Blogging is one of the hottest trends on the Web. Whether yours is an individual blog, a group blog, a character blog, or a CEO blog, there's no doubt that, done right, a blog can position you as a thought leader, bring your Web presence to life, and help you engage with your customers.
But with over 75,000 new blogs created every single day, and tens of millions of blogs already in the blogosphere, it's not a given that you'll get found by your target audience and develop a loyal following of readers (case in point: the MarketingProfs "Daily Fix" blog and its quest for greater visibility.)
What can you do to pull in the crowds and to rise in the rankings? Read on and I'll share my secrets.
Search Engines Love Blogs
You may recall from my article in November, "The Secrets of Building Links and Increasing PageRank," that the major search engines all rely heavily on links to decide which Web sites are worthy of a top ranking. Blogs are looked on quite favorably in that regard, because the blogosphere is so rich with interlinkages. Bloggers link to each other constantly—from blogrolls, to trackbacks, to "hat tips." Accordingly, blogs seem to get special treatment, particularly from Google.
Starting with just a few good links, a new blog can quickly penetrate Google's top results where a brand new, traditional Web site might languish in the "Google sandbox" for a number of months with very poor visibility. Case in point: my 14-year-old daughter recently started a blog, Ultimate Neopets Cheats (about the hugely popular kids site Neopets.com), and within two weeks achieved a page-one ranking in Google for her targeted search terms of "Neopet cheats" and "Neopets cheats."
Blogs also get indexed by blog-specific (and RSS feed-specific) search engine—like Technorati, Feedster, PubSub, Google Blog Search, and Yahoo News & Blog Search. But to blog owners, these specialized search sites are small potatoes in terms of traffic generation, because their reach and search volume is a small fraction of what is achieved by the major engines.
So the focus of this article will be on obtaining traffic and visibility from the major engines: Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search. After all, with most people turning to Google and Yahoo—does it really matter that you are number one in Technorati or Google Blog Search for a particular keyword?