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Scribe SEO Review: Rank Higher in Search Engines Without Compromising The Quality of Your Posts

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of February 2010 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

Have you ever heard the statement – “Write for People not Search Engines“?

It’s a teaching that many bloggers have heard that encourages bloggers not to compromise the quality of their blog posts in order to get search engine traffic.

The temptation that some bloggers fall into is writing the kind of content that ranks well in Google – but which becomes increasingly unreadable to real people.

What if there was another way to Rank Higher in Search Engines Without Compromising The Quality of Your Posts?

I’ve long thought (and taught) that there was a better way. Using a well optimized blog theme (like Thesis) and knowing some basic principles of SEO so that as you write your quality content you naturally use them to improve your SEO. Having the basics of SEO in mind as you write and tweaking your content as you write it is great – however it requires you to know some of those basics.

Now there IS an easier way

Brian Clark has just released Scribe – a WordPress Plugin that analyzes the content that you write on your blog at the click of a button and then reports back from within your WordPress dashboard on how you can improve your search rankings.

As Brian writes in on the about page of Scribe – it’s like having an SEO expert as an editorial assistant.

I’ve seen and tested a number of SEO type tools previously and Scribe beats them all on a number of levels. Most importantly – it takes what you’ve written (for real people) and uses THAT as the basis for what it recommends instead of starting with some keywords that you want to rank for and creating something that doesn’t really help anyone reading your content.

I’ve been playing with this plugin for a week or so now and it’s really good.

You don’t have to use all the suggestions that Scribe gives you if you feel that you don’t want to make all changes but many of the things it recommends are things that will definitely help your SEO and which SEOs would recommend (that the rest of us might not naturally think of).

The great thing about Scribe is that you can go back to any of your old posts that you’d like to see ranking higher and get it to optimize them too.

As an extra bonus I’m finding that simply using Scribe is giving me a great refresher in SEO and I’m starting to do some of what it recommends more and more as I write.

Scribe syncs beautifully with themes like Thesis, Headway and Hybrid as well as the All in One SEO plugin.

72% off for 4 Days Only

There are three options for buying Scribe but for the next 4 days you can lock yourself in at the most advanced package for the price of the starter package (a saving of 72%).

If traffic from search engines is something you want to tap into more, without compromising the usefulness of your content, Scribe is an option worth investing into. Learn more about it here.

Have you used the Scribe SEO plugin? Leave your Scribe SEO Review below in comments.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. This sounds like the answer to everyones prayers! I think has to be a sound investment and any blogger with even the slightest interest in having their blog read will be interested!

  2. Another reason why I should move from Blogger to WordPress…

  3. I’ll check this out. Interested in how exactly it delivers on all the touted features from an interface perspective. I’ve seen similar products, but none that really interacted with what I was writing.

  4. When I click the link at the bottom of the post I get “There is an error in your link code.”

  5. Is there anything similar for those of us “still” using Blogger?

  6. Eric B – fixed.

    CapreeK – I’m not aware of anything.

  7. I spent some time on the site and took the tour. This looks incredible, I wish I could justify the expense, but right now I can’t purchase anything else for my blog, since I’m not making any money with it!

  8. I’m in the same boat as you Angela, kind of lol. I could get it, but I’m not sure if I really should, since I’m making very little with my blog, but at the same time, optimizing my posts for readers and SEO could in theory make up for the monthly cost.

    Oh decisions decisions

  9. Meh, I am keeping my money in my pocket. I respect Brian and no doubt he is an excellent internet marketer, but this product is overrated.

    SEO is not just a one part thing, so one plugin will not be the solution. There is much more that goes into ranking higher in search engines from site design optimization to backlinks…

    This is just taking care of a small part of the on-page SEO aspect. I can guarantee that if a newbie gets this on their blog and has a bad blog design, not sufficient backlinks, they would not be able to crack the first page let alone first ten pages for a competitive keyword.

