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How to Herd Organic Search Traffic to Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of February 2008 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

This post on growing Organic Search Traffic to a Blog is by Ciaran McKeever who is the author of Chance Favors.

herd search engine trafficImage by James @ NZ

Although I’m not very tech savvy, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post I have a very good working knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization).

I’ve successfully applied much of what I know to my budding financial planning blog and if I can do it so can you.

In this post, I’m going to share every secret (which aren’t so secret if you know what to look for) that I use to garner organic search traffic from Google and Yahoo (not MSN for some reason).

Originally, I wondered whether I should write this post because, if the concepts are applied properly, many of you can probably outrank me on keyword phrases I target, and my rankings might slip.

But I decided that’s a poor man’s way to think, and much like the approach I take on my blog, I’d like to help some of my personal finance blogging friends take their organic herding skills to the next level. The more good content there is at the top of the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages), the better it is for our visitors and for all of us.

Some of you may already be doing some of this, some not. I think most bloggers should be able to take something from a few of the points; if not, then you’re doing a lot better than I am.

Also, please keep in mind, by no means am I an SEO pro, just someone who is self taught, enjoys figuring things out and has a passion for jumping into things head first. Without further ado…

10 SEO tips that I know can have a profound impact on your search traffic:

1. Adopt the proper mindset

You often read from SEO pros that it’s not good to try and write for the search engines. They argue that the pieces will be overly optimized, sound artificial and visitors won’t read it. Now this is true to some extent, but there’s plenty of room to find a happy medium.

I think, especially in the beginning, when your blog is less than 6 months old, it’s very important to find your voice, but why not do it with some SEO attached. If you don’t know anyone in the blogging world who can send you traffic or boost your profile, then it’s up to you to make it happen for yourself.

For this reason, I think you have to target search engine traffic, and as your site gets more and more popular, you can wien yourself off of that. What do I mean by that?

Well in my case, I write many fact based pieces, looking to target a web surfer searching for a specific keyword phrase (not necessarily as interesting as something you might find at Get Rich Slowly, but I don’t have that luxury just yet).

This way I’ll get traffic to my site and start building a solid reader base. Keep in mind this post may not appeal as much to a reader that stumbles upon my site, but is far likelier to interest the search engine targeted visitor.

Always set goals

For the first three months of the New Year my goal is 4 posts a week. Until my daily traffic is consistently over 750 unique daily visitors, I plan to write 2 creative, human interest, pieces and two posts that are more fact based and keyword driven (but still interesting I hope).

Like most things, you need balance when writing a fledgling blog. I recommend a mix of writing articles with a bend towards search engine visitors and articles that are not. I am also introducing a new series of posts called “My Two Cents” that I hope will add some life to my blog, so look out for that.

Sitemeter

Averaging 300+ visitors a day, my short term goal is 750

2. Prepare the targeted keywords in advance

This is sort of another way of saying: have a general idea of what you’re going to write about before you sit down to write.

For instance, if I decide to write a post about 2008 Roth IRA eligibility, well, I know what I’m going to write about and you can see from the phrase I know what my targeted keywords are, as well.
Sometimes I’ll just write the post and when I’m done I’ll find the necessary keyword phrases after re-reading the post.

Rarely, you can stuff a few of the keywords into the post, afterwards, if you think the text needs a little more keyword density, but I generally would advise against that. By doing so, your articles WILL start to sound artificial and then, neither search engine visitors nor direct traffic visitors, will be interested.

3. Target 3 and 4 word phrases

This is especially important in the early days of your blog. Many people make the mistake of targeting highly competitive 1 and 2 word phrases that they can’t compete on. Those type of phrases are for the more established, older, branded sites and generally don’t have the user stickiness of a longer (niche like) phrase anyway.

People searching for longer phrases are far more likely to be the kind of visitor you want. If they take the time to type in 2008 Roth IRA Rules chances are they’re more captivated then someone searching for ‘2008 Roth.’ Your goal, at least in the first year or two, should be to become a big fish in a little pond.

Yahoo

My goal is to reach the first page of the SERP’s for these longer phrases. I’m shooting for 5 to 10 new visitors from each of these posts. Many times it doesn’t work, and sometimes you’ll find a gem of a phrase that can bring you 3x-4x the amount of daily traffic you anticipated.

Over the course of a month I’m looking to slowly build my organic traffic base. For me, right now, my goal is 150-200 new unique a month.

