Search, Friend or Enemy of the Blog?

Search - Find by Geralt CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

Is search, friend or enemy to the blogger? Search is, today, the number one activity of online surfers. Think it over. When was the last time you did a search. Not so long ago, was it? You may even be mid-search, when encountering this page. Visibility on search results is always a challenge for the blogger.

Search, Friend or Enemy?

Enemy - Alien by ClipartVectors CC0 Public Domain from PixabaySearch, the friend or the enemy? We all know search engines and what they offer readers. Many bloggers consider themselves somewhat an enemy, because of the difficulty that have having their pages ranked on the results pages. Take time, do the right thing, and you will see results.
Keywords have become simple to manage. Search engines, like google seek out content. With the correct degree of keyword density and/or keyword and key phrase placement your page can perform well in searches. These search motors also are looking for copy-cats and pirated material. and will continue to target such pages. Google has some stringent terms and conditions with regards to duplicated or cloned content. They will tag these kinds of material and downgrade it in the results.
Search, friend or enemy? Please understand that mobile/smart-phone searches now exceed personal computer searches and search is moving to a mobile-first indexing strategy. These are all strategies the blogger must understand.

Let the Creativity Flow

Your creativity needs to go beyond your writing. Google, as well as other search engines, have offered possibilities to let the creativity flow with all your Search engine optimisation techniques. Google has over 70% of the world-wide search marketplace share, higher in many countries. With regards to SEO; focus your time and energy on Google, but try not to overlook Bing or Yahoo. In reality search engines are less than perfect (a pet gripe of mine) but they satisfy the needs of most searchers.
Google provides newer and more effective methods and formulas to boost the search outcomes, especially for mobile users. Search engines are able to employ these to present your page differently in search results. Keywords and phrases will likely be what identifies your pages on-line for search engines. Engines, or the ‘bots that work for them, will check your blog within two or three days of a new page being created. Then read and analyse all the page contents, but are not able to read pictures, video, or flash files.
Search, friend or enemy? Is should now be clear you need it as your friend.

Optimised Keywords

There are plenty of SEO tools that work with WordPress or blogs in general, provided to improve the search-ability of your blog page. Two of the best are Yoast SEO and Squirrly SEO, expert Neil Patel, supports the second of there. Both of these plug-ins add powerful benefits to your blog. Yoast requires the writer to use a Focus Keyword, while Squirrly requires a keyword that it optimizes the post for. The keywords identified here are the primary search terms the search ‘bots will use when indexing your site.
How search engines use keywords has changed over the years. Today they require definition of a primary term. This is a term found within your content and used in the headline. You should still define other keywords within your blog post but these will become part of the search criteria within your blog, not a web search. It is widely recognised that key phrases are best, you should consider the 2 or 3 word phrase the reader is searching for. Here are a few titles from a blog I read regularly, and my selection for focus key words/phrases, listed to the right:
So, You Want to Write Professionally
Write Professionally
Fight off Lazy Language: Watch TV
Lazy Language
Finding New Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
Increase Your Blog Traffic
How I learned to have faith when I ran out of hope
“Have faith”, or “Ran out of hope”
There are many other choices you could make for the main keyword or phrase, but each of the one I used have relevance to the article title and could also be used as a subtitle within the post.

The Composition of your Site

Structure by MichaelGaida CC0 Public Domain from PixabaySearch, friend or enemy? Search engines have ‘bots that serves the primary role here, based on that focus keyword. They start to see the full composition of the website and retrieve it more effectively. Content may very well be king, even today, but there is a science to it, and that is what blog owners need to pay attention to. The only thing that makes your site the enemy of the search engines is disobeying the rules.
Google is very relevant, but in some market segments, there is a Yelp community, in others Facebook, in others LinkedIn, or Twitter. The facts are: written content cannot stand on its own legs without promotion. This is where both search and social media have a role to play.
Google continues its research about how to read images, however, textual content is an essential factor. You must always set the Alt-Tex when you use images, this should include the image title (text) and perhaps a description (e.g. the mood portrayed, or location). Alt-Text is what turns images into words that search engines can then read and index.
These engines are clearly against spam links of any type, so, occasionally, you must cleanup your back-links to make certain they still connect to good pages. The challenge here is that while you may not remove content, it is not possible to guarantee the same for other content publishers.

