Tag Archives: SEO

(How to) Submit Sitemap of a Blogger Blog to Google Webmasters

Google signifies the importance of sitemaps in one sentence – “Submit a Sitemap to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover”. In simple words “Sitemap” is a list of all (or some of) the page URLs of a site arranged in a hierarchical fashion. It “helps” search engine bots find pages of the site. Usually sitemap is an xml file uploaded to the root of web site and its link is placed at the home page. Unfortunately Blogger does not allow uploading a file (other than images) to server so you cannot have a sitemap.xml file. Then how to create and submit the sitemap of your blogger blog to Google? Here is the simplest solution to this eternal problem:

How to submit sitemap of a Blogger blog to Google Webmasters?

1. Interestingly you don’t have to create a sitemap for blogger blogs, it is available ready-made in the form of blog’s post feed address.

2. So just go to google.com/webmasters and login with your Google Account (Gmail login ID)

3. Set up your blog at Webmasters central (if you have not done it already)

4. Click at your blog name

5. At Dashboard look for the “Sitemaps” heading (usually at the lower right corner of the page)

6. Click “Submit a sitemap” (if you have not submitted any still) or click “More”

7. At “Sitemap” page click “Submit a sitemap” button, a box will pop up

8. Type the following text (Blue) in the popup box (after blog URL)

          feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated

click adjacent “Submit sitemap” button and done…..simple right?

Now rest assured as your blog’s sitemap has been successfully submitted to Google…

SEO/Blog promotion tips from Google for Blogger Blogs

Here are some “Official” suggestions about blog promotion from none other than Google itself. These suggestions are given at a Google (Blogger) support page. Surprisingly the page looks like that it has not been updated since ages and is blogger centric. Most of the tips are very basic but useful (and some still relevant). Have a look at these (some written as such and some modified a bit):

SEO tips from Google for Blogger Blogs

1. Set the blog to Send Pings: “To get your blog included in various “recently updated” lists on the web as well as other blog-related services”.

2. Turn on Post Pages and Turn on your site feed (irrelevant suggestion as both are set On by default in almost all blog platforms)

3. Write quality content and do it well – “If your “style” is bad writing, worse grammar, no punctuation, and an ugly design, that might be okay for a niche crowd. But the idea here is to achieve mass appeal, so fix yourself up a bit”.

4. Publish regularly

Simple: the more you blog, the more traffic you’ll get

5. Keep search engines in mind: There are a few things you can do to make your blog more search engine friendly. Use post titles and post page archiving. This will automatically give each of your post pages an intelligent name based on the title of your post. A well crafted post about something very specific can end up very near the top results of a search.

6. Keep your posts and paragraphs short: “Strive for succinct posts that pump pertinent new information into the blogosphere. Keep it short and sweet so visitors can pop in, read up, and click on”.

7. Put your blog URL in your email signature

8. Sumbit your address to blog search sites and directories: “People look for blog content at Technorati, are you on their list? You should be. Submit your blog’s url to Technorati, Daypop, Blogdex, Popdex, (all are dead now!!!) and any other site of that ilk you come across”.

9. Link to other blogs: “Links are the currency of the blogosphere and it takes money to make money so start linking” (Hmm great advice!!!)

10. Comment regularly: “Most comment systems allow you to leave a link back to your blog which begs a visit at the very least. So if you feel inspired, leave a comment or two in your blog travels”.

What are your views about the tips? do share here. The original page can be accessed here.

Adding Bing verification Meta Tag to a Blogger Blog

In a previous post I described the process of adding Google and yahoo verification Meta tags to blogger blogs. To get sizable organic traffic it is necessary to get indexed in the big three search engines (especially in case of new blogs). In this post I will discuss the same for Microsoft’s popular Bing search engine (formerly MSN or Live search). If you have read the above post, the process is essentially the same in this case also. Simply follow the steps given below:

How to add Bing verification Meta Tag to a Blogger Blog?

1. Go to Bing webmaster tools and login to your Bing account (You will need a Windows Live ID to login (former Hotmail ID will also do fine). If you don’t have, create one here

2. Enter the required details: Web address (URL) of your blog/site, and it’s sitemap (optional but should be added if there is one) and your e-mail ID.

3. Click “Submit”. At the next page you will be asked to verify the submitted site by either adding an xml authentication file into root folder of your site (Not possible in a blogspot blog) or adding a Meta tag (A line of generated code) into blog’s template. Copy this Meta tag.

4. Login to your Blogger account. At the dashboard, click “Template/Design” and then “Edit HTML”.
Find the <head> tag in template code and paste the above copied Meta tag code just below <head> . Save the template and done.

