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How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

Posted By Darren Rowse 24th of November 2006 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

christmas
So you’re looking to increase the profitability of your blog for the Christmas period (and beyond). You’ve optimized your AdSense, Chitika and Affiliate programs, you’ve even written a little seasonal content…. but there’s one missing element…. Traffic.

Unless you actually have people viewing your blog it is very difficult to actually earn anything from it.

So how do you drive traffic to your blog?

I’ve written quite a bit of this previously in a number of posts (for example here) but want to spend a little time talking today about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Why SEO?

When you are looking online for information on a topic where do you go first?

While I’m sure there will be a variety of answers given to that question – the majority of average web users would answer with one word – ‘Google’.

Every day Search Engines like Google send many millions of web users to websites in their index. While there are plenty of Web 2.0 web indexing services around that are increasing in popularity – the fact is that search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN are still the biggest source of traffic to websites on the web.

As a result – learning how to be indexed and ranked well by them seems like a no brainer.

Writing for Search Engines and Humans

Some bloggers have a problem with the idea of optimizing a blog for search engines. They argue that rather than writing for search engines a blogger’s sole focus should be that they write quality content for humans.

I personally don’t see that writing for humans and search engines have to be mutually exclusive things – in my opinion both can be achieved without compromising either.

Some bloggers argue that if you write for humans that SEO looks after itself. To some extent I agree with that – if you do write quality content that others like you will find that they link up to your site (a key in SEO) – however I would argue that incoming links from other sites is just one part of climbing the rankings in Search Engines (an important part but not the only one).

There are other factors that come into play also and I believe that by knowing them and naturally incorporating them into your blogging you can increase your chances of being found by readers in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Of course – some people become a little obsessed with SEO and forget the human reader, don’t fall for this trap and keep a balanced approach and you’ll benefit both from traffic from the search engines as well as a loyal readership who keeps coming back for more quality content.

Basic SEO tips for Bloggers

I’ve written previously on this topic so rather than writing the same thing again in a slightly different way will republish some of my previous tips below. I hope you find them useful.

Before I start – I’ll say that while I do get a lot of SE traffic that I’m not really an SEO expert (it isn’t what I devote most of my time to). If you want to read something by someone who has spent a lot more time and effort on the topic I recommend looking at an e-book by Aaron Wall – SEO Book (aff). I’ve actually been reading through it in the last few weeks (it’s been on my to do list for a long time) and have found it really helpful.

SEO experts tend to divide search engine optimization techniques into off site and on site techniques.

Off Site SEO Techniques

Off site SEO techniques are as the name suggests factors from outside the site itself (ie from other sites) that impact the blog’s ranking in search engines. Many of these factors are outside the blogger’s control – however they are useful to know. The most obvious and probably most powerful offsite factor are Inbound Links (something I’ve already referred to above).

It is generally agreed that the links that point to a website are one of the most powerful way of climbing Search Engines results pages (in fact many argue it is THE most important factor). – To put it most simply – every link to your site is seen by the search engines as being a vote of confidence in your site.

Ideally Speaking – The best inbound links have three main qualities to them:

  1. they are from higher ranked sites than your own
  2. they are relevant to the topic you are writing about
  3. they link to you using relevant keywords to your page

Whilst you may not have complete control over who links to you these are the types of links that you should be dreaming of.

How to generate quality inbound Links?

Of course whilst most of us know this it doesn’t make getting such links any easier – its in the hands of others in many cases. So how do you get such links?

