They like (in part) to see blogs that are updated often (it appears more often is better), inbound links from reputable sites and the use of SEO (search engine optimization) so they can index our posts correctly.
That way, when someone types in a search string, they (the search engines) will look good by providing THEIR readers exactly what they ask for.
As bloggers we often fall into the trap of wanting to please the search engines. After all, it’s the search engines that can bring us the most traffic plus visitors who may click on our ads. It’s also search engine traffic that can drive up our rankings.
Hence, we crank out search engine optimized posts and the bots smile down on us, reward us with more traffic and everyone is happy.
Or, are they?
By posting too frequently are we missing out? Are we pleasing the bots but deterring loyal readers from sticking around?
Are we closing the door to comments because we’re not giving our readers enough time to think about what we wrote and then write a response?
Are we forgetting about OUR readers?
When Ann-Marie, co-author of Wilma’s Blog contacted me, she shared what she sees happening.
With her permission, I’m quoting what she said/asked in an email:
Myself and Wilma have been talking about how many times a week we post on our blog.
We recognize that a post is the starting point of the conversation and it is in the commenting that the conversation takes real form.
As other bloggers get involved we begin to see an opportunity to really ‘nut out’ our thoughts.
The dialogue begins to flow and with it comes new understanding and learning for everyone.
It ends up being an interactive discussion about a subject in which people have something to say.
So if we post too frequently, are we in danger of stifling this existing conversation and stopping it before it comes to a natural end?
Ann-Marie and Wilma are concerned about what THEIR readers want; not what the search engines are looking for.
They realize if they slap a new post on top of one that’s still alive with conversation, they could kill it.
And in the process of killing the conversation, they may also lose their loyal readers.
So, what’s the best route?
What advice would you give to Ann-Marie and Wilma?
If you have a post and the comment section is buzzing, do you throw a new one on top of it, or do you let the conversation on the older post die down?
Photo Credit: Google Bot? by fabiofco