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8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog

Here’s a tip for how to get people to link to your blog.

Write lists!

I’ve been reminded by this again today by seeing just how many people are linking up to Piaras Kelly’s list of Tips on writing content for your blog. I must have seen 10 or 15 people link to it in the last few hours (including me). Even though I don’t agree with all of it there is something about a list that bloggers and blog readers love. Here’s a list of reasons why lists can be good for your blog:

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Blog Crushes

BlogcrushThings have gotten a little heavy in some of the latest comment threads here at ProBlogger so I thought it might be time to put a little love in the air and have some fun.

So I’m suggesting we make the next 7 days about naming our Blog Crushes.

Do you have a crush on another blogger? I don’t mean an actual crush – rather is there a blog or blogger out there that you really admire? Maybe you’re too scared to let them know or are afraid that your admiration is unrequited?

- you like the way they blog
- you find yourself logging onto their blog every day (sometimes more) and staring at their design or drooling over their way with words
- their RSS feed is at the top of your list
- you leave more comments on their blog than you write posts on your own
- you let them know about posts you’ve written in the hope that one day they’ll notice you
- you dream about that elusive spot on their blog roll that you’d love to fill
- every second post you do is about them or their blog

Ok – maybe your crush is as extreme as this – or maybe it’s a little milder – but I want to give people an opportunity to reveal their true love and admiration for the objects of their Blog Crushes.

I’ve done this exercise on other blogs of mine and it’s been a lot of fun.

Here’s how it works.

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Google Blog Search – First Look Review

Google-Blog-SearchMy initial reflections on Google’s Blog Search:

  • the basic bones of the technology seem to be there.
  • basically it seems to be using similar (or the same) technology as Google News.
  • they seem to be indexing new posts very quickly which is great.
  • the pool of blogs that they are indexing seems smaller than I’d have expected. Of course they’ll be adding new feeds to track over time
  • they will have a big challenge of filtering spam – I’ve already seen quite a few spam posts in it both in the ‘related blogs’ and the actual posts that they are indexing
  • I’m disappointed with the ‘related blogs’ results – I’ve seen spam blogs, blogs that havn’t been updated for 6 months and know it’s omitting major blogs in certain niches. It seems from testing that the blogs served here are very related to the title of the blog concerned rather than the content in my initial tests.
  • The ability to subscribe via RSS to search terms is fantastic – top marks Google.
  • Being able to see results both ‘by date’ and ‘by relevance’ is a good thing.
  • The Advanced search functionality seems to offer more options than most other blog search tools that I’ve seen.

Overall – the technology is promising. It is in beta so we can’t expect too much I guess but I hope they make some improvements on some of the above areas.

I’ll also be fascinated to see how this impacts blog’s search result positioning in the main Google index. Will it lead to them being indexed faster and higher? Or is this a step towards downgrading their importance in the main index.

Update: Which indexes posts quicker – Google Blog Search or Technorati? The first one to index this post was Google in 50 minutes. The strange thing is that when I entered the index I entered it way down the page and not as the most recent post. Technorati is yet to index this post – however it has indexed considerably more in the mean time than Google.

Update II: Other reviews and first looks of Google Blog search can be found at:
- Anil’s first look at ProNet
- Paul’s Predictions
- Duncan’s Review
- Chris Pirillo has a massive list of posts from around the web on Google Blog Search

Intereseted to hear your reviews of Google Blog Search in comments below.

Google To Launch Blog Search

John Battelle reports that Google are about to Launch Blog Search:

‘Tonight Google will announce (well, the embargo is tonight at 9 pm PST) that it is launching blog search, in two flavors, one for blogger.com, and another as a beta at google.com/blogsearch (not yet up, but will be soon…).

I spoke with Google about this, more soon, wanted to get this up in a timely manner…(too timely…as the service has yet to be pushed live….)’

He then updates that the link for the wider beta test is http://blogsearch.google.com/

This is pretty significant news.

Update: It’s up and live.

