Questions? (877) 643-7244
FutureNow Article
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007

The Search Engine’s Love Affair With Blogs

By Juan Tornoe
December 13th, 2007

From 2005You’ve heard it time and time again: “Search engines love blogs.” You’ve read in one too many places that your website should include a blog in order to get better positioning in search engine results.

It’s not as simple as some may lead you to believe.

First, there’s the issue of relevance. A blog won’t magically give you a top ranking position on Google, Yahoo! or the like. The content your blog has, the frequency with which such content is being updated, and the amount of relevant incoming links to your site are some of the factors that will make-or-break the effectiveness of your weblog.

Don’t add a blog to your site if you’re not willing to consistently invest time and effort. An outdated blog will reflect the opposite image of whatever it is you want potential customers to know about your company.

Some bloggers are a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to “keeping it fresh.” No, you don’t need to add 10+ posts per day; what you need is consistency and relevance. You can update your blog daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly, but you need to do it on a regular basis.

More importantly, write about your product/service/industry from as many angles as you can imagine. Link and opine on news and commentary related to your business. Doing so will benefit your customers as they try to wrap their heads around the issue (or problem) that your organization is able to solve.

If you are selling Piñatas, talk about piñatas; how they originated, the different materials/manufacturing techniques being utilized, market share, growth opportunities, or give examples of when and where it’s appropriate to have one. Show piñatas across the world, client testimonials, the most commonly used characters, licensing issues, what NOT to put inside them, the best sticks used to break them, how to liven any party, how to grab the kid’s attention during a birthday party . . . you get the picture.

Don’t go off on a weird tangent by addressing personal interests (outside of Piñata World) in your company blog. Have the need to do it? Start a personal blog and be as weird, nerdy, cool, public or anonymous as you wish to be. And, when it’s appropriate, link to your company’s blog.

Here’s a personal example of the true power or blogs: “Hi, my name’s Juan, and I’m an obsessive-compulsive blogger.” I have to blog on a daily basis about my passion, the Hispanic Community.

Every single post on my blog has something to do with Latinos; marketing and advertising, culture, religion, language, sports, business, buying power, politics, education, health. Bottom line: If it’s relevant information that will help you acquire a stronger grasp of Hispanics, you will find it on Hispanic Trending.

Through many years of non-stop blogging on the subject, I’ve been blessed to have established good relationships with many interesting people, from all walks of life, with the same interests as me.

One such individual is Dave Schechter, a news editor at CNN. In late September 2007, when interest regarding Hispanic Heritage Month was reaching its zenith, CNN and CNN.com launched a very insightful initiative, both on and off line, under the name, “Uncovering America,” with humongous coverage of everything Latino in a very professional and thorough manner. Early morning on September 28th, I received an email from Dave, requesting that “Uncovering America” be mentioned on Hispanic Trending. He even emphasized that coverage would be on both CNN and CNN.com.

Knowing that the entire coverage would be extremely relevant to the blog’s readers, I complied with my friend’s request and added a simple (and truly short) post that evening, with a link to “Uncovering America’s” landing page on CNN.com. Programming began on September 29th and everything was business as usual at Hispanic Trending. Being addicted beyond hope to my site’s analytics, on October 1st, I noticed abnormally high traffic numbers (trending towards 4 times the “normal” number of visitors for a single day). My analytics showed that the traffic spike was being generated through Google, specifically for the search term: “cnn.com/uncoveringamerica.”

I was fascinated by the phenomenon and kept digging deeper into it. I went to Google Trends (also captivating) and finally grasped the magnitude what was going on. For reasons beyond my control (I’m guessing the mention of the website on CNN’s TV coverage), “CNN.com/UncoveringAmerica” had reached, according to Google Trends, “On Fire” search term status that day; ranked #2, right between “veratril” and “aliens in america.”

Google Trends not only shows the most popular search terms of the day, it provides links to the news articles, blog posts and websites people are visiting after performing that specific search. There were no results under the news articles section, and my guess is that there wasn’t one article from any tracked media outlet that included the specific term being searched.

