At the risk of stepping on a couple of toes, I’m going to post a quote from a comment that was made recently in a real estate community website. I was in an argument about reciprocal linking, and the commenter with the opposing view had this to say:
“Let’s not go down the road that “good content” will generate large numbers of one-way links. By and large, the world is not standing at the ready to link to the content of an agent broker site, based on some sort of remarkable content. Anyone who promises that is misleading their readers. It rarely happens that way.”
Those of you who read this blog regularly, will know immediately that I couldn’t DIS-agree more with the above comment. Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous… but I wanted to use it as a spring board to talk about something. Namely, blogging… and the SEO benefits that naturally come with an active blog.
Do you have a blog yet? Are you actively writing articles and posts? Why? What do you hope to gain? The standard answers are: “to generate clients”, “to network with other real estate pros”, “to brand an online presence”…. but how often do you hear someone talking about blogging purely for the SEO benefits? It is widely known in the blogosphere, but I don’t here it talked about that often in the real estate community.
A few years ago when I started taking notice of search engine marketing, I read everything I could get my hands on, I asked questions, I subscribed to special newsletters, read e-books, and studied religiously. Because of that time put in, I can truly say that I look at the Internet differently… through the eyes of a search engine.
The first thing I do when I look at a new site is look at the titles, the internal linking structure, and the text based content. I immediately start thinking about how a site can be improved and modified to rank better. When I first started noticing blogs as a marketing tool back in 2004, I was immediately struck with the Search engine friendly nature of most blogs.
In case you didn’t know, blogs are like candy to search engine spiders. Why is this true?
- Spiders love new content. The faster you post, the faster the spiders will return.
- Blogs present this content in a very easy to read, and easy to index fashion.
- Most good blogging platforms place the title of your post in the <title> tag of the page.
- The title of the post is also a link to that post that includes the keywords in the anchor text.
- By listing posts in categories, you are basically creating an easy to index site map.
- Each post has it’s own individual page.
- Search Engine’s simply love fresh content and keyword based links.
In short, weblogs were designed with search engines in mind.
Now, in response to my friend that I quoted above… I plan on completely contradicting the comment, and making a bold statement of my own by saying: Creating quality content is one of the fastest ways you can consistently grow incoming links.
That is a bold statement I know… but it is true. Yes, there are hundreds if not thousands of great ways to grow you link popularity… and I encourage many people to use these strategies. But some of these popular ways to grow links include unnatural linking strategies like reciprocal linking, and purchasing links. These practices are considered by the search engines to be unnatural, and there is a very real possibility that you could be penalized if you are caught.
When you write a popular article on your blog or site, and it gets picked up by other blogs and sites, you are instantly creating quality links, and at the same time, are driving traffic to your site. What could be better?
Why would you want to waste your time spamming random websites with reciprocal link requests when you could be creating an online following by writing about an interesting subject that you love, and creating great incoming links at the same time??? To me, it’s a total no brainer.
So, if you are a veteran blogger, or are just getting started, don’t dismiss the value of your blog when you develop your SEO strategy. It is one of the best tools you have. And if someone tries to tell you that good content isn’t all that important in search engine marketing, just try to keep the snickers to yourself…