Reading the question posed by Allegra, “Writing a Formal Link Request” and Nicks reply
Concentrate on writing some outstanding posts, or putting together some great resources on your topic
I was inspired to put my thoughts on the topic out here for discussion.
Obviously we all have opinions on these things, ranging from “SEO is dead”, through to the other extreme of “you will never get anywhere unless you optimise for search engines”.
First of all I very much agree with Nick. A bloggers job and primary focus should be on creating the very best blog possible for their niche. That means tons of quality content and as a bonus any other tools or resources the blogger can create. Without knowing the first thing about SEO it is very possible for a blogger to be a success. You don’t necessarily even need the traffic from search engines to succeed but great content, once noticed, attracts links which fuels search engine rankings as a side effect.
The hard part is creating that great content. OK, you will note I said your great content needs to get noticed, and it is tricky at first, but that aspect gets easier over time. You get better at it through practice plus there is a snowball effect, you don’t need to try so hard once people have heard of you once or twice.
Getting noticed can be part of your ongoing blogging strategy and I am not talking about pimping yourself, just make sure you are a visible part of your niche. Rather than writing “about” your niche, make yourself a member of it. Write content that grabs attention. We have talked about linkbaiting and networking your niche before so I won’t dwell on it here.
This is promotion, not SEO. You might call me on this and argue semantics but I believe it. The end result might be links, granted, but the focus is on people, not search engines. I would much rather have people follow my links than a search engine any day. Attracting the attention of bloggers and readers should be the aim, computer bots are a secondary fringe benefit audience.
Do I believe SEO is dead? For other types of website I guess SEO is still necessary to get that “cheap” traffic, for blogs though other than making sure your blog is not unfriendly to search engines I reckon your efforts are better focussed on content. If you see traffic as a reward for great content rather than a prize for the best SEO trickery I think you will create a better product and see far more success long term.
So those are my thoughts, what do you think? Do you send out link requests, perform SEO, or do you focus on the content? What do you do to get noticed?