Wayne at Blog Business World writes a good article on the value of outbound links in Search Engine Optimization. As he observes there are both pros and cons in linking to other sites from your blog that are worth considering as you think about SEO. I personally come down on the side of the argument that is pro outbound link. I don’t have the technological knowledge Wayne has to argue my case but from anecdotal evidence I’ve found the strategy has really helped my blogs to rise through the Search Engine Rankings.
Tanya at SEO and Affiliate marketing blog is writting a well thought out series of posts on Search engine Optimization which so far has four steps to it.
Step 1 – Picking a domain name
Step 2 – Research your niche or theme
Step 3 – Building your site template
Step 4 – Building a Product Page
It is not really written from a blogging point of view but rather from a pure SEO perspective – but none the less there are some good general points in there that should help bloggers.
It seems that Google is doing a back link update. I noticed it last night with a rise in my SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and a corresponding rise in traffic on a couple of my sites. The increased traffic was coming from Google which is usually an indication that an update is underway. Its not back up to the levels of traffic that I had after the pre Christmas update (which knocked off two thirds of my traffic overnight) but its a step in the right direction and something of a relief for me.
Read more of what people are saying about the update at Digital Point: Google is updating and Webmaster World: Major changes in Google Update Starting.
Have you noticed any difference in your google referrals in the last 24 hours?
Wayne has been posing hard til it hurts over at Search Engine Journal where he’s just written a series of excellent Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) posts on optimizing your Blogger Blog. It is a series in four parts (so far):
– Search Engine Optimization and Blogger Blogs Part One
- SEO & Blogger Part 2 – Search Engine Power of Blogs
- SEO & Blogger Part 3 – On Page Blog Optimization Techniques
- SEO & Blogger Part 4 – The Link Power of Blogs
The techniques that Wayne talks about and observations that he makes are good solid SEO strategies that are proven to work – not only on Blogger blogs but on other blogging formats and normal websites. It is easy to be overwhelmed by SEO strategy – I know when I first started looking into it I was totally confused but it is well worth doing a little research and having some of the basics in your mind as you blog. Don’t become obsessed by it – but be informed and where you can use the basics to enhance your chances of being ranked highly by the search engines.
Update: Wayne has also posted this series in full on his own blog at Optimization for Blogger Hosted Blogs
Interesting thread over at ‘Self Starter’s Weekly Tips’ forums – Do Incoming links from the same URL have less weight than incomeing links from a different domain? was the question that started the thread off.
The advice is good – and can basically be summed up as follows:
Internal links within your blog are good for a number of reasons:
- Firstly they help your readers navigate around your site. A well thought out menu or relevant links within your posts to other post on a similar topic will help you retain your reader for longer and send them deeper within your site.
– They help Search Engine’s robots to navigate your site and hopefully to get every possible page indexed. If you have a site map page or an archives page that links to every page on your blog this helps the SE’s robots index you more comprehensively.
– It seems that most Search Engines (like Google for instance) do give some weight to internal links when it comes to ranking your pages.
However internal links are not the be all and end all when it comes to SEO
- I suspect that Google are decreasing the value/weight of internal links. There is a number of other people that I respect who believe that the last few updates to Google’s algorithm have had something to do with this – and that pages with a lot of internal links have actually seen their search engine page rankings (SERPS) decrease. I don’t think internal links are penalized – but rather have been given less value. Its just my opinion.
– External links are more important to SEO. If you want to build your blog’s ranking and SERPs then it would be a better use of your time to look for external incoming links from other relevant sites than to plaster your own blog with internal links.
SEO scoop notes what many of us have been suspecting for a while – that Google is in a state of chaos. I’m not sure I’d describe it as chaos – but the past month has seems some odd and unexplainable results including:
- Search for the word “Yahoo” on Google (without the quotes), and it returns less than 40 results. Yes you heard that right. Less than 40 results.
– The PageRank and Backlink update that began on December 31 has still not finished spreading across the datacenters. In fact, some datacenters that had the new information yesterday have reverted back to the old information today.
– The PR update was strange in that a lot of people received higher PR on their interior pages than they did on the home page – without having more backlinks to the interior pages
– Many people lost rankings in the last few weeks for undeterminable reasons. That in itself would not be anything out of the ordinary, but coupled with the above strangeness, it may actually be a part of the whole weirdness being seen.’
Read more of SEO Scoop’s Observations
Corporate Blogging Blog writes a very good article about why blogs rank well in Search Engines. Of course one of the big reasons is links – one of the major features of blogging is the interlinking between blogs of a similar theme or topic. If you write good content on a particular topic it is likely that you’ll attract inward bound links from other relevant blogs – this of course is one of the major ways that a Search Engine like Google or Yahoo decide how to rank sites. However Frank argues that there are other reasons in addition to links that make blogs attractive to search engines including:
- Keywords, key phrases
- Straight to the point
- Each post’s page structure
- One subject per post
- The blog site’s information structure
- Links then…?
Frank expands each point well and his argument makes perfect sense. In fact they are more than common sense some of his points can actually be built upon as a strategy. Learn from what he’s saying. For example – ‘one subject per point’ – the temptation is often to write 10 points on each post that you do. The smarter way to approach it would be to write 10 posts – each with a punchy title and content that tightly focused upon one point. You’re more willing to get picked up and ranked highly by search engines using this method than by a long general essay.
As we predicted a couple of weeks ago – it seems that Google is now doing a PageRank Update. As with the back link update a week or two back this will take a few days (a week or more some suggest) to settle down. Google have chosen to do these updates over the Christmas break which of course is good for some as its traditionally a quiet period – however it makes it difficult to discern how their new results are impacting your blog.
Good luck all!
MSN’s Search is one of the latest entries into the Search Engine market and many are tipping it to rival Yahoo and then Google in the popularity stakes for those wanting to get the best results from their searching of the billions of web pages currently online. Whilst it is still in beta – the initial reports about MSN Search are very positive.
As a blogger this is another Search Engine it is worth getting your blog optimized for to position yourself for an increase in popularity of the tool over the next year.
‘Achieving high search engine rankings in MSN has some similarities to the techniques already used in Google and Yahoo. As expected, the MSN algorithm has a few twists and turns for SEO professionals to navigate as well….
Perhaps the first and probably most important aspect of the MSN Search Beta is the need for good keyword rich content. Relevance of theme and topic appears to be very important to MSN, as it is becoming for Google optimization. There are also additional considerations for levels of on page keyword density that differ somewhat from Google. On the other hand, MSN seems to strongly dislike keyword stuffing, and will drop a site’s ranking accordingly….
As expected, links are important to MSN, as they are important to Yahoo, and of course to the legendarily link obsessed Google algorithm….
Clean coding is a must with MSN Search, as its spider has a strong preference for well written code….
Like Yahoo, MSN Search seems to still place some importance on meta tags.’
Read the full article at MSN Search Engine Beta Optimization Techniques‘