Google

I can tell you, since September, my organic traffic has slowly been climbing. And then I got a very nice boost in early January from many of my 2008 Roth posts, which I had been targeting. As you can tell from the images I included (above) you can see:

4. Know where to find the right key phrases

I’m going to give you 3 resources (I use) to do your keyword research. All three of these services are free:

  • Wordtracker- this is what I currently use. It’s very simple to use and gives you a lot of great ideas on ‘your phrase’ and other relevant phrases you may not have thought of originally. Wordtracker is very popular and highly regarded in the SEO world. It gives you the most accurate results. If anything Wordtracker has been accused of erring on the conservative side with the results they return. As a rule of thumb, at this point in my blog’s development, I look to target phrases that return between 15-200 daily searches on Wordtracker, much like the phrases highlighted in the image below.
  • Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool- I used to use this religiously many years ago. I would think it’s not used anymore by serious SEO’s because the search result numbers are inflated. It’s still useful as a way to get good ideas for future posts because it provides long lists of juicy keyword strings.
  • SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool – I haven’t used this tool yet but have checked it out. He imports the Wordtracker results and puts them side by side with his own traffic estimates. All of his stuff is excellent so I will assume this is a quality tool, but decide for yourself. (see video)

5. Choose the right 3 and 4 word phrases to target

This is probably the most important of the steps so far. You have to pre-screen the keyword phrases so you have a good idea what kind of traffic you can expect to receive.

You’ll figure out pretty quickly if they are relevant phrases to target, how much traffic they are already receiving, and whether or not you can realistically compete in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) on that phrase. You also need to find the phrases that are the best natural fit for the post you are going to write or have already written.

Wordtracker-Roth

In the above image, I’ve circled 4 and 5 word phrases that I have actually targeted in different posts. As you can maybe tell, it should be easier to compete on the phrase ‘roth vs traditional ira’ than the phrase ‘roth ira contribution limits’ because there are far fewer people searching for it across the internet, which usually means fewer sites are optimizing towards it.

Wordtracker gives me a very realistic estimate of how many people (across the major search engines) have searched for that phrase in any given day. For example, Wordtracker predicts that approximately 174 people a day will search for roth ira contribution limits (as seen in the image above).

6. Optimize page titles and permalinks

Everything I’ve written so far deals with things you need to do before you actually sit down to write the post. At this point lets assume I’ve written the post on ‘2008 Roth IRA Rules’. Now I have to do a fair bit of on page optimization.

Optimizing page titles and permalinks is a pretty simple step, but surprisingly this is where the great majority of blogs (and most websites) drop the ball. The search engines place a tremendous amount of importance on what they see in your title tags, and to a lesser degree, the URL of your permalink page.

Think of the search engine spider just like you would anyone else coming to visit the site. You want the spider to know what your page is about, fairly quickly, so he (or she) knows how to categorize it. If you don’t tell it what the page is about, it’s not going to know where to catalog you in the SERP’s and will leave confused or indifferent.

The way to tell Slurp (Yahoo’s spider) or Googlebot (Google’s spider) what your page is all about is by leaving them clues in your source code. And that is done mainly in the title tag and URL permalink.

The title tag:

Title-Tag

URL permalink post slug:

Page-Slug

The way you optimize the post permalink is by changing the post slug. WordPress automatically defaults to using the title of your post as the permalink, you can override that by changing the post slug to whatever you want (as seen above).

For good measure I optimize my keyword tags:

Meta-Keyword

ALT (image) Tags:

Image

and page description:

Meta-Description

Now everything is tailored towards my key phrases, so there’s no confusion about how I want Google to interpret my page. Would you rather your site resemble a wonderfully tailored suit or some unknown fabric slapped together, that hangs off your shoulder blades?

Using the right ‘SEO Editor’ plug in

When I first started writing my blog, I used the ‘All In One SEO Editor’ plugin for WordPress, but had problems optimizing the meta keyword tag to my liking. The All In One Editor automatically takes the individual post tags and uses them as your meta keywords.

This is a problem if you want to have free reign (which you need) over differentiating between the words you use as meta keywords and the blog post tags. With the ‘All In One SEO’ plugin you’re forced to have your pages’ actual tags commingled with your targeted keyword phrases. That’s no good.

I switched to the plugin ‘SEO Meta Editor Advanced’ and it works like a charm. I recommend it. The only problem is I can’t use some punctuation, like apostrophes.