Under blog posts, I was pleasantly surprised to see my blog ranked number one. Then, looking closer, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The actual CNN.com site had the #2 and #3 positions behind, you guessed it, my blog. People were searching for the term “cnn.com/uncovering america” and clicking on my blog. Once there, they found a prominent and clear link to the information they were looking for and off they went. Since that day, the blog’s readership — although not at the record level it reached — was permanently increased to a new level that otherwise would have taken much longer to achieve.

The power of a relevant and consistently updated blog is not to be taken lightly, nor is it for the faint of heart. Years and years of posting relevant information about the subject made Google consider the blog so relevant that, when this specific term was searched, they listed it “Numero Uno.”

Advertising investment: $0.00

Hispanic Trending didn’t reach this milestone because of a catchy name, a nice design, or by who I know; it was a combination of perseverance and focus over time.

Sure, a blog can do wonders to increase traffic to your site, but do you must consider it a long-term investment.

Has blogging helped your organization? Got any lesser-known examples of how blogging has or hasn’t helped business?

[Editor's Note: This is Juan Tornoe's first guest post for GrokDotCom. He'll be joining us at least once a month to share his insights about blogging and online Hispanic marketing trends.]

Add Your Comments

Comments (62)

  1. [...] worth a closer look. First off, I think many corporations need to have blogs. Not all, but many. Your company can prepare itself for what it will take to blog and benefit from creating a conversation with your [...]

  2. Thanks for the post. Very sound advice. One other piece of advice to the blogger…Please do not Rant. There is nothing the readers dislike more than someone who can’t get the point across without ranting and raving.

  3. Great article.

    We are a small, new website and are thinking of starting a blog online soon. What you suggest? Is it good to start blog on a separate domain like blogspot or do you think we should start on our own domain something like BLOG.OURDOMAIN.COM

    Thinking of new announcement by google which will consider BLOG.OURDOMAIN.COM as part of or related to http://WWW.OURDOMAIN.COM and will only show two results from both of these together on first page.

    What you suggest ?

  4. Great post, but I’m pulling you on this statement…

    Advertising investment: $0.00

    But you said…;Years and years of posting relevant information about the subject made Google consider the blog so relevant that, when this specific term was searched, they listed it “Numero Uno.”

    The second statement is only true if your time is worth exactly zero $ per hour. Your advertising investment may not have been made in dollars, but it was made, just in a different (and more scarce) currency…time.

  5. Scarves,

    Thanks for your message. The answer to your question depends on your staff’s tech savvyness and resources availability.

    As far as platforms are concerned, the ones I am most familiar with are Blogger (BTW, I believe Google’s initiative is very good and intuitive for visitors) and TypePad; have to confess I am just getting acquainted with WordPress, but know of many prolific bloggers, like my friends here at GrokDotCom, who’ve been using it for a while. Addressing specifically the ones I know the best, you won’t go wrong with any of these. The thing is that your blog won’t be hosted in your own server. Preferably it should. Worst case scenario, you include obvious and multiple links between them, so when someone lands on one can easily visit the other.

    The other option is to actually download WordPress and Movable Type(on which TypePad is built) to your server and run it from there. This way you have complete control of the blog, but you’ll need to be quite a bit more tech savvy to get it up and running.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Juan

  6. Hi Juan,

    Thanks very much for you to the point answer. It helps a lot for people like me who are just starting.

    Thanks

  7. Amberman,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I believe you are partially correct. If we define “Rent” + “Advertising” as my total “cost of exposure”, I have been paying dearly (sweat, blood, tears, and countless hours) for my rent. For a brick and mortar business, a higher or lower rent depends on how good of a location you want/can afford in order to make yourself more visible to the public. For me, “rent”, besides a nominal annual fee I pay for my blog, is having good, relevant, updated “online real estate” that is very friendly to those who are looking for what I offer. In this case the search engine’s spiders that will show my blog in top positions when someone searches for information regarding Latinos/Hispanics. Yes, I do this through non-stop posting (I added 11 posts to my blog yesterday!). Now, advertising, as I referred to it on the article, is the other part of my cost of exposure, the actual investment in what we may call “traditional advertising”, be it on or off-line. As far as this kind of advertising is concerned, I have not invested a penny on CPC, CPA, CPM online advertising, no radio, no TV, no billboards, no print media, no paid press releases, no nothing.

    Thanks for bringing this up, I am very passionate about this distinction and I’m glad to discuss it here.

