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Should Bloggers Worry About SEO?

Lately there seems to be a trend of bloggers worrying unnecessarily about SEO. It is not helped by rumours of Google penalties or dodgy out of date blog and forum “advice” (some of which is downright counter-productive). So should you worry about Search Engine Optimisation?

As with any industry where there is a competitive advantage to keeping your true tactics to yourself there is a lot of misinformation in the search engine world. Of course there is. On top of that there are the people who learn just a little bit then try to gain reputation by spouting off. Or worse learn a little bit, but not enough, then criticise the practice as a sham. Add to this the many people who associate SEO with spam (or even worse), it’s going to be tough finding the truth amongst the lies.

The problem is for many websites the key source of traffic is search and without it they might not even turn a profit. Google referred traffic can be like oxygen to these sites, cut it off and you are not going to last very long.

My answer of course is to grow your site or blog in such a way that the search traffic is nice but you don’t depend on it. I’m of course talking about Killer Flagship Content. Create a magnet that draws visitors like iron filings. Powerfully attractive AND sticky.

If you do create valuable content Google will notice, they are getting better at recognising the difference between worthwhile and not so worthwhile sites. Check out Threadwatch on MSSA, Google’s Most Common Penalty.

We can all benefit from some search engine love though. If you provide a great answer to a search engine users question very often you will be rewarded, either with a subscription or with an ad click. Enough of those and you can start making a bundle.

The good news is decent blog software is developed to be search engine friendly, requiring few tweaks. If you are using a recent version of WordPress or Drupal then I would say you don’t need to worry about SEO, put your energy into consistently creating valuable content instead.

OK, that’s the main question answered. What about if you want to gain more traffic from the search engines than you currently do? With all the rubbish written about the subject where can you find real information without all the BS? There are reliable sources of SEO information, thankfully. 

The very best source of SEO facts, and also the provider of the single best SEO tutorial, is Aaron Wall. Full disclosure, those are aff links and Aaron is a friend of mine. Many so-called SEO experts you meet in forums are just trying to rehash Aarons information. Better to get the good stuff from the source.

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Comments

  1. I used to worry a lot about SEO and my site before. However, recently for some unknown reason, I have started putting more emphasis on my content and online community/social interaction and am letting SEO and related things take care of themselves.

    The only thing I do nowadays is to sometimes ping pingoat or ping-o-matic, and sometimes I don’t do that either since feedburner does it for me automatically. I agree with your concept and idea of “Killer Flagship Content.” I think that content should be the most important priority of any website. So many site owners these days roam online forums and other sites to find hints on how to make their sites rank higher on search engines, no wonder many people get confused when a good article appears on their screen. They don’t know what to do with it, and think it’s another one of those “boring” pages they see once in a while on the internet.

    Throw the same boring page on the page of someone who makes a lot of money publicly, and these same people worship such pages and try to follow any and every advice on such a page. I guess it’s the beginning of the same trend that we see in real life: someone achieves something, and thousands try to do the same thing simply to make money.

    Put more focus on content than anything else. Other things can be taken care in spare time.

  2. I used to worry a lot about SEO and my site before. However, recently for some unknown reason, I have started putting more emphasis on my content and online community/social interaction and am letting SEO and related things take care of themselves.

    The only thing I do nowadays is to sometimes ping pingoat or ping-o-matic, and sometimes I don’t do that either since feedburner does it for me automatically. I agree with your concept and idea of “Killer Flagship Content.” I think that content should be the most important priority of any website. So many site owners these days roam online forums and other sites to find hints on how to make their sites rank higher on search engines, no wonder many people get confused when a good article appears on their screen. They don’t know what to do with it, and think it’s another one of those “boring” pages they see once in a while on the internet.

    Throw the same boring page on the page of someone who makes a lot of money publicly, and these same people worship such pages and try to follow any and every advice on such a page. I guess it’s the beginning of the same trend that we see in real life: someone achieves something, and thousands try to do the same thing simply to make money.

    Put more focus on content than anything else. Other things can be taken care in spare time.

  3. roam online forums and other sites to find hints on how to make their sites rank higher

    – exactly, if they put the same energy into creating something unique, valuable and remarkable they wouldn’t need to!

  4. roam online forums and other sites to find hints on how to make their sites rank higher

    – exactly, if they put the same energy into creating something unique, valuable and remarkable they wouldn’t need to!

  5. I, too, don’t worry that much about SEO. I used too and used to direct my client more about it. Then I realize one flaw in focusing so much on SEO – especially keyword optimization. That flaw…poor conversion.

    I don’t really care how much traffic I can drive by SEO. If I my copy, services and offerings don’t convert them to users of some sort, it’s a waste of time, energy and quite likely money.

    So I direct my clients to put much more focus on content today. Creating clear business objectives, understanding the needs of their target audience, establishing a clear marketing pipeline and solid strategies for conversion. Then I like to have them find other means for growing their site traffic before we dabble too far into SEO. And when we finally do, we have momentum with the traffic that’s already been established. But more importantly, we have a website that can actually meet the new traffic.

