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search engine optimization question

  1. Hi all,

    I'm very pleased that when I type the name of my WordPress.com-hosted blog in Google or Bing that my blog is near the top result if not THE top result.

    HOWEVER, when I type in "Bellingham blog" (I live in Bellingham, Washington and am aiming to be THE blog in Bellingham), I stop after browsing 10 pages of search results and still haven't found a single one from my blog.

    The tagline for my blog is: A blog out of Bellingham, Washington.

    I write fairly frequently about Bellingham, with Bellingham either in the title of the post, in the body of the post, or the post has a Bellingham tag.

    Speaking of tags, I've published 91 posts that have the Bellingham tag.

    So, what am I missing? Is there anything else at all that I can do in order to show up in results for the search string "Bellingham blogs"?

    I'd be grateful for any and all ideas.

    Thanks!

    The blog I need help with is fishandbicycles.com.

  2. How long have you been blogging vs how long have the other blogs been blogging?

    How many incoming links do you have?

    What is your pagerank?

    Have you tried a search of the forum for "hits" or "readership" or related terms?

  3. Google is a fickle thing and trying to figure out how and why they do things will only give you headaches. Google for whatever reason just hasn't put those keywords together it would seem.

    You could try tagging a few posts with Bellingham Blog, or perhaps reword your tagline in the widget at the top of your sidebar.

  4. Looks like the competition is pretty brisk for Bellingham. Even on WordPress.com tags pages alone there were more than 20,000 results for that tag.

    Short of changing the name/address of your blog to include Bellingham, I have no suggestions. But I'd wait to see what other people have to say on the subject.

  5. ~~tsp g'morning/evening!

  6. Gary Vee is speaking in Bellingham, whereas he's not speaking in Vancouver. Bellingham is as social media optimized as it is possible for a small community to be. To say competition is tough is to vastly understate the situation.

  7. True, that.

    If I were just starting a blog about a specific place, I'd definitely include that place in my blog address. Don't know for sure what the SEO damage/ramifications would be for an established blog switching addresses. My guess, pretty darn awful.

  8. I'd include the place in my blog URL and also in my default tag. At this point to knock off Miss 604 from the top of Vancouver blogs (which is every Vancouver blogger's dream) would take a) her dropping dead and in addition b) ten years.

  9. G'morning to you Jennifer.

  10. Oh FINE. Ignore me. FINE.

  11. G'evening Raincoaster!!!

    (I gave you three exclamation points. According to the Magambo Guru that is extra special important.)

  12. I feel validated, which anyone will tell you is the whole POINT of social media.

  13. I would have given you four exclamation points, but Raincoaster, followed by four exclamation points launches all the ICBM's.

  14. Well thanks, I guess. Glad that I could have provided a vehicle for friends to chat.

    Not a very encouraging picture that you all paint.

    Honestly, while I do harbor my stated aspirations, I can't fathom changing the title of my blog just to get noticed. I don't have "Bellingham" in the title of my blog because it's not meant to be a blog about Bellingham. Rather, it's meant to be and is a blog written by someone from Bellingham.

    If I was to change the name of my blog just to get more attention, what a terrible blow to my artistic integrity that would be?

    You know, most of the time I'm just happy blogging along, I love the rhythm of it, the fact that it's a work in progress, that the whole thing is one continuous process and it's all archived. Then, one day (this past week), I get 150 visits in that one day, when I normally get, on average, slightly less than that per week, and I get seduced by all the attention.

    The best writing advice I was ever given, a rephrasing of an old chestnut, was, "Write like no one is reading."

    I like my writing and I like my blog, so I think I'll just go back to that simple pleasure.

  15. Best advice there is! Happy blogging.

  16. You can alter the title of blogs you have already posted to make the keyword first. Altering the title allows you to ping the blog again (eg. to Feedshark.com, if you have registered there). This will possibly lead to a refresh in the Google ranking.
    By altering the title you do not lost the stats on the blog with the title before altering. Eventually this title will change on the wordpress dashboard listing etc.

  17. The title of your blog and its description determine how your blog will be viewed by others. The title is what your blog will be known as on Blogger, as well as on your page. Try to enter something meaningful (e.g., not "my weblog"). You can leave these fields blank if you do not want them to display on your web page.

    Description can be used to describe your blog, or to give a subtitle. A description cannot be longer than 500 characters, and cannot contain HTML or other code. If you want more content in your description, you are welcome to enter it directly into your template.

  18. I like the idea of having a tag "Bellingham Blog" on the Posts that relate to Bellingham - the tag tells search engines what important terms are on your site.

  19. Thanks, folks, for the continuing responses.

    robertpriddy: I see what you are saying, but I don't care to change the titles of my posts, which is what I think you're suggesting when you refer to the titles of my blogs. This becomes a too obvious gesture that I think would really detract from the integrity of the blog as a whole.

    mariahayes1: If I understand you correctly, I'd need the Custom CSS upgrade in order to do what you suggest. I don't pay for that currently. I've thought about it and will give it more thought.

    auxclass: So you think that just adding a "Bellingham Blog" tag to all of my Bellingham-related posts will help? If so, what would be the downside of just adding that tag to all of my posts? The only visual evidence on the blog would be the addition of the tag as listed at the bottom of every post, right? And, on my current theme, that's in very small print. And, my tag cloud is full as it is, so the "Bellingham Blog" tag won't show up there.

