Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a moving beast that drives anyone who runs a website (like myself) insane. Even if you don’t run a website, it affects you because when you type in something, Google has to work out what you actually want by asking about 200 questions before it spits out a result for you that you might actually need or use.
If you’re bored already, check out my SEO Tips and Tricks for travel writers and bloggers.
While there are craploads of search engines out there, Google pretty much dominates the SEO landscape and if you have a website, you’re at the mercy of the countless algorithm changes. Things have changed a lot over the years, but Google is becoming smarter at trying to deliver what you what by being as specific as possible.
There are a lot of people there who a link Nazis who will do anything for almost any website to link to them just to raise their rankings and hopefully attract loads of traffic and money!
Unfortunately, I’m not one of them, but if you’re not a shonky website from a dodgy online neighbourhood, feel free to link to me anyway! ;P
But if you do run a website, an algorithm change can cause carnage – webmasters can literally see their search results evaporate overnight! That’s great if they’re spammers, but for a lot of the time, others get caught in the cross fire.
It’s happened to travel bloggers before, including me. Sometimes, I wish I knew what the techno geeks at Google were doing just so I could stop pulling my hair out!
Anyway, in the travel blogging world, I’ve sort of touched on SEO before in regards to some of the funny travel keywords that bring traffic to my website. They’re funny not because of what is actually typed, but the motivation for typing them into Google in the first place!
I mean, there is only so many reasons why someone would want to Google ‘how much viagra can I take in Bangkok airport?‘
But after running this stupid website for a number of years and if you’re foolish enough to set one up of your own, this is all you really need to know.
Disclaimer: Note, some of these SEO tips might actually work!
So here it is – my silly SEO Tutorial for travel bloggers (and for anyone else who could be bothered reading this).
Here we go!
The Travel Tart’s Shonky SEO Tutorial!
1. Be A Links Addict!
Well, at this point in time, this is all you need to know. Links trump everything when it comes to SEO. It’s about how many links you have, and the quality of those links.
I mean, if you have every big site in the world like the New York Times, CNN, BBC and all of the other big ones, search engines think you’re ‘relevant’ because if they think you’re ‘good’, your stuff must be good because each link is like a vote (and hopefully, not of the donkey variety)!
If Google sees that loads of reputable sites are linking to you, you can pretty much write any old rubbish and it will rocket up the rankings as soon as you press publish!
But if you want to take things just that little bit further…
2. Sleep with someone from Google
That’s right, you really want to hear how SEO works straight from the horse’s mouse. So why not try and find someone high up in Google who works in their algorithm department to see what the ‘secret herbs and spices’ are after a bit of pillow talk?
This totally redefines ‘sleeping your way to the top’!
If for some reason this stupid suggestion pays off, let me know! Not that I want to do it, I just want to pick your brains!
3. Sleep with someone from Bing
Well, you’ve nailed 70% of the search traffic after hopping into bed with someone with Google. Now you can nail the other 30% of search traffic by sleeping with someone from Bing.
Repeat step 2.
4. Finally, use Keywords people are actually searching for!
Oh, this might actually work too!
One of the first things that I learnt about SEO was that ‘People don’t Google headlines – they Google keywords’.
Headlines work for newspapers, magazines and television, but not for the internet!
I think journalists must take a year long course regarding how to come up with the corniest headlines that immediately grab your attention on the news stand.
I mean, people don’t Google things like ‘traveller becomes unravelled by a horny mammal’ when they are looking for travel information!
No, they look for ‘how to pick up in [insert destination here] or ‘how to travel in [insert destination here].
Having said that, people are predictable sometimes and they’ll search all sorts of rubbish for no apparent reason! It’s amazing what curiosity can lead to!
Anyway, the take home message is find out what people are Googling via the Adwords Keyword Planner, and use those words in your URL, title and a couple of times in your text, and then write a few thousands words of crap around it!
It works for a lot of people!
Well, there’s another piece of useless information the internet doesn’t need – probably not far ahead of the gazillions of cat videos out there chewing up people’s time like no tomorrow!
But really, this information will be out of date by the next algorithm change, which is in about probably 10 seconds..
However, if you found this silly article from a search engine, it worked!
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