Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Keywords are Key

Okay, this is for my friend Gigi, who wanted to know if she should know about “anything blog-related beyond posting or simple design”. Now I happen to think everyone should know about keywords, but not many people do. So here we go…

Quite simply, the “keywords” meta tag* allows web spiders** to find your site. (If that sentence didn’t seem “simple” to you at all, zip down to the bottom of this entry for definitions.) By specifying certain words which are relevant to you or your site, you basically up the chances of your site popping up when people type those words in a web search.

For instance, if you type “Nikki Alfar” in the Google search box, the first three entries that will pop up should point directly to my blog. If so, it means that I’m using keywords effectively. If not—or if it’s not the case for you—then the keywords element needs to be worked on in the template.

So how do we do this? Open your blog template. (In Blogger, this is one of the tabs near the top of your screen.) Somewhere near the top of the code here, you should find a whole slew of lines that look sort of like this:

meta name=”blahblahblah” content=”blahblahblah”

One of these (probably the last) should read:

meta name=”keywords” content=”blahblahblah”

All you have to do now is replace “blahblahblah” or whatever with the appropriate keywords relevant to you and/or your blog. In my case, I have things like “Nikki Alfar, Nikki Go Alfar, Filipina, Philippine, woman, women, female, writer, writing, grammar, comics, comic books, grafiction, reading, books, literature, gaming, wife, mother, mom, daughter”.

As you can see, you need to include every permutation you can think of relating to the topics you want included. Just separate each topic with a comma and you’re good.

If you don’t have the keywords meta tag already included in your template, go ahead and follow the format above and just stick it in your template directly below the other meta tags. (Do remember to put it in brackets like the other meta tags!) If there are no meta tags in your template, your blog was designed by a schmoe and you need to email me.

Finally, if, having fixed up your keywords, you don’t find your blog popping up on web searches right away, chill out. It’ll probably take a few days for the web spiders to seek you out, but they will eventually, making your blog (or site) that much more accessible to the reading public. Which may well increase your readership, which is (mostly) a good thing.

Oops, wait, one thing more! Whatever you do, do not be an ass and put in keywords which have nothing to do with you, but which you know will draw hapless surfers to your blog. You know, like “free pornography”, that kinda thing. It is the lowest form of pathetic misrepresentation and we will all be forced to dislike you immensely if you engage in it.

Not that any of my readers would, I’m sure. My readers have class.
*meta tag = an element of your page/blog template. Meta tags “talk” to the browser, conveying information that doesn’t necessarily show up on your site, but has impact on how the browser treats it.

**web spiders = programs that trawl the web on behalf of search engines and the like
Nikki bit in at 5:31 PM :: ::
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Location: Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

class act/guttersnipe. tomboy/girly-girl. serious writer/comics hack. wife & mom/tart & tease. obssessive-compulsive/laid-back. sweetheart/bitch. all that.

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