Friday, March 10, 2006

Blogs Helping to Achieve High Search Engine Positions

Blogging has taken the Internet by Storm. Not only do they provide an easy method of keeping your audience up to date with your news, help develop stronger relationships with your readers and raise your profile as an expert - they are incredibly effective at helping you increase your web site's ranking in the search engines.

Search engines are giving a large value to blogs. Why? Search engine's common goal is to provide users with the most relevant search results. Relevant content typically equals recent content. Therefore the most relevant results to searches are usually provided on recently updated pages.

Search engines love fresh content, but most of the content on the Internet is quite stale. Blogs, on the other hand, provide loads of recently updated content for the search engines to spider. In contrast, many corporate web sites have not been updated for months or even years.

Search engines also love sites with lots of inbound links.
Many inbound links (links pointing to a site) give the search engines an indication that the site the links point to must be popular or important, and therefore valuable and relevant.

In the blogoshpere it is quite easy to generate a lot of inbound links very quickly. Bloggers and blog readers like to comment on other blogs (which link back to writer) as well as link to other blogs in the main copy and sidebars. If your blog has good content and you actively market yourself in the blogoshpere you will increase your inbound links very quickly. (More on marketing your blog in an upcoming post)

To rank well for almost any phrase in a search engine, you need search optimized content. This is as basic as including the keyword phrases you want to rank for in the content you post to your blog. I'll use my site as an example:

I would like my Toronto Internet marketing company to rank number one in Google for the phrase "Toronto Internet marketing company". If I use the phrase "Toronto Internet marketing company" in my blogposts frequently, the search engine spiders will see this and conclude that my blog must be about a "Toronto Internet marketing company".

Ok this is fine, you may be thinking, I see how I can use keywords in my blog to optimize them for search engines - but how does this help my web site?

In many ways. The first comes back to linking:

The context and content of links are another way search engines determine the content and relevancy of the pages they link to. Search engines are using the anchor text in a link (the text that is actually linked) and the context of the link as a method of determining what the page it links to is about. It's called latent Semantic indexing.

The search engines basically figure that what one site says about another site is a better gauge of truth than what one site says about itself. Compound this times lots of inbound links saying the same things, and the importance of the sites that are saying those things, the search engines have a very good way to measure the relevance of a page for any search.

You need to link to your web site and optimize those links. Since the search engines will read the text that is linked to your web site, they will use those links as a guide to what your web site is about.

I'll use my site as an example again. I have 3 main sections on my web site:

By creatively working these links into my copy, using the correct link text, and linking to the appropriate sections of my site, I am telling the search engines - and my readers - what my site is about. As I get more links and more readers to my blog, I also get the added benefit of more awareness and visitors to my site.

The second benefit is through RSS feeds. You can easily display the live feed of your blog right on your web site, therefore:
  • automatically updating your web site each time you post to your blog
  • increasing the keyword optimization on your web site
  • increasing the content on your web site
Other sites may also choose to display your blog's feed on their site (with each story linking back to you), creating even more links, more readers and more visitors to your blog and site.

Another way you can make the links to your blog help your sites search rankings is to host your blog on your own site. This is easy to do with most blogging software like Blogger, because you can have it simply FTP the blog to your site everytime you post.

Your blog can either be in a subfolder (yoursite.com/blog) or a subdomain (blog.yoursite.com). When you host the blog on your own site - all of the links to your blog are also considered links to your site.

In Summary: Blogs, written well and marketed well, provide all three of the components of a high ranking site - fresh content, optimized content, and lots of semantically relevant, important links.

2 comments:

Zoltan Wagner said...

..for the agito links use agitointernetmarketing/index.php?id=39 instead of agitointernetmarketing.com/39/

-Z

Michelle Wong - Bridal Makeup Artist & Hairstylist - Vancouver, BC, Canada said...

This is excellent. As an amateur trying to improve my website, I really appreciate articles (such as yours) that are clear, concise and easy to understand. Thank you.