    But people keep in mind, that I have not tried this plugin personally and if Darren says it is good, then it probably has the potential. But the question is… Is it worth spending the money??

    Question for Darren? Are you using it on Problogger? If so, can you provide us with any other data on how much this plugin has impacted on your daily search engine traffic.

    Because paying for the amount of queries one can run with this script is a bit costly.. $27 / month for 30 evaluations is just not worth it.

    My advice to users: Do a little bit more research before you buy this plugin and make sure that you understand SEO. Also make sure that you have data from prior SEO searches for the keywords that you are targetting and then signup for a month or two and see how your results change.

    If there is a significant change, then I would love to hear from you or read your story and see how this helped you.

    P.S: I just re-read this comment and I sound a bit cynical, but I guess that is how I feel.

  10. This sounds interesting, but I do know that SEO is comprised out of much more than page content optimization (like link building, image optimization, tags…).

    Darren, do you know of an SEO course/training that can complete my knowledge along with such a product?

    Thanks – Ami

  11. This may be a good product, but I believe it would not be something for starters to the blogging world. The cost does seem fairly high, especially for those posting many articles over a week.

    I would still rather use the free FF plugins and online tools for SEO. There are a few great ones available like SEOQuake and SEO for Firefox that give great analysis on content.

    Apart from that, SEO comprises of many parts and just as Syed said one plugin cannot cover every aspect – can it?

    Stick to the free tools, grow your knowledge and when you are ready to make the (big) leap into paying for a tool make sure that you do your research before handing over your money.

  12. I want to buy that but geez you want $97 per month for that package when it’s not 72% off! I’m sorry but you are insane, I have a very good number of wordpress themes for $20 per year!! Now if you change that pricing on it, to a per year or twice a year then maybe. But there is no way most bloggers could convert your regular price into profits.
    Heck I don’t even think at $27 a month it’s that possible for you to. Once you get more search traffic you need a new server to handle that traffic. Just an insane price for a single plugin.

  13. Looks good, may have to give it a try. As someone who struggles with writing this could be a helpful tool.

  14. thank you for sharing the information way to rank higher in search engines with using scribe

  15. Is there a similar product for Blogger?

  16. well its a question of debate because everyone has different opinions and the seo algorithms are always changing. According to me you should focus only on quality of content

  17. Again, I agree. This would be a great plugin in addition to all of the other advice Brian has given.

  18. Well, i Just went through it and regardless of how good it is, it looks too costly. You need to pay monthly and that too based on number of posts you write.

    That means too much money going out from my pocket.

  19. Nice, I’m going to be checking this puppy out right away. Thanks for the link and review.

    Writing for the search engines and for people can take some practice and skills. This plugin sounds like it will help take care of them both, so we can concentrate more on giving value to the people through our content.

  20. >>SEO is not just a one part thing, so one plugin will not be the solution.

    No one ever said it was. In fact, I wrote an entire series on Copyblogger prior to the launch of Scribe pointing all of that out.


    However, all of that “other stuff” won’t take you the last mile to the best possible rankings. That’s what Scribe is for, and there are a lot of professional webmasters and bloggers who see the value in the service.

    And I do agree that if you’re just starting out or not making any money from your blog, you should be concentrating on content and building an audience first in foremost. Especially instead of leaving comments telling Darren why you’re not buying something, right? ;)

  21. Both writing quality content and SEOs are important. Instead of focusing exclusively on either one of them, I think there is a need to divide your time and resources among these two, not necessarily 50/50 each but there is a need to spend some time and effort on each of them.

    As for this plugin, as someone mentioned, it is a recurring payments and people just starting out may not want to fork out that much. What I suggests is to do SEOs manually on some of the articles and for all others is to write for humans.

  22. I have found that bloggers read way too much into SEO and how to write for it instead of writing to please search engines.

    You know what the best way to rank for SEO is when writing articles? A good command of your native language. It really is that simple.

