The interactivity of blogs can get your message seen faster

Should your website be a blog, or blog-based, or a regular static, web 1.0 site?

When I first heard of “blogs” a few years ago, back in the old days when they were still sometimes called “web logs,” (and a friend took a look around what’s now called the blogosphere and emailed me, thoroughly unimpressed, referring to what she saw as “blahhhgs” – though that was before politico.com was born), I thought, what is the big deal? – I’ve already got my website for my law practice, and it’s not a blog.

I created and maintained it with Microsoft FrontPage, and it’s easy to make quick, little changes using this “web-authoring” software, so why bother with a blog? It is also easy, technologically, to make not only quick, little changes to the website, but also big ones as well with the authoring software. (Question: when did “author” become a verb, and why? Is this really an improvement of the English language? Or an impoverishment of it?) Continue reading

Kickstarting your xml sitemap to get your blog into search engine results

One of the many ways of getting people to find out about and come to see your blog is to make it more search engine friendly to encourage (if one can encourage a computer or its software) a search engine to visit your site, read it, index it, have it show up in searches.

A tool that wordpress-based blogs (like this one) can use to do that is a plug-in called Google XML sitemap. You install it into your blog and then every time you change add something to your blog, this little program reads your blog and creates a list of pages in the format (or language) called XML, which is especially understandable to the crawlers or robots that search engines use to read a website and then add it to its search result pages.

Once the XML list is created, it is automatically added to a page on your site — usually called “sitemap.xml” and then announced to the world of search engines and blog directories.  They call this announcing, “pinging.”

This is all good, but there’s more you can do. You can go to google’s “webmaster tools” section and there, list your blog (or website), and once listed, tell google to go get your sitemap. Yahoo has a similar service, though it seems a bit hard to find.

At least one professional website designer I’ve spoken with suggests that doing this one-two punch of using the “Google XML Sitepmap” plugin for WordPress together with the telling Google to go get your sitemap on it’s Webmaster Tools section can help speed up the process of getting your blog out into the world and found by people interested in your topic through organic search engine searches. And at least one person who works for Automattic (the company that is WordPress) agrees.