Less than a month ago, I set out to create this blog. GeekLad was “born” on September 3, 2008. Although I had learned quite a bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when I created my personal finance blog back in January, I’ve learned quite a bit more with my launch of GeekLad. I’ve been keeping a close eye on my PageRank and tonight I was pleasantly shocked to learn it has already hit three! I think it was many months before WealthBoy ever hit PR3. I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the course of the past month, and perhaps touch on some of the things that I believe that have helped me to reach a PageRank of 3 in less than 30 days.
First and foremost, I think one thing that helped me a lot was developing some original content. This has probably been the most difficult thing for me to do with WealthBoy. In the world of personal finance there is very little that hasn’t already been blogged about. Believe it or not, for me it’s actually been relatively simple to do develop original content about technology. Initially, I thought this blog would primarily consist of reposts of interesting articles I’ve read, along with some additional commentary expressing my point of view. However, I have manged to find an excellent and relatively simple method to write some original material.
Whether I’m at work or at home, I’m more often in front of a computer than not. It’s one of the things that makes me the geek that I am. When I’m tinkering around with computers, I often turn to the Web for answers to questions I have or solutions to problems I’m having. Sometimes I have a very difficult time finding the solution or I end up having do develop my own solution. These situations are perfect for developing original content. Even if you do find a solution you were seeking, if you had a difficult time finding it you should write about it! Chances are very good there are a number of other people out there asking the same question and having the same difficulty finding the answer. You can probably present the solution in a more organized manner and make it easier for others to find the answer.
For instance, I was having problems with running Google Chrome behind a SOCKS proxy. That led me to come up with my own workaround for getting Google Chrome to work with a SOCKS proxy. Currently, if you search on Google for google chrome socks, my article appears on the first page of results. I’ve been keeping a close eye on Google Analytics to see what sort of organic traffic I’m getting from Google. Second to my post about Gordon Freeman at the Large Hadron Collider, the Google Chrome socks proxy workaround article is the second most popular landing page from search results.
I think that another factor that has contributed to GeekLad reaching a PR3 so quickly, is the manner in which I’ve been writing. As I’m writing an article, I keep in the back of my mind the sort of keywords that one may use to try to find the information I’m providing. This is more of an art than it is science, and you have to do it somewhat subconsciously. If you become too intent on filling your articles with relevant keywords, you may end up keyword stuffing and will not achieve the results you are likely trying to attain. Sometimes it helps to go back and read your article or webpage before you publish it, and look for places where you can easily use relevant keywords without upsetting the focus of the article.
It’s hard to say whether or not this has helped, but I have been posting more often on GeekLad than I ever have on WealthBoy. Article posting frequency has always been a topic of discussion in the world of SEO. I’m not sure how much of a factor my posting frequency has been, but I do think that the volume of articles probably does help. The more pages you have, the more opportunities you will have for backlinks. Backlinks are essential to SEO and achieving a good PageRank, and chances of receiving backlinks increase as the number of pages on a website increase. As your website begins to receive many backlinks to original content, you really have a good recipe for success.
I think it also really helps that I’ve been blogging about my passion, technology. As much as I love money, personal finance isn’t my life and I’ve found keeping up with WealthBoy to be fairly difficult. I’ve found maintaining GeekLad to be quite easy and even more enjoyable. I had the most difficulty in maintaining and writing on jsierra.net. I think it was because I never really developed a focus for the site. Sometimes I would write about technology, sometimes I would write about happenings in my life. If you are going to blog about multiple topics, I would suggest maintaining separate blogs. I think it helps to keep your thoughts on a particular subject organized on a single site. It probably also helps in terms of maintaining topical relevance, as far as the search engines are concerned. I believed this strategy to be useful when I created WealthBoy and even more so when I created GeekLad.
If you blog about technology, it may actually be easier to develop new material than you previously realized. The next time you develop a bit of code to help you do something you couldn’t find, blog about it! If you fix a problem you couldn’t find the solution to anywhere, or that you found spread out over 4 different discussion threads, blog about it! If I haven’t already told you anything that you didn’t already know, I apologize for disappointing you. There really is no SEO silver bullet. There are some other more objective things you can do in addition to the subjective-type strategies I’ve mentioned here. I’ll share some of the other things I’ve done to promote GeekLad in subsequent articles.