Let me share what I know about SEO, Google SEO, and how it all connects to WordPress. Some of you may know this info, but many are clueless. I’ll explain.
If you are hosted on WordPress.com you do not need Google SEO to find an audience. Your audience is right here already waiting for you to connect. That is on you and how much you want to be “found.” That doesn’t mean SOME of the advice you read on SEO isn’t relevant because it still can be. Photos will make your post more noticeable (I rarely use them), the title does matter (my titles suck), tags really matter (I mainly tag with the top traffic tags), and the time of day in which you post is also important (for me that is about 10 am – 11 am MDT due to a large American audience). If you self-host or cannot access the WordPress Reader you must rely on Google SEO to be found and that is why I strongly encourage “new bloggers” not to go that route.
WordPress is already setup to “step you through” creating posts that are easily found by internal search. It also helps that WordPress has its own search engine internally built. That is why you don’t have to rely on Google to be found by a “random reader.” To have your post read, however, does take effort and some of the “tricks” SEO experts preach are relevant in this regard. Bloggers still need to realize that if all you are seeking is new connections those connections can be found right here on WordPress without ever stepping off site. Think of WP and Google as cities in this regard. To have people from the Google city find you they must search for you right? That is where learning how to create the right posts with the right titles and tags can be important if traffic from a third party website is your goal.
Why would someone care to be found through Google? You have a far greater chance of going viral from a Google connection because you honestly have no idea who that is finding you. It could be a Congressman, it could be a Instagram forum with tens of thousands of members gawking at your post which someone has pasted on an alternate site. It has happened to me before and trust me I was a bit surprised to find one of my “feminist posts” on a forum with about 40,000 feminist followers. That was an interesting day. Your chances of going “viral” on WordPress aren’t as good. You can get Freshly Pressed by chance or have a larger blogger share your posts… which most powerbloggers don’t do. I think I may give the wrong impression by how I act towards my fellow bloggers because most “large bloggers” don’t give a shit about you unless you can offer them something.
I quickly learned that my target audience was other bloggers. That is why my readership is 100% WordPress. I learned this after only a few weeks of blogging and the proof of that is my graph below where you see a sudden upsurge in viewership around February to March of 2013.
I also want to show you what I have said before and that is the fluctuations that take place from the work and lack thereof I put into this website. That can be witnessed by this second graph.
Notice the plateus in views due to my weekends and the times I take a break. This is explained in my blogging model in which I tell you that people find me because I work at them finding me. I do not sit around and wait for visitors and again my readership is not fueled by Google. I am almost at 1 million views in less than two years and that is due to hard work. I did not moan about what others have, complain about fake followers and spammers, it is all about what you want to accomplish. If your goal is to have people see your writing, photos, blog, or anything you are promoting you must go out and find those people willing to give you a chance. They won’t find you unless you strike gold and get lucky.
Striking gold DOES exist. Many of you may have a post that sees far more “spam” than others. That is because your post has been flagged by a search engine or a bot that is directly connecting to your post. This is a “good” thing if you are seeking views only. I of course am after interaction (note that I deleted all the posts from 2013 when I almost stopped blogging last December and that removed over 200,000 comments), so bot views really don’t matter too much to me. You can also score big if you are found by someone important through Google SEO. We have to take into account that most CEOs and Presidents of corporations are probably not sitting around blogging on WordPress. Their companies do have workers scouring the internet for relatable websites and that is where you can get noticed. This is all to say that Google SEO is not complete bullshit, I simply don’t rely on it for my website as a choice.
I am sure someone with a marketing degree will disagree with some of this. That is their right and I don’t have a degree in marketing, only a business degree. I do not work in an SEO related field and this knowledge is all from what I have deciphered. I am providing my graphs to show that I am not talking out of my ass though, so the choice is really up to you if you wish to believe this post. The bottom line is that getting “discovered” is rarely going to happen, but if you put true effort in you can guide others to find you. How much do you want it?