?
- How do I create the ideal Tumblr post?
Determine what marketing value can be derived from using Tumblr’s Image, Text, Quote and/or Link post options to amplify other web content, similar to the manner in which businesses and marketers currently share in major social networks – like Google+, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In doing so, test Tumblr’s ability to present content that ranks well in search engines too.
Given that Tumblr offers posting options similar to WordPress – including text, image, quote, etc., many people regard it as a blogging platform.
However, the fact that the platform offers users the opportunity to Follow other people, as well as Like and Reshare (Reblog) other’s posts, has a familiar social networking feel about it. This creates some confusion for businesses and marketers, who struggle with understanding how Tumblr should be included in their marketing mix.Tumblr offers an opportunity for businesses to build an audience that can engage using familiar social signals.Click To Tweet
Details of Our Study
- We created a completely new Tumblr – Weal Quick Tips
- We collected and analyzed data for 8 weeks
- We posted 5 days a week to our Tumblr. Some days we posted as many as 3 posts and on other days as few as 1.
- Posted equal number of Image, Text, Quote and Link posts over the 8 week period
- No external links (not even on profiles) for 6 weeks. In early-February, 3 Social links were added – 2 Twitter posts and 1 Facebook post were directed at our Tumblr Text post Build a Popular & Profitable Instagram Account.
- No internal linking
- 10 Followers (at Week 8)
- 13 Likes (at Week 8)
- 4 Reblogs (at Week 8)
We were very careful to ensure that there were no external links created to any of our posts. This was done so as to measure the value of each Tumblr post, without any outside influence.
Is Tumblr Any Good?
Yes! Our 8 week study of Tumblr has uncovered the social/blogging network’s hidden value, and highlighted the search and social benefits it offers businesses and marketers.
We were able to monitor and record Tumblr post performance by day, week and post type, and in doing so determine (with a great degree of certainty) what content is favored by major search engines; and thus more likely to be returned favorably in search results.
In fact, using this blueprint (see below), we were able to create 3 Tumblr posts that were indexed quickly and were consistently returned on page one of Google search results. Read more about these results below!Tumblr posts can be indexed quickly and in a few days find their way to page one of Google search results.Click To Tweet
How Quickly Does Google Crawl and Index Tumblr posts?
Weal Media launched its Tumblr study on December 31st, 2014. We created our first Tumblr post (a 163 word Text post) on January 10th, 2015. According to Google’s cache record, this initial post was crawled the same day and is chronologically the first page recorded in the index.
That said, not this post nor the ones that immediately followed over the next 3 weeks were displayed in search results until January 30th, 2015, when our Tumblr was 30 days old. This suggests (to me) that Google waits 30 days before returning content from new Tumblr accounts in their search results [opinion].
Following the initial visit of our first Tumblr post on January 10th, 2015, and over the course of the first 30 days, we noted that Google visited our Tumblr (at least) twice a week. At the 30 day mark, the frequency increased to daily or (on occasion) every second day.
After studying Google cache and search results, it certainly appeared that Google favored Tumblr Image posts and/or Text posts that contain at least one image. In fact, 70% of page one results of the site: search in Week 8 were either Image posts (50%) or Text posts with an Image (20%).
According to this Study, Google favors Tumblr Image posts and/or Tumblr Text posts that contain at least one image.Click To Tweet
How Quickly do Tumblr Posts Show in Search Results?
Albeit our first post was crawled on January 10th, 2015, nothing from our Tumblr was returned in Google’s search results until January 31st, 2015 (30 days from the date of our Tumblr launch), when the Home page debuted at #1 for weal quick tips and #44 for the search term Weal Media.
However, once Google began crawling our Tumblr daily or every second day, posts were returning favorably in search results within a few days.
Interestingly, neither Yahoo! nor Bing indexed our Tumblr in the first 52 days of this study. On day 53, one of our Tumblr posts appeared in a Tumblr hashtag result.
Once Google begins crawling your Tumblr daily, posts can return favorably in search results within only a few days.Click To Tweet
Can New Tumblr Posts Outrank More Established and/or Authoritative Websites?
We have recorded three instances where our Tumblr posts are consistently being returned on page one of search results. In EXAMPLE 1 below you can see, not only the strength but the longevity of TWO of our Tumblr posts.
Example 1 build a profitable instagram account
On February 6th, 2015, we had two Tumblr posts debut in Google search results – for the phrase build a profitable instagram account, at # 5 and #6. As of Week 8 our Tumblr had maintained its two positions on page one of Google search results – for the phrase build a profitable instagram account, but the posts had slipped to #8 and #9.
This post was created with the intention of answering a very specific question. Within days of being published, this Text post (with Image) began appearing on the first page of search results for the query: do millennials get boost from giving advice.
This post was created during the period when our Tumblr was being visited daily by Google. As such, the post was indexed very quickly and debut at #3, just 72 hours after being posted on Tumblr. Interestingly, Google indexed (and returned) the post’s image first, one day before the Text post. Is this another example of Google’s affinity for Image posts?
Q: What do Tumblr Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3 have in common?
A: They are all Text posts that offer a summary of another blog post from a well-established website. They all contain an image, and they all link to the original, authoritative blog post the summary is written about.This study shows the strength and longevity of Tumblr posts in search results.Click To Tweet
How do I Create The Ideal Tumblr Post?
Reviewing the data we collected over the last 8 weeks, we have seen Google demonstrate an affinity for Tumblr text posts that contain:
- an image,
- 100+ words of relevant text,
- a link to an authoritative post in the body of the Tumblr post, and
- relevant hashtags
For good measure, here’s a simple visual guide:
I believe that one of the biggest challenges for businesses to introduce Tumblr to their online strategy, is the time it takes for them to see measurable results. As with most marketing methods, business owners want to see a near-immediate return on their investment of time/money.
That said, I speculate that it is for this reason that many businesses give up on Tumblr, much before the 30+ days it takes to see a modest presence in search results.
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. – Arnold H. Glasow
Over the course of 8 weeks, we discovered that by using Tumblr to share content in the same manner we were on other social networks, we could re-purposed content to share on Tumblr that:
- was indexed quickly
- was returned favorably in search results
- had longevity
It is our hope that with the data we collected, the results we studied, and the strategies we presented in this Tumblr study, businesses will gain a deeper appreciation of the benefits of Tumblr and develop a better understanding of the time it takes to see positive, discernible results that will improve their marketing campaigns.
For making it all the way to the end of this post, here’s a secret: Use the Pinterest button below to see a bonus infographic!