An online diary or journal, which is regularly updated, is termed as a blog. An acronym of weblog, a blog is used to narrate experiences or share information online with like minded people. It is basically done to interact with people or share the information relating to a product or service that a company or individual offers. But, lately, a blog has been identified as one of the primary tools in search engine optimization.
Any website has to be optimized to get indexed in search engine result pages. It has to be infused with keywords apart from offering fresh and original content. Websites satisfying these conditions are ranked high by search engines. Blogs offer exactly the same and hence get a high ranking by major search engines.
Why are blogs ranked high by search engines?
A search engine highly ranks websites with original content. A good blog rich in fresh and original content can, hence, augment the chances of improving a website’s ranking.
Another criterion that a search engine relies upon for ranking a website is the number of genuine back links that it receives. If the blog on a website is made interesting enough for fellow bloggers, regular readers and popular websites alike, there is no reason for the blog not to receive back links from all of them. Fervently sticking to a particular topic on the blog also makes it easy to get links from related websites and blogs. Inbound links can also be generated by getting your blog registered in one of the many blog directories. Thus your blog will get syndicated through the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed, and notify regular readers of new postings and updates. It is a known fact that updated and edited sites are spidered more often by search engines thereby helping them in getting indexed almost instantly. Blogs can be used to point spiders and bots in the direction of your website.
Also, links from trusted sources are more valuable than links from new or unknown websites. Search rankings can be particularly boosted with links from .edu and .gov extensions. Blogs or forums with these extensions can be found. One can participate in the discussions of these blogs and the forum signatures and blog comments can fetch you back links. But be mindful of the content of your own blog or be ready to face the no follow attribute to your links.
The structure of a blog, which is devoid of flash, java script, or messy table structures, makes it easy for the search engine spiders to crawl through it. The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) based blogs are trouble free to crawl through and HTML text rich. Frequent updates – be it five times a week or on a daily basis – makes the search engine spiders visit the website more frequently for fresh quality content. One or more entry a day can ensure frequent spidering of your websites in comparison to other sites that do not use blogs.
Another reason for blogs being ranked high by search engines is that some blog host applications such as the movable type create a new page for each entry made. With search engines preferring larger sites over smaller ones, this feature is particularly helpful in increasing the number of pages of the blog, in turn, ranking it among the top most in a search engine index.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, a blog, or a website that includes a blog, for that matter, generally ranks high in the search engine result pages. It is, then, quite understandable that webmasters are using blogs to improve their rankings in search engines. Moreover, most of the search engines including Google have specific blog searches addressed to finding information available only on blogs. Webmasters do not afford to be left out of these searches. Hence, it has been found that almost all websites use blogs for the search engine optimization needs of their websites.
A well done blog on a content thin website can do wonders to the traffic inflow and the overall ranking of the website in a search engine index, by gathering coveted links and allowing the benefits of these links flow through to the rest of the site. There are copious instances of targeted blogs having strengthened the websites no end, as far as search engine traffic is concerned.
Other side of the story
The popularity of blogs with search engines made it a weak-target for spammers. Spammers filled blogs with useless comment spam and the real purpose behind creating blogs got lost, with blogs being created only to receive precious link backs to undeserving websites or as a tool to invite spiders to crawl through them more often. Splogging or spam blogging has thus become rampant among webmasters trying to gain an improved ranking in search engine result pages.
To counter this spamming, Google and other search engines have started supporting a no follow attribute that is applied to the links in a blog. It is a way of telling the search engines that the web site owner, does not, in any way, associate with or support the link.
Blogs are one of the best ways to add to the point content to your website. At the same time, it is necessary not to allow the blog to be spammed. A meticulous working on the blog can render it an effective tool in search engine optimization. Keywords can be spoken of in a more meaningful way, while new content, too, can be regularly added without hassles.
Harish Shetty, a search? ? engine optimization and web design & development expert and a thorough follower of SEO trends, advises clients on various techniques to improve their page ranking in search engine? ? indexes. He supports blogging for this purpose, disparaging splogging in the same breath.