Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ignore the robots

In the early days of the Internet people added metadata (data about data) to web pages to tell automated search-engine robots what was there.

Invisible to humans, this was a kind of table of contents for these automated web crawlers, who in turn report to the search engines. A whole science of search-engine optimization evolved to get search engines to notice content and rank it highly.

Today the robots have grown smarter. They read the web very much the way that we do. Metadata is all-but obsolete. Instead, to tell search engines about your web page, the best strategies involve clear organization and descriptive headings.

This is especially true on your blog. Blogger's internal architecture is robot-friendly, and the best thing you can do for the search-engine 'bots is to focus on your human readers.

So how do you get the search engines to notice you? The world's largest--Google--has this instructive advice.

Write clearly and well, use descriptive titles, and use internal links to make your content available to your readers. Those good writing practices will please your readers and have the following two effects on your search-engine rankings:
  1. Search 'bots will be able to categorize and index your content.
  2. Readers who find your blog useful and interesting will be more likely to link to it. This will boost your search-engine ranking with search sites (such as Google) that rank your blog based on who links to you.
Ignore the robots and focus on your human readers, and everyone will be happy.

Ignore the robots

In the early days of the Internet people added metadata (data about data) to web pages to tell automated search-engine robots what was there.

Invisible to humans, this was a kind of table of contents for these automated web crawlers, who in turn report to the search engines. A whole science of search-engine optimization evolved to get search engines to notice content and rank it highly.

Today the robots have grown smarter. They read the web very much the way that we do. Metadata is all-but obsolete. Instead, to tell search engines about your web page, the best strategies involve clear organization and descriptive headings.