Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson

With the birth of the Internet came the birth of SEO

Like everything else in our world, social media is changing and evolving. When the Internet was young and search engines new, a way had to be found to rank the order of websites that came up during a search. With that, Search Engine Optimization was born.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is simply that, an algorithm that ranks websites when a consumer types in a query. The quandary comes when you compare the goals of the consumer, the specific search engine and the website owner.
The consumers want the most relevant information to show up first.
The Search Engine developers want that, but they also want to be the go-to search engine for the most consumers.
The website owners want their sites to come up first…no matter what.
Although all these goals are related, they are different. And, with these differing goals, we now have come confusion and competition.

In the early years of these algorithms, keywords were…well…key. The more keywords a website had, the higher up it would appear in the list of relevant sites. On the surface this appears to be reasonable. But, website designers soon found a way to trick the system. They’d load pages into a site with nothing but keywords. These pages had no information, just repeated keywords. This little cheat frustrated consumers, because it frequently meant the best sites fell lower in the list. So the search engine developers began to tweak the algorithms and make them more complex. But clever website designers continued to find ways around the system. For a while, content was king. It didn’t have to be good content, just new articles loosely related to the subject of the website. This led to content mills and article spinning (rewriting the same information over and over again just enough so it qualified as new). There were also requirements of links to and from relative sites, number of hits, then number of unique hits, and hundreds of other little pieces to the algorithms.

Search algorithms are constantly evolving

Google’s Panda Update

Then came Google’s now infamous Panda Update, followed quickly by the recent Penguin Update. The short explanation of both Panda and Penguin was Google trying to clean house. There were so many websites using black-hat SEO techniques (cheating) that consumers were getting fed up. Essentially Google cleaned house, penalized those sites that employed these techniques and tried to restore more accurate website rankings.
So what does that have to do with smaller bloggers?
Personally, I think it’s good news. For me, I’ve always tried to deliver accurate, passionate content on this site. And in the past, by NOT employing tricks, I’ve ranked lower. Now my site is easier to find because Google is rewarding sites like this.
How do you deliver content that Google rewards, instead of penalizes? It’s really not that hard.
  • Write from your passion. Passion is obvious in good writing. Don’t follow the trends, follow your heart when you’re finding a focus for your blog or website.
  • Generate good, valuable content. This means correct grammar, as well as tightly focused relevant articles.
  • Come up with targeted titles. Don’t throw out the keywords completely. But use them to reflect the actual message of your post. Not sure how to use keywords correctly? Here’s a post I wrote on Using Keywords Effectively.
  • Format your site and your content with the READER in mind. This means an easy-to-read font, block formatting, and short—targeted—articles.
  • Keep a regular schedule. This is so critically important. Everyone who creates a blog wants his readers to return. But how can we expect that, when we’re never home. Meaning, we post sporadically and without apparent rhyme or reason. All that does is frustrate our readers and prove we’re not trustworthy. There is WAY too much competition for us to be lazy.
 
SEO isn’t dead, just different
So, the demise of SEO has been greatly exaggerated. It isn’t dead—but it has changed. But the change is leveling the playing field, at least until someone finds a way to trick the system yet again.
Now it’s your turn. What frustrates you when you enter a term into a search engine? How do you deal with the ever-changing climate of the Internet? If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to address it.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,

Edie

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