    I put myself through a lot of English courses during college and built my command of the English language. As you may know, LSI keywords are a large factor that search engines take into account when ranking your pages. Simply put, these are synonym’s to your main keyword. If your vocabulary is large enough to write these LSI’s naturally without thinking too much about it, your articles will come out both readable for humans and possess keyword rich content without appearing keyword spammy.

    You are better off to take some written language courses at your local community college rather than paying for this plugin. Improving your own intellect is much more useful than paying for someone else’s.

    • In terms of the ‘its too expensive’ feedback – I do hear you on that. Times are tough and $27 a month is going to be too much for many. I remember in the early days of my own blogging struggling to pay for tools that would help me improve my blogging. I did eventually bite the bullet and start investing into my blog with a number of things (design was one, getting some consulting at one point was another, buying some training was another and later still getting a few paid plugins/tools) but it didn’t happen right away. I guess you’ve got to be sure that your blog is going to be something that you’re serious about, that you’re looking to make money from (directly or indirectly) and you need to give some serious consideration to what you’re laying out money for and what kind of returns it might have.

      In this case the return that you’re looking for is traffic and prominence is search engines. For some this will be worth more than $27 a month as you’ll be able to monetize that traffic, for others it may not be. It comes down to what you have to invest and what your goals are. If it’s not for you – that’s cool. If you’re looking for some help in this area – consider Scribe.

  23. I heard that on-page optimization is over-rated and off-page is way more important, but I’m willing to try anything to improve traffic/ranking, etc.

  24. I was read his article, and that’s awesome

  25. Yes the word of “Write for People not Search Engines“ is so popular and I know about it from starting I am join make money online program..

    …Yeah..a newbie like me promise to myself “OK i have to make up blog for people not for search engine”..

    and today I have answer for how can we make up content for seo first!hahaha….yes this is so cool and thanks for share it with us!

  26. I totally agree with Syed. I respect Brian but the pricing for me is completely unattractive. Also without dissing any aspect of this product, as I haven’t tried it but I wonder if all the ‘testimonial’ people on Scribe’s site (who are smiling insanely) would still be smiling if they actually had to pay full price or indeed anything at all for this product. Good old trusty ‘fling a free copy my way’ focus group…….ouch I’m bad!!

    I’ll stick with my free version of WEB CEO which does something very similar.

  27. Agree with your comment Darren and as I put in my previous comment, I believe it would not be something for starters to the blogging world – unless had the funds and commitment to put it to good use.

    I would still rather use the free Firefox plugins and online tools for SEO why starting out and learning the in’s and out’s of SEO, content creation, etc.

    If any new bloggers have used this tool please leave a comment on your experience.

  28. I can’t believe so many people are still using blogger. That $10 investment for a domain name really does make a big different in the long run. I really do advice the people who take blogging seriously in these comments to make that move to wordpress. Cheers.

  29. Anything similar for TypePad users?

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  30. I received an e-mail from Brian yesterday, presenting this service. I’m asking myself the question if this SEO plugin will also work when your blog is published in another language than English. Maybe a silly question. Also, I don’t earn money from my blog and therefor I decided to save my money to spent in photography education (courses, online tutorials, books, etc). I do read several blogs about SEO and I do check Google Webmaster Tools to improve content, titles, descriptions and meta tags. At this moment, that’ll do for me.

  31. I guess this plugin support only english, can you confirm it?

    Nobody considered thousands people not blogging in english.

    BTW, this plugin is HELL expensive, i’m sure it can really help but 1200$/year for a SEO plugin is close to insane. I’m sure 99% of readers can’t simply afford that, even who is making thousand $/month form his blog (and this is already an almost-extraordinary goal) will think twice before buying this. Why? He has already enough traffic and to improve overall quality and readers number there are many many many other (more important) things you can do.

    So honestly, i understand what Darren is saying but i do believe even now that he’s a blog star he would consider very carefully if is worth investing 1200 for a SEO plugin (especially considering that he already knows how SEO works).

