I know, I know. This probably is the silliest post ever. I mean, who would believe I would actually talk about SEO? A month shy of a year in the blogosphere, SEO still makes me feel uneasy, like your regular bully in school.
- Number one, I write for people, not search engines.
- Number two, I’ve been copied not twice, not thrice and every time, the copies are the ones showing up first in SERPs.
So where did the originals go? Swallowed by the Bermuda Triangle maybe? And now that this SEO thing is starting to really get to me, I’m going to have to learn it no matter what.
So far, here’s a checklist of the things I kind of know about SEO. Now, if you’ll excuse me, before you read any further, let me forewarn you, believe at your own risk. This is a self-certified SEO dummy speaking. With that out of the way, first things first. What the heck is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization, a process that aspires to get your blog or website to rank first in SERPs for certain keywords. Now, SERP, by the way, means search engine results page. That’s the list of results that Google or Yahoo or Bing displays every time you search for articles using a particular keyword.
1. Content is king. Okay, so this one talks my language. I may not look it, but believe it or not, I strive to deliver quality content with every post I write. By quality, I mean well-researched articles, if research is mandated. And I make sure to proofread and spellcheck before I publish.
Recommended reading: Sure, Content Is King … But What Makes Good Content?
Now, on the issue of copied content, I learned that with Google’s larger-than-life algorithms and its minions of super patrolling bots, Google knows which is original and which is not, which, to be honest, isn’t much of a consolation since the copies are still outrunning my originals in the SERPs by a mile.
2. Keywords. Shortly after I started blogging, I joined Essays.PH, an online platform for writers looking to earn doing what they like to do – write. And at Essays, the stuff we wrote revolved around certain keywords. I was used to writing freestyle so that this particular writing style completely got me flummoxed at first. When I got the hang of it, things got easier.
But then again, old habits die hard. Today, whenever I write blog posts, keywords are farthest from my mind. About time I did something about that.
3. Blog promotion. Somebody got me to believe that without blog promotion, there’s likely no traffic to a site. And a site without traffic is most probably a site the search engines don’t recognize. With all the updates going on at Google nowadays, it would seem that social media is now the new SEO.
4. Backlinking. Generally speaking, backlinks are links that point back to your site. (Too obvious, isn’t it?) Now, based on what I’m hearing from blogging groups, this is fast becoming a taboo since after the Panda and Penguin updates.
Okay, so maybe they’re talking about inorganic backlinks, meaning, backlinks that have been obtained not because other bloggers actually like your site but because you paid for the links or bullied your way into the bloggers’ good graces.
Recommended reading: 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned While Guest Posting
Kidding aside, based on the little I know, natural backlinking can come in the form of guest posts where the blog owner allows a link or two pointing back to your site in return for the free and quality content you’ve so graciously provided.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that backlinks from reputable sites are the only ones that count in search engines’ eyes. Backlinks from dubious sites can even get you penalized.
5. Commenting. When I was still starting out, my blogger-mentor insisted again and again that I visited similar blogs and left relevant – yes, relevant and not spammy – comments. That way, I could join in discussions and be where the conversation is.
It’s important to remember that blogging ethics dictate that if you’re commenting on a blog post, comment only if there’s something of substance you’ve got to say. Somehow, the comments I left on blogs have helped generate traffic to my site.
Recommended reading: Why Commenting Is the New Blogging Golden Rule
I recognize I might not have given SEO the justice it deserves and that I may have been talking about some mixed-up ideas about blogging and writing and jinxing your chances of getting your site to rank first in search pages and stuff of that nature, but hey, I warned you.
If there’s anything you can share about white hat SEO, comment away and I’ll be sure to thank you profusely.
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