Content Marketing,

#BlogIndiana: Jason Falls, Bloggers and the Google gods

It was a great start today to Blog Indiana, and Jason Falls started the juices flowing by playing down the importance of search engine optimization, putting some doubts out about ghostblogging, and speaking to bloggers that it’s okay to not follow the rules. Jason’s keynote was much more in-depth and thorough… but these are the things that stuck in my craw.

At least one of my friends could sense my reaction… and I had two ghostbloggers sitting behind me so I’m sure I know what they were thinking!
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Do I think bloggers should follow rules?

I agree 100% with Jason! There aren’t any rules. It would be like Alexander Graham Bell putting out a book on how to use phones a few years after he created them. The blogosphere is still young and what works for you may not work for others. My readers already know how I feel about social media lies and rules are a lie.

We don’t have rules… what we do have, though, is some experience with the medium and recognizing what works and what doesn’t work so we can pass on that knowledge for others to test.

Should Bloggers Ignore Search?

Chris Baggott did almost come out of his seat when Jason suggested not worrying about search. He asked an equally juicy question, “Aren’t you doing people a disservice by not having your content… great content… found in search?”. Of course Jason didn’t think so.

BTW: This wasn’t an all out debate – just a healthy discussion of blogging strategies. Jason did a fantastic job and was very transparent about why he doesn’t need to worry about search. Chris’ question was one that really raises a valid point, though. If there are searchers out there looking for you… and they can’t find you, isn’t that a problem?

Is it a problem for the search engines? Or is it your problem?

My answer would be that it’s your problem. Google has been overly generous at supplying all the tools necessary for people to understand how to optimize both their site and their content. Google even supplies us with our rankings by keyword or phrase, and search volumes on said keywords – recognizing that those who wish to compete in this race need to make some adjustments.

I hate playing to the Google gods just as much as anyone else. I wish I could write compelling content and didn’t have to be concerned with mentioning keywords, synonymous terms, and combinations of keywords in my content. I do, though, so that people looking for these answers will find them on my blog! And find them they do!

social-media-explorer.png It’s all about potential! Does Social Media Explorer do well? Yes, of course. Does Jason get consulting and speaking engagements from his blog? Yes, he does. But there’s potential for Jason to get much more traffic and new inquiries by simply optimizing his blog’s content. I’m not recommending unnaturally speaking – just placing some keywords and phrases where they both make sense and attract search traffic. Simple blogging for SEO.

Check out how our blogs perform and you’ll find my blog has a bit more reach… but Jason is much more engaged nationally in the social media space. He’s an outstanding presenter (I’m still learning) and an entertaining speaker. He deserves more attention. I think ignoring the opportunity is hurting his blog’s potential – and he’s not benefiting from it either.

NOTE: I sent Jason my new eBook at no cost. I hope he changes his mind. 🙂

Ghostblogging is a Noble Profession

When is the last time your boss got a promotion for their work? Did you sit by idly as they moved up the ladder? Or did it bother you just a little bit that you helped to put them there? That’s what Ghostbloggers do. Ghostblogging isn’t a dirty word nor is it a dirty profession, it’s an incredible one. A great ghostblogger investigates the source and accurately writes the posts on behalf of them.

I think I’ve got too big a head to do that. I want credit where credit is due!

Is it fake? Is it transparent? I don’t believe it is! If I sat and did an interview with you and I wrote all of your responses – but I wrote it both eloquently and in an entertaining manner, does that make you any less of a person? There are some BIG names in the blogging world that don’t write their own material folks – I hate to break the news to you!

As long as the premise of those blog posts are your message, why would anyone care that someone else typed it up? Did you know that Obama’s inauguration speech was written by a 27 year-old white guy at Starbucks? Does that change your opinion of Obama? Is he fake? Was that not transparent?

I don’t think so… I thought it was an amazing speech, and I have no doubt that Obama meant every word he said!

7 Comments

  1. 1

    Nice extension of the friendly discussion and debate that was spurred by Jason Falls at #blogindiana this morning. My ongoing conundrum though is that I still agree with you, Jason and Chris. I believe it goes back to breaking the rules. If Jason doesn't care about search and that's working for him, so be it. If he doesn't care about who's not finding him, if it's not a malicious apathy, so be it. If other bloggers, including yourself, Chris, myself or my clients want to capitalize on the power of blogging for SEO, game on. Keep the discussion flowing, I love learning from the conversation and those participating in it.

  2. 2

    Doug, very reasonable and said well. I'm sure Jason will see the error of his ways with such thoughtful persuasion. He might be thinking of the grossest examples when it comes to blogging for SEO and ghostblogging. We'd probably agree with him. It's like comparing an effective, provocative or entertaining, television commercial with those by Peter Francis you-know-who or "apply directly to forehead." We gots to have smart marketing.

