In order to build a successful blog, you need to learn how to make your site “search engine friendly.” After all, you do want more people than your dad, cousin and Aunt Mildred commenting on your blog, right? SEO, also called search engine optimization, is a fancy term to mean that your site is set-up in a way that makes it easy for the major search engines to follow your site.
There are also things you can do to cause the search engines to de-index or de-value your site as well. A Blog’s SEO strategy is important and vital to success. There are steps you can take to make your blog more search engine friendly. You can also do things to hurt your blog. You want to avoid these mistakes at all cost. Here are some of the bigger mistakes you can do to hurt your blog.
1. Never “scrape” other people’s content
First of all, plagiarism is just flat out wrong. Plagiarism online is when you highlight, copy and paste another blogger’s entire article and claim it as your own. There is such a thing called the duplicate content penalty.
Now there is a big debate about whether this penalty exists and what exactly it is. However, if you just choose to do what is right from the beginning, you will not have to worry about duplicate content at all. Stick to publishing original content of your own. Google only gives credit to the original piece even if you give a link to the original post.
2. Never over keyword stuff your blog posts.
Again, doing what comes naturally is the best way to go. Keyword stuffing means that you overuse a keyword phrase thinking that “more is better” for your site. This is not true. If I want to rank for “red toaster ovens,” I will not rank better by writing that keyword phrase 10 times in my article over writing it 3 times. It just does not work that way.
3. Do not try to hide keywords somewhere on your page.
This is a trick that internet marketers tried to use in times past, but it quickly lost its power. Basically, some people thought that if they placed a whole bunch of keywords at the end of their article and then “hid” the text by making the text as same as the background color, they could get pages to rank for those keyword phrases.
Again, this avoided the “work” of having to write an intelligent, thoughtful blog post. When Google identifies sites that do this the drop all of the blog’s pages out of the search index.
4. Do not publish a page full of links or ads with no original content.
This is another form of spam that you have to be careful of. Remember search engines want to send their users to sites that have helpful content. This is where you as a blogger have incredible power. You can help a lot of people and make the search engines happy too.
Places like Google want to feel good about the sites that they send their users to. Give them what they want. If you have a “thin” site whose purpose is just to get people to click on ads or affiliate links and you provide no real value in the way of information or content, then you will eventually be labeled a “spammer.” It is just a matter of time before you are found out.
5. Don’t mess around with paid links.
This is another big controversy in the blogging world. If someone contacts you and says, “I will pay you between $25-100 for a text link in one of your articles,” what should you do? Is it a form of advertisement?
There is nothing wrong with paid advertisement on your site, right? Well, the thing you have to be careful of is that places like Google see paid for links as a way to artificially boost your search engine rankings. If they catch you, you could lose all of your traffic from them.
As you can see from the above list, it is far better that you choose to take the high road and try not to take shortcuts. It is tempting for people to take shortcuts with their blogs because they want so bad to see more traffic on their site.
I hate to let you down, but there are no shortcuts to starting a blog. It is hard work. Sure, one day you might be able to ease up on the gas a bit as you get plenty of profit streams in place, but for the first year or two it is going to be about taking the right kind of massive action to see the result that you desire.
Questions: What is your SEO strategy? Have you made some of these mistakes in the past?