web analytics

Eric Rowe (@kiwieric) doesn’t agree when I write my site’s traffic increased 30 percent when I stopped using SEO (search engine optimisation).

Rowe writes: “First rule of good SEO is write better content, so you’re not, not doing SEO….”

As I explained at the time, I made a conscious decision not to spend time worrying about tweaking stories to get the best results in Google search and to concentrate instead on writing more and better posts.

What SEO am I not doing?

First, I’m not even thinking about keywords. I’m not researching them, or matching them to audiences or anything of the kind. This is because I’m not selling anything. I don’t need top anyone’s Google search for a product or service.

Second, I’m not deliberately link-building. And I’m certainly not paying attention to putting keywords in links. If someone wants to point readers at my posts I’m grateful and don’t want to bother them by dictating terms.

Also, I’m not optimising page content, worrying about meta tags, image descriptions or text in hyper links. All of that I leave to chance.

What am I doing?

I’m still running the Yoast WordPress SEO plug-in. This is mainly because I haven’t figured out if anything will break if I remove it. The last time I touched a similar plug-in there was chaos. The only feature of the plug-in that I’ve set is the titles section.

I do send pings to search engines when posting a new story and I submit a proper site map to Google.

So what do you think? Am I doing SEO or not?

5 thoughts on “Maybe I’m not, not doing SEO

  1. I have a question: since dropping SEO efforts your page views have increased. How have you come to the conclusion that the two are related? Have you performed some analysis on how people are arriving to your site, whether they are repeat visitors etc?

    Perhaps by worrying less about keyword stuffing or optimisation you’ve naturally written better prose, and the Google algorithm is smart enough to pick up on this.

    More likely not… but I think its quite an assumption to correlate SEO with increased pageviews without proper analysis of the data. (Perhaps you’ve done this and just not mentioned it)

    • I should point out I’ve never tried keyword stuffing. It goes against my training and my sense of writing style.

      • Sorry I didn’t mean to indicate that you had – as a reader I obviously appreciate the high quality of your writing. Poor choice of words on my part, I’ve been coming here for nearly two years now.

        To me SEO optimised text reads absolutely dreadfully, with phrases being repeated over and over like some awful infomercial selling steak knives.

        If Google have finally managed to get an algorithm that finally appreciates the written word the way the rest of us do, then hurrah!

        Meanwhile, can I interest you in monetising these increased pageviews? I am an SEO expert/ninja/guru… (I jest)

  2. Yes. SEO isn’t some prescriptive method, it’s simply making your site as search engine compatible as possible. By concentrating on writing good content for your readers and not writing with search engines specifically in mind, you are actually creating the type of high quality content that people will link to. This encourages natural (rather than artificial) linking and it also keeps your content fresh. Both of these things make your site highly search engine compatible and have been promoted in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for years. Which means you are simply using passive SEO methods rather than aggressive ones 🙂 These days SEO is as much an attitude as an activity, IMO.

  3. Sitemap to Google only? Or to Bing (which now supplies data to Yahoo!)?

    I don’t see a sitemaps declaration in your robots file. Are you manually submitting the sitemaps?

    I personally think the whole SEO is mainly common sense. Any “scientific” method preached by some people are a lot of black magic – with similar results. Or spammy.

    Make good content. People like reading you, people will link to you, you get up. Simple formula.

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