  • Quality Content – There are all kinds of link generating systems out there but in my opinion the best way to get links to your blog is to write quality content that people will want to read. You can solicit links with others or sign up for different link building programs or even buy text links on other sites but the cheapest and probably safest approach is to build inbound links in a natural organic way as others link to your quality content.
  • Notify Relevant Bloggers of your content – Whilst I don’t advocate spamming other bloggers and asking for links – I would recommend that if you write a quality post on a topic that you know will interest another blogger that it might be worth shooting them a short and polite email letting them know of your post. Don’t be offended if they don’t link up, but you might just find that they do and that in addition to the direct traffic that the link generates that it helps build your own page rank in the search engines (more on letting other bloggers know of your posts here).
  • Directories – Another way to generating inbound links is to submit your links to directories. I know of webmasters who swear by the benefits of such a strategy – the first thing that they do when starting a new site is to do the rounds of directories – submitting links to key pages with appropriate keywords in the links. There are loads of directories out there – many of which offer a free submission. Ari Paparo has compiled a list of blog directories that you might want to start with.
  • Inter-link your Blogs – Increasingly bloggers are starting or joining blog networks to enjoy the benefits of multiple sites and writers working together. One of the advantages of networks of sites is that they usually link to one another. In doing so you have complete control over how your sites are linked to from multiple domains. It is worth noting that you should be careful with this approach – if all your sites are hosted on the one server many think that Search Engines will work out what you’re doing and the impact will be lessened.
  • Buy Links – Many professional web masters have a budget to purchase links from other highly ranked and and relevant sites. I won’t go into this too much here but you might like to read more about it in my recent post On Buying Text Links.
  • Swap Links – Similarly many bloggers swap links with other bloggers. Sometimes this happens pretty naturally (you see someone linking to you so you link back) but in many cases the links are strategic ones and formally arranged between site owners. I get daily requests for such reciprocal links (I rarely act on them). Whilst there is some benefit in such link swapping I would again advise caution here as many SEO experts believe that the search engines have methods for tracking such strategies and devaluing the links. Some try to get around this by doing indirect or triangulated links. ie instead of site A and B doign a direct swap they involve other sites. So A links to C in exchange for D (also owned by C) linking to B (also owned by A) – makes your head hurt doesn’t it!?! There are also a variety of systems around that say they’ll take care of such interlinking for you – I know many who use Digital Point’s Free C0-Op Advertising system. Personally I tend to avoid such schemes and have a policy of linking to sites I think are valuable to my readers. If they link back then so be it.

If you’re looking for link exchange/buying/selling programs you might like to look at systems like:

Link Adage
Text Link Ads
Link Worth

On Site SEO Techniques

Having looked at Offsite Search Engine Optimization Techniques I’ll now turn my attention to examining some of the factors you might like to keep in mind as you build your blog – (or Onsite techniques – things you do on your blog that help build a higher ranking). As with all SEO techniques there are many of these and a lot of speculation around all of them so let me touch on as many as I can:

1. Keyword Rich Content – identify a few keywords for your article that you’re hoping will get indexed highly by Google. Don’t pick too many but consider the questions

  • How do I want people to find this post in Search Engines?
  • What will they type into Google if they want information on the topic you’re writing?
  • How would I find information on this topic in the Search Engines?
  • What results come up when I do plug these keywords into Google?
  • What other keywords are other sites using?

The answer to these questions will give you a hint as to what words you’ll want to see repeated throughout your article a number of times.

These keywords will need to be the most common words used in your article. Use them in some or all of the following ways:

  • Keywords in post and page titles (read my post on using keywords in titles)
  • Keywords in URL of page (blog herald wrote on this a while back)
  • Keywords in outbound links. Of course you should always link to sources of content as an ethical consideration but the bonus of this is that many SEO experts think that linking to relevant and quality sites on the same topic of your post with good keywords can also add credibility to YOUR post also.
  • Keywords in bold tags (try do it at least once)
  • Keywords in heading tags (there is debate over exactly how to use them but it’s generally accepted that h1 tags are important and that h2, h3, h4 etc tags also have an impact. Having said that I’ve seen some pages rank very well in search engines without using heading tags. There are many tutorials online about heading tags – here’s one.)
  • Keywords in image alt tags (here’s how)
  • Keywords in the general throughout the text of your post – but especially early on in the first few sentences
  • Keywords in meta tags (they seem to be less valuable these days but many still believe they are useful with some search engines – here’s a Guide to meta tags)

Of course you can go over the top with keywords in posts and let it destroy your content – but if it fits with what you’ve written tweak it to include the words you are targeting a couple of extra times. Most SEO experts recommend getting your keyword density up to between 5-20% – I think 20% is probably bordering on massacring your content.

One last word of warning and disclaimer on keyword rich content (because I can just hear the comments on this post already) – don’t sacrifice your readers experience of your site just for the sake of SEO. Yes keyword density can be important in climbing the search engine rankings – but more important is that your content and design are user friendly and helpful to readers. There is nothing worse than a site that is stuffed with keywords – these sites come off as cheap, nasty and spammy – don’t fall for the temptation.

