By Ajeet Khurana
Search Engine Optimization is about performing some hocus-pocus on your writing or your website, which will allow you to rank high in search engine results.
I refer to it as hocus-pocus, because that is the impression I get when I read about Search Engine Optimization on the numerous blogs and websites dedicated to the topic. As a writer, it can seem confusing at best and frustrating at worst.
You might reach the point where you say, “I’m just going to bother about my writing and hope that somebody comes and reads it.” This would be especially true in the case of your own website or blog. On your own site, nobody’s paying you by the word or by the page, and you have to monetize your content based on the qualified traffic you receive.
So it becomes imperative that you do receive that qualified traffic. That is where Search Engine Optimization once again rears its ugly head.
Thus far I have talked about search engine optimization as if it is a bad word. That is not what I truly believe. In fact, I think that good Search Engine Optimization is not very different from common sense, or good business practices in general.
For instance if you write good content, not just readers but also search engines will like it more. Why? Simple: when people like what they read, some of them will send the link to their friends. Some of these links will get crawled and indexed by Google, which will go “Hey! People seem to like this specific article.”
Each such link would then count as a vote in favor of your page or article. Upon accumulating several such votes, your page is likely to start ranking high. Those who write junk also want to rank. They will try to amass many such votes by unethical methods. That is what has given Search Engine Optimization a bad name.
I regard myself as a writer as well as a search engine optimizer. When I think of a good Search Engine Optimization strategy, I primarily think about my reader and how I could generate value for them. The logic being that Google is smart enough to read my content, understand its value and context, figure out reader behavior when they’re reading my content, establish its value based on links its generates organically, and thereby give me the ranking I deserve.
Sounds like a utopian version of Search Engine Optimization? Not really! I have been doing this for seven years now! And I have made a decent living out of that. I support my entire family based on this strategy. Does that some attractive to you?
Sometimes the most obvious things are also the most valuable. That is what I wanted to convey through this article. Focus on developing great content. Spread out the word to as many people as you know. And good things will follow.
Ajeet Khurana is a twice published author with McGraw-Hill. He has authored the financial literacy program of the National Stock Exchange, and has many other prestigious writing assignments to his credit. For his writing, he has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, South Asian Journalist’s Association, and other media outlets. Recently, Ajeet started a new site on essay writing. This site covers several different types of essays, ranging from college admission essays to summary essays and more. He also blogs about writing at Outstanding Writing.
I first met Ajeet when we both wrote for About.com back in the day. I love the way the ‘net knits us altogether!
And not so by-the-way, SEO is one of the things Carol Tice and I will touch on in our upcoming class on blogging – still time to enter the contest and win a free ticket.