    I’d like to underline also that SEO is not an exact science, nothing guarantee this plugin really will affect anyhow the quality of posts nor readers number. I’m sure coders and authors of this plugin know their way, if so they must agree that a SEO plugin can’t really improve the overall quality significantly if behind the keyboard there isn’t someone that is not working already hard on blogging and improving quality concentrating on many other aspect but SEO itself.

    So, once again 1200$/year is just ridiculous.

    Hopefully i explained myself ;)

  32. Darren, if you were in the US, you’d legally have to declare this post as an advertisement. The fact that you don’t, and that you don’t even tell people it costs nearly $100 per MONTH shows that you have absolutely no respect for your readers.

    I despair that people take advice from you, when all you’re doing is making money by promoting products without telling people they’re ads. I’m sure most of your readers would not think of stooping so low – they just have no idea what it is you’re doing.

    • Dom – i have a site wide disclaimer that discloses that I use affiliate links. This blog is about making money from blogs – I write regularly on making money from blogs…. that’s what this blog is about. Sorry if this offends you!

  33. Dom,

    You are too funny dude. Here you are on Darren’s Blog commenting on advertising. Your link points to a blatant advertisement of your own.

    That’s cool, but you should be the one talking about advertising. Your attempting to get Darren’s readers to visit your site by blatantly insulting Darren on his own blog. My goodness, what ethics you have.

    In case you were unaware, readers who respect Darren and his “product reviews” know that there is an affiliate link going to Scribe. We “his readers” come to his blog to read his occasional product reviews amongst other posts, because he has more than earned the respect of his community of readers.

    Anyway, sorry about the tangent Darren, it hit a nerve. I personally purchased Scribe yesterday because of the 72% discount right from Brian Clark’s “Copy Blogger” site. I am an avid reader of his blog as well. So, far I am very pleased with the results. Thank-you Darren, for the added insight from your perspective.

  34. Yeah – I agree with the commentor (Dom). This is absolutely an Advertisement and affiliate sales(look at the link).

    $27 per month is so damn costly. That’s $324 per year – much much more than even the costliest web hosting + premium domain name.

    Darren it’s high time you declare these kind of posts in the beginning.

    Being a long time reader – I truly feel cheated.


  35. at 5$/month, it would have been an automatic buy. At the current price point, I will wait for someone to do a clone. It is not a question of is it worth it or not, it is a question of feeling if a price is reasonable or not.

  36. Since I received an email about this yesterday, I’ve been thinking about whether I want to give this a try. I have a Thesis theme so it seems a marriage made in SEO.

    Thanks for your comments and opinion. You’ve helped me a lot of the years and I appreciate the honest and timely commentary.

  37. It might be nice if there were a static one-time price Brian could offer instead of the monthly charge (perhaps a watered down version and then people could “graduate up” once they see how well it works or make more money).

    A one time price of $47 wouldn’t be bad and I bet he’d get a lot more sales, but many bloggers can’t swing that monthly thing, especially considering all the other monthly charges many bloggers might be paying (analytics, lists, hosting, etc.).

  38. Sounds great ! I should give it a try

  39. I’ve tried few different SEO plugins but I have never saw one that actually “interacts” with you content. This is why like this blog, it keeps me abreast of what all is out there….PS Brian, I agree with your comments to comments ;-)

  40. I like the spirit in which this piece is written. It is helpful knowing that there is a worthwhile tool (Scribe) available to help make the good contributions of many bloggers more easily located on the web. Is their a product equivalent for Blogger, I wonder?

    We blog because we want to share information and experiences with others. Web 2.0 is not about ourselves, it’s about the others we hope to help and inform. It is such a shame that good blog articles are often missed, because the blog authors were rightly much more interested in the quality of their content, rather than their entry’s ultimate SEO position.