Keep in mind keywords that might be specific to the season we are approaching. While during the year there might be less people searching for posts relating to Christmas, gifts, presents, new year sales etc – this time of year will see an increase in these types of searches.

2. Themed sites – One of the growing theories of SEO is that you are more likely to rank well if you have a substantial amount of pages on a similar theme. ie a niche topic blog will probably rank higher than a general one that covers many topics. Build a blog with over 200 pages of content on the same theme and you’ll increase your chances of ranking well as SEs will see you as an authority on the topic. The take home advice here is to keep to some kind of a topic/niche/theme for your blog. It is also probably another argument for categories and tagging posts that relate together strongly.

3. Site Design – Search Engines like well laid out, well coded and easily to navigate sites. Make sure your pages validate (I need to work more on this) and that they are viewable on all major browsers. Search Engines don’t tend to like too much Flash, Frames or Java Script in your site – keep it simple and clean and their robots will index your site a lot faster and more accurately. Also try to keep your blog free from dead links (a challenge for those of us with older blogs with big archives).

4. Interlink your Site – The way Search Engines index your blog is to send little robot crawlers to your site to track what you’ve written and follow the links. Make it easier for them to get around your blog by using internal linking wisely. Most SEO experts recommend that you provide some sort of Site Map that means every page on your blog is just a link or two away from every other one. One way to do this for bloggers is to make sure that your category pages are in your sidebars as I do in this blog. Also make sure every page links back to your main page and any other important pages on your site. If you’re writing on a topic you’ve previously written about consider linking to what you’ve written before or use a ‘other relevant posts’ feature at the base of your article. You’ll see in my menus at the top of the page a number of my key categories and articles. One of the impacts of having them highlighted in this way is that they have become some of the most highly ranked pages on ProBlogger simply because they are linked to from every page of this blog. This is a key point in the lead up to Christmas – if you have a few seasonal posts that you particularly want to do well in the SE’s make sure they are linked to from every page on your blog.

5. Update regularly – The more you update your blog the more often Search Engines will send their crawlers to your site to index it. This will mean your new articles could appear in the index within days or even hours rather than weeks. This is a natural benefit of blogging – make the most of it!

6. Outbound Links – There is debate over how SEs treat outbound links from your blog. I’m in the camp who believe that relevant outbound links enhance your site’s ranking in search engines. I always link out to quality relevant sites that I think my readers will find useful and have a little anecdotal evidence that seems to support the theory that this is healthy for the way SEs index you (check out Waynes article on the topic for more info). Linking to sites outside your own blog does mean you end up sending traffic away from your blog so you need to count the cost of such a strategy. Note that you should always try to link to reputable and relevant sites to your own page. Also keep in mind that too many outbound could have detrimental impact upon your blog. Like in most things in SEO – moderation is the key.

7. Choose your domain name wisely – there are numerous factors to keep in mind when selecting a domain name. For one you might like to include your keyword in it if possible. Secondly you should do a little research to see if someone else has previously used the domain. This could have both positive and negative impact. If it was a quality site with inbound links you might reap some benefits but if it was a banned spam site you could still be banned from Google for a long time. One service you might want to use to check expired domains is Way Back Machine at Archive.org.

8. Register your Domain for a Lengthy Period – a recent patent by Google indicates that it now looks at the length of your domain’s registration in ranking it. It does this because many spam sites have short registrations and a longer one indicates that you’re building a site with substance and are in it for the long haul.

9. One topic per post – the more tightly focused the theme of a page the better when Search Engines come to rank it. Sometimes you might find yourself writing long posts that end up covering a number of different topics. They might relate loosely but if search engine ranking is what you’re after it could be better to break up your post into smaller more focused pieces.

10. Write optimal length posts – there is some thought going around the Search Engine Optimization community that pages that are too short can get passed over for high rankings. I try to keep posts at least 250 words. Of course there are some posts on my blogs that are shorter, but if I’m writing a post that I want to rank well I try to give it some meatiness in terms of length. On the other hand don’t make it too long either – because in doing so you make it difficult to keep your keyword density up and could end up with a less tightly focused page. Research also shows that longer articles can have a pretty steep drop off rate in readers after the text gets below the ‘fold’ or to the end of the first screen of article (looks like this post is in trouble – is anyone still reading?).