(btw, I checked the source code for many a personal finance blog, in preparation for this piece, and almost everyone I came across uses the ‘All In One Editor’. I understand newer versions of ‘All In One SEO’ are available, but I believe the problem still persists).

Before and After SEO

If you view my source code for 8 things you need to know about a Roth IRA for 2008, this is what the header looks like:

Meta-Chance

As you can tell I’ve done a fair bit of optimizing (but not too much, which is key!) alerting the search engine to what this page is all about. Notice I keep the title and keywords tag very lean, focusing only on what I want the search engines to know.

The description I use is brief, enticing (I hope;) and reiterates many of my keywords. In essence, this is how I’m asking the search engine to describe my listing. And if you scroll back up to the Yahoo image I included, you will see Slurp obliged, because that’s how it now appears in the SERP’s.

Many blogs make the mistake of serving up endless lists of words, in all these fields, that confuse the robots more than anything, dilute your message, and end up hurting you in the search rankings.

A willing participant

With the permission of Ana from DebtFree Revolution, I’m going to show you a similar snippet of source code she used for a recent article titled Thrift Savings Plan for Idiots and Dummies.

Debt-Meta

Ana’s source code is devoid of a meta description and keywords. Her title tag is showing strange characters and unnecessarily listing the name of the blog, which only serves to dilute the power of the other words in the title tag.

ZigZagging

You may say to me, ‘hold on one cotton picking second… I want my blog’s name in there for branding purposes!’ I say it’s a waste of time at this point in your growth cycle. What would you prefer:

  • more search engine visitors reading good content? or
  • less search engine visitors seeing your brand name?

When your readership swells to the size of Get Rich Slowly, or dare I say the magisterial A Simple Dollar, then you can begin to worry about your brand.

OK went off on a bit of a zigzag there, back to our example…

So Ana at DebtFree Revolution needs some help revamping the way she approaches SEO for her post pages. Here’s what I would do to the targeted page, if I was her:

  • Switch plugins: to ‘SEO Meta Editor Advanced’ if having problems optimizing the tags properly
  • Change the title tag to read: Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – Military thrift savings plan
  • Add the following meta keywords tag: federal thrift savings plan, military thrift savings plan, thrift savings plan contributions
  • Add the following Meta Description: What you need to know about the Federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for military personnel…
  • Post Title: actually like it a lot, might add the word ‘Federal’ at the beginning
  • Change the post slug to read: Military Thrift Savings Plan Contributions
  • and finally, I would recommend (in this case) looking to add the targeted keyword phrases 2 or 3 times throughout the copy. There are plenty of natural opportunities for that on this page.

Now that’s just to give you an idea. I spent about 10 minutes at her page and that’s what I came up with. Obviously, she knows her blog a lot better than I do and can change things more to her liking (i.e. flip flop the title tag phrases).

7. Optimize the internal links within your site

In most every article I post I look for opportunities to add hyperlinks that point back to previous articles that I’ve written.

Sometimes those links will be made up of regular words that flow in the sentence, but often when I see known keywords in a sentence (i.e Roth conversion) I use them to create a hyperlink, much like I’ve been doing throughout this post:) These links have the keywords that match up with keywords in the title tag of the page its pointing to.

The reason to do this is to create balance between the many pages of your site. To use an analogy, it’s kind of like pumping blood to every part of your body to ensure everything is working right.

The better your circulation, the better your body performs. It’s important to have strong internal linking because search engines notice and appreciate it. The more balanced your internal linking is, the healthier your site is in the eyes of the search engines.

TIP: When linking to popular sites that don’t need your links (e.g. Google, MySpace) or internal pages that you don’t want to rank high (e.g. Disclaimer page) add rel=”nofollow” to the links. That way you save your link juice.

8. Add No Index meta tags

Now this is moving toward the outer fringe of my technical capabilities but I understand the concept here.

One of the biggest ‘NoNo’s’ with search engines is having duplicate content on your site. There is a lot of debate surrounding the degree to which you can be penalized, but it’s universally accepted that having the same content on different pages is bad.

In my case, I had many copies of the same page on my site. So, to avoid the possibility of duplicate content penalties, I use No Index tags for the category, archive and tag pages. Here’s the piece of text you need to insert in the head section of your header.php file:

Noindex

To learn more about this go to Ryan Caldwell’s blog.