  41. Dom, you are too funny. You come to a blog about how to make money on the Internet blogging; what the hell do you expect? Seriously. But I guess you cannot fix stupid. Anyway, you may want to read John Chow’s disclaimer.

    Darren, I would not be sorry. After all, those that care don’t matter and those that matter don’t care.

    On a related note to fellow professional bloggers, I have taken Darren’s advice with several products and the ROI has easily been 1,000% or higher. Just to give a small bit back I subscribed to the Problogger forums even though I do not use it much. I would not be surprised if Darren has added hundreds of millions of dollars of value to his readers and has likely not received as much back.

    Anyway, I have been poking around Scribe and it seems to be having some technical issues and I cannot sign into the simpleseo.com site to upgrade my subscription. The plugin may be conflicting with other plugins. But when it actually worked yesterday I found it extremely useful and it will go well with my SEOmoz membership ($79+/month, Dom. Do you like apples?). Scribe is a very powerful tool and I am going to be grumpy if I am unable to get in at the $27/month rate.

  42. Darren

    I have no problem with making money or using affiliate links.

    What bothers me is that you regularly lie to and deliberately deceive your readers. You mix genuine content with advertisements like this, but you NEVER write about how or why you do that.

    This particular post was easy to spot because you deliberately avoided mentioning the ridiculous price. I assume that’s because you know full well it’s a rip off and didn’t want to draw attention to it.

    The more astute readers might spot these things quickly, but the majority who are just trying to scrape together a few dollars a month from blogging are going to take you at your word.

    It’s a nasty, mean thing to do to people.

    • I’m not sure what to say Dom – I used to write (affiliate link) next every affiliate link I used. I started getting people tell me it was stupid because they knew what it was. I even had people tell me that they thought it was a ploy to get readers to buy more as a way to thank me for this blog. So I moved to a site wide disclosure – now I get complaints like yours. It’s a bit of a no win situation.

      I don’t cloak my affiliate links to hide them – if you hover over the link and it says something like ‘ref=problogger’ or something or has a super long link it’s probably an affiliate link. If you’d rather not buy anything from my affiliate links feel free to Google the product and buy it direct.

  43. I’m in a niche (food/cooking blogs) where I could see this as being useful.

    Can you have the plugin installed on more than one wordpress site at a time as long as you stay within your monthly limits??

    I actually don’t think $27/month at the introductory offer is ridiculous. I’m thinking of trying it for a month or two and seeing what kind of results I get.

  44. I have to agree with most here, it is a little expensive.

    I use a firefox plugin which does pretty much the same as scribe called SEO Blogger. Its free and works a treat. However, it is not compatible with the latest version of Firefox, but a new release is due soon.

    You can get it here: http://labs.wordtracker.com/seo-blogger/

  45. Scribe sounds exciting. I signed up for the free trial as soon as I got their email and was ready to benefit from the promotion. $97 for 300 evaluations is pricy, but $27… I was ready to pay for a service that looked so promising.
    But it does not work well at all. At least for me.
    The analyze takes forever, even after they fixed the performances. I have error messages everywhere and cannot access my posts anymore.
    I doubt my ticket will be answered before the end of the special offer which is good only for 4 days and I am going to deactivate the pluggin. I am disappointed.

  46. I use “SEO Workers Web Page SEO Analysis Tool” for Firefox. From the description above it accomplishes pretty much the same thing for free.

    You can find it here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10455?collection_uuid=07678168-39bd-7e77-d05b-6eddd6242555

    Danny Grubb

  47. Great ideas here. I’m continuously searching for ways to increase my page’s rankings and will try to incorporate some of the ideas listed here. I think we all need to focus on the writing first, the other stuff second. Don’t you agree?

  48. WordPress is incredible and “search engine ready” in most cases.. It’s simple just choose WordPress for your blog and then write for people.

  49. great tools for lazy people or people do not have a lot of time to blogging.

  50. i think i prefer blog spot more than word press and i know that word pres is better in some options but i still like blog spot

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