    All the best,

    Juan

  8. In regard to the question from Thinks Blog, “… what happens when your blogger’s brand becomes bigger than your company’s?,” I would do the following:

    1) Small business: Have someone ghost write for the company’s Founder/CEO; define a style of writing through a “Copy Bible” as well as a company stand on key issues. It is vital for the founder/CEO to read/approve the posts continuously, to keep up with what “she” or “he” is saying and to make sure the message is not going off track. The blogger leaves, the next one picks up wherever the other left off.

    2) Big Corporation: Create an Avatar, a Persona if you will, that would be the Corporation’s “spokesperson” through the blog. Then have someone ghost write for them (as mentioned above). Depending on the industry and seriousness of the corporation, there are lots of things that could be done through this Avatar.

  9. Ha, I never actually knew about Google Trends. As a local blogger, I should probably give it a look. I wasn’t able to find a way to set any location-based preferences, so I assume GT doesn’t offer that option…yet.

  10. Hi Daniel,

    Currently the top 100 trends displayed on Google Trends are from search queries from the entire US. Knowing Google, eventually we’ll be able to learn what people in our neck of the woods are searching for.

    Juan

  11. Your post concentrates, fairly enough, on the positive side of using a blog to promote your business, but I’ve come across literally hundreds of sites that – by including a lot of blog type content- undermine the focus of their website and, in effect, lose their potential audience.

    There’s no point in adding a blog to any site just because you can or because some guru recommends it. Keep the focus on your product or service offering if that is the point of your website.

  12. Mark,

    A blog could be utilized as a way to generate traffic to your site and to make your company more “visible” for search engines. Please do notice that I have repeatedly used the word RELEVANT. Both the public and the search engines over the years have radically increased the sensitivity of their B.S. meters. As with those who tried to shortcut their ways into search results’ top positions by repeating the name of their company and services offered hundreds of times in their meta tags, someone who is not relevantly utilizing a blog to obtain the benefit mentioned above and is adding “blog type content” as you call it just for the sake of it, will be sooner, rather than later, be recognized as a less serious and trustworthy player in their industry.

    I agree with you that not every business with an online presence should have a blog, some just won’t be able to pull it off for whatever reason. Let alone start a blog because a “guru” (I hate the term BTW) said so, whoever runs a business by reacting to what the newest “guru” has to say without evaluating how it applies/will affect their business, that won’t be able to achieve much.

    Finally, your company’s blog (if you decide to have one) even though links to your site and vice versa, should NOT be mistaken with your website. There should be a very clear distinction between them.

    I know, as am sure you do, of many great websites that through great SEO consistently rank in the top search results without having a blog. A blog, as addressed here, is a tool to help you achieve certain goal. This goal can also be accomplished by utilizing several other tools; the blog is not a goal by itself.

  13. [...] The Search Engine’s Love Affair With Blogs You’ve read in one too many places that your website should include a blog in order to get better positioning in search engine results. (tags: business blog corporateblogging corporate company relevance) [...]

  14. [...] Tornoe tells the story of how his blog ranked higher than CNN for a search term and how amazing amounts of traffic ended [...]

  15. Fantastic story, Juan! I love finding stories like these to use as examples. I get a lot of inquiries from people who want to know more about blogging for their business (I am a blog coach and consultant), so stories like this one really help make the case that a blog makes good business sense.

  16. Michael,

    I am glad you found the article useful.

    All my best,

    Juan

  17. Juan, Great piece! We couldn’t agree with you more!

  18. Ambernam:

    “Your advertising investment may not have been made in dollars, but it was made, just in a different (and more scarce) currency…time.”

    This is correct – no activity is truly “free”. But you must also factor in the multiplication-of-time benefit that a large (and consistently growing) scaffolding of content provides. You made my point by suggesting time is a scarce resource – all the more reason to use blogs to solidify positions, philosophies, and answers. With a blogsite, [over time], you are able to build an information source that serves as a knowledge base that has far greater time-producing benefits than linear time investments may require. Consider how many questions are answered repeatedly by a blogsite. Furthermore, consider how many prospects and journalists are attracted to a business because of posts that were written years ago? These are the non-linear benefits of a blogsite; benefits that manufacture time.

