Okay so now we know content is king. And of course since we are creating our own blogs, (remember blogs is short slang for Weblogs - which is what their “formal and official" name is), most of our information is going to be "unique" and "Original". Yet every now and then, since we are only human, and since we simply cannot “create" more and more information, we will copy information from other web sites. That is cool. There is no problem with that, UNLESS, you decide that “copying" and/or “linking" is simply better and forego writing anything.
Now let me make this clear. If you are offering a service to people, where your main business is to offer out links to other places where people can get information, in other words you are a repository where people come to get links, because you already did all the research - that is fine. Because what you will loose in content, you will make up in “eyeballs" and “hits". Remember the end result of good search engine listings is just that. MORE HITS - MORE EYEBALLS - MORE PEOPLE VISITING. And content is not the only parameter an Search Engine looks at. Not by a long shot.
This is a critical point to keep in mind. Everything we will talk about, every method, from content to email to lists to whatever, (hehe my most unfavorite word in the English language pops in - Whatever - see my post on that word in my blog), has but one goal in mind. To consistently and constantly increase and build your website “hits". To make sure you have an ever-growing “fan" club “motivated" because of the service you are offering, to come back. So please differentiate between the end goal and the methods. Content (discussed in our first article) is a method towards the goal of getting listed in a good position on a search engine, and the goal is to have people use and come to your web site or blog, and create a “buzz" about it. (We will talk about this much later in our series. )
Let us go back to content for a moment. Here we are talking about something that all writers know about and are familiar with. Text, words, phrases. Original, unique text.
So in order to continue on our own fairly logical path, we will now concentrate on the “text" and what has to be in it. Which brings us to the subject of “keywords". Before explaining just what these are and either their importance or total invalidity and worthlessness these days, (and this is up for debate) let us define keywords more carefully.
If you have a website selling hair beauty aids, you will want to sell your material writing content around what you are selling. Obviously if you write something about the difference between different models of dishwashers, this is not going to relate to the “subject matter" and content of your site. So you will write articles around your hair supplies. You will write articles on good hair care, on how to dye your hair, how to get rid of split-ends, how often to shampoo etc. etc.
Our magic hair website is called “Hair Is Not Forever", and it is at www.hairisnotforever.com (I have no clue if such a site exists so please don't try that link!) But this is our site for now and we will keep it as we go along. hairisnotforever also has a blog. This blog we will call “SilkyFairHair" and we will put it, for the sake of our example in blogger.com under the name of the proprietor who is aptly named Mr. Nor Hair. So now we have as follows:
1. Web Site - Hair Forever @ www.hairisnotforever.com (this URL is fictional)
2. Blog - SilkyFairHair @ http://norhair. bl.com (this URL is fictional)
These names ARE important and so are the URL's. (URL stands for Universal Resource Locater). So keep them in mind as we go along through these articles especially when I get to the article on the importance of finding the right name.
So Mr. Nor Hair and his wife, Mrs. Purple Hair work together. They create the site, get all the necessary stuff to sell something on it, write a couple of articles about hair and sit back and wait for the people to come beating their “virtual" door down. Well as we say in Hebrew, “Boker Tov" (which literally means “Good Morning"), or as you say in English, “Knock. Knock. Good Morning! Anyone Home?"
Okay the Hair couple know about keywords. So they create articles in which EVERY sentence has the word hair in it (or balding). But hair is the name of the game. They make sure their content is original, and once they have written two HTML pages of hair articles, strategically placed by their cousin the graphic artist (who is bald) around the advertisements for hair products and now they think they are done!
Woah! Not by a LONG SHOT! And here is where it gets depressing for the uninitiated and non-dedicated people.
Let us deal with the "keyword" issue. Keywords are like indices or if you wish, categories. A keyword is something that the search engine will look for and validate (in our day), to use as one of the parameters as to how to list your site.
