I need to do a blog post about search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a writing knack in demand currently among marketing people, so I need to demonstrate that I can do it, and this blog is my medium.
A few years ago the blog didn’t exist for me, and SEO didn’t either, before search engines took over the formerly human job of researching information. The advantage is that computers can be programmed to infallibly pick up particular words and ignore everything else. This is hard for humans to do; something interesting but irrelevant can distract us. I don’t think you can do that to a computer.
Boiled down, SEO amounts to inserting certain words that are important to you into something you’re writing. The art of it is injecting those key words into the flow of the text without seeming to be injecting key words into the text. I guess in the early days it may have been easy to fool the search engines into selecting you by stuffing the text full of those words. You have to show some finesse today, though, because the search engine people have figured out how not to be fooled.
I haven’t (before this) applied SEO techniques to this blog, but I have done it in other contexts. It’s not that difficult, although a kind of mystique has grown up around it. You simply reverse a good practice you would ordinarily follow: instead of finding other ways of saying things that might get repetitious, you keep repeating them.
Not being acquainted with search engines when I started the blog I wasn’t aware that it could be located by searching on the web. If someone had told me “Your blog will be available to several hundred million people” I’d have laughed. But I tried it myself just to see, and sure enough, putting my name in the title turns out to have been inadvertent SEO. I just have to hope not all those people Google me at once, because I don’t think the website can handle it.
As I said, I haven’t practiced SEO in my own blog before, but when you look for work writing for other people’s blogs they expect SEO to be part of the deal. This week’s post is solely to demonstrate that I can do it if someone wants to pay me for it. If you count the number of times the word “blog” appears before this one in the 420-word passage and title above, you’ll have the result of the exercise.