Now go to the authentication page (In the Step 3 above) and click “Return to Site List”. A message will be displayed against the site’s name depicting the verification status. This process will verify your ownership of the blog with the added advantage of getting recognized and indexed by Bing.

Adding Description/Keywords Meta-tags to a Blogger Blog (Why and How?)

Meta tags are small pieces of codes (incorporated into website’s html code) that tell search engines precisely what a site or page is all about (including its content in short summary, important keywords in the page and/or the author of the post). Usually three types of Meta tags are used – “Description”, “Keywords” and “Author”. Out of these “Meta description” and “Meta keywords” tags are most important. It is a proven fact now that adding precise and well written Meta tags increase site’s search engine rankings and hence visitors. More so in case of blogs, Meta tags are very useful SEO tools. Here I will tell you about adding three important Meta tags to Blogger/Blogspot blogs:

The problem with Blogger is that if you add a simple Meta tag like

<meta content=’My blog is about …..’ name=’description’/>

into blog’s xml template then it will be the same for blog’s home page as well as all the posts. This will be considered as “Duplicate meta tags” or “Search engine spamming” by search crawlers. Consequently you may be penalized by search engines resulting in low rankings of your blog in search results. Here is the solution to avoid this and utilize the full potential of Meta tags in Blogger blogs.

Adding Meta Tags (Description and Keywords) to Blogger Blogs

Except home page (for which you can write and add description via Blogger dashboard – Settings) following code can be used to add “Post title” as the description Meta tag. So you will have description Meta tags for each blog post without any extra effort. Note however that after using this method write post title carefully (i.e. include all the important keywords describing the main topic of post) as it will be the description Meta tag.

<b:if cond=’data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl’>
<meta content=’YOUR Blog Description‘ name=’description’/>
</b:if>
<meta content=’BLOG KEYWORDS like technology, mobiles etc‘ name=’keywords’/>
<meta content=’BLOG AUTHOR NAME‘ name=’author’/>
<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;’>
<meta expr:content=’data:blog.pageName’ name=’Description’/>
</b:if>

Add your description, keywords and name in the above code and then copy the modified code. To add it to your blog’s template login to Blogger and at Dashboard Go to Layout/Edit HTML. Search for the following line of code in the template (By pressing Ctrl+F in your browser)

<b:include data=’blog’ name=’all-head-content’/>

Paste the copied code just below this line and save the template. That’s it, now wait for the search engines bots to arrive at your blog and you will see a marginal increase in number of visitors within next 3 days. My blog visits increased by 20% after adding the above Meta tags. However always remember the fact that nothing can increase visitors more than “Good, original and quality content”. So keep writing…. You may also read this useful post about Meta tags by Peg Corwin that will help you in this matter.

[How to] Manually submit a blog/website URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing Search Index?

The first thing you must do after creating your blog (and writing some good posts) is submit your URL to Google, Bing and Yahoo. In this post we will discuss how to do that –

1. Submit URL to Google search

Go to this page and enter your blog/site’s URL and a short and precise description and/or keywords in the given fields. Enter the correct Captcha and click “Add URL”

2. Submit URL to Bing search (formerly MSN)

Go to this page. Enter your blog/site’s URL in the given field. Enter the correct Captcha and click “Submit URL”.

3. Submit URL to Yahoo search

Go to this page and click “Submit a Website or Webpage”. Enter your blog/site’s URL in the given field and click “Submit URL”. You can also submit your blog/site’s feed address to Yahoo at this page. Feed can be in the form of RSS, Atom or even a sitemap.

NOTE: While typing in the above URL fields, remember to add full URL of your blog/site (including http and also www if applicable). For example it will be http://blogcollab.com rather than blogcollab.com (www is optional). The more (quality) content your blog has, the early your site will start to appear in search results. So to sneak into Google and Yahoo index fast, start adding more and more posts.

[How to] Add Google and Yahoo verification Meta tags to a Blogger Blog?

Google and Yahoo are the biggest players in Internet search arena and once established, your blog will be getting most of the visitors referred by them (the organic traffic). So to get recognized by two giant search engines early, you need to add their verification (Authentication) Meta tags. These tags are basically required to verify that you are the owner of the site. Apart from this there are many other advantages of the same, as the Google itself says at Webmasters central “Improve your site’s visibility in Google search results”. Here is the complete guide discussing, how to add these Meta tags to blogger blogs?

1. Adding YAHOO Verification Meta tag to a Blogger Blog

You will need Yahoo ID to do this. Login to Yahoo and go to Yahoo Site Explorer.

Under “My Sites” type your Blog’s URL address (including http://) and click “Add My Site”.

