It's fun having a blog with PageRank! (some search engine results)

It's fun having a blog with PageRank! (some search engine results)

Here's a couple of Google searches based on keywords used in my blog entries. While the results may change, here's a sample of what we have now:

drupal evangelism
- #1
idaho drupal - #1
clickheat - #9
java downtown boise - #2

It's just a feel-good moment to see all the work you've put into your site coming some some kind (however useless) fruition. The important question, though, is how much traffic have these rankings bought me? None at all as far as my Google Analytics account tells me.

Being on top of the SERPs for non-competitive keywords is like running an ant farm. The sense of power it gives you is somewhat illusory

These rankings illustrate a point which I end up drilling into clients about to hire an SEO firm to pop their site up to the top of search engine result pages. It's relatively easy to get bumped to the top for search terms that aren't highly competitive. I mean, my home page only has a PageRank of 5, and there's tons of higher PageRank-ed sites out there that could flood the search engine result pages for any non-competitive keyword if they bothered adding an article or two about it. For better or worse, there's not a lot of competition for the 'idaho drupal' keyword. It sounds like a good solid keyword, and I might assume that there must be web site owners clamoring to get the kind of status you receive when you stand atop a SERP for 'idaho drupal.' But such is obviously not the case.

Discussion on this post:

Those who don't SEO blog

I've heard it stated that if you aren't doing search engine optimization (in the classic sense) and want your site to pop up in the search engines, you blog. It's a pretty sound statement. And free (money-wise, not time-wise - though that's not a bad thing - blogging provides it's own unique rewards beyond SEO).

I like to think ahead to a time when my site/blog attains the position of becoming something more than the sum of it's SERPs. When there are enough posts, comments, and just plain topical, vaguely related stuffs, that the site just can't be ignored by the search engines... I've had it happen with my account that I'll find my own tags in the top tier of results. It's that point where you realize that your "collection" has become "expert." It's a really odd experience - when you unexpectedly find yourself face-to-face with your own stuff... And you realize that your stuff knows more than you do.

Thought I'd point out, while I'm here, that there is _some_ competition for the Drupal-space in Idaho. You don't have #1 for "drupal idaho" yet. :)


Hello Michael, thanks for

Hello Michael, thanks for the response.

Catering to Search Engines

I've found there's a scale when it comes to content creation on the web. There are web site operators who focus solely on getting traffic from search engines, who will target particular keywords and create content as quickly as possibly with as little money as they can, which means that the content usually takes a hit in quality. These sites usually run off of advertising income, and can do rather well if their SERP ranking is high since as soon as a visitor starts reading the article, they're ready to move on quick, and might click a link ad just to get something more pertinent. I've seen the model make more money than I care to mention.

Feeding Humans

Then there's the other school of thought, which is that you build content for real human visitors. This improves the chances that your visitors are getting pertinent content, and increases the likelihood that they will return. Plus, it's easier talking to humans than search engines. Robots are not good conversationalists (yet).

The Middle Path into Search Engine Nirvana

But, there's a third way of thinking that Google actually encourages, which is to write content for humans but also consider how search engines might interpret what you say. So, say I'm writing a gratuitous post about my cat's curious methods of play, and I want as many people to read it as possible. I can increase my chances of people viewing it by figuring out what people are searching for, and including those keywords as part of my post. After a quick search, I see that "cat power" and "cat fight" are fairly popular, and though I may not have used these keywords initially, I can work them into my content in a very natural way.

The sacrifice is that there may be a little more formality, and possibly less flow then there would be in a pure human-to-human dialog. But we have search engines looking over our shoulders, in some ways determining the success of our ventures. It could be neglectful to forget that they're there.

If one has a blog and some PageRank (like you do, Michael), you'll get traffic on the topics you write about. But you might be able to squeeze out a little more traffic by doing some research into what keywords people are actually using to get to the information you're providing (you could be doing something like this already)

In regards to the 'drupal idaho' search, your placement is well-deserved! You've been doing Drupal for a while now, and writing about it longer than I have. I'm surprised your site doesn't have a monopoly on any combination of 'drupal' and 'idaho'.

I think that main point I was making is that, for example, the only sites really competing for those keywords are your site, my site, and the Drupal user group. That's just one example of some low-hanging search engine result fruit.

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