9. Remove unnecessary links

Each one of my permalink posts has a title (obviously). In my case, each permalink post title had a hyperlink in it. That’s unnecessary, since you’re already on the page; I’ve read that it can affect your rankings negatively. So I removed it by going to Presentation > Theme Editor > Single Post and editing the following line of code:

Permalink2

10. Building up a ridiculously sized tag cloud can be a good thing

As far as I’m concerned you need to use everything in your arsenal to get noticed. In addition to everything else I do, for each individual post I create tags to feed my ever growing tag cloud, which I take pride in.

(Remember I have ‘No Index’ code setup for the Tag cloud pages so the search engines don’t index them, but visitors are invited to play around in my cloud as much as they like).

My tag cloud is just another way for readers to get to their final destination. I actually have quite a few readers clicking thru on tags and going to other pages. I focus on building certain areas of my tag cloud, (which stand out) so visitors are more likely to click thru those areas.

Eventually (6 months from now), by glancing at my tag cloud you will have a very good idea what my blog is all about;) And at the same time, its just another signal you’re sending to the search spiders, letting them know what pages are most important to you.

Wrapping up

Most of the personal finance blogs I come across are severely lacking good SEO (as opposed to bad, black hat SEO) and with a few simple adjustments would be competing for far more eyeballs.

It only takes about an extra 15 minutes per post once you learn the routine, and after a while it becomes like old hat. I hardly think about it anymore.

Unofficial Disclaimer

To be fair, if you examine my site you will see that there are some violations of my own rules. A few of these points I was unaware of myself early on. Just recently I started to optimize the post slug to focus more on my targeted keywords and as I come across old posts I often take a moment to mend the fences.

Final piece of advice

Please take everything I’ve written with a grain of salt, and understand, I don’t advocate writing ONLY for rankings. You should always write what comes naturally to you, but at the same time, be very cognizant of how to remain in the good graces of the Google and Yahoo gods.

Trust me, they want you to properly optimize your pages as much as you do. That way they can categorize them properly, resulting in higher quality, relevant search results for their visitors. A search engine purist might muse… the Holy Grail.

Final final piece of advice

Continue to write from the heart and know that not every post is optimizable, nor should it be optimized. Like many things in life, moderation is the key; apply your own judgment and tastes to your blog.

In the end, these are just arrows in your quiver, whether you decide to use them and to what extent is up to you.

I’ll see ya on the front page of the SERP’s hopefully not too far ahead of me:)

About the Author:

Ciaran McKeever is the author of Chance Favors a blog that hopes to educate, encourage and empower those in their 30’s and 40’s to achieve financial independence.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Darren,

    I have to believe you. I found this post on del.icio.us and I was amazed to visit this post on problogger. I can believe you… now that I have found your post. Your site also must have been herd for organic search traffic.

    Cheers.

  2. Is number 9 really bad? I have it like that it doesn’t really effect my site hits. Then again, I wouldn’t know. I might try that.

  3. I used to use All-in-One as well, but have since switched to Headspace2.

    http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/headspace2/

    I was able to replace 3-4 plugins with this bad boy. Highly recommended.

  4. I wanted to give you a plug in my SEO update article. No matter how many how-to-seo guidlines are put out I don’t grow tired of reading about them. Good job. Well written and very useful.

  5. Agh.

    Too early in the morning to resolve the PHP error I got when I installed that plugin…

    Later…
    Great article!
    Your blog just keeps getting better!

  6. Excellent article. I enjoyed the detail. Im working on a new site with my business partner and this is going to help. Thanks

  7. Why is Mario Mendoza’s name on this blog reply????

  8. Hi Darren and ProBlogger Readers,
    here’s another tip: use a robots.txt file to manage duplicate content issues and exclude from indexing your archives, feeds, and (if you use WordPress) administrative folders – do it like this:

    # Disallow WordPress Archives
    User-Agent: *
    Disallow:/trackback/
    Disallow:/print/
    Disallow:/wp-admin/
    Disallow:/wp-includes/
    Disallow:/error/
    Disallow:/wp-content/uploads/
    Disallow:/wp-content/themes/
    Disallow:/wp-content/plugins/
    Disallow:/feed/
    Disallow:/category/name-of-category/feed/
    # write a line for each category feed you have
    Sitemap: http://blog.achille.name/sitemap.xml
    #
    #Keep Bots out of WordPress archives
    Disallow:/2008/01/
    Disallow:/2008/02/
    Disallow:/2008/03/
    Disallow:/2008/04/
    Disallow:/2008/05/
    Disallow:/2008/06/
    Disallow:/2008/07/
    Disallow:/2008/08/
    Disallow:/2008/09/
    Disallow:/2008/10/
    Disallow:/2008/11/
    Disallow:/2008/12/

  9. I don’t want to come across as a whiner, but you almost ripped off my post. You didn’t even bother changing my wording at most of the places.

