Sometimes, the best methods for search-engine optimization aren’t the best ways to run a blog. They might make pages rank higher on Google, technically, but they create some bad kharma between your blog and the blogosphere. Sometimes I make decisions based on being part of the Web community first, despite negative implications on my PageRank.
Why would I do such a thing? Because I believe that we are first and foremost part of the blogosphere. It’s important to always remember that. Besides, in the end, I believe that it will all come back around. If you operate a site that is friendly to others, they will be friendly right back to you. Here are some SEO techniques that I avoid:
- Nofollow tags – If you feel something is good enough to link to, let that site get the due credit. On my Type-A Mom site, I in fact encourage everyone who contributes there to post links to their own sites. I know this can dilute my PageRank, but I made that decision to better serve the visitors and the contributors. I may not get a high PageRank quickly, but over the long term I believe I will rise in my rankings due to being a good citizen.
- Writing only for the sake of SEO – There are plenty of times I could write something only for the search engines, but that wouldn’t serve visitors very well. When in doubt, always lean towards good content. My main goal is to strive to make both people and machines happy, but I will always pick the people over the machines.
- Avoiding outside links – Sure, this is good for PageRank, but it’s bad for visitors and it’s bad for other bloggers. If you see something great on another blog, tell people about it. One of the great things about running a blog or a Web site is you have the power to tell your visitors about the best stuff out there.
- Not linking to sites with low PageRank – Hey, we all needed a hand at some point. If you see a new blog that has some great content, link to it. Help a blogger out! And you never know who might be writing the next Engadget. That blogger will surely remember you as one of the first sites to link to their blog after they get popular.
You may not see immediate results, and you may even take some hits on the SEO front. But people will notice your blog’s contribution. Don’t forget that many of the readers of blogs are bloggers themselves. They will notice if you are a bad blogosphere citizen.