Google’s SEO rules on blogging
Speaking of Google’s requirement to disclose relationships, it also publishes guidelines for the bloggers to ponder on. It requires that bloggers must:
1) Publish great content
2) Ensure findability and crawlability
3) Track blog Analytics
1) Creating great content
Your blog must be updated frequently so the people will have something to look forward to. Regularly updated blogs encourage your readers to return and read your posts.
Nevertheless, it is not enough that you write often. Your write-ups must be relevant and relatable enough. The rule of thumb is to publish at least one high-quality blog post per week instead of irrelevant daily posts.
Search for interesting subjects of interest in your chosen niche. If there’s limited knowledge about that particular niche, perfect! This is your chance to narrow the knowledge gap.
It would be nice to use images and other rich media in your blog. They add aesthetic appeal. They also act as visual cues, guiding your readers as to what to do next.
Since Google cannot crawl images, put a title and caption. If these are not applicable, at least place an alt text in the provided field.
Your content must be organized or your readers will get confused. Encourage your readers to explore your blog further by using tags and labels.
You should learn how to use internal links properly. From the homepage, for instance, your posts must be linked prominently.
Link consistently too. If you are using http://www. or https://www., use the same links throughout your blog.
Your blog will be deemed as a low-quality blog if it features comment spam. However, including a comment section is good since it helps in creating meaningful discussion and creating a sense of community in the process.
With this, make sure that you moderate all the comments before publishing them on your blog.
2) Ensuring findability and crawlability
One good thing about search engine optimization (SEO) is its capability to make your blog crawlable and indexable on search engines like Google. SEO basically uses meta data (and other factors) in ensuring that your posts will find their way on results pages.
Use descriptive titles
Each post must have a title and a descriptive one at that.
Subheadings can make a post look more organized, so don’t skip putting h1 and h2 tags.
Put meta descriptions
Meta descriptions tell the readers and bots what the post is all about; hence, always put one.
Permalinks, as the term suggests, are permanent links thus, choose something that is short and descriptive.
Speed affects user experience, which means the need to ensure that the blog is immediately viewable regardless of the device and browser used by the readers.
3) Tracking blog analytics
You can always refer to the Stats section on your WordPress blog dashboard (Blogspot has the same). Consult this to determine what search terms your users are using, where your readers are coming from, which among your posts perform best, etc.
Or, you can always use Search Console. Verify your blog and submit a sitemap.
Blogging best practices
http vs. https
Security is a ranking factor. Thereby, there is no reason you should not use the https version of your blog unless you want Google to penalize through de-indexing your blog.
This is more so if your blog has a contact form or any section that asks for user’s information including an email address.
www vs non-www
There are no differences between the www and non-www version of your blog, technically and SEO-wise. However, as what experts say and even Google agrees, you need to be consistent at using your preferred version.
If not, there will be links pointing to both your sites. Google treat www and non-www sites as duplicates. So be consistent since day one.
hosting vs non-hosted
There is nothing completely wrong with being a subdomain (applicable to both WordPress and Blogspot). However, for SEO purposes, better if you’ll use a hosted blog.
I also learned from attending #iblog13 that PR companies primarily considers .com blogs over their non-.com counterparts.
.com vs .com.ph
Speaking of .coms, when deciding for a domain name, determine if it will be a .ph or not. The same goes with if you want to ditch the .com altogether and choose blogname.ph directly.
It’s all about localization. For the .com, it means targeting the world while the .ph is, of course, self-explanatory. Know your audience first before making a decision, though.