Writing the blog iPhoneFreak.com, Stephane Dion has learned at least one lesson, and it's not just that he has a lot of company as an Apple iPhone fanatic.
Rather, it's that blogs are the best way to reap traffic from Google and other search engines. Blogs are dynamic, real-time, and chock full of search-engine-friendly keywords, he said.
Dion, a blog consultant and author, said he put up the iPhone site in September 2006 and it now draws about 250,000 page views per month. For 8 of those 14 months, iPhoneFreak.com turned up No. 1 in a Google search for "buy iPhone."
"That couldn't have made Apple happy," Dion said in an interview at the BlogWorld industry conference and expo here.
Dion is among about 1,500 attendees expected at the first annual BlogWorld confab, which is designed to bring together writers, entrepreneurs, and service providers in the growing field of blog publishing. Conference-goers are learning about everything from tracking their reputation in the blogosphere to optimizing a blog for search engines.
Jen McClure, founder and executive director of the Society for New Communications Research, a think tank on new media, said at the conference that businesses and publishers are taking blogs much more seriously than they have in the past. For that reason, more marketers plan to spend a larger portion of their advertising budgets on blogs in the coming years.
In a panel on blogging basics, she confirmed Dion's premise. "Blogs get faster search engine rankings," McClure said.
That's not to say all of the 110 million blogs on the Internet have a high ranking in search engines. Most of the popular blogs that register with search engines and other sites have quality content or information, are updated regularly and use concise, accurate titles for posts, experts say.
But even a blog like Dion's can lose out to a company brand. Dion's iPhonefreak.com has been knocked down a few pegs in Google search since Apple introduced the iPhone, but the blog also ranks high for a range of search terms, such as "iPhone accessories," "iPhone cases," and "iPhone hacks." He said that's because blog posts contain a variety of keywords that grab the attention of search engine crawlers looking for fresh content.
"Google is looking for things that are dynamic," Dion said. "Even if you have the most powerful content, if people can't find you it doesn't matter. The search engine rankings are the best way to get readers and blogs are the best way to get rankings."
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