    Scarves:

    Excellent question about blogging platforms. Consider that most blog tools are designed for “bloggers”, not business people that want to benefit from the blogosphere. There are many to choose from – free, near-free, and paid solutions that do lots of things for you. This “Anatomy of a Blogsite” document might help you understand the possibilities.

    http://blogsite.com/docs/Anatomy%20of%20a%20MyST%20Blogsite.pdf

    bf

  19. Mark from Just Accountants:

    “… by including a lot of blog type content- undermine the focus of their website and, in effect, lose their potential audience.”

    This is absolutely a possibility. But there’s another more likely possibility (indeed, a probability if well managed) –

    Your business blogsite creates a conversational dialog with prospects and customers that supports the marketing objectives of the website and adds a humanistic quality unobtainable through a traditionally homogenized and sterile marketing-focused website.

    It’s my feeling that this is the more likely outcome of adding a business blog in support of your marketing objectives.

    As you likely know more than all others, until recently, most businesses could easily skate around the issue of transparency. This has changed not only concerning financial transactions, but also includes social responsibility, consumer protection, eco-friendliness, product safety and quality; the list of things that businesses must take responsibility for [in the open] is ever growing.

    The conversational web is where your most avid supporters, most aggressive detractors, future and former customers, blog-reading and writing journalists, and competitors have aligned to debate the reason, purpose, and future of every business. If (as a business) you don’t participate in this brand-shaping system, your brand equity will be determined by others – a far more risky outcome than the one you suggest.

    bf

  20. Bill,

    Those are (almost) all great points, but it seems odd that you would talk about transparency while spinning the conversation toward your own product (on a blog that isn’t yours) without actually being transparent about it.

    We appreciate your input, but the spam-o-meter is in the red zone every time you mention what a “Blogsite” (your company’s name/product) can do for our readers.

    Why can’t I find a blog on your own site? Am I missing something? You have the software part down (or so I’m told).

    Editor, GrokDotCom

    [Correction: Blogsite does have its own blog; I just couldn't find it when I visited their site. The rest of my comments/questions stand.]

  21. Robert:

    “… but it seems odd that you would talk about transparency while spinning the conversation toward your own product …”

    You are absolutely correct – I am extremely biased about this subject and I should state so right up front. While my comments were intended to defend the author’s position on business blogging in general, I was definitely too passionate about that defense.

    “… but the spam-o-meter is in the red zone every time you mention what a “Blogsite” can do for our readers.”

    I apologize if this was misleading, but in my defense, I mentioned “blogsite” (lower-case) three times while referring to anyone’s blog[site]. This is a generic reference that individuals and businesses [typically] use to refer to the site where their blog is hosted. The generic use of the term is different from that of a MyST Blogsite (which is a registered trademarked and indeed a product as you point out – my product). There are 163 million references to this term in MSN Live (Google has about a million) – less than 1,000 of them are associated with a registered trademarks and only a handful are related to my product.

    My only reference to the trademark version (“Blogsite”, upper case) came at the end of a comment when I offered up a document pertaining to a deeper definition of the term that involves some new innovation and ideas that address evolving business requirements for blogging platforms. The question of platforms came up and the author responded, so I thought it might be helpful (and extremely relevant) to let folks know (especially the person that asked) that there are lots of business requirements worthy of pondering when considering a corporate blogging strategy. Indeed, this shamefully calls attention to what we build, but it also educates newcomers to think about business requirements such as – what happens when I have 2000 posts (years later) and 10% of them have broken links?

    Indeed, free (or near-free) blogging tools are great for 99.9% of individuals and maybe 98% of businesses. Very few companies need what we sell and we recommend free tools far more often than our own. But I think (as educators, experts, and journalists in the field) we have a responsibility to help newcomers understand that before deciding on a particular platform or implementation strategy, they should consider their business requirements and explore the anatomies of free tools, near-free tools, and non-free tools. That’s what my comment was intended to achieve, and I’m sorry if it wasn’t clear.

    “Why can’t I find a blog on your own site?”

    Actually, there are many – some are public and some are secure (for our clients), but I didn’t link to them because it wasn’t relevant to the conversation or the questions posed by other readers. One reason that it wasn’t obvious we had blogs when you first visited goes to the definition cited above – i.e., multiple blogs in one site. It probably comes as no surprise that we happen to use our platform for both website and blogsite; one seamlessly integrated into the other. Not rocket science and not recommended every company, but it does cause the actual weblog content to blend into the background.

