Jeff Jarvis calls it "Google Juice" and I like that term so I am going to use it to describe the effect of having a site that gets indexed high in Google search results.
I was going through my FeedBurner dashboard this morning looking at my feed and site stats and saw that I got 36 visits (about 1% of all my visits yesterday) from searches on "we were dead before the ship even sank". That’s a lot of words to write in a Google search so those people were clearly looking for the new modest mouse record of the same name. Here’s the search result page they got.
Number one is Wikipedia, the owner of more Google Juice than any other website in the world. Number two is this blog. Amazon gets the third spot. Stereogum, Billboard, and Rateyourmusic.com fill out the rest of the top six spots. Modest Mouse’s own website barely made the first page.
I am not complaining. I got 36 visits I would not have otherwise gotten yesterday. Maybe one or two of them liked what they saw and might come back. But Google Juice is not a perfect system by a long shot. Everytime I see this effect and I see it a lot, I think two thoughts. The first is that I can’t ever change my domain and the second is that there’s a lot more headroom in search.