The Visible Post: The Bloggers Battle with Search Engines

        Is yours a visible post? There is much hype, myth, fantasy or voodoo mumbo-jumbo associ­ated with getting your blog post noticed by Google and other search engines, the inten­tion here is to cut through the myths and help bloggers win the battle of getting your posts noticed, identi­fy­ing actions that writers can take to improve visib­il­ity for each post, it is like the strategies involved in a game of chess.

According to an SEO MOZ review of search engine ranking factors the follow­ing have the most influ­ence in making your blog and the posts on it visible:

  1. Many links on the site.
  2. Links exist on each post.
  3. Relevant keywords or tags used on each page.
  4. There is plenty of good quality content on the page and not all is keyword specif­ic.
  5. There is analys­is and metrics avail­able for the site.
Right move by Wokandapix CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay        These sound very technic­al but it doesn’t mean they must be overwhelm­ing as for example WordPress and Blogger does offer assist­ance with analys­is and metric tools for the average user. Also in refer­ence to the term “good quality content” writers must under­stand that search engines now consider spelling and grammar as a part of their ranking mechan­ism, the SEO battle­ground is changing, with Google constantly looking to upgrade its algorithm especially as they consider the user exper­i­ence and one of the most import­ant aspects of search.

Embolden those Keywords

        There has been an open question for many years about wheth­er every keyword used should be either emboldened or italicised, yet there is little evidence this must be the case. Bold and italic, even under­lined and coloured fonts have more value to the reader than to any search engine. Writers use emphas­is tools because the words are central to the point being made, yet the truth is those import­ant words and phrases that are emboldened become natur­al candid­ates to use as tags or keywords, you emphas­ised them for a reason and that should also be crucial to index­ing.
        There is no clear correl­a­tion between bold/italicized keywords and results on search rankings. It is possible to write effect­ively without emphas­is and still have your writing found through search results. Google makes it clear is that keywords you use should be natur­al and be used in the page title, the opening paragraph, headings, or the main body of the text. Some further tips I add from my own exper­i­ence are:
  • Base keywords on words or phrases you actually use in the text.
  • Phrases are better than individu­al words.
  • Use core words, for example ‘edit’ is a better keyword than ‘editing’ as it has a wider context and search engines under­stand differ­ent forms of the same word.
  • Keep keywords singu­lar, e.g ‘computer’ instead of ‘computers’.

Keywords Must Appear in the Title

        Think about this concept for a second or two, it is illogic­al. Firstly titles draw readers in to your site, like power­ful advert­ising slogans, secondly a good page title has somewhere between 6 and 10 words in it. The correct state­ment is: signi­fic­ant words from the title are keywords. Normally this limited to 2 or 3 words or perhaps the most signi­fic­ant phrase. Headers used within the body of the page may also contrib­ute to the keywords used, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Fifty to sixty percent of all keywords should come from words or phrases actually used in the body of the writing.

Keywords in the URL

        The URL of the page is the name of the website. It is argued that having the name of the website that describes what you do is one way of bring­ing more traffic to the site. For example a build­ing company in Atlanta may wish to use a slogan for their website webuild​at​lanta​.com, but there is little evidence this gives any advant­age in search results. Google’s SEO guide says that this approach can be useful, but doesn’t provide super­i­or search rankings. One aspect is true, they can aid the memor­ab­il­ity of the site. Especially if associ­ated with advert­ising on other media.
        For a blog consider, the permalink, or slug that each post uses. Most experts agree this be in English (lower case) with dashes between words. Insignificant 1, 2 and 3 letter words are best removed. When the title is longer, edit the permalink to ensure use of import­ant words only. Permalinks are import­ant because it is how Google will identi­fy that a site is a blog. Words in the permalink should match vital keywords. This assists the ranking of the individu­al post.

Keyword Density

Search by Peter Giblett        During the course of my research I have looked at hundreds of posts on blogs and on gener­al writing sites, probably 50 percent of all posts have no keywords associ­ated with them at all, the result of this is that Google (or other search engines) has to guess what aspects the writer sees as import­ant when it indexes the page and of course there is the possib­il­ity it will get it wrong.