    BTW – love your site – excellent content – this is one of the first articles about business blogging that is accurate, informative, and worthy of blogging about.

    bf

  22. [...] on proper [Business or Advertorial] Blogging over at Grokdotcom, “…If you are selling Piñatas, talk about piñatas; how they originated, the [...]

  23. Hi Juan,
    I don’t think this article could have been any better! You’ve helped to define content consistency and relevance [two successful business blogger mantras] in a simple educational manner.

    So many folks are misguided about the idea of “business blogging”. We work primary with blogging Realtors – many just beginning the learning process. One thing I find helpful in educating them is to suggest they work from the outside – inward when approaching blog content creation. In other words, to start:

    1. Identify the target audience, and
    2. Step into your target client’s shoes

    What topics is the potential client curious about and how do they relate to the Realtor’s business? What kinds of questions might the potential client be looking for answers to? What pain points might that person be trying to address? If you were the client and you had interest in X, Y or Z communities – what kind of information would you be looking for? What would you type into Google to find that information? How can you help to educate them through value-added discussions?

    This exercise typically helps guide the average Realtor (in this case) to create blog content that is consistent with their business goals.

    Thanks for the great article!

  24. Hi Kristen,

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    It would be interesting to learn the variety of rabbit holes your Realtor clients actually follow while blogging.

    I see it in my area of interest – The Hispanic Market (which I would consider broader than the real estate industry). The subjects covered as well as the angle in which these are approached vary depending on each blogger’s experiences, personal interests, sources, view points, and expertise. So, using my original example, someone searching information on piñatas could run into multiple blogs covering the industry, and even if the subjects are the same, the information they gain from each different post could be vastly different, helping them formulate their own opinion on the subject, so when they actually go looking out for THE piñata, hopefully on your website, they are true “piñata connoisseurs”, having a good grasp of what they really are looking for.

    I can imagine that real estate markets, being so different between them, provide fertile ground for Realtors to blog specifically about their own neck of the woods…

    Take care,

    Juan

  25. Hi…

    That was a great article! Blogging has been a real asset in my field and I’m so pleased that I was advised to do it — and ecstatic that I followed that advice immediately.

    Relevance to your particular topic is essential… and it is amazing how quickly readers come to you from all kinds of places.

    It’s a great way to create dialogue with your readers which builds credibility and trust.

    Best wishes
    Jeanne
    http://aspirationsplus.typepad.com/uydayg

  26. Hi Juan,
    The rabbit holes many Realtors often “actually follow” versus those they “should follow” is something we could discuss all day :) We try to help hold the guardrails up by suggesting they follow the 80/20 Rule – 80% of content should be directly related to real estate and business goals, and 20% other (yet still locally relevant). Real Estate Blogs are often very informational – the 20% gives them some freedom to develop personality in many cases.

    Education is the largest key to success for a blogging Realtor. As an industry they are new to the idea of managing regular online content decisions and so it’s often hard for them to grasp the ideas you speak of in your article straight away. The folks that have evolved are using it for niche marketing purposes. They blog about communities and neighborhoods that they would like to be recognized for, they blog about the different attributes of their listings, they blog about projects and developments (old and new – as resales are often viable), they blog about local market trends and statistics. They strive to answer the questions that viable buyers and sellers of locally relevant real estate are asking of Google.

    I love blogging as a marketing tool – it’s sustainable and it often levels the playing field for folks that have a lot to offer but a small marketing budget.

  27. Juan, you claim to blog everyday, and yet a quick look at the blog on your site shows that it’s nothing but you reposting entire articles from newspapers, without you adding any commentary.

    As an argument for spologs and feed scraper sites it’s a good one. As a argument for blogging regularly, it’s a misleading one.

    One wonders how you would do if you were providing your own original content, instead of stealing it from others.

  28. MikeLux,

    As mentioned in the very introduction of my blog, it is an agregator and it evolved into it because of the overwhelming amount of info on the subject and the fact that I could not commnent on it the way I wanted. I invite you to visit the blog’s archive and note that I’ve been blogging basically on a daily basis, be it with content of my own or agreggating. On the other hand, I have yet to find a Law that defines what does and does not constitute blogging… It is a wide range of things that people are doing, and will do, through blogs.

