Blogs Help Those who Help Themselves

2004 was the Year of the Blog, and in its loquacious aftermath, many companies are scrambling, wondering if they’re too late to the party. And who can blame them? The blog has been widely hailed as a powerful PR tool, direct line to the grass roots, vanity plate, and the “New Journalism”. But while a blog can be all of these things and more, it’s the idea of the blog as an SEO strategy that inspires many companies to dive head first into the blogosphere.

The blog’s reputation as an SEO silver bullet is not entirely unfounded. Many blogs enjoy prime positions in the search engine results pages (SERPs). But there’s nothing inherent about a blog that enables it to position well – though many blogs share a number of search engine-friendly characteristics:

– Large amounts of frequently updated, indexable content
– Clearly defined, tightly focused topic
– Simple, static architecture that’s easy for the search engines to crawl
– Natural magnets for incoming links, both from other blogs and elsewhere

In other words, buying a domain, putting up a few posts chock full of keywords, and calling it a blog does not a successful SEO strategy make. At the end of the day, a blog is just another website, and the same search engine algorithms apply. A good blog can be an important component of a comprehensive search engine marketing campaign, but blogging solely for SERP positions isn’t likely to work (and readers can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away.)

So blog because you have something to say, and you want someone to hear it. Blog because it’s your first line of defense against critics. Blog because you want to give your loyal customers a sneak peak at what’s new. Blog because your company needs a human face.

Write something worth reading, and consider any sweet search engine positions the icing on the cake.