Lately, I’ve seen numerous instances of blogs that exist because people have heard that they need to create a blog for SEO purposes.
The problem with this, of course, is that any time you do anything just for SEO purposes, you’ll almost always do it wrong. It’s true that creating a blog that you’re passionate about which provides interesting, compelling, well-written information posted on a regular basis may help your overall profile in the search engines. However, it’s also true that most blogs don’t do that.
In fact, I have to say that most blogs totally suck! Here are a few types of blogs that illustrate what I mean:
The first type of blog that totally sucks is the “Anchor Text Spam” blog. These blogs contain posts that may or may not be of interest to people, but their main purpose seems to be to provide other sites with big fat juicy keyword-rich anchor text links. They’re extremely annoying to read, as so many of the words on the page are linked. Or conversely, the links may be somewhat hidden so you only see them when you mouseover the words. Either way, the intent is clear.
I’m sure the people who write anchor text spam blog posts justify their behavior as them helpfully providing more info to the reader. But honestly, who do they think they’re fooling? The search engines, I guess, as I have seen this technique be successful. To me, anchor text spam blogs are similar to old-fashioned doorway pages of the ’90′s. They’re just lots and lots of content created with one purpose in mind—to boost the rankings of the pages being pointed to from the links.
Another type of blog that totally sucks is the “Trick Me Into Clicking” blog. These are the ones that have those awful advertising programs installed that double underline words on the page and then provide you with an ad if you mistakenly click. As soon as I see those fake links on a blog post I refuse to read further. I have to assume—rightly or wrongly—that the post was written solely to make money on the ads and not to provide me with any useful or interesting information.
And the last type of blog that totally sucks is the “You Mean I Have to Know How to Write to be a Blogger?” blog. Unfortunately, a good portion of blogs in general fit into this category. Perhaps I have super high standards (or maybe I’m just looking at the wrong blogs), but there’s rarely a blog post that I can read all the way through other than those written by top-tier bloggers. There’s a reason why those bloggers are popular; they actually know how to write!
If you want to have a blog because you have an interesting perspective on things happening in your industry, then by all means, please do. But first make sure you have some basic writing talent. Just because you can write emails, doesn’t mean you’re a good writer. If you aren’t, then hire someone who is. Someone who can take your great ideas and thoughts and write coherent posts that are neither repetitive nor too long. More isn’t always better; in fact, it’s usually worse. If you can’t afford to hire a writer, then at least hire an editor and/or a proofreader. Most blog posts I’ve seen could be cut by at least a third and still say everything that needs to be said to get their point across.
Great blog posts can indeed help your organic search rankings as well as increase your targeted website traffic. So take a look at your own blog with fresh eyes. Is it a great one, or does it totally suck?
Jill Whalen, CEO and founder of High Rankings, a search marketing firm outside of Boston, and co-founder of SEMNE, a New England search marketing networking organization, has been performing SEO since 1995. Jill is the host of the High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter. The 100% Organic column appears Thursdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.