  29. Juan:

    “… I have yet to find a Law that defines what does and does not constitute blogging… ”

    Mike raises some interesting points, so for the sake of greater clarity on this subject, consider that the lack of stated rules does not mean there are none. For example, if you are blogging, a general rule of thumb is to make an effort to provide insight or personal opinion that elevates the collective knowledge about a subject and with some degree of relevance to your experience, knowledge, skills, etc. I’m not about to try to judge whether you do this poorly or well.

    Another rule that goes without saying – provide your content in at least one of the popular syndication formats so that people interested in your commentary can be efficiently informed about new commentary. Ironically, this unstated rule leads to unintended consequences, the likes of which has apparently contributed to Mike’s accusation (e.g., feed/article aggregation). Again, I’m not judging your content aggregation/blogging approach – these are simply my observations.

    I’m also not trying to speak for Mike, but I think it’s important to point out that he doesn’t appear to be challenging the definition of a “blog” – rather, his comment seemed to target the contradictory nature of this article in reference to the blogging practice he has observed.

    With specific regard for the definition of a “blog”, I personally find great irony in the reprimands from professional bloggers when businesses attempt to shape the idea of blogging for business use. The headwaters of blog evolution started with web publishing and content management systems that were too rigid, unable to embrace publishing velocity requirements, and included enough process friction to slow (even stifle) communications. The birth of blogging was much like the Boston Tea Party – it was a revolution against all that we had come to know about web publishing; settling on one definition of blogging seems a bit rigid and rife with hypocrisy.

    Businesses and individuals should be free to shape the foundation of their blog services to meet their respective requirements. Some of those shapes will be poorly implemented and equally ill-conceived; others will open the way to new and innovative solutions that we can’t live without. But content consumers will decide what works and what doesn’t – the definition of a blog will continue to change to meet constantly shifting requirements (both business and personal).

    With regard to “stealing content” (i.e., aggregation) – I think it’s wise to use automation and syndication formats to aggregate information for the benefit of content consumers. After all, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! all do it with voracity; they even earn revenues doing it and largely without the consent of the authors. Give me your blog’s RSS feed and I’ll show you three places where it is displayed with ads for which you are receiving not a dime and each of the places will be on services earning billions. The only reason this is not a rampant practice is because [today] it’s difficult for individuals to do so without some technical know-how; but even that barrier is rapidly diminishing. We use this approach on our own blogsite (and in our services) to create greater attraction and attention to relevant subjects. We used to link to content like this; now we simply integrate it. Unlike most [however], we obtain written permission to leverage content sources and integrate them seamlessly (and shamelessly ;-) into our site. But we don’t call them “blogs” – they are “guest weblogs”.

    bf

  30. [...] too many of the blogs out their have been created because someone heard the search engines love blogs. So some low life, who figured they could get more traffic is grabbing garbage content from others [...]

  31. There is a blog concept which I think is still evolving – a business blog. Most blogs are hosted by an individual whether the individual posts his/her comments, aggregates content or both.

    A business blog should first begin with a purpose. I agree, the content should be relevant to the business. And, it should stick to its purpose. We have a blog that is focused on tips, best practices and trends in our field of specialty.

    I’ve run into people who are stuck on the concept that a blog is a “web log” for an individual. That thinking limits the potential of a business blog.

    A business has people with varying skills and knowledge. By identifying the people who should post comments on certain topics relevant to the purpose of the blog, a business blog can be very productive.

    As prospective customers visit the blog, they will form opinions of the business based on the value of the content. As long as people stick to their area of expertise and contribute meaningful content, the business will benefit from the blog.

    Oh yeah, and search engines will like it too.

    Regards,
    Bernie

  32. Great post. I am one of those whom constantly use Google Trend to keep track of our related keyword trends. Great points and agreed on the fact that webmasters should not simply add blogs to sites unless they are willing to spend significant time and effort in publishing useful posts.

  33. Rif:

    “…webmasters should not simply add blogs to sites unless they are willing to spend significant time and effort in publishing useful posts.”

    Coupl’a points -

    1. What I’ve observed is that typically it’s the CMO that decides a business blog is needed. Sometimes the CMO *is* the webmaster, but it’s an important distinction that underscores your point – the CMO doesn’t typically understand the effort that may be involved in creating a successful business blog.