Consider the Search Business

Search, friend or enemy? It is relevant asking this because search is a profitable business and thus taken seriously by search engine providers, hence their need to downgrade duplicate material. Consider for one moment the problem of copyright. Who owns a copyright, in a dispute, is normally decided by a judge, reaching such a decision can be a lengthy process. Google is clearly aware of this and is attempting to manage this problem is the best way it sees fit. It can identify copies because the words are the same in both locations, but it doesn’t know who is the originator and who is the copier, as it is simply a computer program.
No matter how smart a program, it cannot identify the real owner of the words. Logically, it would be the first page that came into existence, but that may not always be the case. Like, a blog post that is a copy of a document written in Microsoft Word, which only appears later in time. For example in the form of an excerpt from a book.

Web Errors

Search, friend or enemy? Again relevant to ask here, it proves not everything can be controlled by the writer.
Http 404 Error by Aitoff CC0 Public Domain from PixabayWeb, or HTTP, errors, for example error 404 (Page Not Found) might be irritating to your potential audience. Partly, despite all that is said on this topic, this is evidence that there is nothing permanent on the Internet. They occur for several different reasons, the most common one being a modified directory structure on the server, or changes to storage locations. Often performed automatically as part of a software update.Blog writers are blissfully ignorant this even occurs, not to mention knowing how to resolve the problem.
One way of managing this error is by applying an operation referred to as redirection. This will take visitors to a new webpage, typically the home-page, or even an archives page (not necessarily an effective outcome). Such problems are annoying because information the viewer anticipated does not appear In addition, some (perhaps several) of these users are not aware of additional steps to take to locate the content they are seeking and will give up in frustration. Typically you lose the reader because the indexes are out of date, not your fault as a writer.

Be Relevant: Be Searched

By default, search results, get sorted by relevance. That is a perceived relevance according to the logic of the program, this is not necessarily the logic the searcher is using. Each listed page or document the searcher is shown, the headline or title, and a short summary passage that contains an excerpt from the page. You should craft this excerpt yourself, it should advertise your page in approximately 165 characters. While longer excerpts are possible, search results only show the first 165 characters. If you don’t bother setting up your excerpt properly then the search engine is left to randomly select that summary.
Unlike going through customs, where you don’t want your luggage searched, with Google you want your site searched and indexed frequently. Being popular with search engines is a must. A surprisingly large number of blogs are not indexed by search engines.
No search engine provides any guarantees or promises that they will either inspect or index your site. They will only crawl through it when something changes. According to ShoutMeLoud “it must consider ranking metrics such as Page Rank, number of backlinks, etc. before crawling“.

Help the ‘Bots Work…

There is the first clue, links to crawl through, make linking a habit and it improves indexing. These ‘bots are designed to find and report links.
Your content must be strong. This doesn’t mean using strong language. However, when comparing your material against other websites covering similar subjects your material is unique. You may quote another site or book, but make it clear you are doing so.
You must also have a site-map. Many of the SEO tool plugins, like Yoast or Squirrly, will implement a site-map. This needs linking to Google’s webmaster tools. To register your site you must download an HTML verification file to your site. It is also worthwhile checking, from time to time, that your site is still active, things do go wrong.
The Google Analytics plug-in is a must. Install it before you make the blog public, or as soon as possible if your site is already public. It may be wise to submit your site to the search engines:
Activity on social media, and social bookmarking sites is also an essential part in having the search engines know about you. These sites are indexed as a high priority when a link to your site is found then the bot will explore, it is what they are designed to do.

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Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thanks for discussing the topic of making your blog searchable. Search, friend or enemy to the blogger should be easily answered – be its friend. If you have questions then please ask them via a comment. All images used here are available in the public domain and have been resourced from royalty free sites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash.

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