Monday, June 19, 2006

The Basics of Blogging and Web Site Creation - Part One: Content Is King

I know, I know. I promised Part Three on how a short story is born. I will fulfill that promise but for now since I am in the mood I am going to go off topic into technology. Now, I never promised I would not gravitate back there, and since I spent many years as a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and still am deeply ingrained with the love of technology, I cannot resist.

My fellow writers at the Absolute Writers Forum (known lovingly as the AW Water Cooler or just Cooler) are the reason for these next series of posts. Yep I could post them as articles up at EzineArticles where I am an expert author (plug, plug) - you can view my articles on technology, RSS and Blogging there EzineArticle Author Ted Gross. I could also put them up on my own web site as articles in Virgin Earth Article Submissions (and of course dear reader you are welcome to use this popular article submission site for your own articles as well.) However,  I can always cut and paste this information, and as usually I maintain the copyright to anything on my blog that I have written and to my articles as well.

So the writers at the AW Board got into this thread on blogging and the ups and downs of all the blogging possibilities. You can find the blogging forum board here. Looking through the threads I quickly realized that many of the great members of AW are not exactly tech-savvy, and were full of misinformation or lacked the needed knowledge in certain areas to get their web-site or blog - up, running and noticed. And after all that is why we Blog or create web sites. We want to give out information and show the world we can write, and perhaps get either writing jobs, freelance work, or possibly get noticed by a good agent or publisher.

So in the next few series of posts, maybe not continuous or contiguous, I will try and deal with some of the very basic technical jargon and skills that one needs when facing this daunting world of web-site creation, blogging and getting listed and noticed by the Search Engines. Some of this I take from things I posted at AW and others from my own articles on Web Creation (all which can be read either at EzineArticle Author Ted Gross or at Virgin Earth Article Submissions.) Some of the stuff will be new as well.

Let us start with the few important factors that are required today on the web. There are quadrillions of articles on this, most very poorly written, but the message is always the same.

On the web today, "content is king". But that is not all their is to that rule. Let us change it a bit to fit the reality of the web, search engines, and the sophisticated algorithms being deployed by the search engine trinity of: Google, Yahoo & MSN.

"Content is King, but Original Content is the King of Kings."

Okay - that is the first cardinal rule you MUST understand about the web today. Now what does this mean?

There are essentially three factors in this equation:

  1. You must have content - words, phrases, information - on your web site.

  2. You should have "original" content on your web site. This is content which either you have created or have gotten permission to reproduce on your web site. It should be "original". Copying content from a web site, and putting it in your blog, where that content has been reproduced in thousands of other web-sites, is not going to help your Google ranking (and you may even be penalized for it.) This does NOT mean that everything, every single phrase and post and article you put up on the web has to be original and not repeated elsewhere. What it does mean though, is that the majority of your web site or blog should be just that - YOURS.

  3. Your content should constantly grow. You should be adding to it on a daily or bi-daily basis. Stagnant blogs and web sites are noticed for being stagnant - dead. They drop so fast in SE (search engine) rankings you have no clue! Web sites demand nurturing and work. They do NOT run on auto mode. (Just look at how much time you spend with your blog!)

Now as to why and how.

SE"s look for content. They have developed very sophisticated algorithms to check content. To see if this content is original, or they are coming across the millionth time they have seen the same thing. This is all mathematical btw. And this is NOT the only thing they look that. (We will get to those other things in our next posts). However, Content is critical. Lets give two examples.
1. Ever notice how fast some popular Forums, like AW get indexed in the SE's. This is due to the fact that they have an incredible amount of page hits, and that they exist for POSTS. Posts on forums are ORIGINAL for the most part. So engines look for the Content, forums have this, they list them, they see original content - the forum moves up the list, and thus more people find the forum in the search, more people hit the forum pages, more "hits" and "eyeballs" are registered back on the SE servers, and the forum keeps on moving up. The more hits - by mathematics - the more posts. The more posts the more original content. The more original content the better the listing. The better the listing - the more people find the forum. Getting the picture? A never-ending circle of success.

2. For those of you in doubt as to whether SE's can "read" content just take a look at Adsense and Adwords. When you go to a site with them, adverts are fed out based upon the: 1: Content of the page you are on, and 2) Your IP address to determine which country and language you speak. Since I am in Israel, I am never surprised if I hit a site say that is discussing a topic and has adsense, and though this site is totally in English and geared to people in New York City, some of the adsense adverts are in Hebrew based upon the content of the page I am on. The algorithm finds key words (more on those later) and feeds out the adverts.

So our first lesson on SE's and ranking and all that good stuff is about Content. Remember the rule.
"Content is King, but Original Content is the King of Kings."

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Categories: technology, internet, Basics of Blogging Series
The Basics of Blogging and Web Site Creation - Part One: Content Is King

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Razib Ahmed said...

Thanks a lot for this article. It was simply great- no super great.
"Content is King, but Original Content is the King of Kings."
Exactly, and I like to add that Content is King but 'regular' Original content is king of kings.

Pass The Torch said...

Great post, Teddy - I will definitely come back to read the rest as well. And I checked out your Virgin Earth Site and think I'll submit. Thanks!