Sunday, 22 April 2012

Blogcamp - community IS the way forward.

Blogcamp - what I learnt;

Yesterday I attended the fabulous free and informative Blogcamp organised by the Tots100 and I am so glad I did.

With all the talk of the follow/no follow links and the debates that have gone about them recently in regards to Bloggers I wanted to better understand what I should or should not be doing in regards to SEO.  This is my take on what I learned from the sessions yesterday.

Firstly there was no definitive answer on what you MUST do in regards to follow/no follow links but basically Googles terms state that ALL links outwards that have been paid for must be no follow and NO PR has the right to insist on anything or tell you otherwise.  The outcome of this could be Google stripping you of your Page Rank which if that is no worry or concern to you then totally up to you whether or not you decide to change all links to the no follow rule.

Personally I spent the last 2 days prior to Blogcamp changing (hopefully I didn't miss any!) my links to no follows. Google looks for relevant content and the amazing Lee Smallwood, who I could have happily talked to for hours advised changing how you write your posts (if you don't already) in the following ways to increase your own relevancy and hopefully readership in turn.

If you use a follow link it is, in easy theory terms, sharing your authority you have built up (Page Rank) with the company you are linking to hence why Google are not happy about it as it could be seen as manipulating searches.

To increase SEO all blog posts should be no less than 500 words in total and your keywords should be repeated 10 - 15 times within that post.  This allows Google to have more content to search and make a third party search for information more relevant to the searcher.  Link back to previous posts you have written about the same or similar subject to increase the relevancy.  It was also advised to underline at least once with italics and in bold your posts titles and important information.

Moving onwards;

What was important I found out through chatting to Lee after his talk was relevancy and following and linking to that i.e we should be linking to other similar bloggers, blogs and blog content and sharing our authority that way.

In short the community we all belong to - blogging and bloggers.  If so and so blogger has written a post that backs up, supports or is similar to yours link to it!  It means you are, in my eyes, creating a map of links to relevant information that, from  my understanding, Google likes.  I think this is hopefully a great way of supporting fellow bloggers, building SEO and reinforcing the community on the whole.

In my opinion, and it seems several others I chatted to, we need to stand together as a community and all follow (or rather no follow!) the same guidelines, link to each other (with a follow link) and basically share the love towards each other - this also stands in good stead for the bloggers that reported feeling pressured by PRs into using follow links which I have to say there were quite a few reports of this happening over the last week.

This is my take on what to me was the most important discussions yesterday but there were plenty more and I shall certainly put yesterday down as one of the most informative conferences I have attended.

I do believe that their are plans to put further information on what were the key points yesterday on the Tots100 site so I am sure the best plan if it affects or interests you is to make sure you are following the Tots100 on Twitter in order to receive updates on this.

My sincere thanks to Sally Whittle for organising this free event.  As I say there is going to be further information available on yesterday and this is just my take on the day and my hastily scribbled notes so I allow myself any errors or ommisions within that.

Here's Inside The Wendy Houses take on the day (with a big follow for relevancy, community and all that's great about blogging!)