Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by deborah_ory|1, Apr 21, 2014.
Just started a new blog, how do I get it to show up on google searches?
The best source for optimizing Google searches is Google itself. I could suggest methods that worked a couple of years ago on my blog, but those same techniques might be outdated now. Google is continually refining its methods for distinguishing between high quality original content, and obviously SEO'd tricks and outright copypasta and spam.
If you check the Google discussion forums you'll find up to date tips from experts.
Meanwhile, I'll suggest the tips that worked for my niche blog a couple of years ago (now dormant):
Original content. I don't know right now whether Google recognizes original photographic content as readily as it does written content. Since your photos are gorgeous and you've included at least some accompanying text (and a good interview on the most recent post) that should help.
Links to other relevant blogs and websites, and reciprocal links from them back to yours (I have no idea whether Google still favors this longtime common technique).
"Organic" or grassroots mentions of your website or name by other folks. By "organic" I mean "not obviously spammy". Google is fairly savvy about detecting spammy or obviously SEOish tricks like "I love your blog, I read it over coffee every morning. Hey, maybe you'd enjoy my blog/website - here's the URL!" That almost always gets flagged as spam and hidden from view on Google's own Blogger/Blogspot sites, and may be flagged by Wordpress sites.
Social media. Very important. For example, I have friends in theater who are actors and dancers. I'll like/follow your Facebook page. While it won't amount to more than a drop in the bucket, it may prompt some of my friends to like/follow and visit your website. That's the sort of organic traffic that Google tends to favor.
Here's an article with some tips regarding whether embedded metadata in photos helps SEO (it doesn't hurt, but there's some doubt about whether Google actually notices metadata): http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/blog/embedded-metadata-wont-help-seo.html
Hope that helps a bit. But do check Google forums for the most up to date tactics.
By the way, be sure to update your photo.net member profile page to include the blog URL and a brief "about" entry. The two-paragraph "about us" entry on your blog should do just fine. Hopefully using identically worded "about" text will be picked up by Google as good content rather than being downrated as copypasta, but the ways of Google are mysterious and inconsistent.
To respond to and enhance some of Lex's comments, as someone who has done this "professionally" -
Google does not use photographic content for search placement. What works is having good descriptive text that Google thinks is relevant. Having a quote from Martha Graham that does not describe your site is not helping, no matter how much you like the quote. Better to move it down or even turn it into an image, and add a description at the top of what you are showing.
Change your URLs. They should describe what is on the pages. For example, the "About" page should have a URL like nydanceproject.com/about-dance-photography-contributors. Every page should have a descriptive URL except maybe the home page.
Drive traffic through Facebook. There's no way to drive a post to Facebook from the blog entries on your site. There should be. And there is specific code that should be used to make sure it shows up correctly on Facebook. It's more than just "Liking" your Facebook page. It's "Liking" the posts.
Use a blogroll. This is what Lex is referencing in his second bullet. And have posts that link to other blogs with similar content. While this may sound counter-productive by sending people elsewhere, the trackbacks will help with Google.
Whatever you do, don't contract with random SEO "consultants." A lot of them are selling links, for which your site will be penalized by Google as soon as they figure it out. Some are using criteria from the Stone Age, maybe 2012 or even 2011. It's far better to write descriptive content than anything else and these consultants aren't going to do that, or if they do, aren't going to do it as well as a good writer.
Hey, Jeff, thanks. Does it help to include captions on photos? Also, if you prefer to keep the page cleaner looking, what about mouseover captions or descriptions?
Text of any sort helps but I think Google is discounting mouseovers these days.
Add the site in Google's Webmaster tools and Google Analytics. It will start showing up in searches after a while. There is so much content and so many blogs on the web that one more isn't even a drop in the bucket. Lots of people profess to know how to manipulate SEO. Even if it works, it just gets you meaningless numbers. It's like paying for thousands of robotic Likes and Follows. The way to get noticed in searches is to have content that people might actually be looking for.
The way to get noticed in searches is to have content that people might actually be looking for.That pretty well sums it up.
Yes, you have to be thoughtful about formatting and doing more of the things that Google likes (and less of the things that it doesn't), but content really is king. Actual, real stuff that people are looking for. Google connects those dots very quickly. And they do it even better when they see things like valid spelling, punctuation, and HTML.
Separate names with a comma.