SEO and Blogging

Feb 27, 2008 - 7:01 pm 3 by
Filed Under SMX West 2008

SEO & Blogging - Blogging can help SEO in a variety of ways. Blog posts are "syndicated," meaning your content -- and your links -- spread across the web. There are also dedicated blog search engines with readers you might be missing, if you're not blogging. This session introduces you to blogging and the SEO advantages it offers. Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Features Editor, Search Engine Land Q&A Moderator: Chris Winfield, President and Co-Founder, 10e20

Speakers: Andy Beal, Internet Marketing Consultant, Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Services Aaron Wall, Author, SEO Book

Aaron wall is up first. "Your attention, please" causes you to get attention in the marketplace.

There's infinite competition: smarter algorithms and aggregators, social media, outsourcing, better/cheaper/faster publishing tools, ad tracking increasingly precise. Tragedy of the COmmons by Garrett Hardin. If you create opinionated original content, you'll be able to rise above the commodity status.

Blog growth vs. web usage - Technorati graph vs Web growth. The amount of competition is growing a lot faster on the web.

There's a lot of ways to grain traction: niche, strong formatting, filter, strong interaction, unique bias, post regularly, social interaction, monetize, push marketing.

Bias - a truth for every search. Gathering points - politics: religion, human rights, education, technology, etc. Technorati top 100 blogs. Key attributes passion, open, original, consistent, opinionation, (dis)honesty

Own a niche: owning a smaller niche is an easy way to start building a personal brand. The #1 player gets more play in the media, the #1 player gets more self-reinforcing exposure, and better ad rates.

Format your site: get ideas from Seth Godin and Brian Clark's Copyblogger - clean appealing design - positive reinforcing tone - easy to understand = trust and mindshare - highlight best pages - about us page - easy for press to contact - pictures/video/sketchcasting - Write clearly (e.g. "Politics & The English Language" by George Orwell) - Write headlines like a wire service writer - Use simple words and short sentences - Bulleted lists, headers, and subheaders

Read more, write less - iGoogle and Google Trends - Google News Alerts - Custom RSS feeds - Compare now and the past - Save drafts and refine before publishing - Stay on topic - Cartman's Tourette's Syndrome YouTube video

Social Interaction - Comment and link out (add value) - Create community based ideas - Ask for feedback BEFORE launching - Actively solicit feedback and reply to comments - Write for others - Network offline - Can't be afraid of controversy - Get people to talk about you Post regularly - People appreciate regularity - Pre-write draft posts for future ideas - Offer tools or bolt on community stuff like job boards and forums - Encourage contribution from others - Highlight best contributors

Monetization: - No AdSense above your content - Sell branded ads or co-brand affiliate offers - Create your own products - Increase price to maintain high visitor value

Push Market (avoiding attention scarcity) - Companies pay to advertise by giving away products they sold in teh past - Build links - Yahoo directory and a few others - Buy AdWords and AdSense ads, blog ads - Sponsor other related sites - Syndicate your content and write for other trusted sites - Don't monetize too early

Andy Beal is up next. He's going to talk about tactics that have worked for him.

BOGO = buy one, get one

There are two audiences to your blog: the initial blog readers, so you need to ask questions, be enticing, and give scoops. There are also Google users so you need to optimize titles, change the word order, and add keywords.

Get killer slugs - don't always let the blog decide. Include popular keywords. Anticipate Google searches. Shorten the length. Don't change the slugs once you publish them!!!

Now get those indented links - Google should recognize 2 pages and indent the second result. - Focus on just one page. Keyword rich content, etc. - Build backlinks with anchor text - Create/find VERY similar theme pages - Link first to second - Rinse and repeat. Re-Focus the Page Content - Think about a future purpose for that page. That page may not have the same content in the future. - Optimize page slugs - Top 10, Best 100, 7 Reasons, etc. Be helpful, give it away = FREE - Get links - Turn to the dark side - Change focus of the page

Slack OFf - Get other people to write for you - Guest posts - offer links, author byline - Writing contests - Blog carnivals - Performance payments - bonus for Digg homepage? (Dude, no!)

Performance - Improve it - Monitor your analytics - watch for traffic spikes, increased page popularity, capture the audience, optimize existing and similar content, and look for new post ideas

Michael Gray is up last.

Dave Winer - blogs and the bet: he made a bet with the NY Times and said that blogs would beat newspapers for the top 5 news stories in 2007. 3 of the top listings were Wikipedia. Of the other searches on the page, blogs had 4 times the amount of the top 10 listings than newspapers had for news searches.

Search Engines and Blogs: - Because blogs are frequently updated, they are able to attract the attention of spiders and that causes fast crawling and indexing - The structure and implementation of blogs allows search engines to easily isolate content from the template

For businesses: it's a CMS that allows you to publish things easily without the new to involve the IT staff. Blogs use RSS technology to enable you to reach customer without the hassles and uncertainty of email.

Google is gathering a lot of the data you're using from their toolbar, Google Reader, etc. This data is being factored into personalized search and it may become more trusted to become a larger role in the ranking algorithm.

Google Reader Data is displayed to show people how well your behavior factors and what Google gathers.

Blog subscribers are defensible traffic - by cultivating people who are subscribed directly to your feed, your website becomes immune to fluctuations in search engine rankings.

Blogs fit well into social media space. Digg, SU, Reddit users know what a blog is. Stones that become popular are often picked up, shared, and linked to. Repeated exposure builds links and subscribers.

Blogs are also a reputation management tool. The rapid nature of blog publication enables you to react to a crisis and problem. The rapid indexing system allows you to control listings and sculpt the SERPs. Reporters and journalists use blog search as a research tool for information and professional commentary.

A blog can act as a sales tool. The "news" nature of blogs makes them the perfect platform for announcing and publicizing new products or services. Industry specific blogs: there's huge potential for affiliate or other referral based sales commissions. Disclosure is a standard practice in your industry.

Who is blogging? - Southwest Airlines: Nuts about Southwest. (I learned that from Geoff Livingston at Pubcon.) - Jetblue - Coca-Cola (and they should remove the nofollow on their entire blog) - Donald Trump - General Motors If companies like this are blogging, there's really no reason why you can't.

Wrap it up: - quick and easy way to add content to your site and attract search engines - a great entry into social media - they are a tremendous link building blog (content on your site) - subscribers make you immune to fluctuation in rankins - provide you with an opportunity for interaction with customers


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