Optimize Your Blog - Making Your Blog Search Engine Friendly
Optimizing a blog is just another way of saying how to make your blog Search Engine Friendly (or SEO friendly) to increase blog traffic. (Some might also call this gaming Google but I digress). This is a HUGE topic and there is no shortage of so-called SEO experts who are willing to help.
I’ve been noticing a lot of my readers searching here for tips on the best way to optimize their blog. So I thought I would write about it today.
That however is not an easy answer because the search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. To make matters worse most of the SEO experts don’t even agree with each other either.
Then there are the Black-Hat vs. ethical SEO methods for optimizing your blog. It can be very frustrating and confusing for the average blogger to sort out. Sigh!
So today I’m going to burst the bubble and tell you the rules for blog optimization are not etched in stone. Yes, you heard right. It is not just black and white. There are grey areas for you to consider (others might call it pushing the envelope).
The Search Engines are forever in flux and evolving, and just when you think you have your blog set up right they change the rules again and the rug gets pulled from beneath you.
Just recently I went through this myself and this blog was pushed out of the first page in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) to the back of the pack. Which is very frustrating for a guy who was the first in the blog tips niche.
I think I’ve resolved the problem after noticing my .htaccess file had been filled with garbage that I’ve now cleared out. I believe a rogue plugin might be responsible but it’s still a mystery as I speak.
My page rank has also been up and down like a yoyo and it reminds me of watching the stocks during a bear market. Changing my domain URL last year didn’t help either. So I don’t worry about it anymore because it can drive you nuts obsessing over it.
For example, nobody seems to agree on whether we should tell the search engines to not index our RSS newsfeed. Some SEO experts will tell you we should nofollow our feeds because we could be penalized for duplicate content.
On the other hand some SEO experts claim the search engines are smart enough to tell the difference between our blog content and newsfeeds. So they recommend not worrying about it.
So who do we believe? That’s a good question and one that I’ve grappled with myself. Fiddling with this SEO stuff can also get you into trouble and make matters worse if you’re not careful.
This year I ran an experiment to see how long I could remain on the SERPS first page without writing any content. Everything was fine for a few months until I noticed my position slipping. So the answer is you can get away with it for awhile but it will eventually catch up and bite you in the derriere.
In all my years of experience as a blogger there is one thing I know for certain that will always be true .. and that is we should keep writing good content.
So my advice is – the first and most important rule for optimizing your blog is to stick to the basics and write quality content for your niche … and write regularly. Keep to your chosen niche and don’t waver. The search engines will love you for it.
You can’t go wrong there. But please (please) don’t cheat like the plagiarizers who steal content to get a good position on the SERPS. Be an ethical blogger and stay away from the black-hats. They may get good results over the short-haul but eventually the search engines will wise-up and so will their readers.
Stay tuned as I continue my series on SEO and blog optimization and sort out the nonsense from reality. In the mean time I have to optimize this post and make it a little more SEO friendly.