  6. I, too, don’t worry that much about SEO. I used too and used to direct my client more about it. Then I realize one flaw in focusing so much on SEO – especially keyword optimization. That flaw…poor conversion.

    I don’t really care how much traffic I can drive by SEO. If I my copy, services and offerings don’t convert them to users of some sort, it’s a waste of time, energy and quite likely money.

    So I direct my clients to put much more focus on content today. Creating clear business objectives, understanding the needs of their target audience, establishing a clear marketing pipeline and solid strategies for conversion. Then I like to have them find other means for growing their site traffic before we dabble too far into SEO. And when we finally do, we have momentum with the traffic that’s already been established. But more importantly, we have a website that can actually meet the new traffic.

  7. Yup if you always focus on content and conversions you will be better equipped

  8. Yup if you always focus on content and conversions you will be better equipped

  9. So first you say we shouldn’t worry about SEO, then you pimp AW? 🙂

    I disagree with the first assertion – that bloggers shouldn’t worry about SEO. Yes, I know that sending emails for links sucks, but what you call better blogging I call seo copywriting – articles / blog posts that are written to draw links for a long, long time.

    Plus there are some things about SEO that WP or Drupal still don’t get.

    It’s how you define and perceive things. SEO and Blogging are intertwined, just as Marketing and SEO or Marketing and Blogging overlap.

  10. So first you say we shouldn’t worry about SEO, then you pimp AW? 🙂

    I disagree with the first assertion – that bloggers shouldn’t worry about SEO. Yes, I know that sending emails for links sucks, but what you call better blogging I call seo copywriting – articles / blog posts that are written to draw links for a long, long time.

    Plus there are some things about SEO that WP or Drupal still don’t get.

    It’s how you define and perceive things. SEO and Blogging are intertwined, just as Marketing and SEO or Marketing and Blogging overlap.

  11. The key word is “worry” – it’s not something to be *concerned* about. I agree a blogger can gain traffic from good SEO (for those who want to put in the effort to learn properly) but fretting over penalties, keyword density, is this template better than that template … energy better spent on creating valuable content I would say.

  12. The key word is “worry” – it’s not something to be *concerned* about. I agree a blogger can gain traffic from good SEO (for those who want to put in the effort to learn properly) but fretting over penalties, keyword density, is this template better than that template … energy better spent on creating valuable content I would say.

  13. Many so-called SEO experts you meet in forums are just trying to rehash Aarons information.

    So you give the unsophisticated people another chance to doubt the advice they hear on the forums and the reputation of the good SEO out there? Way to go, Chris.

    As you may decipher from my barely hidden sarcasmic comment, most SEOs learn on their own, know their way around SEO and know much more than Aaron does. Yes, such people are scarce on some spammy forums as DP or WMW, but not on others, such as Cre8asite or SEO Refugee, for example.

    I do hope the comment was made not to insult anyone or to get more links to your article.

    Cheers.

  14. Many so-called SEO experts you meet in forums are just trying to rehash Aarons information.

    So you give the unsophisticated people another chance to doubt the advice they hear on the forums and the reputation of the good SEO out there? Way to go, Chris.

    As you may decipher from my barely hidden sarcasmic comment, most SEOs learn on their own, know their way around SEO and know much more than Aaron does. Yes, such people are scarce on some spammy forums as DP or WMW, but not on others, such as Cre8asite or SEO Refugee, for example.

    I do hope the comment was made not to insult anyone or to get more links to your article.

    Cheers.

  15. My intention was only to help people who are stressing unnecessarily that they need to know insider SEO secrets to get decent traffic.

    I agree there are some knowledgeable and helpful SEOs but they are unfortunately in my experience in the minority. Aaron is one of the few who genuinely want to help rather put people off the sent or hide behind smoke, mirrors, FUD and spin. You will find a lot of the more community-minded SEOs over at Aarons Threadwatch site. Ahmed in the comments above is another.

    No intention to offend, and I think the SEOs who know me would probably agree with me or put me right.

  16. My intention was only to help people who are stressing unnecessarily that they need to know insider SEO secrets to get decent traffic.

    I agree there are some knowledgeable and helpful SEOs but they are unfortunately in my experience in the minority. Aaron is one of the few who genuinely want to help rather put people off the sent or hide behind smoke, mirrors, FUD and spin. You will find a lot of the more community-minded SEOs over at Aarons Threadwatch site. Ahmed in the comments above is another.

    No intention to offend, and I think the SEOs who know me would probably agree with me or put me right.

  17. thanks for the mention Chris.

    I think it’s more a matter of perspective, other than that we’re aiming for the same thing and have the same motives.

    we = Bloggers and SEOs

    Those SEOs who don’t think about community are missing the point, just as those bloggers who think blogging = writing are not doing it right.

  18. thanks for the mention Chris.

    I think it’s more a matter of perspective, other than that we’re aiming for the same thing and have the same motives.

    we = Bloggers and SEOs

    Those SEOs who don’t think about community are missing the point, just as those bloggers who think blogging = writing are not doing it right.

  19. Ahmed I agree :O)

  20. Ahmed I agree :O)