The keywords we refer to are in two distinct and totally different places. The first in the page header of the site.in what is known as the section for “meta" tags. We will deal with meta tags in a different article, however let us just say these are the keywords most search engine look for (with their “bots") when visiting your site. An example meta tag for keywords on our site may look like this:
< BLOCKQUOTE>< META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="hair, hair products, hair grooming, baldness, going bald, shampoo, conditioner, hair color, dying hair, split-ends, split ends, hair life, beautiful hair, luxurious hair">
Again in our article(s) on meta tags we will discuss these keywords, and meta tags, but for now take it as a given these are some of the keywords that will be in the meta tag.
When the Search Engine technology first became popular and meta tags were implemented, the keywords tag was critical. Search Engines looked at the keywords in the meta tag and assumed that was what the site was about and listed the site under those keywords. This was caught on to immediately, and humans being the crafty devils they are, began listing keywords that had nothing to do with their sites in order to drive traffic to the site. (Remember - the end result is the oh-so-important one: Hits & Eyeballs)
So *** sites especially, adopting this as yet another “fool the engine" technique, would put keywords like “hair", “technology" etc.into their meta tags, and give the site an innocuous name and voila, more traffic.
So in the never-ending battle Search Engines caught on, and did a few things. They deprecated the importance of the keywords in the meta tags according to their algorithms, UNLESS the content on the site actually did match the keywords. Of course, this was not enough as *** sites will put “real" content around their stuff. I will give you a REAL example which I find funny, but it is very serious.
In one of my posts on my blog, you can see my bio which is picked up by search engines. The other day I received an email from an old flame of mine saying “I freaked out. I googled you, under Ted Gross Writer, and you are connected with a site about tushy's!" So I go and Google it, and sure enough in like the fifth position is this: “Ted Gross's Unofficial Bio - The Real Version by Tushy" and of course I click and get led to another site (no url here as I do not want to publicize that site for obvious reasons) and I come to a *** site which ripped off, out of all the content on the internet, MY profile to place around their *** adverts. UGH! But you see that is how crafty people are!
(Here we are not going to talk about “splogs" - meaning “spam blogs" yet. But keep it in mind. )
Okay now what happens - not in theory but in practice.
1. You have keywords in your meta tag (and you should have them!) The little Search Engine “bot" (that is a software program whose job it is to travel around the Internet, never sleeps and never eats and gets into all those *** sites too!, and picks up information on ALL sites so the information can be categorized), comes to our site of hairisnotforever and reads the keywords on the page. Then this little bot makes a snapshot of the web page. Then the algorithms take over and match the keywords in the meta tags to the text and stuff on your site. (Remember Search Engines don't “see", they are NOT visual (males are visually oriented not Search Engines!) so graphics are not taken into account unless you use the alt tag. ) The algorithms get more and more sophisticated as time goes on and they look for content, keywords, phrases etc. (Remember original content!)
2. You have no keywords in your meta tag so the engine just looks at your content.
So our happy couple figures okay lets put the word hair say, in every sentence at least three times. NO! Don't do that. Overuse of a keyword is a red-flag to a Search Engine and you will be penalized for it! It should be used and used frequently, but NOT overused.
Now when you Google for hair products using the word “balding", the Search Engine has the keyword, and based upon a million parameters decides what position for that specific keyword, hairisnotforever will have, and feeds it out.
So our couple figures what the hell. We will also sell mascara, and they put in a picture advert and the word mascara in their keywords, without having any content for it. Well then www.hairisnotforever.com will probably be listed as the last of the last of the last for anyone looking for “mascara". So for this lesson the formula is:
"Content+Keywords in the content+Keywords in Meta tag. "
Copyright 2006 Ted W. Gross. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entirety with the following author's information with live links only. ) Ted W. Gross's very popular blog, Cobwebs Of The Mind contains daily updated posts and articles on technology and writing. He also owns Amor Enterprises which maintains Virgin Earth Article Submissions which is designed to accept articles about any country or place in the world. Ted Gross is also a published author and maintains a web site for his works.