    If you had to do that, you could at least give me a lank back as a credit.

    Darren, I invite you to have a look at my post and see how greatly some parts of this post resemble to those of mine.

  10. LOL under the heading “9. Remove unnecessary links” he even took a screen-shot of my code and pasted it as an image.

  11. I also got a PHP error when I installed the editor plug-in. I have no idea how to fix this, and I can’t find any help at the cheekyo site.

  12. Mohsin,

    I did not rip off your post. I wrote the entire post myself. In point #8 I referenced Ryan’s Blog where I found the code.

    In point #9 I did take that snippet of code from a site on the web and I believe the preceding sentence as well, if that was your site then I would have gladly edited that to include a link, but I have no control over this site.

    I think it’s obvious by the nature of the post and the fact that it’s on Darren’s site shows that I’m willing to share my ideas and credit. A slight overlook that can easily be adjusted.

    Let me know if you want that re-edited in, I’ll email him in the morning Aussie time.

    But I wouldn’t go around accusing people like that

  13. Wow, after reading the line

    “Although I’m not very tech savvy, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post I have a very good working knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization).”

    I assumed this article might be good, I am however, highly disappointed.

    As someone who works in the SEO industry full time I can tell you first hand, with no disrespect meant, that you do not have a very good working understanding of SEO.

    I come on this site to read about blogging, thats why its called problogger. Yes I understand that SEO is relevant to blog writers, but thats what all the SEO blogs out there are for!

    Take your own advice and stick to what you’re good at, leave the SEO to the SEO writers. Your article, while clearly well intended, did not adress key SEO points, and went further to address completely unrelated points, and make points of things that are pretty much irrelevant to 90% of search engines and that will not make an impact on a site in the way that you suggest.

    Reading the above comments, I also find it strange that someone who has a ‘very good understanding of SEO’ feels the need to rip off another blog?

    Come on.

  14. It is possible to use different tags and keywords with the All in One SEO plugin. What you need to do is just over-ride the defaults by:

    1. Add your keywords that you want to in the right bar of the WordPress write page(Keywords/Tags).

    2. Then at the bottom of the page where the All in One SEO Pack fields are, add the keywords that you want to be in your meta tag there.

    What that does is just overwide the default using your tags as header keywords. I have been doing it for awhile now.

  15. that should read: “What that does is just override the default of using your tags as header keywords.” In a rush…

  16. I would have just two things point out. First is, you should take a close look (on the new version of All In One SEO pack) before you can tell. The plugin works just hilarious and you can optimize the meta keywords for each post the way you want and it won’t use any tags or auto generate keywords from the content (unless you specify this from the panel).

    In addition, the new version adds a snipped of title to the secondary pages of the homepage (or category page) which distinguishes the main page where search engines should pay more attention.

    In addition I wrote a post on how to eliminate duplicate content by keeping the pages indexed (internal linking can play a crucial role, for me has proven more then once that internal linking can do magic for your site). So eliminating categories would be really worthless and not quiet smart, archives yeah maybe they do deserve to be noindex (we already got the same data on the categories, so no need of them) (p.s. sorry for the interlinking with the post, feel free to remove it if you find it inappropriate).

    And I have to say that I like the process of this post, planing everything before even jumping into the train.

  17. Great advice!!!

  18. John,

    You’re entitled to your opinion but I will sleep comfortably reading all the other comments.

  19. Ciarian,

    Thanks very much. For those of use who are brand spanking new to SEO, your article brings innovative thought.

    In addition, I’d like to point out that newbie bloggers often get inundated with all the different SEO techie stuff. So, IMO, your article provided a “quickie” refresher a few points I, and perhaps a few others, can put in the ole thought bank

    Thanks again.

    I love your site

    Deb George

  20. I was literally searching for this kind of post. thanks Ciaran McKeever. And your elegant way to describe about slugs, keywords optimization are greatful. I would like to apply all these techniques to my new blog ( shortly ) and sure would let you know about my experience.

  21. I just have to say I love Anonymous “John”‘s post – the professional SEOer who offers nothing but negative feedback and doesn’t offer any tips.

