Blog search engine optimization basics

I’ve been blogging for several years now and along the way I’ve learned a few things about SEO or Search Engine Optimization (a fancy way of saying “Enabling people to find you”). Here is a short list of things you can do right away:

  • Add the following meta tags to your site’s <head> element (for an example check out the HTML source of this page on my site)
<meta content="<list of keywords here>" name="KEYWORDS" />
<meta content="<description of your site here>" name="DESCRIPTION" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="" href="" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="" href="" />

  • Write clear, searchable page titles, in fact, here is a post where I go into much more detail on this topic
  • Use header tags for blog entries within your site template
  • Use FeedBurner for your RSS feed so you can send out a pingshot and notify all the major search engines at once that you have new content
  • Use a blog engine that supports all of the above, my old blog engine didn’t support any of this
  • Use Google’s WebMaster Central and read the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog and in particular read this post
  • Provide a page that explains how to subscribe to your site feed
  • Added your site’s URL to your email signature/newsgroup signature. FeedBurner even supports the headline animator for a signature like this:my blog
  • Lastly, read other people’s blogs, link to them, leave comments on them or as they say in the blogosphere some “link love
  • If you include images in a post be sure to specify the alt attribute to help search engines identify and thus index the image

Of course, there are plenty of other things one can do though hopefully this list will get you started.

So, why talk about this? Well, I just read this post by Primoz Gabrijelcic (via this post by Craig Stunz) which talks about the lack of a good place to advertise a Delphi blog. I peeked into the markup for Primoz’s site and noticed he could utilize a number of these techniques which should, over time, help improve the visbility of his blog.

[UPDATED: Mar 21, 2007] Added bullet items for including alt attribute on image links

5 thoughts on “Blog search engine optimization basics

  1. As you can clearly see from your last paragraph, being "discovered" by a well-read blogger is the most important part 🙂
    Actually, I was/am doing most of other things you mentioned. I am running my web site for quite some years now and it was always very ‘findable’ on Google. I already added RSS meta tags to it so you can find the blog very easily that way. I do have to check how easy is to find my blog entries via Google search (and possibly add some meta tags) – thanks for the hint.
    Still, I never had so much visitors until Craig blogged about my blog.

  2. Only if you want to be read and followed and worshipped, only in that case 🙂
    I could name few people (luckily not from the Delphi world) that write only what _they_ want to read.
    But of what use is (writing what people want to read) if those people don’t know about all the things written? They have to find a blog first.
    They way I approach the blogosphere as a reader is twofold:
    – There are many people producing great technical content. Usually I find them when searching for a specific solution. If such person writes a blog then great – I’ll check the blog archive then read it for some time to see if content is satisfying.
    – More important to me are people producing personal opinions. Those are harder to find – usually I discover such blogs when some other blog (that I read) links to an interesting article by another author.
    [Sorry for rough English – not my first language – I hope I got my meaning through.]

  3. Hi gabr,
    Thanks for the followup, the meaning of your message came through quite clearly and I appreciate the effort. I do agree with several of the points you’ve made.

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