11. Avoid Duplicate content – Google warns publishers in its guidelines about having the same content on multiple pages. This goes for both multiple pages that you own but also pages that others own. This is because a tactic of spammers is often to reproduce content on many pages and/or to steel content from other sites. There is some debate over what duplicate content does and doesn’t include (for instance many bloggers use ‘free articles’ as content on their blogs – these articles often appear on hundreds and even thousands of other sites around the web and to me could be seen as duplicate content) – my advice is to be very careful about how many places your content appears. I do republish occasional posts (or parts of them) but try not to do this too much and attempt to add elements that are unique on each occasion that the posts are republished).

12. Ping – services like Pingomatic (there are numerous others too) will ping a variety of websites for you to notify them that you’ve updated. In doing so you’ll also be letting search engines know that you’ve updated which will trigger their robots to come visit your blog. I’d also suggest pinging Google’s blog search tool.

13. Submit your RSS to MyYahoo – submitting your RSS feed to MyYahoo seems to help with getting indexed on Yahoo. Read more about this at Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog. Some also think that doing the same thing to Google’s Personalised pages could have a similar impact.

14. Quantities of Content – I always get into trouble when I write about having lots of content – but I think its true that bigger sites tend to rank better than smaller sites – whilst it is possible to rank highly with a small site – it’s probably not the norm.. Search Engines will see your site as more comprehensive the more content you have. You also better your odds of being found in Search Engines if you have more pages. By no means am I saying just to put up random junk content – be careful about this – rather work at building a comprehensive and large site over time.

15. Submit to Search Engines – You can do all the best onsite SEO strategies in the world and still get no where because the Search Engines have not found you to start with. Each search engine has a way of letting it know about your site – submit your URL to be included in the index. Please note that this takes time and perhaps a quicker and more effective way is to get linked to by a site already indexed by the search engine. I’ve written a post about his previously here.

You might also like to tryout some of the services around that offer to submit your sites to search engines for you – I’d be wary of paying for this sort of service though. I never have and seem to do ok.

The Time Factor

One more element that I think is often overlooked in SEO tips posts is that of ‘Time’.

My own experience of blogging is that you can do all of the above things and still not be ranked well in the Search Engines for months and months. Here at ProBlogger it actually took around a year before I started to get significant search engine traffic – despite me doing all the ‘right things’.

This might not be particularly good news for those of you wanting to optimize your site for Christmas this year – but it is yet another reminder that blogging is a long term thing and that it takes considerable time for a blog to become established.

If you’re not ranking well in the search engines – hang in there. Keep posting, keep working on quality content and keep the above factors in mind – as you do this you’ll find that in time your SE traffic will gradually increase.

This post has been a part of the How to Fine Tune your Blog for Christmas Series.

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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. It’s always nice to get a ‘refresher’ course in optimizing blogs for search engines. Thanks for the post.

  2. Yes, i think that SEO it’s one of the first things to learn and remember….
    Finally, it’s very very important that others popular website link your blog.
    Good blog, I’ve added it in http://www.bloxpo.com database.
    Byebye:)

  3. Thanks a lot for this post. It is a great entry about SEO. Thanks for writing it in a plain and simple language. Often, we can see posts about SEO full of technical jargons. So, I really appreciate your effort to present SEO in a comprehensible language to us- the visitors.
    As for me, I feel that there should be a good combination of SEO skills and natural writing abilities for a blogger. Most of us do not go more than the first page of Google search. So, being in the first page can literally be the do or die situation for the bloggers if they want to survive.

  4. What can I say Darren? As a regular reader of your blog this particular post compels me to comment here for the first time :)

    Firstly wearing my ‘educator hat’ I have to say that this is the most informative and practical advice I have seen on the subject. Also the cautionary note interjected at appropriate times strikes a perfect balance. I know how difficult it is to get across some of the more complicated facets of SEO and you have written a masterly summary.

    Secondly wearing my ‘SEO hat’ I have a couple of clarifications which might further help your readers.

    You say that “Most SEO experts recommend getting your keyword density up to between 5-20%”. I don’t think this is true anymore and all the better SEOs that I know are now quite rightly unconcerned with keyword density.

