6/27 Update -- I would love to think that this blog post had an influence on the folks at Google. Please indulge my trip to fantasy land and give me a bit of credit for all the new blogs that have Toolbar PageRank scores as of today, including this one, which now ihas a homepage PageRank of 3.
Google's failure to publish updated Toolbar PageRank scores since January is doing a disservice to the new blogs that have been launched during the last 7-9 months. Regardless of Google attempts to minimize the misuse of this tool by sites selling links, it remains a highly scrutinized number. Having a Toolbar PageRank of zero makes it more challenging for new blogs to establish credibility, gain readers, compel readers to leave comments, and recruit guest post authors.
As the search engines improve their capability for sussing out spammy links, it has become more challenging to manufacture links. Tactics that were successful no longer work. Simply putting out a press release on a wire service does not provide much benefit unless it actually leads to a unique article. Bartering reciprocal links has become counter productive. However, a tactic for manufacturing a link that can be quite successful is to create a blog for a sub group within an organization that you belong to. Not only can this tactic be utilized to manufacture a link, it can provide a meaningful benefit to the organization.
Two websites that I edit have both recently benefited from the addition of new content. While it cannot be determined from a sample size of two whether the search engine bump is due to having additional content pages on the site or if it is due to visitors being more engaged and Google rewarding the improved metrics, the net result is that the addition of new content pages led to positive search engine results.
I am flabbergasted at how frequently I come across either really bad SEO advice or wild conjectures with no supporting results to back up the claims. However, given the secrecy behind the search engine algorithms and the time consuming nature of conducting rigorous testing of SEO tactics, it is understandable that correlation often becomes confused with causation.
4/1/14 Update - This post seems very dated at this point. My Blog Guest has become a controversial site, A number of the articles that I submitted have been deleted by the blogs that publishered them. Guest posting is no longer considered a legitimate SEO tactic by Google.
I am becoming a fan of My Blog Guest. Although there is a free option, the $20 monthly cost of premium membership is one of my most productive marketing expenditures. I certainly don't claim to be a My Blog Guest expert user, so please consider this review to be more anecdotal than authoritative.
I just finished developing a a new web page and decided not to continue editing it down under 300 words. This was probably a silly response to Google's Panda algorithm update. However, I am concerned about the page appearing to only offer "shallow" content. Further, there seems to be evidence that Bing gives more weight to web pages with 300 or more words of content.
The algorithm modifications Google implemented to reduce the rankings of content farms has led to an increase in visitor traffic to at least one small ecommerce merchant. An unchanged position in the search rankings is now producing more Google visitor traffic to Shopping Baskets Plus since the Thursday “Farmer Update” .
There has been quite a bit of commentary about how J.C. Penney screwed up by buying links, or at the very least by allowing their agency to buy links for them. J.C. Penney’s denial of knowing that spammy links were being bought on their behalf has about as much credibility as Lindsay Lohan’s claim that the necklace she returned was on loan.
The CommentLuv plugin has earned plenty of love from publishers that utilizes this feature on their blogs
A frequently stated benefit of this plugin is that adding CommentLuv to a blog is a great way to attract commenters which leads to increased popularity of the site. However, I think this overlooks an even bigger benefit of CommentLuv which is that it enriches the user experience of visitors reading comments.
There are lots of commercial purposes for publishing a blog. Three of the most common motivations for developing a commercial blog are: 1) search engine optimization; 2) credibility enhancement, and 2) income production. Product and service oriented companies typically publish blogs for the SEO and credibility enhancing benefits. Income producing blogs are usually the realm of entrepreneurs and media companies.