  3. 3

    Two quick historical notes…while Bell didn't write a book on how to use the phone, a consent agreement was reached between his company and Western Union that it could not be used for telegraphy. That's all it was good for until Thomas Edison invented the carbon button transmitter(microphone) that made long-distance speech practical. And speaking of presidential speeches, Edison learned a bit about manipulating the press after completely re-wording President Andrew Johnson's September 11, 1866 speech for the Associated Press. As long as ghostbloggers make their boss look better than they actually are, the boss won't complain.

  4. 4

    Talk about Information Overload! lol.
    Have been intrigued with readings on President Andrew Johnson's and often couldn't get to sleep while continuing to ponder the merits of his public speaking ability. TY Mike, I never plugged in the possibility thinking of Thomas Alva being behind Johnson's presumed oratorical eloquence.
    Jumping forward to today's subject; shouldn't we imagine most all notables outsourced a good amount of their public messages in some fashion? We now have been informed ghostwriting existed in the first President Johnson's era but who knows exactly when the craft was born.
    I leave that question to you with a question of my own…who is the real author(s) of The Bible. Doesn't appear to me to have been God or Jesus yet we accept it as "God's Word." Those maligned GHOSTWRITER"S IN THE SKY were even at work 2,000 years ago!
    I likely will not fall asleep easily tonight as I have already begun the wondering as to whether Karr pays ghostwriter's as well as God paid his lol.

  5. 5

    Maybe ghostblogging is a noble profession, but person who uses such service isn't noble at all. At least he isn't honest to his readers.

  6. 6

    Great post Doug. I've been thinking about this issue for a long time now. In fact I wrote a post the other day about the relationship between social and search importance.

    I wasn't at blog Indiana, so I have no frame of reference for this particular conversation. I think search visibility is really really important. My thought is that there are 3 critical factors in gaining search visibility, as it relates to blogging.

    The first is content. When my blog got to over 100 posts I started winning lots of searches for various terms. I can only image how many searches you would win with over a thousand!

    The second is internal optimization. I think it's extremely important to make sure that your URL permalinks, title tags, header tags, and overall content contain your keywords so that your posts can be found on Google. I find that this is pretty easy to do if you understand the basic fundamentals.

    The third most important factor is links, and I have to believe that building your brand on social media sites is by FAR the easiest way to get people to link to you.

    So do I agree with Jason? Yes and no.

    It makes no sense to me to completely ignore the internal optimization of your site. Why WOULDN'T you want Google to find you?!

    But, I do think that it makes a lot more sense to focus more energy on your social presence, gaining respect from fellow bloggers, gaining authority through links, which by-the-way will help your search optimization in the long run.

    What gets me upset is when people act like the only reason you should blog is to win searches. I just have to believe that it is SO important to put a heavy focus on your social strategy. If you blog a lot using your keywords you're going to win lots of searches anyway.

    Now, is Ghostblogging a noble profession? Sure! Is is scalable? No, not unless you're managing a ghostblogging agency. If you're the blogger, you can only do so much work and therefore you can only make so much money.

  7. 7

    Great post Doug. I've been thinking about this issue for a long time now. In fact I wrote a post the other day about the relationship between social and search importance.

    I wasn't at blog Indiana, so I have no frame of reference for this particular conversation. I think search visibility is really really important. My thought is that there are 3 critical factors in gaining search visibility, as it relates to blogging.

    The first is content. When my blog got to over 100 posts I started winning lots of searches for various terms. I can only image how many searches you would win with over a thousand!

    The second is internal optimization. I think it's extremely important to make sure that your URL permalinks, title tags, header tags, and overall content contain your keywords so that your posts can be found on Google. I find that this is pretty easy to do if you understand the basic fundamentals.

    The third most important factor is links, and I have to believe that building your brand on social media sites is by FAR the easiest way to get people to link to you.

    So do I agree with Jason? Yes and no.

    It makes no sense to me to completely ignore the internal optimization of your site. Why WOULDN'T you want Google to find you?!

    But, I do think that it makes a lot more sense to focus more energy on your social presence, gaining respect from fellow bloggers, gaining authority through links, which by-the-way will help your search optimization in the long run.

    What gets me upset is when people act like the only reason you should blog is to win searches. I just have to believe that it is SO important to put a heavy focus on your social strategy. If you blog a lot using your keywords you're going to win lots of searches anyway.

    Now, is Ghostblogging a noble profession? Sure! Is is scalable? No, not unless you're managing a ghostblogging agency. If you're the blogger, you can only do so much work and therefore you can only make so much money.

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