    Keyword density is not a phrase or even a concept that is used by search engineers working for Google, Yahoo or MSN because the importance of a keyword or a keyphrase on a page for any given query depends on the content in which the term is used not on frequency counts. Search engines actually use ‘term vector models’ which are mathematically complex but infinitely superior, not keyword density. The best advice is that which you hinted at – write your pages for the reader/user and do not write what you think the search engines would like to see.

    You also say “You might also like to tryout some of the services around that offer to submit your sites to search engines for you…” but go on to say that you would “…be wary of paying for this sort of service..”. The plain fact is that using a paid for or even a free search engine submission service is to be avoided.

    Firstly it is unnecessary (as you noted) because search engines like to find new sites and new pages with their own bots. Secondly most of the sites that these services submit to are there only to collect your email address and then make it available to spammers.

    The best advice for a new site to get indexed is to have a link from at least one site (preferably more) that is in the search engine’s index already. Hand submission to reputable directories is a good way to obtain these first links.

    – Michael

  5. I am always encouraged by posts like this. Especially the last bit about time. Thanks Darren for that reminder. I think that time also helps us improve in our blogging style as well. Hopefully that as I keep posting the quality of my content will improve and it will all come together with a certain synergy.

    I have really tried to implement many of the things that you have mentioned and the growth in traffic has occurred at my blog. Actually if I look at ithe growth in percentages there has been an amazing increase. I know that there is still a lot that I need to do to improve but thanks for letting us know that like most things it takes time and perserverance to build a high traffic site.

  6. Hi Chris,

    Are you aware that your blog doesn’t display correctly in Internet Explorer? The side bar seems to start way at the bottom after all the posts. It looks fine in Firefox. I am using Internet Explorer 6.0. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up.

  7. […] I’ve also been reading up on Darren Rowse’s series on building a better blog. I really want to build this blog out to a useful resource for everyone. Whether it remains on the topic of Internet Marketing or I delve into other areas, I definitely need to make sure I’m taking advantage of Word Presses vaulable features. I don’t really care if this blog earns the amount of money that Darren Rowse or Steve Pavlina earns with their blogs, but I would like to earn enough to pay the hosting fees and mamybe take my wife out to dinner every once in a while. […]

  8. I am not really sure still about the value of directories. I had submitted a few blogs to directories but in the end they have not really helped me, maybe it depends on the niche you are in. Anyway the best list probably of directories that I know of is a spreadsheet kept up to date at http://info.vilesilencer.com/

  9. I’ve had two big kickers for my Adsense revenues. The first is content: several very newsworthy posts that drive readers interested in my niche. I’ve always retained a percentage of these new readers and built on things from there.

    The second is submitting a sitemap to Google. They say it doesn’t mean you’ll get a better ranking and blah blah blah but the stats don’t lie: my numbers have increased by about 30% since I started submitting them. Whether it’s just coincidence or not, the extra ranking is very handy indeed.

  10. I very much agree on the subject of keyword and keyphrase optimization.

    I start by writing my article for me, then I go back through it and add in the stuff to make the article better for you (external links, citations, references et cetera) then I make a third pass and look to swap out the likes of: “business initiatives” with: “business driven technology initiatives” which carries a little more weight because the ‘business driven technology’ is a key phrase for me.

    It’s not hard, and in time it’s something that just becomes good practice and second nature.

    Once you commit all of your keywords and key phrases to memory, you start dropping them in quite naturally.

    Great stuff Darren. Good read…

  11. SEO it’s an art and a science as well. I only wonder how it will evolve and adapt now that Web 2.0 sites are sprouting everywhere.

  12. Very good post. This one’s a keeper. Thanks.

  13. […] Darren Rowse is the blogger behind the scenes at ProBlogger.net and author of How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines, a much longer (and more informative) post that I am summarizing here. We speak about many of these techniques from time to time but it is good to see the list in print! SEO is often divided into two categories: on page optimization and off page optimization. […]

  14. Great post darren,

    SEO is in fact the most important element of a site or blog.No matter how well written or designed without traffic you will succeed.

  15. typo

    I meant you will never succeed.

