When I thought I knew nothing about SEO

I spent over 3 years at QIMR Berghofer creating web content, setting up social media accounts, and waging war with a clunky proprietary CMS to produce the best possible experience for the donors, patients, scientists and corporate staff.

Being self-taught, I was reading constantly as SEO developed into a fully fledged field, and sought out little things I could do to improve our rankings. Unfortunately, ‘cancer’ and ‘mental health’ are flooded keywords, and ‘infectious diseases’ was never going to be the success story that brought thousands of readers to our humble site.

Yet, I worked at it: improving the Wikipedia page, adding information to Freebase, adding Google+ entries. And this was what came out of it –



Not too bad… considering it is a direct search for the company name.

But then I googled a charity that I’m currently courting for a job….


No sidebar. Their site is the top result, as you expect, but QIMR Berghofer’s branding is front and centre with the social profiles directly beneath. Great visibility and easy access to contact information.

(Though, the charity’s Facebook page is the second result, which is a much stronger position than QIMR Berghofer’s. They have a community of advocates that rally around them. Not many people get too emotional about medical research.)

Now maybe they don’t want people calling them directly or showing up on their physical doorstep. However, the difference in terms of branding awareness is pretty dramatic from that search result page. And it’s not too hard to get that information there either. It might take time to get that level of information (Founder, Founded Date and Motto?) to register with the search engine, but it doesn’t take much in terms of effort expended.

So… maybe I’m not all that bad at this SEO thing after all…


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