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The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views

By Lou Hoffman | Small Business

Eric Savitz at Forbes oversees the CIO Network, a forum for executives to articulate a point of view.

If you scroll through a few months of these byliners, you’ll see the number of views at 1,000, 2,000 and a select few tipping the 5K mark for bragging rights. As noted in “ Social Numbers Don’t Mean Jack,” access to the Forbes halo doesn’t guarantee readers.

But check out this contributed post published in Forbes last year:

The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views image ForbesAccountingArticle02 06 13 zps2e05e22cThe Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views

Talk about an outlier.

Over 400,000 views on the need for financial types to embrace social media. The topic doesn’t exactly scream click bait.

So what explains the staggering number?

The one element that makes this Forbes post different from other executive byliners lies in the headline and the use of the hashtag, “#Accounting: Why Finance Teams Need To Get Social.”

We already know the power of the hashtag in Twitter, but this example suggests the hashtag can impact broad Web searches.

This prompted me to go into the Google Keyword Tool to see the difference between a search on [accounting] versus [#accounting]. As you would expect, “accounting” is a big word with more than 11 million searches in a given month. Unfortunately the keyword tool treats the two terms exactly the same.

This wasn’t the case in using the search engine.

You can see the page 1 listings from a search on [accounting] below.

The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views image accounting google zps673611f0The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views

No sign of the Forbes byliner which can’t compete with a crush of schools tuning their SEO for the term.

But a search on [#accounting] delivers a completely different result (even if its sister keyword tool says otherwise).

The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views image accounting google zpsf9bb2083The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views

Here we are almost one year after the contributed piece was published, and it’s still showing up on page 1 for the search with a hashtag. Once you clear the accounting firms, it ends up being the sixth on this list.

What we don’t know is how many search on [#accounting].

Without access to Forbes’ analytics, we also don’t know how much organic traffic is coming to this article on a monthly basis.

Still, we can assume the hashtag in the headline and organic search have something to do with the extraordinary number of views of the piece.

If you have additional insights on the hashtag in Web searching, please chime in.

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