Update II: Duncan has a first impression review of the new Google Blogsearch. Like he says – the best bit about it is that that you can put search terms into an RSS feed.

On the down side – most of the searches I’ve done don’t list a lot of the blogs I’d have expected to see there and they include quite a few sites that are anything but blogs. I guess this is where most of the criticism will come from.

Update III: Unfortunately a lot of the blogs that I’ve seen it suggesting as ‘related blogs’ on certain topics either lead back to Google’s home page, are spam blogs on the blogger.com network or are very very out of date and have not been updated for months.

12 Tips on Writing Content for your Blog

Piaras Kelly PR has 12 tips for writing content for your blog which has been linked to by a few people today. I’d actually agree with most of it – but would also recommend a little caution with a few of them. Let me make a comment on each one.

1. Use catchy titles – there is debate over this. I personally prefer titles that say what the post is about. While catching titles might get you some readers – if you’re looking for traffic from Search Engines a title with your keywords in it that says what the post is about might actually be better than a catchy or criptic title. This goes for RSS feed readers also.

2. Be unique – this is a good tip. Think about how many blogs are out there that look, sound and operate the same as millions of others. Standing out from the crowd is important.

3. Make sure to credit your sources – After my last few posts I think I’d better not say any more about this.

4. Think before you post - This is a definite must – however on some blog topics speed can mean the difference of being the ‘go to’ blog on a topic or being just another of many that are followers. If your blog is on a competitive news topic then speed can be important.

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Using Other People’s Content

Here is a free tip.

If you’re going to IM me and ask me to look at your blog – don’t fill it with stolen content.

I’m going to make this as clear as possible.

If you are going to use other people’s content to your site:

- ALWAYS reveal your sources. Give a link to your source if it is an online source. If its not attribute it by giving the author and where it was published.

- NEVER quote full articles from others unless you have obtained their permission.

If you don’t do this you run the risk of being sued, having people report you to the search engines for de-listing, having people report you to your advertisers to be banned from their programs and you’ll end up being a very unpopular blogger and will be exposed and shamed publicly.

If you have grand visions of making masses of money through using other people’s content then you’re delusional. Check out all the top lists of blogs that are doing big traffic and you’ll find that almost all of them are completely original content.

Stealing others content is plain stupid. Doing it and letting me know about it is even stupider. Doing it, letting me know about it and then not changing your ways is completely idiotic.

End of Rant.

further reading – A quick guide to referencing

Blog Job – Search Engine Herald Editor

Do you know anything about Search Engines? Do you like to blog? Would you like to combine these interests and make a little money on the side from it? You might want to apply for the editor’s position at Duncan’s Search Engine Herald. Get information here.

‘Real Life’ takes a Turn

Most regular readers know that I’ve been working on a part time research project for the past 6 months on a non blogging related topic (in my ‘real life). Today is a major deadline day where we present what we’ve done so far. It takes us to one step away from finishing it up which is really exciting for a number of reasons – one of which is that it will mean that in two weeks I’ll be free to fully devote my time to blogging again.

So I’ll be scarce today. In the mean time you might be interested in an Interview with me that Wendy from the Web Search section of About.com has posted about my blogging business.

Other than that – check out the raging discussion threads in the last few posts which are really great discussions.

A ProBlogger Dilemma – Seeking Your Opinion

I’d like to ask the opinion of you, my friends and readers about something I’ve been pondering this past few weeks.

Longer term readers will remember back in April when I asked your opinion about whether I should allow some of my posts to appear on WebProNews.

At the time I was a little torn on the idea. On one hand I could see it might help build profile, would bring some inbound links and would get some of my posts into Google News but on the downside it would lead to offsite readership and duplicate content. In the end I agreed to enter into the arrangement.

Since this time I’ve carefully watched to see what impact being a part of WebProNews has had and now am wanting to review it and would love to hear your perspective as readers of this blog and as wise bloggers yourself:

Here is some of what I can report back:

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