13 August 2007

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Once you have your blog established and are working to get the most
traffic to visit it as possible, you will invariably hear about search
engine optimization, or as it is commonly referred to - SEO. While
search engine optimization sounds pretty daunting, it really is a pretty
simple process to understand.

Google, the search engine, would then return you a listing of probably
a million or more pages of possibilities. The first website you see on
the search results page is the page ranked #1 with Google; the second
result has the #2 ranking, and so on down the list. With search
engine optimization your main goal is to get to as near the top as
possible of the results pages when someone searches on the keywords
for your blog topic. You want to be on that first page of search engine

When a visitor does a search through a search engine and then clicks
through to your site from there they are referred to as “natural” or
“organic” visitors. They got to your website by a “natural” search
engine search and not through another form of advertising you have
done. Search engine optimization is all about getting you the most
natural visitors to your site as possible. Why? Because these natural
visitors come to you without you doing any work and then click on
your AdSense ads. This gives you the best form of passive income

The key to good search engine optimization is getting the highest
ranking possible with the least amount of extra work on your part.
When someone searches Google for the keyword which is the topic of
your blog, you want your blog to show up on that first page of results,
nearest to the top as possible. While the search engines use very
complicated and secret algorithms to create their rankings, there are
some simple things you can do to help get your blog up nearer to the
top. You should be posting on your topic and often, building links,
using good keywords and keyword density, tagging your posts and
pinging regularly. Let’s take a moment and look at each of these
suggestions in more detail.

Stay on Topic & Post Often

Search engines naturally prefer blogs over static websites. They
appreciated that they are frequently updated and that they generally
stick to one topic. This makes it important for you, as a blogger of a
monetized blog, to stick to one specific topic on your blog. It is also
vitally important to update your site regularly. These are the two
easiest and absolute best things you can do for search engine
optimization. Stay on topic, and post quality content regularly.


Links to your site from other sites helps to raise your search engine
rank. The search engines see links to your site as meaning that
other’s value it enough to link to it. They do not see if those links are
created by submissions you have done yourself or others have linked
to you on their own. We have already discussed how to get links to
your site through forum postings, articles, press releases, guest
blogging, etc… and the reason you want to spend some time and
energy gaining links is simply to improve your number of readers and
to help out your search engine optimization efforts.


Keywords are essential to getting your blog(s) seen and ranked well by
the search engines. In a previous chapter of this eBook we talked
about writing keyword rich content, using your keywords in titles, and
using special formatting like bold to attract the Googlebot to your
topics. The reason for this is simply for search engine optimization.
You want to use your blog’s keywords often because this will help the
search engine better index your website for your keywords. Better
indexing is equal to a better ranking on the search engine results page
when someone searches for those keywords.

Suppose for a moment you have a blog about living in Podunk. The
more times you mention Podunk in your titles and posts, the more
Google and the other search engines understand your site is about
Podunk. This means that when someone goes to search for Podunk on
Google, your page will return with a higher position than other sites on
Podunk which uses that word less on their websites.

One of your main goals with search engine optimization is to have your
blog’s content have a lot of keywords contained within it. In other
words you need to make sure that within the words on your page, you
make sure that a lot of those words are keywords. This is commonly
referred to as “keyword density.”

Assume for a moment that you have a blog on laptops. You write an
article of about 500 words and you mention the word “laptop” 10 times in the article. This would give you a key word density of 2%. That
means that 2% of your words in that article are “laptop.” If you
changed that same article to have the word “laptop” in your article 18
times, use a title of “The Best Laptop For Your Money” and then
include the second title at the beginning of your blog text, you would
then have used the word “laptop” 20 times. Using the word “laptop”
20 times in your 500 page article would give you a new keyword
density of 4%.

The examples above are very simplified examples, but enough to
understand why keywords, and how often you use them in your
writing, are important. Your goal should be to have a keyword density
of between 5% and 10% but not much higher than that. Adding too
many keywords into your blog will make it hard to read for your
readers and the search engines start to think you are building a splog
if you get much higher than 15-20%. Again this is an area where you
will want to strike a nice balance between what will be comfortable for
your readers and what will be okay by the search engines as well.


META Tags, or simply referred to as “tags,” are small hidden pieces of
code which tell the search engines what your blog is about. Basically
tags are just a listing of keywords which your visitors don’t see but the
search engine’s indexers do. Tags are used to help the search engines
index a website better without being visible and distracting to your

If for instance you have a blog on photography, then you might want
to add a group of tags such as: photography, photo, photography
studio, pictures, prints, portrait, camera, film, etc… You want your
tags to stick to your specific topic of your blog, but you also want to
include all the possible words someone could search on and find your
blog. These tags help get your blog indexed for all of the words
included in the tags.

Unlike other blogging software, Blogger does not contain an easy way
to add tags to your blog. Some blog formats do, Blogger happens to
be one which doesn’t. However, it is possible to generate tags for
your Blogger blog by using another website and then cutting and
pasting a bit of code into your template. (Similar to what we did for
AdSense.) It is very simple and free to do. And it is advisable that
you do put tags on your blog posts. Anything which will help with your
search engine optimization you should spend the time and make sure
you do it.

Some popular tag sites include de.licio.us and www.technorati.com.
Signing-up for either site is very simple and free. Once you have
registered then you can generate the tag code for your Blogger blog
and simply paste it into your blog template.

Once you have the code you will want to paste it into your template by
going to your blog’s template. First back up your blog’s template just
in case you do not like the changes, and then paste the tag code after
the place in your template which says:


By pasting your tag code here, each time you post a message to your
blog the search engines also get a copy of all of your tagged keywords
added on to the bottom of it. Even if for some reason your blog post
doesn’t mention your keywords the tags will! This means that if you
have a blog on Christmas but you choose to talk about your family
pets in your post, the indexers will still get Christmas as one of your
keywords, because they get it from the tags.


The search engines send their spider, or bot, to your site on a regular
basis. They schedule their visits based on the size of your website and
how often it appears to be updated. However, if you want to send a
message to them letting them know you have updated your site, then
you can do something called “pinging.” Pinging, in this context, is
simply sending a code string to the search engines which says “hey
come look at my site again, it’s updated, and I want it indexed again.”

All you have to do to ping the search engines is to go to a ping
website, enter the URL of your blog, check the boxes of where you
want to ping (generally do all of them) and then click “Ping.” It really
is that simple and quick. The two most popular ping websites are
www.ping-o-matic.com and www.pingoat.com.

It is generally advisable that you ping each time you update your blog,
or each week at least. This makes sure your site is getting seen by
the search engines and that it is being indexed as fast as possible.


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