    2. Some business blogs *don’t* require significant time and effort and they are very successful. The question of blogging resources cannot be determined until you understand the business requirements for the blog. Some business blogs are simple because the objectives are simple. Example – “provide an informative news channel about cleaning tips for the XP-123c paint gun”. If the objective is simple and focused, a few posts per month is probably the bulk of the effort. Add a few comments into other related forums and blogs, and you’ll probably be pretty successful meeting your customer support expectations for the XP-123c paint gun.

    But your point is very good – most business blogs do require significant effort and to those that invest, the foundation of content and the quality of information grows over time. We have some clients with fairly large websites and they are stunned to learn that after 18 months of blogging, the search index footprint of their blogsite is 6 to 10 times larger than their website. This doesn’t happen unless they invest in the time and effort to do it right – all the more reson to create a requirements document before you spend 10 minutes setting up the blog. ;-)

    bf

  34. If the CMO doesn’t understand the time and resources needed for an effective blog, I question his or her credibility to be called a CMO.

    With rare exceptions (one noted above by Bill) business blogs need more than a casual commitment. I have a very simple piece of advice for people who fret over this – get over it!

    Like Nike says: “just do it.”
    Bernie

  35. Bernie:

    “If the CMO doesn’t understand the time and resources needed for an effective blog, I question his or her credibility to be called a CMO.”

    Well, perhaps in three to five years this will be predominantly the case. But today, I fundamentally disagree – I think there are some very smart CMO’s that get blindsided by business blogging and for good reason (or excuse ;-) .

    Our experience with companies such as Pfizer and other large firms suggests that CMO’s [typically] have great misconceptions about business blogging. They generally think it’s simple, almost zero cost to setup and maintain, and it requires little effort and attention. They have these impressions from a flood of articles on the subject that say exactly this.

    Misconceptions about _business_ blogging seem to stem from the status-quo of _personal_ blogging – it is indeed very easy to setup and ignore a personal blog. ;-) But businesses have far different requirements than the current state of the blogging tools industry. As such, new and sometimes unanticipated requirements surprise CMO’s when they actually consider issues like…

    - legal risks
    - legal review and publishing workflow
    - brand requirements
    - open commenting
    - syndicating other people’s content
    - trackback risk
    - copyright and attribution
    - integration of blog content with the web site
    - integration of blog content with partner sites
    - XML feed quality (half the RSS feeds on the net are invalid)
    - technical and content quality assurance
    - staff time, training and marketing message guidance
    - server reliability and security

    These are some of the things that are typically the responsibility of enterprise departments that work with (and for) the CMO.

    Blogs moving into the enterprise is no different than instant messaging’s move into the enterprise in the early part of this decade. Lots of C-level folks were simply unaware of the issues surrounding chat. Like business blogging, most were very slow to react. But to the people that needed it most, it was new and touted as dirt-simple to setup and maintain (according to their 11 yr olds). And indeed it was, if you didn’t care about identity, security, chat history, etc. ;-)

  36. Bill French, ohohoho, IT’s Great. Thanks for more info :)

    The main feature for blogs – is fresh content. So, You write post on blog – it’s trackback/ping to SE “Google, Yahoo, MSN”. And you immediately index in Blog Search Engine of Google.

    Blogs=Fast Indexing :)

  37. Grego:

    You’re welcome.

    “The main feature for blogs – is fresh content.”

    Actually, I disagree. The primary benefit of blogs (business or personal) is greater and deeper dialog.

    “Blogs=Fast Indexing”

    True, but this is should be considered a by-product of blogging. As a business, you should ask yourself – “Would I blog even if there was no SEO benefit?”

    If the answer is “yes”, then your communication priorities and business blogging purpose are properly aligned with your business objectives.

    It’s great that blogging also leads to greater findability and increased awareness, but the greater benefit (especially for businesses) is the ability to communicate more effectively in an open and transparent way.

    http://blogsite.com/public/blog/87223

    bf

  38. Wow, what an enormous amount of information about blog writing! In my work as a volunteer for an open and free internet knowledge database in the Netherlands, (called Leerwiki.nl), I try to stimulate our volunteers to start teir own blog. The information I found here, is really helpfull. Regards, Mary Ann

  39. The most important tip of this blog is: “Don’t add a blog to your site if you’re not willing to consistently invest time and effort.”

