26 Sep 2008

Blogging: The Search Engines’ New Best Friend

Working in search engine optimization, we're used to being flexible with SEO strategies. You have to be, as the “rules” dictated by search engines are changing all the time. If we don't tweak what's working and abandon what's not, we're not doing our job. That said, there's a new trend in SEO that CyberMark recommends to all website owners – advice we're taking to heart with our own clients and this new CyberMark blog, On Target SEO.

In 1994, a form of blogging got its start as “online diaries” – the same year when I got my start in SEO. By 2004, “blogs” as they had come to be known (the contraction for “web logs”) had developed into the news-sharing, opinion-shaping tools we know them as today.

At one time, commenting on other blogs with a link back to your own site was a great way of building inbound links and, in turn, effective search engine optimization. Now though, most of these are “no follow” links, meaning the search engines will no longer give you credit for these links when determining your link popularity. Still, blogs are one of the most exciting new tools for search engine optimization for three big reasons.

Search engines love blogs because they can:

1) Ensure fresh content on your site. The more often you post, the more often the search engines are going to crawl your site – a big plus as the more new, relevant content you add, the better your search engine placement is going to be.

2) Give you an opportunity to incorporate more relevant, keyword-rich content into your site. It's an added bonus if you can connect your blog post to current events, as you can capitalize on those searching for more information on topics in the news.

3) Attracts inbound links to quality content. The more inbound links you have (from other sites with quality content), the more search engines are going to view you as an authority on the subject and rank your site accordingly.

Plus, a blog gives you an opportunity to engage in an open conversation of sorts with both existing and potential customers. They can comment on your blog, and you can comment right back.

And if you doubt yours is the kind of business that has anything relevant to blog about, think again. Whether used to share news relevant to your industry, or simply as a place to post pictures and stories about your talented dedicated staff, a blog is a tool every website can absolutely use to strengthen your SEO and build rapport with your target audience.