At the Authentication page click at “By adding a META tag to my home page” – A Meta tag like <META name=”y_key” content=”f7b9180a81a10dba”> will be displayed with instructions to add it to site. But if you add it as such to blogger blog’s template, blogger will show an error message. To avoid it, add a slash (/) just before ending “>” in your above Meta tag.

Copy the modified code.

Now to add it to blogger blog follow the steps given below:

Login to Blogger and at Dashboard Go to “Layout/Edit HTML”

Find <head> in the template code (By pressing Ctrl+F). Paste the above copied tag JUST BELOW <head>. Save the template. Go to Authentication page and click “Ready to authenticate”, wait for the confirmation and done.

2. Adding GOOGLE Verification Meta tag

Login to “Google Webmasters” with your Gmail ID

Click on “Add a site”, enter your blog’s URL and click Continue

“Verify ownership” page will open. Choose Meta tag from “Verification method”.

Rest of the procedure is same as in the above Yahoo case: Copy the given Meta tag and paste below <head> in your blog’s template (it does not matter which Meta tag is above or below as both of Google and Yahoo will be there one after another) – now save the changes to Template.

Now go to the verification page (From where you copied the Meta tag) and click “Verify”, wait for the confirmation.

Note: These Meta tags are deleted when a new blog template is installed. So every time you change blog’s template, don’t forget to add both of the Meta tags again. Better save them in a text file. With the help of these tags you can also track your blog’s performance on several parameters (Indexed pages, in-links, external links etc).

Read also How to add your Blog/Site URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing Search Index?

Basic SEO tips for a WordPress Blog

Here are simple steps to optimize your WordPress blog for search engines –

1. PERMALINKS: By default, links to posts in a WordPress blog will look like this: http://www.yourblog.com/?p=11. Search engines do not like this much, so go to Settings > Permalinks in your admin panel and in the Custom text box, enter “/%category%/%postname%” to change the link’s appearance to http://www.yourblog.com/technology/phone_review. This makes your blog not only SEO-friendly, but reader-friendly as well.
This applies to all CMSes, in fact—most of them support SEOfriendly URLs, either as an inbuilt feature or using a plugin—you just need to make sure that the Web server supports URL renaming.

SEO

2. Edit The Page Title: By default, your page title (the one you see in the search pages) goes thus: Blog Name | Archive | Post Title. You have to bring the post title to the beginning, so that search users can instantly know that they have found what they were looking for. This can be easily changed via WP SEO plugin in WordPress.

3. Get Sitemapped: Sitemap is usually an .xml file containing an index of all URLs of a blog neatly arranged in a chronological order. The sitemap file if present will make it easier for Google (and other Search Engine) bots to index your blog’s content. WP SEO plugin has an option to generate sitemap for WordPress blogs.
This tip applies even for non-WordPress blogs, and you can submit your sitemap to Google at www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps

SEO Basics – Improve Blog’s Search Engine Rankings

A ridiculous number of books have been written about it, but there are few things on the Web as arcane as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — you never know exactly what is going to boost your search engine ranking and when. Nevertheless there are certain things that can be said as truly important. SEO-ing your blog works better if you are using your own hosting and content management system (CMS)— the options available to you are far more comprehensive than free blog hosting. However, there are a few things you can do to enhance your free blog’s search ranking.

SEO

SEO-ing Free-hosted (Blogger/WordPress.com) Blog

Firstly, let go of any illusions you might have that Blogger users are at an advantage just because Google owns Blogger. The following tips apply almost universally too:

1. Choose your blog and post titles appropriately. It should be something catchy to grab potential readers, but search engines prefer that you include at least one keyword indicative of the post’s content in every post title.

2. Stick to a general theme for your blog. By their very nature, blogs are riddled with search keywords, and themed blogs more so.

3. Update your blog regularly. Search engines love the “live” Websites that are updated with new content on a regular basis.

4. Submit your blog(s) to popular blog listings/directories

5. Exploit the power of being linked to—make comments on high-traffic blogs (not the I-like-your-site-you-might-like-mine kind, mind you), start discussions, and get yourself blog-rolled on as many people’s blogs as possible.

6. Wherever available, always make sure that you have a permalink for each post—this helps search engines index them better.

7. Add your blog feed to your My Yahoo! and My MSN accounts. This will get you listed on Yahoo! and MSN.

SEOing A Self Hosted Blog

If you are using your own hosting, SEO becomes much easier thanks to the number of options you have. WordPress, for one, offers you its own CMS which you can deploy on your server, and there are a lot of things you can do with it. WP SEO by Yoast is the best (and free) plugin for WordPress to take care of your blog’s all SEO needs.

And lastly, DO NOT get obsessed about SEOing!!! remember once again “CONTENT IS THE KING”.