  16. […] Optimized content is the mainstay of any blog. The more optimized content you have on your blog, the more search engine traffic you get. Beside that, there are many things to take care of in order to search engine optimize your blog. There are offsite and there are onsite blog SEO techniques, as explained by Darren on his blog. The offsite blog SEO techniques include generating lots of inbound links. Inbound links are links that belong to you but appear on other websites. They are all the more important if the website publishing your links are ranked higher than your website. This process of getting inbound links is also called linkbaiting and I’ve discussed this topic in a post titled Linkbaiting Explained where you can learn how you can get people to link to you. Darren has rightly said that: Ideally Speaking – The best inbound links have three main qualities to them: […]

  17. Although my bog is in spanish, I am sure this post is going to help me alot in improving my SEO. Thank you very much Darren. Raul.

  18. Excellent post – thank you. I’ve added it to my bookmarks.

  19. […] Darren Rowse went all out in a recent post on optimizing your blog for search engines. His post is around four of five times the length of most of his posts and looks at every angle as in depth as possible without being overly technical. If you are gearing up for the holiday season and want to give your blog the best chance as possible, this article is definitely required reading. Why SEO? […]

  20. […] – How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines – Search Engine Optimization for E-commerce: A Tale of Two Shoppers – PubCon: Contextual Advertising Optimization Popularity: 1%Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  21. Long but informative post

    the Time factor is the key there – patience is what’s mostly needed

  22. I’ve found an initial SEO strategy that never fails to get valuable inbounds links and seriously improve the rankings for a new website, is to first submit to as many SEO friendly directories as possible. To increase chances of acceptance, always submit before adding Adsense or advertising of any sort to the website. That valuable listing at DMOZ is also more likely to happen if there are no adverts of any kind whatsoever.

    The merits of outsourcing this time consuming task will soon become apparent, when your chain of websites continue to grow. After all it seems pointless to bicker about thirty to fifty bucks, if it saves a webmaster 4 – 5 hours of valuable time better spent, marketing, writing new articles or constructing a new niche blog or website.

    Checking the validity of a website’s HTML code prior to submission is recommended. New webmasters will appreciate the new HTML Validator – a Mozilla extension that adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla, available from: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/249/

    The number of errors of a HTML page is seen in the form of an icon on the browser’s status bar when browsing. The “Tiny” add-on checks and reports these HTML source code errors from the “view” source code tab. This great Firefox extension goes on to give a print out of the required changes, so a simple copy and paste of the validated code will simplify the task for a newcomer to web design.

    Chuckle! the HTML validator definitely does not appear to appreciate Google’s Adsense javascript code… often flagging a number of “warnings” related to the Adsense ad block code.

  23. […] Darren Rowse from Problogger.net wrote the article… “How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines.” […]

  24. A comprehensive post Darren. Interlinking is fine but you seem to have forgotten outbound links to most of your original sources. Very important. All of this information can be easily Googled and in fact I have already read elsewhere. I don’t mean to be a critic but it is absolutely necessary to give give credit where credit is due. Otherwise a good post. Cheers!

  25. thanks all for the feedback.

    BB – I agree that outbound links are important – actually there is a section on it above in the Onsite section in the keywords paragraph where I write:

    “Keywords in outbound links. Of course you should always link to sources of content as an ethical consideration but the bonus of this is that many SEO experts think that linking to relevant and quality sites on the same topic of your post with good keywords can also add credibility to YOUR post also.”

    I’m a stickler for giving credit when you use other people’s work in any direct way.

    Of course it can sometimes get difficult when you’ve read things a year or two in the past and lose track of where it was that you read it – or when you’re writing about things that you’ve learned personally but that have also been written about previously by yourself and others. This very post for example is one that has come from a combination of four years of blogging, reading in many discussion forums in my early years, conversations with friends etc. Very difficult to reference.

    My approach is to always link to sources of quotes and when I’m directly inspired by someone else to link up.

  26. Thanks, great post. I think I may need to come back a few times to digest and go through all the things you’ve outlined more thoroughly. One thing I would like to add is that when you comment on other blogs, it can lead to more traffic, but this is generally of the more curious type. Just a thought. Thanks again. ProBlogger is one of my favorite and most frequent reads.

  27. How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines…

    So you’re looking to increase the profitability of your blog for the Christmas period (and beyond). You’ve optimized your AdSense, Chitika and Affiliate programs, you’ve even written a little seasonal content…. but there’s one missing element…

  28. Great article. I’ve taken into account everything you’ve mentioned and I’m working toward optimizing my website for SEO.