    Thanks for the tip! It really works if you create a beautifull and interesting blog.

  40. Really interesting post! I have been marketing with blogs for years now and agree with you completely!

    I guess there is a first time for everything as normally I disagree with people talking about SEO and blogs. Good job!

  41. Every business should have a blog. You need to let clients and prospect exchange their ideas and views in order to bring your products and services to the next level.

  42. Great article.
    Thanks for all the tips. I don’t have a blog yet. But I think if you create a blog, it has to be nice and has to have a beautifull skin and ‘look-and’feel’, so users uses the blog frequently.

  43. Very interesting. I wonder how many visitors were actually attracted by the #1 position of your blog in google trends? And it’s very interesting how google defines the order for the sites in the trends list?..

  44. A #1 position is nice, because it is possible to attract a lot of visitors. But a #1 position in the search engines is not the most important. I try to attract a group of interested, returning visitors. Keeping them happy is my first priority. Regards, Kimberley

  45. To all: I do agree that a number 1 position in Yahoo or the other search engines would be nice, but I agree (most) with Kimberley that returning visitors are the most important for a website to make money. Cheers, Esra

  46. I would also recommend using a more personal, humorous and conversational style to the blog. Make readers smile. ;)

  47. Do you also recommend blogs for very small businesses like mine of driving school.

  48. @William Driving School: the answer to your question [...Do you also recommend blogs for very small businesses like mine of driving school...] is Yes!
    In my opinion a blog is a way to show new (future) pupils the quality of your school. I would recommend that you publish at least one article a week. It takes time and effert, but the results can be astonishing. Please report back about your experiences on this website. Good luck, Juan

  49. Thanks for sharing Google Trends tips and the point on using blog to have better web presence.

    I think Google loves blog because they believe blog is regularly updated unlikely those setup-once-and-forget-it sites.

  50. Blogs do so much for a site, it’s almost essential for search engine traffic lately.

  51. I am a big fan of blogs but you have to fill them up with relevant content.

  52. Good post – thanks

  53. Good post thanks

  54. Small shop owners can benefit a lot form writing their own blog. It costs some effort and time, but not a lot of money.

  55. Depending on what you’re looking for, it can be cost effetive to seek mgmt. as well. We do it for small business owners all over north america for a low fixed price: a comprehensive WordPress management service including design, build, management & advancement, hosting, online marketing education, realtime customer service and also content options.

  56. great blog..

    Have you heard about Mojofiti.com? http://www.mojofiti.com is a website where anyone can get an international blog and every entry,
    email and group is translated into 28 different languages for free. It’s awesome, inally a world without language barriers!

  57. I find it funny how fast blogs get indexed compared to web pages

    I think a huge part of it is the fact that not only do blogs have more content, but the content is more SEO friendly for the most part. When you think blog you think WordPress and sometimes blogger, both of which are SEO friendly.

  58. google pulls no punches when it comes to favoritism; any simpleton can start a blog without knowing exactly the impact of his work, or opportunity that could arise from it.

  59. I certainly see the value in adding a blog to your website. It creates an opportunity for your website to pick up traffic for lesser searched long tail keywords which all adds up in the end for your total monthly unique hits. Also blog posts are a great way to keep visitors on your site longer, interact and return to your website. I think it’s a must have element to any website.

  60. why differentiate the two? blogsites are websites, with powerful blogging, feed and direct subscription capabilities. completely custom design- able, static home page with blogging in the background is possible, unlimited static page creation, lead capture, third party application integration, etc., etc.

  61. [...] The Search Engine’s Love Affair With Blogs — appuntiblogosfera *{margin:0; padding:0;} #socialbuttonnav li{background:none;overflow:hidden;width:65px; height:80px; line-height:30px; margin-right:2px; float:left; text-align:center;} #fb { text-align:center;border:none; } [...]

Add Your Comments

 

Print this Article
Share

Helping businesses and advertising agencies craft messages that resonate with the Hispanic Community.

More articles from Juan Tornoe

Marketing Optimization Blog
FREE Newsletter Sign-Up
send it once every: