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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