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How Google Views an Event Calendar Page
Let’s say the Philosophy Department at Cornell University is hosting SK5K Leap Of Faith, the Søren Kierkegaard 5K Run and Cøstume Cøntest (“Dress as your favorite existential philosopher!”). They want to promote the event beyond the university and the Ithaca, New York area, and make sure runners and philosophers around the region can easily find the information on Google.
The Philosophy department sends the information — date, route, contact information, and a link to the race website — to the university’s marketing department. Marketing adds it to their calendar of events, which cross-posts to the Philosophy Department’s site, as well as the campus-wide calendar.
As a result, whenever someone in the region does a search about 5K runs, Søren Kierkegaard, events at Cornell University, or information about the Philosophy department, the race event page is near the top of the results. But it’s not just the race website, it’s the university’s event page that’s getting all the attention on Google. How does that happen?
It starts with the calendar software itself. In a traditional calendar 30-box calendar, Google is not able to see the information inside each of those boxes. If you use a regular calendar, whether it’s Outlook or Google Calendar, you already know how many clicks it takes just to get to an individual event in your calendar.Google is not able to penetrate those boxes and get past those clicks, which means any event inside the calendar is invisible.
When that happens, the SK5K doesn’t appear in the Google search results, because Google doesn’t even know it’s there.
But what if we could make a separate page just for our event, and let Google’s search engine “spiders” crawl all over the page, scoop up the pertinent information, and list it as part of its database? This way, whenever someone in or around Ithaca did a search for 5K runs, Søren Kierkegaard, and so on, the race event page would show up in the results. And it would have all the necessary information, like name, venue, time, date, and so on.
So how can we make a separate page for each individual event? This is where an event marketing calendar like Localist can help. We pay attention to important factors, like how Google sees web pages, and make sure that our calendar treats each individual event like a web page rather than a hidden entry on a 30-box calendar.
If Google can see a calendar event the same way it sees blog posts, photos and images, and even a web page, it can add the information to its database and pop it into your search results the next time you need Søren Kierkegaards’ philosophy on carb-loading before a big race (“The function of pancakes is not to influence the race, but rather to change the nature of one who runs.”)
This is why it’s important to enter all important information into the calendar description, rather than attaching a PDF or graphic image. While it may be easier to attach the image, Google can only read text, not images.
It also helps if your event calendar doesn’t delete old data. It’s better to keep the old data on your website. This way, even if a recurring event has already passed, Google can still show the event page, so visitors can find next year’s dates. Or, they’ll see it’s a recurring event, and can put it on next year’s calendar.
To learn more about how we can help you market your events, please contact us for a personal consultation.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)