SEO is not SPAM.
— Matt Cutts
There is currently a dearth of articles on how to blog within the blogosphere. This series will take the effort one step further, giving instruction not only on the basics, but all aspects, including coding, promotion, technical considerations, and more. The aim is to give a complete overview for the novice/beginner as well as those wanting and needing a more complete understanding. This is the fourth in a serial effort to fulfill that desire.
Since there exists no dearth of SEO plug-ins for WordPress, the dialogue here will rather focus on common sense SEO techniques and a discussion of social search trending.
The following time-tested methods are examined:
- W3C WCAG recommendations
Keywords are used by search engine bots (aka spiders, Web crawlers), which are programs that examine meta data, typically described in the <head> section of a Web page. However, in the case of WP blogs, it is only necessary to understand that words related in the posts title should reflect those in the body of content. This is an over-simplification, but an accurate representation nonetheless. Relevance is essential here. The process of keyword stuffing, senseless repetition of keywords, is to be avoided, though this should be obvious. In addition, tagging, the process of adding descriptive tags (described in Part 4: The WP Interface), is also important, and should again mirror those concepts illustrated in the body of the blog as well as the title. Descriptive tags will assist in improvement in SERPS (Search Engine Page ResultS).
The process of back-linking, or creating links on other Web pages back to the blog post, cannot be overemphasized. By creating outside links to the blog post, SEO is enhanced. This paradigm was the innovation that launched Google to the forefront of search engines in the nineties. One of the simplest ways of doing this is via comments on other blogs, with inclusion of a back-link to the blog post, provided there is applicability and bearing between the two. Since bloggers should be following and promoting each other in such a case, this goes to best practice. If links can be established with reputable sites, then the situation becomes ideal. SEO professionals refer to this as “Google juice,” with higher ranking and well visited sites being the preferred sites to be back-linked from.
W3C WCAG recommendations
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which are part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), are a sometimes overlooked, yet nonetheless important aspect of SEO. Efforts towards meeting these guidelines will have limited application in WP blogging, but every attempt at meeting them should be endeavored. To paraphrase Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW, the Web should be for everybody.
There is some argument currently about social search versus SEO. Proponents of both state vociferously that each has its merits. Social search, those recommendations made within a user’s social graph, or personal network, seems to be gaining ground. Time of course will tell whether this may truly be the case, but the thesis is sound and should be given weighty consideration. Even Google has entered the fray, with an extensive help article which includes an instructional video. Wikipedia discusses the dynamics of the social search engine which is based in part on user generated content (UCG). Given the embracement of Social Media in modern society, this is again a best practice. Social ranking is becoming more important to the social Web population, as the tendency to trust human discernment over algorithms is widespread. This then gives further credence to the importance of establishing and involving the blogger in associations with like-minded others. Of note here are organizations such as the Tribal Syndication Association (TSA), which with its TSA Mastery program enables members to increase their readership. They also host an open Facebook group.
This concludes the SEO/Social Search section of the Things Your Parents Never Told You About Blogging series. The next section, Part 4, will cover The WP Interface.