Apr 6 2008


This article is written by Rhys Wynne – a six year blogger who also runs his own Webmaster Tips Newsletter at My Brand New Brand, Subscribe Today for free extras!


Three letters that everybody is going crazy over on the internet. Do this, don’t do this, and people will come streaming in from search engines willing to throw cash and ladies at you.

Sorry, I don’t agree with it.

With blogs, whilst SEO is important, in the majority of niches you should really focus on your readers rather than search engine positions. Guys like John Chow rank nowhere in search engines. So how can he make $30,000 a month?

Simple, by writing for readers (or – in his terms – getting other people to write for his readers).

Here are some things I’ve noticed which you could be doing wrong. Well, they’re not wrong, but I find them offputting as it reads to me like you are putting search engine’s first.

Overly SEO’d titles
Titles shouldn’t be 3 or 4 lines explaining exactly what you are doing in the article. Titles should be brief, clever and eye catching. Whilst Titles are crucial for SEO purposes, a long title may not only appear offputting for readers, but also get you penalised in search engines.

Furthermore, if your page has more than 1 h1 tag on it, there’s a chance that the second one will be ignored. H2-H6 tags are there for a reason.*

Confusing Internal Backlink Structure
Everybody’s seen those blogs with random words linked for Search Engine Optimisation benefit. People will follow them, and Google will follow them. People will be confused, and google will give you a slight benefit. Sure, link to your own stuff, but it should either be a lead in (such as “I wrote about Search Engine Optimization here”), or even a simple “Click Here”. Just don’t confuse your readers.

Getting Rubbish Rank Instead of Real Readers From Forums
This is a lesson that I learnt recently whilst promoting Retro Garden. To aid promotion, I joined a bunch of video game and retro game forums to participate in discussions there. Immediately I put my forum signature as a keyword rich link. I didn’t see any benefit. I changed to an image based signature and – whilst losing on search engine traffic, I got more clickthroughs and readers.

Not all forums allow this, but if you see other people use images in footers, why not you use one too, especially if you contribute?

So it sounds like I don’t do any SEO on my blogs. You couldn’t be further from the truth, I do SEO on my blogs, but I’m not SEO for the sake of my readers.

You got any S.E.No-No’s to share with the group?

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5 Comments on this post


  1. wtricks.com wrote:

    S.E.No. | Blog About Your Blog…

    SEO – Search Engine Optimization – the 3 golden words we all have in our mind. Being able to make Google listen to us, being able to rank well, to get that free targetet traffic. Still, sometimes it’s better to slow down. Create TRUE content, appeal t…

    April 6th, 2008 at 1:29 pm
  1. Ramona Iftode said:

    Excellent article. I also have somehting new to say: the content .. the normal SEO content is a pain to read since it’s over optimized. I like to write in my own style, joke a bit, be cynical, be myself. I don’t try to repeat my keywords, I don’t try to optimize. Just as you said: it’s more important (for some of us) to have actual readers who like our content and people who see us as a small authority in our field, not just fool google with SEO tricks.

    April 6th, 2008 at 1:25 pm
  2. Charles Lau said:

    Sometimes, there seems to have a gray area of choosing between readers and SEO. You can’t really get everything black and white to fulfill search engines and ignoring your readers and advertisers.

    Over the radio, I do hear the DJs mixing advertisements with their own natural speech. People still enjoy the whole show even though they know some of these are unidentified paid speeches.

    April 6th, 2008 at 11:08 pm
  3. Ben Barden said:

    Great article, but I would disagree about using “click here”. Links should make it clear where they are going to. Single word links usually do not, but using “click here” or just “here” as a link is not much better. This is because some people use the Tab key to move between the links on a page and might not read all of the surrounding text.

    April 7th, 2008 at 2:00 am
  4. Scott said:

    I love the simple but powerful message. Write for your readers and not soley for SEO. Besides it is way more entertaining for you to write what you love to talk about than “cut” and “pasting” content for SEO. Nicely Done!

    April 9th, 2008 at 11:43 am


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