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August 28, 2008

Just blog it. Don't try to game Google.

There's a little trick that many of the top bloggers use to increase their visitors. They keep an eye on Google Trends and other services that help them keep track of the day's most queried search terms and then stuff their posts with those terms. The theory is that if you're posting about stuff that's currently being searched, your blog will appear in the results and you'll get some of that search traffic. On the face of it, this seems like a good idea. Who wouldn't want more visitors?

There are at least two reasons why this ain't a good idea:

  1. Search algorithms are based on many things, but one of them is inbound links. As a lowly magic middle blogger, you probably don't have enough inbound links to compete with the other bloggers who are employing this tactic. Their posts will show up above yours, and the vast majority of clicks on search engine go to the top three to five search results.
  2. Even if someone does happen to land on your page based on the search results, what makes you think they're going to stick around for more than a few seconds? Your content is likely to be irrelevant to them, especially if you're simply stuffing the words Obama, DNC, and Michael Phelps into posts about, say, membership marketing. The net result will be an increase in your bounce rate and a decrease in time spent on site.
There must be others.

Bottom line: You need to own your keywords. If you're going to take an SEO slant towards your blog, pick five to 10 terms (or as many as you can manage) that you're going to use over and over, and start to move up the charts for those terms. Your visitors will thank you, and so will your stats.

That's the opinion of one Certified Association Executive.

Tagged: ; ; ;


Lindy Dreyer said...

For the record...I don't do any of the stuff I'm about to argue in favor of. How's that for a half-baked endorsement.

I agree. Competing for the term "Michael Phelps" is ludicrous. (Unless you're Robert Scoble. Then it's just cheeky fun.)

On the other hand, Google Trends can help you look at the search terms you do own or are trying to own and identify the ones that get the most traffic. It can also help you identify related search terms you might not have considered. I think even the magic middle can benefit from an occasional stroll through the Google underbelly.

Jamie Notter said...

Dude. That was smooth getting Obama, DNC and Phelps in there. Very sly. ;-)

Lindy Dreyer said...

@jnott *giggle*

Ben Martin, CAE said...

@Lindy - Analytics are a good place to look for those things, too.

@j-nott - you saw straight through this post. darn you!