November 21, 2005
Liz published this at 3:56 pm
Practical SEO for Every Blogger
It didn’t seem like a good idea to trust my instincts and pure research on a topic like SEO. I’m just not qualified to sort the information, into the good, the bad, and the ugly. I didn’t trust myself to tell which parts of a documents written in 2002 are still valid and which are way out of date.
Lucky for me a programmer and all-around good-guy, Eric Mutta, came to the rescue. He agreed to work with me on this series to make sure that I got the facts straight and to fill in the details that I was missing. Let’s let Eric have a word.
Eric, Tell us something about yourself and your experience with SEO.
My name’s Eric Mutta, though I am known online by some of my many alter egos, the most popular one being Teh Blogfather. I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now on topics in writing, computer programming and recently, just plain comedy.
I approach SEO from the perspective of a computer programmer researching search engine technologies, as well as from that of a blogger who’s trying to rank highly in the popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN.
As a programmer I could tell you the mechanics behind search engines in general. As a blogger trying to make the top ranks, I could tell you about some techniques I’ve been using that have worked well.
Eric, what is SEO and why do people care about it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a bit of a misnomer, because SEO from the perspective of bloggers is not about optimizing search engines, but about optimizing blogs for search engines. . . .
Optimizing search engines would be equivalent to asking “how can I make Google produce better results?” Optimizing our blogs for search engines is equivalent to asking “How can I make my blog rank highly in the search results when a user types in a particular keyword or phrase?” The former is practically rocket science and Google’s rich because they cracked it. The latter is not rocket science and is something you and I can do by following some simple but effective tips.
SEO is important because when you rank well in search engines, more visitors can find your blog, visitors who can be converted to full-time readers.
Where would you tell bloggers to invest their SEO time?
HTML <title></title> Tags. The text you use for your page and post titles is one of the most important things in SEO. Search engines place a lot of importance in titles. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger talks about in his article The Importance of Title Tags in Search Engine Optimization.
<META> Tags. These tags contain information that is invisible to the user but used by all sorts of internet software, with search engines being the software of interest here. HTML tags are used for various purposes including describing your site, specifying keywords for your content, and copyright notices. Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch.com explains it well in How Search Engines Rank Web Pages.
Content content content. People always say content is king and they are right, but they should in fact say targeted or relevant content is king. Search engines only go looking for what people want. If you don’t have that, they become blind to whatever content you have. In other words, blog on material that people search for frequently. Look at all the top blogs and you’ll see them doing this (e.g they cover politics, gadgets, celebrity gossip and even shoes in the case of the Manolo of Shoeblogs.com.
Title tags, I’m still shaking. We’ll actually lay out some code you can copy and adapt in tomorrow’s piece. In the meantime you might also explore . . .
UPDATE: SEE Yaro on Metatags and Keywords
ME “Liz” Strauss, Eric Mutta