Today I have this really nice surprise when visiting the referer link for one of our posts in portuguese. This was not accidental but a deliberated action that takes time and effort to achieve. The article must have a minimum of quality, of course, but some proactive action is needed to make it work.
First, we have several plugins installed that ease our task enormously: A tag plugin that searches for tags in Yahoo and Tag The Net, All I One SEO plugin that deals with <meta keywords />, Shorten2Ping that uses Ping.Fm to announce our posts in several social networks, a plugin that inserts tagging inside the articles as links.
Second, we choose interesting titles for articles and ask people to comment on them — not on our site, even if we would like it, but on the social networks we use (mostly Identi.ca, Facebook and LinkedIn… but we could use a lot more). And we promote discussion on those articles in related groups on those social networks, which is where the most interesting contributors will probably be. One interesting discussion on LinkedIn show exactly that idea.
The result was that for the search in question we are ranked first in less than a month… and we were not talking about Sex. And the article really talks about the things that that person was searching for: Copenhagen’s ethical consequences.
One thing to avoid like the plague is to add keywords or tags that have nothing to do with what you are intending to say. People would come for the wrong reasons and will leave with a sense of waisted time and angry.
So, although good SEO strategies would help pushing your site up, if you don’t have a proactive attitude and try to write to and about stuff people want to talk about, it would be more or less useless.
Note: this article was last updated in August 23rd, 2010
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