    As I said earlier, I never intended the blog to be about Bellingham, just that I'm a person from Bellingham with a Bellingham voice and often a Bellingham view on things, if there is such a thing, and I like to think there is.

    So, I'm leaning toward the last suggestion, and if I could ask anything else of folks here, I'd ask to confirm that the idea that auxclass suggests seems like a good way to go.

    Thanks!

  20. SEO vs content is always a tradeoff. If you want to truly dominate Google on searches for "Bellingham" then yes, you will absolutely have to have the word in the blog title and URL, among other things. If the SEO instructions you get conflict with your blog concept, you will have to figure out which is more important and go with that.

    A tag alone, particularly since the recent changes in the Global Tag Pages, will not do it.

    How important is being THE Bellingham blog to you?

  21. Thanks, raincoaster, for that important, if disappointing info.

    To answer your question, it's more of a fantasy than I suppose I normally am willing to admit. On a good day, I like to think that it's not as far fetched as the ambitions of many bloggers who want to get rich writing a blog in their pajamas. But even so, even my modest ambition isn't strong enough for me to compromise my creative vision, a vision that very much includes the current title of my blog.

  22. martinidesigns
    Member

    SEO The Basics, Search Engine Optimization Keyword Density Analysis, Market Awareness & Image Branding - all these articles can be found on the top rated and top ranked by BestBlogSites.com Blog Website: NJ Search Engine Optimization WordPress Blog. All articles written by a 6+ year seasoned SEO Expert in Social Media and Organic Search Engine Optimization!

  23. And not spammy at ALL!

  24. theprattlingsofseverin
    Member

    Simple. Move to a much smaller town that no-one blogs about. #HappyToHelp :)

  25. @rain - having a Support forum thread moved to the Off Topic forum seems to bring them out. #incaseyoudidntnotice

  26. #Idid

    At least in this case they can't correctly format a link, so no harm done.

  27. #ididtoo

  28. Thanks again, everyone, for the responses. Sorry to take so long to acknowledge your kind efforts to help.

    So, I've been thinking about how I could possibly alter my blog title and URL in a way that I feel comfortable with.

    The best thing I could come up with is to change the title to:

    Fish & Bicycles: A Bellingham Blog

    Questions (the answers to which need to be explained in fairly simple, thorough steps, as my skills are somewhat limited):

    1. What would the URL have to look like?

    2. Since I currently have the Header settings set to not display the text (i.e. blog title), because I'm using a custom header I created that includes the blog title in the font, color, and location that I prefer, am I sabotaging my efforts by not having the official WordPress blog title display?

    3. Do I have to pay for a new domain name?

    4. If so, do I have to continue paying for the old domain name the next time it is up for renewal?

    5. If I make this change, what steps do I need to take in order to not lose regular readers as well as readers who only check in from time to time using the short shortcuts they've created for the previous URL?

    6. More specifically, since I use WordPress.com, is it even possible to set up a redirect from the old URL to the new URL, and if so how do I do that (I've read the domain mapping support article, but it's confusing to me and I can't tell if the answer to my question is there. I've already done this once, as you can tell, since my URL is fishandbicycles.com, not fishandbicycles.wordpress.com, but I can't tell what would happen if I add another domain.)?

    7. If I set up a redirect, is this something I'm going to have to remember to maintain over time?

    8. Any other suggestions, hints, tips?

    Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  29. Bump!

    First, why WAS this moved from Support to Off Topic?

    And why specifically Off Topic?

    I can't understand that at all, and looking at the other threads in Off Topic (coke and pepsi, sex and sociology, music of the moment, etc.) I'm really disappointed in the moderators and WordPress.com for moving me, when I have unanswered questions about concerning the use of WordPress.com, domains, settings, etc.

    What about my thread makes it inappropriate for either the Support or Questions forums?

    Oh, and I'd still be grateful for help with the questions (hello! Questions!!!) in my last post.

    Thanks.

  30. The support forum is for technical questions about how to use wordpress.com software. You say you have questions about the use of WordPress.com, domains, settings, etc. and those are exactly the kind of questions you can post into Support Forum threads after you have searched the support documentation and forum threads. The searchbox here http://en.support.wordpress.com will provide results not only from support docs but also from forum threads.

    The reason this thread was moved is simply stated. It did not belong in the support forum. WordPress.com Volunteers (your feelow bloggers) and Staff do not provide SEO advice in wordpress.com support forum threads. We provide advice on how to use the software there.

    SEO is a profession. Your question is one that we hire professional SEO consultants to provide answers to. I'm no expert but I do know the basics and I have chosen not to weigh in on this thread as it's all over the map. If you want to learn basic white hat SEO, then I recommend that you check this free resource out. > http://guides.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-search-engine-optimization

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