    Keep up the good work!

  29. […] So you ’re looking to increase the profitability of your blog for the Christmas period (and beyond). You’ve optimized your AdSense, Chitika and Affiliate programs, you’ve even written a little seasonal content…. but there’s one missing element…. Traffic.read more | digg story […]

  30. I have to agree on most of the stuffs that you have said. I do care about my sites and hopefully I can take onboard of what you have said into practical use. Thanks, mate.

  31. While I do find this refresher info to be stunning, it doesn’t really give all that much advice on driving traffic in the short term. Christmas is right around the corner (less than a month away). The strategies discussed here are great, but take a lot of time and dedication to build this organic traffic.

    Just my 2 cents…

    -Joe

  32. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines Can’t really ignore SEO any longer, though I’d like to. (tags: seo search pro-blogging google) […]

  33. […] So you ’re looking to increase the profitability of your blog for the Christmas period (and beyond). You’ve optimized your AdSense, Chitika and Affiliate programs, you’ve even written a little seasonal content…. but there’s one missing element…. Traffic.read more | digg story […]

  34. Joseph – you’re right – SEO is not a short term thing. however sometimes changes can have a quicker impact than you might think. I remember the first time I optimized my title tags to make them the post from my blog and noticing around 7 days later the increase in google traffic that that brought.

    So – while I wouldn’t suggest people expect massive upswings in traffic overnight with SEO – you never know :-)

  35. Hi agree with Swade’s second point about Google sitemaps. If I were Google (a big if), this would be a good way to screen for spam sites.

    To submit a sitemap you must have a Google account, create a sitemap in the correct format and then notify Google of its location. While not impossible, it is definitely a hassle for this to be automated so the likelihood is that any site with a sitemap submitted has a loving human owner.

    In any case, submitting can’t do any harm so why not?

  36. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines (tags: howto blog) […]

  37. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines: This is the billionth article written on the topic, but its written by one of the best in the industry, ProBlogger, and one of the few people who can actually say “I make a living from blogging!” Besides, this was posted on my birthday, which gives it an automatic cool factor. […]

  38. […] And Darren Rowse at ProBlogger provides a good blogging SEO summary with How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines. […]

  39. I really enjoyed the post, but I’ll try to add some tips on how you can avoid being a site that’s a Google “supplemental result” (very, very bad).

    1) Be careful what you quote from other sites. For example, don’t quote half an article or Google will push you down! And you may never see that page in Google again.
    2) Keep your title to a maximum of 60 characters.

    Hope it’ll help.

  40. Okay, everything you all are saying sounds interesting – and difficult. I have a little Web site that I’m thinking of adding a blog to. However, I’m having trouble just generating traffic for the Web site. Would it even be beneficial to add the blog to it now…or should I wait? And, is optimizing for a blog and a Web site the same?

    Question: regarding the post on “optimizing title tags.” Can someone explain the “how” and the “why”.

    Thanks in advance..I really appreciate any help you guys can give.

  41. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines […]

  42. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines from Darren Rowse. […]

  43. […] 5. To help your post rank better, stick with one topic per post. How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines […]

  44. […] Search Engine Optimization for Blogs Optimizing your blog for search engines […]

  45. Thanks for the tips…my website is doing great…and might do even better with these tips

    Blessed Be
    wiccanwiki.blogspot.com

  46. I just noticed this discussion written back in Nov. 2006. I wish I chimed in then, as we were already well into our beta. But it’s hard to imagine a discussion of SEO these days without the long tail discussion, where you target subject-matter which is just a little bit less than competitive in favor of picking up the top positions repeatedly and quickly. The idea is to start the snowball effect happening, and build your way to a critical mass of natural search traffic. The self-fueling snowball effect happens when you have enough “seed content” on your website, so that new writing suggestions start to automatically come in from your “web analytics” software.

  47. Thanks for reminding about this post. It is written in plain and simple lanuguage. Looks like this was written wayback in 2006. Hope you write another updated SEO tips and tricks article.

  48. Thanks a lot!
    As a beginner we get lot to learn in our very first stage of blogging.
    Now I realised the importance of inbound links and I was not giving much time on SEO, but now very serious.
    And thanks again for your all in one good SEO collection in this post.
    Which will definitely make me a Problogger!!

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