    Tip #11 people – unless you’re in an overly competitive short tailed keyword, you don’t need the professional SEO firm to help you push your rankings to the top.

    Content is king and with unique, interesting, useful content you will get the traffic you need.

  22. Ciaran,

    Although I wouldn’t mind if you only took my ideas or took screenshots of my article, I believe copy.pasting exact paragraphs from my article WITHOUT giving me credit is plagiarism.

    But since it seems like you did it in good faith, and you don’t seem to have good understanding of digital copyrights, I’ll only ask that you contact Darren to give me credit for what is actually mine.

    And trust me, I don’t go around accusing people like that, but I don’t keep quiet when I see others plagiarizing my stuff.

  23. Hagrin I get paid $1400 a day just for consultancy work, I don’t really feel the need to justify myself to you with regards to SEO in any way shape or form.

    The point of my comment was that there are a lot of good starter SEO articles out there, but this isnt one of them. I come on here to read about blogging, which I enjoy as the vast majority of the articles are excellently written and offer good advice.

    Clearly the Ciaren does not know anything about SEO, or he would not have plagiarised the article, he would have written one himself.

  24. John is obviously a minion of Mohsin, worthless commentary. Mohsin you obviously didn’t read the remark I left above, re read it.

    I would have gladly given you a link to the one small snippet of code I found on your site but I have no access to this article, it’s obviously Darren’s. I read some of your post, along with countless others over the last year and be assured everything is in mine own words period, end of story!

    I can see why this business is so unsavory and has such a poor reputation. Do yourselves a favor and go forward and focus on making positive contributions, stop squabbling over the scraps.

  25. Ciaran I too have to throw a negative vote in here, as whilst you have decided not to index your archive pages, they are being followed.
    That could be ok, but you have a blogroll that is on every page of your site.

    By not having tag pages indexed, you might be missing out on long tail search terms, and of course with this technique you lose many of the benefits of siloing.

    I would be very careful saying anything is universally accepted in SEO, especially regarding duplicate content.

    @Sante – are you sure you want to create all those hanging pages by using robots.txt?

  26. Great article Darren! I actually used similar methods in the past for targeted articles I wanted to rank high in the search engines, and it works. It’s a lot of effort to go through for each post, but for your bigger or more important posts, it’s often worth the extra effort.

    Just like anything else, it takes sweat equity. You’ve shown how to do it, the question is how many people will actually follow through…

  27. This is an excellent post! All around outstanding and easy to follow. My only suggestion would be maybe breaking it down into more bit sized chunks. I had to come back three times to get through the whole thing. Otherwise Excellent job!

  28. Decent SEO Tips, But one thing you can do to improve your blogs is shorten your URL structure as much as possible. It makes for easy searching for the serps and in the end that is what will provide top rankings!

  29. OMG – what I’m really noticing a lot on these blogs is that SEO is a bitchy industry. Darren please feel free to delete if that isn’t an acceptable word universally, but in the uk we like to call a spade a spade.

    Firstly, I tried to read both articles, but without printing them out – it’s tough to tell if the content is plagiarized.

    What I will say is – there is no copyright in ideas – or titles. However, if the whole article is similar, with a few word changes, shuffling of paragraphs etc, then the writer could be accused of plagiarism.

    But, I’m not saying that this has happened in this case. Some people will accuse others of plagiarism when it is actually the other way around. A few months ago, I received a comment accusing me of plagiarising another persons work.

    The hilarious thing was – the post I’d written was based not on one – but several strange experiences I’d had when interviewing. So, unless the blogger had interviewed the some bunch of oddballs I had – they couldn’t possibly have written the post.

    Now, Ciaran – I was one of those who found this post incredibly useful to people like me, who don’t understand wordpress. But, looking at the conversation that has developed afterwards, it does seem a little silly that you used someone elses code. With hindsight, it may have been a better idea to use your own.

  30. OMG, now you have Catherine’s feathers in a tail spin. You certainly don’t want to get that feisty English girl on her soap box. As we all know, when she blogs, she does call a spade a spade.

    I used a split browser and opened both of the posts side by side. Yes, it does look like the “code” (#9) is the same on both sites. And,,,Ciaran has admitted to a cut and paste, and has extended the olive branch, by offering a link. Amen!

    As bloggers, it is our responsibility to check multiple sources for accuracy and truthfulness prior to implementing new techniques. Note: comment by Andy Beard.