Writer Shaun Anderson states “There is no one-size-fits-all optim­al ‘keyword density’ percent­age anybody has ever demon­strated had direct posit­ive ranking improve­ment in a public arena“. Suggestions that keyword density of 3 – 5% are neces­sary for good results are not true. How Google uses key words will be changing. I think it is hard to determ­ine a specif­ic rule other than the need to use keywords that are a natur­al part of your work.

Personally, I have tested keywords and perform­ance over time for my own articles. Best result attained relate to a critic­al analys­is about a specif­ic subject. Pages which include many links to other sites that also discuss the same subject. Although those sites may reach differ­ent conclu­sions. 24 hours after publish­ing my post my article was ranked number one on a relev­ant search in Google.

Generally blogs rank lower than commer­cial sites on any search result. Writers, remem­ber this when creat­ing keywords and categor­ising their post. Commercial organ­isa­tions spend a lot of money on analys­ing and fine tuning their search perform­ance for every page they publish. Time Bloggers rarely have. Blog posts should have no more than two categor­ies assigned to them. In my exper­i­ence they should have 1 or 2 key words or phrases per 100 words written. If an article is 400 words in length then 10 to 12 keywords are accept­able. For a larger article, say 1200 words, then 12 to 20 keywords are appro­pri­ate, yet often fewer are perfectly adequate.

One Internal Link Only?

        There is a myth that intern­al links should be minim­ised, but how valid is this? An intern­al link is a hyper-link that takes a reader to anoth­er story or page on your site, surely this is a good thing to do? According to SEO MOZInternal links are most useful for estab­lish­ing site archi­tec­ture and spread­ing link juice” and is about “build­ing an SEO-friendly site archi­tec­ture,” thus it can be concluded that linking to other parts of your site brings a posit­ive effect, not a negat­ive one and is a practice to be encour­aged. Generally speak­ing if a reader is going to jump somewhere else it is better they jump to anoth­er spot on your site than to anoth­er person’s.
        There are some commonly accep­ted rules:
  • Create lots of content – a young blog requires many pages (realist­ic­ally 50 to 100) added to it before it attracts the serious atten­tion of search engines. Once you have content there is plenty of oppor­tun­ity to inter­link mater­i­al. Use the time while editing your work to identi­fy mater­i­al worthy of linking to.
  • Links must be anchored to text – Crucial in making the link seem natur­al. Linking to part of a sentence rather than a list of links where only the URL is mentioned.
  • Be specif­ic with your links – take the reader to the page that has the detail they are looking for. Linking to the homepage is not helpful.
  • Provide value to your reader – engage them by linking to other mater­i­al that can help solve their problems.
  • Links must be relev­ant – each link should have a simil­ar theme, for example a post discuss­ing the qualit­ies of natur­al spring water may link natur­ally to one about miner­als and the human body, but not to one about mechan­ic­al engin­eer­ing.

Conclusion

This article should have cut through some of the myth, fantasy, and voodoo mumbo-jumbo associ­ated with making blog posts more visible. If you have a question please contact me and I will do my best to assist.

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for his research into the challenges of SEO and what the blogger needs to be aware of. All images used here are either created or owned by Peter Giblett or have been sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

2 Comments

  1. Hi there, There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be having browser compat­ib­il­ity problems.

    When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine
    however, if opening in IE, it’s got some overlap­ping issues.
    I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonder­ful site!

  2. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am encoun­ter­ing troubles with your RSS.

    I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having
    the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

    Thanks!!

7 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Link Magic – The Value of Outbound Links to your Post
  2. Link Magic – The Value of Outbound Links to your Post – GobbledeGoox
  3. On Facebook – Are you a Human or a Machine? – GobbledeGoox
  4. The Challenge of Writing Creatively when you have Deadlines to Meet – GobbledeGoox
  5. The Day of the Discerning Link (Value & Relevance) - GobbledeGoox
  6. Blog Growth - Can you Find New Readers? - GobbledeGoox
  7. Search, Friend or Enemy of the Blog? - GobbledeGoox

Your comments