Friday, 25 June 2010

SEO for writers

Being a writer, I Google myself a lot. Every Sunday, in fact. One thing I've noticed is that I come right at the top in the search terms "midlist writer" and number five for "midlist." Since I'm proud of the term midlist, I'm pretty happy to be so publicly associated with it. Until recently, however, I was many pages down the list for the term "midlist author".

I decided to experiment. On the sidebar of this blog is a list of my books. It used to be titled simply "My Books." I changed it to "Books by yours truly, the Midlist Author."

A week later I Googled the term midlist author and I came up as number three. Strangely, if you put quotes around it, I only come up on page 8 of the Google search. Using or not using quotes around "Midlist Writer" doesn't affect the standings for that term. Not sure why, but then again I'm pretty computer illiterate. Anyone know why this is so?

An interesting post over the fine blog The Feckless Goblin states that SEO is a waste of time for writers. The main points are (A) there's too much competition for common terms such as "creative writing" or "horror author" and (B) SEO is a boring waste of time for authors who should be producing something worth reading. I can't argue with that in general, but if quick, simple little tweaks on your blog can up your rating in specialist search terms, I say go for it.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

Blogspot is brilliant for SEO - it's owned by Google, of course, so that gives it a great advantage. I frequently find that if I make up a word (like 'moneygarchy') or use an uncommon phrase (like 'disingenuous tosh'), I get very high rankings (usually number 1 or 2), and these days, Google seems to be indexing blogs almost in real time.

The trick is to figure out the search terms that people might use to find you: your name, obviously, and 'writer' or 'author' and possibly the genre(s) you write in. These keywords should all feature in the title of your blog.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.