    Therefore, let’s all get back to the original post. A post that has some great SEO tips, just as does the one that has claimed plagiarism.

    Can’t we all just get along?

    Thank you Darren for letting me have my say..

  31. He did not steal the person’s code, it is simply an image that he could just as well have used from a screenshot of his code. It saved a few minutes to modify an existing image that represented what his code looked like as well.

    Ciaran is willing to give credit for the image, but he does not run this site.

    The rest of the argument is like saying that all people who write about any topic are plagiarizing. This is information you can find anywhere, and Ciaran wrote it in his own words. Most of the post details what he personally did with his own site, so it is ridiculous to be mad at him.

    About the shorter permalinks, it’s something i do on my site and I think it may be helpful, but I’m not sure if it actually makes a difference. I’ve ranked high on certain searches before and after removing the date from the address.

  32. Articles like this just confirm my opinion that search engines and the resultant SEO technology are making many blogs and websites in general contrived digital nonsense.

  33. A great post.

    I need help from masters regarding

    how to add meta tags to each page of blogspot blogger ?

    Thanks in advance.

  34. This really is a fantastic article, i totally agree with the points made about cleaning up un neaded links & using the rel=”nofollow” on links which there really is no need. About 85% of my site is nofollow, comments are open but the link is on a profile page. The only other one which im finding useful & not mentioned here is the xfn friendly links SE’s seem to like those too.

  35. No kidding on the SEO people being snooty. He said more than once that he’s not a pro in SEO optimization more than once – He’s giving information, not a bible. There are 5000 SEO Optimization sites out there and clearly Darrin felt comfortable enough letting Ciaran post.

    It’s about different perspectives; If you think your SEO tactics are so much better, please do as Darren to post a rebuttal with better ideas, because as for now, it just seems like you’re tearing him down for something he admitted not knowing perfectly.

  36. Hey Josh, thanks so much for the link to SEO Meta Editor Advanced plugin. http://cheekyo.com/seo-plugin/

  37. This is a really great article that explains many things I had no understanding of.

    I went out and downloaded the plug-in you suggested (the SEO Meta Editor Advanced). I’ve got it running and have gone through and updated keywords, etc. on my most recent post, but it doesn’t seem to have taken effect. When I look at my source code for the individual post page, I don’t see any of the meta tags, just the default Title tag that WordPress put in.

    I’m fairly tech savvy, but I’m a pretty rank amateur with WordPress. Anyone want to hazard a guess at what I’m doing wrong?

  38. *sighs* Well, I figured out why it didn’t work. I didn’t follow the directions. So I followed the directions and added the code snippets into the header.php like she said, and all that did was break my site. I got this little gem of an error on my main page which I have no idea what it means: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/administ/www/www/wp-content/themes/RockinBizRed/header.php on line 13

    So, I guess I’m going to be out looking for another plugin for meta editing.

  39. Therefore, let’s all get back to the original post. A post that has some great SEO tips, just as does the one that has claimed plagiarism.

  40. I learned several new things.
    Thank you very much.

  41. I think this is a great article. Thank you for writing it. The only thing is that I don’t see a tag cloud anywhere on your blog… whats up?

  42. Hi I’m using the SEO Meta Editor Advanced Plugin.

    It works exactly as intended for posts but doesn’t seem to work for pages. Has anyone else has this problem and knows how to fix it?

  43. Hi Keith,

    I just tried it out and I am having the same problem. I thought it might be due to wp-cache but I played around with deleting the cache and the disabling/re-enabling the plug-in but that did not fix the problem.

    Unfortunaly I can’t provide you with a solution but I can confirm that I am at least one other user with the same problem.

  44. Thanks Chris. I definitely had the problem before I started using WP-Cache so I’m pretty sure it’s not that. Have tried contacting the plugin author as well but it seems their contact form is sending mail to a defunct address.

  45. thank you for sharing such great ideas!

  46. Amazing post! Thank you!

  47. That was a great post. I’m going to have to read it a few times. It was loaded with great information. SEO is hard on a budget. Getting good pr takes time, and effort unless you go blackhat. Blackhat SEO can be quick but it’s still a lot of effort and can get you penalized or even banned, therefore wasting all your efforts.
    ps. I loved the part about finding your voice.

  48. Nice post.. Great information to marketing your site. Anyone have know how to bring traffic within day using organic traffic. I heard many about organic traffic from major SE without paying any click.

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