Thursday, October 23, 2003

Make your Blog famous

The last post detailed how to get your blog noticed and indexed by the search engines. Unless you have a very niche blog you may find that your blog is nowhere near the top of the rankings. In order to improve this one needs to understand what increases ranking.
Firstly, the search engines will scan your blog for your keywords, so you need to ensure that you write for the search engines, using your chosen keywords as much as possible in the text of your posts.
The other deciding factor is popularity - search engines will often rank pages higher according to how many sites are linking to them. As part of registering on the blog directories you have made a start on your popularity. However these are often generic sites, you need links relevant to your own content. There are a number of easy ways to do this:

1. Run queries on Google with your chosen keywords. The most highly ranked sites will be the most relevant for you. Send an email to the site owner asking if they can add a link to your site. The worst they can do is say no, but often they agree if you link back to them as well. Some of these sites may have comments sections - add comments to the site with links back to your own blog. Make sure that your comments are relevant and not blatant self promotional pieces. Some of the websites that appear in the search results may be forums - if they are forums that do not require logging in to view (search engines will not be able to index private pages), then write or contribute to threads.

2. Run the searches again, but this time add the word "forum" to your keywords to find forums relating to your blog's topics. Contribute to these forums as in step 1.

3. Try running the queries again but inserting the word "blogger", "weblog" or "blog". Hopefully this should bring up relevant blogs to your topic. Owners of blogs will often be more than happy to add links as it helps their own site promotion. A lot of blogs have comments sections so add comments with links back to your site.

4. Search Engines also take into account your own links to other relevant sites, so add a list of links to your blog and post to blogs and websites of similar content. A useful tool to maintain your list of links is Blogrolling - this handy tool lets you add new links using a button on your browser when you are reading a site you would like to link to.

This process should be repeated often, and you can track your progress by using the popularity tool on Do not worry if your site is more popular on Google than the other search engines - Google is the most important search engine for blog promotion as it has the widest reach and supplies listings to many other search portals, including Yahoo and AOL. Google measures popularity by 'Page Rank' - if you have the Google toolbar installed on your browser you can see what your Page rank is when you view your blog. Linking to relevant sites with high Page Rank will help to increase your own ranking.
To understand more about how search engines calculate popularity read this guide to Google's page rank method.


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