Feedback: Blogging and Search Engines

It’s been a long day with one of Alan’s long time friends spending the day with us.  When I finally got to my laptop close to midnight, I found this comment posted by Leen2 (which, I suppose, is “text speak”, and actually translates to Leen-leen).

Hi dinna! Im a neophyte in this blog posting and I was wondering how I can include my blog in the search results for yahoo so I looked for a blogger who I hope can help me. I found yours and was hopeful you will be kind enough to teach me since you’re a Filipina too. And you know what to my happy surprise I read we went to the same school st. paul! I however entered only in college and not hi school. I must confess I haven’t read all your postings. I wanted to write you agad eh. But I promise to go over your other musings. they seem interesting! Godbless.

My response:  You’d be surprised at where you will find your blog URL once you get it going.  I’ve been using the internet for more or less a decade which makes me a novice like you.  I don’t want to ask why you want your blog to appear in the search engines but allow me to share with you what little I know of as far as landing on search strings when people type up an internet search.

First, why did you get my blog?  Let me guess.. You typed Filipino or Filipina, then blog.  All three words are repeated in my posts.  The very title of my blog, Pinay New Yorker — Musings of a Filipina Living in New York will make my blog URL appear in searches for any of the words you find there.  However, it’s not as simple as that. 

I also happen to write fairly regularly which means that my blog is updated at least once a day.  Because it is constantly refreshed, I am part of the “newer” data being hurled across the web at any given time.  Data on the net ages very fast, and with the billions of bytes moving at such unthinkable speeds, anything that is dormant keeps getting pushed down in the queu.  As a result, if I were to stop updating, you’d find my blog URL getting pushed farther and farther deep in the succeeding pages of a search string, instead of landing on page 1.

If you want to appear on a search for Pinoys or Pinays, Filipinos or Filipina, those words have to be in the posts on your blog.  I ventured a visit to your blog and while there’s a lot of good wishes there, I don’t see anything about being Filipino, or being from the Philippines.  (Then again, I took but a cursory glance.)  So it all depends on how often you write, and what you write on your blog. 

Whereas websites have “keywords” encrypted into their HTML codes, blogs are essentially keyworded by their content.  So a knitting blog has a very good chance of appearing if you typed knitting.  (And believe me, there are hundred of knitters with blogs devoted to knitting.)  You might even come across my blog because my current project is something I’m knitting.  If you typed motherhood, there’s a chance, again, that you’ll see one of my posts.

So what’s the secret?  I have none.  I just write and write and write. 

Being a novice webmaster who encodes in basic HTML, I do know that there are two basic rules to keep one’s website “current”.  One is to revise the content, even by just moving the words around, or adding or taking away a keyword in the data source.  Like I said, editing either by adding or deleting something from your website makes it new again and will bring you up the searchstream.  Two, you have to have the keywords being sought in the search.  So if anyone were to type, say, fundamentalism, a word which you won’t find in any other posts on this blog except in this one where I used it as an example, you will not find my blog URL in the search results.

It all depends on where you want your blog to be, or who you want to find your blog.  Are you looking to have fellow-Pinoys find it?  Then your posts should have some reference to being Filipino.  But more importantly, you have to start posting.  Keeping a few lines in your blog is not “presence” in the web.  You have to make more noise than that if you want to be where I think you want to be.

We blog for different reasons — I’m glad others find my blog but that isn’t really my purpose.  As I said in the post below, I blog more for my benefit.  (Very selfish, I know..)  Of course there are perks — one of which is making your acquaintance, and hoping that I was able to help enlighten you somehow.

Blogging, My way..

I have been blogging only a short while — way after hundreds if not thousands of other Pinoys started blogging themselves.  One of the first blogs I read said it’s addicting.  I must admit it is.  I always feel a need to make at least one post, and with the weekend halfway gone, I am posting here minutes after midnight.

I didn’t even bother comparing blog servers — I just went and registered on the first blog I found.  I don’t remember exactly how I landed on, but if I’m not mistaken, it’s because I found a blog on knitting (the first of many knitting blogs I would find myself visiting.)

Each blog has its own personality.  I have no intention of commercializing my little corner of the blogsphere here.  I know others rant and rave about the more relevant matters in life — others have even cultivated a following.  I write primarily for my own benefit — it gives me an anchor to view myself not only in the now but in the past and the future as well.  It gives me a voice I can listen to, even if it’s my own voice that I hear.