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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