Here’s a little tidbit of information. A blog is usually crawled and indexed before the pages on a website. It’s something to remember as you determine the content that your blog will include. For example, you can introduce a new product and page on your website, but maybe that is not the only place this should be done.
Maybe you should write a blog post about that new product and its value to your current and potential customers. It’s likely that the Googlebot will pick that up long before it picks it up on your site.
Getting Google to Love Your Blog Sooner Rather Than Later
Let’s first look at what Googlebot is and what it does.
- Googlebot is basically software designed by Google. It is sent out to gather information about stuff on the Internet to add to Google’s index.
- Googlebot crawls around, looking for new content that it can then report back to Google. It finds this content using links.
- Indexing is simply the processing of the documents that the Googlebot finds from crawling. These documents are then added to Google’s index, if, and the IF is important, they are determined to be of quality. Because the bot processes actual words on a page, keywords are important, so long as they are natural and not stuffed in all over the place. It also looks at title tags, and ALT attributes.
- Google finds new content through sitemap data that is provided by webmasters. It browses through pages it has previously looked at and detects links on those pages to add to the list of pages to now be crawled.
In sum, new content is found via links and sitemaps. And it is judged to be valuable and worth indexing based on those.
So, your goal is to get your blog/posts discovered by the Googlebot. And here is what you should do to make that bot fall in love with your blog.
First, the “Housekeeping” Tasks
- Create a Sitemap. Your sitemap will list every page on your blog. If it’s connected to a website, obviously, those pages will be there as well. Search engines will thus know whenever a new page is added and also, depending upon how often you post, how often they should check for new content. There are plenty of tools out there to generate sitemaps. But, if you are using WordPress, you can easily install Google SML sitemaps plugin. It will craft the sitemap, automatically update when you add a page and submit those updates to search engines. How’s that for no work on your part?
- Submit You Sitemap to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. It’s easy to do. Create your free accounts and sign up for webmaster tools. Add you blog and then add the link to your sitemap. Both search engines will then be able to see the posts you have already published
- Submit your Blog URL to Search Engines: They may already have your website URL, but submit your blog too. There is some discussion whether this is really necessary, but it will do no harm.
- Make certain that your Social Profiles are updated. If your blog is new or if you do not have several social media accounts, fix that. You can get some quick links to your blog if you share the status of your blog and a link to it on as many profiles a you can.
- Install Google Analytics. You should do this anyway, just to track traffic to your blog. But, at the same time, you will be alerting or reminding Google that your blog is out there.
- Bookmark your blog on sites such as Stumbleupon and Digg. These social bookmarking sites are really organized by their users, and they search for sites and blog based upon tags. Users can also comment and vote on the bookmarks. You can a lot of new traffic from social bookmarking sites and it is usually valuable because they have searched for your content specifically.
Some bookmarking sites will mark links a “nofollow” and search engines will not “count” them, so go with the “dofollow” sites. And search engines sill list results from bookmarking sites. You can also put buttons on your posts for your readers to tag you on bookmarking sites.
- Use Feedburner for your RSS. This is Google’s RSS management tool. Jut sign in to your Google account and copy your URL in the “Burn a feed” field. Google will now be alerted with every new blog update.
Now the Meat
Obviously, the purpose of your blog is to create content that readers/viewers will find engaging – highly informative, entertaining, or inspirational. And rich, new, and unique content is what that Googlebot wants to see too. It also wants to see lots of backlinks to your blog from credible sources.
- Use lots of visuals in your posts, and even videos. This captures audiences and causes them to want to share – sharing is always good. And if you are using WordPress, use an SEO tool like Yoast to evaluate each post for optimization.
- When you create a stunning post, submit it to other blogs in your niche and to article directories. This will provide those backlinks that tell Google you are becoming popular and perhaps an expert. Be careful where you submit. There are low quality and “spammy” blogs and directories out there – avoid them always. Quality over quantity is the key.
- Submit posts to blog directories. Again, choose quality over quantity. You may have to re-write or revise posts, for the really good ones. They have guidelines that you must meet, and posts are not always accepted the first time through. Technorati and Alltop are good places to begin. TopRank has a great listing of valuable blog directories.
- A note about having posts translated into a foreign language. If you have a large target audience that speaks another language, it will be important to have good translations. WordPress has tools for this, but you will also want to check your translations with a professional translation service, to ensure that they are grammatically and culturally appropriate and that you have nothing offensive contained in them.
- Keywords/phrases are still critical in your content. Placing them naturally and in the right places is what a tool like Yoast does. Use it.
This should be plenty for you to chew on. Look over these lists and use them to assess if you are doing everything possible to make Google fall in love and stay there.
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