Blogs and Search Engine Optimization

You say you don’t read Internet weblogs? (Better known as blogs.) You probably say the reason you don’t read blogs is because you don’t care about the personal musings and random thoughts of people you don’t even know. Well, blogs have come a long way baby! While the Internet equivalent of the home movie still exists in the form of the online diary or journal, they have been joined by a new phenomenon: the business blog. The business blog is part of a cutting edge trend that will not only get you a huge boost in Google PageRank, but a leap in the search engine results pages (SERPs) too. Oh, I see you are listening now!

What Are Business Blogs, Anyway?

Business blogs are composed of regularly updated postings about your business’s main areas of interest. Posts can take the form of short items, highlighting, and linking to an article found elsewhere on the Net. Sometimes an informal essay on your chosen topic is the preferred blog entry. There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog; you get to decide your own format.

Your blog entries may include news items concerning your industry, product information of value to purchasers, techniques for using your products in alternative ways, and regular updates about your company and its current and future plans. Another way to add additional content is to link to news articles from other websites and blogs.

There is certainly no shortage of material to add to your business blog. You are only limited by your imagination!

You have possibly cursed some blogs, as they appeared on the first few pages of the search results, for your targeted keywords. You may have been scratching your head about how such sites could possibly get such high search engine placements.

 

Here’s why: blogs have the characteristics that are most valued by search engines. In fact, the very nature of blogs is such that it almost looks like they were created with search engines in mind.

 

  1. Blogs are updated frequently with abundant fresh content, laden with keywords. The result is higher search engine rankings for those searches.

  2. Blogs have a natural affinity for adding incoming links, which helps in raising your PageRank, and your placement in the SERPs.

Those two features alone have some fair amount of importance. Although they’re insignificant to some, some blogs have many keywords sitting on the first page. Those same blogs also boast a high PageRank.

 

Most of the widely available blog templates are easily read and indexed, when crawled by the various search engine spiders. Many of the various blogging templates include pre-written header tags. Titles are readily employed, as are many other recommended SEO practices.

 

In fact, blogs are certainly easily optimized, even by novice SEO practitioners.

 

You can start a blog in one of two ways:

First, you can create a stand alone blog as a website of its own, cross linked with your main website. Another option is to add a blog section to an already existing website. Both methods of blogging will help your business get higher search engine rankings.

Some of the best known available blogging software tools include

  1. Google owned Blogger
  2. Movable Type
  3. TypePad 
  4. b2 
  5. Blog-City
  6. Greymatter
  7. Word Press
  8. BBlog

There are also many other less well known blogging tools available as well as a number of custom blogging software platforms specifically designed for adding a blog feature to existing websites. There is a suitable blogging tool for almost every need, with a wide range of available features.

Novice bloggers would be well advised to examine their requirements first, and then check the options available on each software tool. There is a large variation in the available products, with some tools better suited for your website than others. Not all services are available on all of the platforms.

Getting started in blogging is quite simple; most modern software is very user friendly. For those website owners who are not strong on the programming side, there are many blogging tools which are nothing more than templates. All the user has to do is fill in the information, and the software does the rest.

One of the first things you will notice about most blogs is that they possess vast lists of outgoing links. At first glance, the thought is that these sites are leaking a lot of PageRank. That might be true, but the concept of PageRank leak remains controversial, and unproven to everyone’s satisfaction.

Many of the links you see on the blog are reciprocated. Many are not. The collection of links is not the main goal of most bloggers. The outgoing links are simply there as a service to the readers. There are usually a lot of outgoing links found in the daily blog entries. Again, linking is a prominent feature of the blog. Those are only the links that are leaving the site.

What you don’t see are the links coming into the blog. Bloggers are very heavy linkers. They link to other blogs and websites freely and generously. Concerns about PageRank rarely arise, and is a non-issue to many bloggers. The focus of the vast majority of blog writers is the reader. If the topic is interesting to the blog owner, it is linked and offered freely to the blog readership.

That free range linking works both ways. Natural incoming links abound. Not all blog links are reciprocal links. On the other hand, bloggers will happily exchange links with other writers, if they find the blog to be an interesting one. In the blogging community, linking to one another is a very frequent event.

For those who are concerned about reciprocal links being penalized by Google, that has not been a problem thus far for blogs. In fact, a quick backlink check shows abundant reciprocal links. They are not penalized, perhaps, because the links are almost always from the blog home page. Link sections and pages, common for traditional websites, are rarely found on blogs.

The well known standard Internet directories, including DMOZ, Skaffe, and JoeAnt, accept blog submissions without concern.

Among the many directories that include blogs in their listings is The Open Directory Project (DMOZ). That well known and very important directory has a special weblog section, devoted to various categories of blogs. Over four thousand blogs are already included in DMOZ. Following the recent DMOZ data transfer, well over three thousand blogs are now included in the Google Directory as well.

Blogs also have their own exclusive directories. Those special blog directories, as quality backlinks, provide a jump start to your blog’s PageRank. They gladly accept most blog submissions, often without requiring a link back to the directory. The special blog directories include:

Blog Search Engine
Blogwise
Eatonweb Portal
Blog Universe
Popdex
Blogarama
Blogdex
Globe of Blogs
Blizg
Online Marketing Links
Weblogs Compendium
Octopus Files
Kmax
Open Weblog Directory

Because of the number of quality directories available for all websites, and exclusively for blogs, strong showings of incoming links are a regular blog feature. It’s not unusual for a weblog to have a PageRank of 5 or 6 after only a few months on the Internet.

Search engines love sites that are updated regularly with lots of fresh content. That description matches the description of a weblog. The almost daily addition of content, results in blogs being crawled frequently by the various search engine spiders, including the much sought after Googlebot.

Many bloggers often have specific interests that they write about with passion. Their regular entries are rich with keywords. Combining the heavily keyword filled posts with multiple entries, provides a steady diet of spider food, for the web crawling bots. Those same keywords, entered into a search box, propel a number of blogs to the top of the search returns.

Other bloggers write about what interests them at any particular moment. This group of bloggers also benefits in the search engine results. By touching upon a wide range of topics, their blogs are full of all kinds of keywords. Their free flowing use of keywords is reflected in the SERPs, with many strong showings in numerous searches.

While other traditional website owners were lamenting the loss of their top rankings following the recent “Florida” update, bloggers were enjoying better SERPs and PageRanks than ever. The heavily content oriented weblogs were treated very well by the Google search results. Blogs came through the update with flying colors, many proudly displaying high PageRanks and page one rank. The new algorithm favored the blog format of freely linking, and frequently updating content.

Conclusion

Adding a blog to your website, or simply starting a stand alone weblog, will enhance your search engine optimization efforts. Blogs have what the search engines crave. They feature abundant freshly updated content, rich in targeted keywords. The generous linking practices of bloggers, freely available and often natural in technique, lend themselves to healthy PageRanks and strong search engine placements. Bloggers are well known to gladly trade links as well.

A business blog can give your website a boost toward the top of the search engine rankings.

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