No Metadata Required for Good SEO

head spinningWordPress.com is a multiuser blogging platform. Our blogs share a common architecture and we bloggers cannot access metadata. This is no barrier to site discover-ability, indexing or search engine optimization. However, when answering support forum questions posed by bloggers with metadata madness sharing our reality with them can cause a head spin.

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Optimizing meta tags (Title, Description, Keywords) in head section is not required for SEO purposes.  Following the recent update of How does Google choose a title for search results,  Matt Cutts of Google has emphasized, in his floating head video below that search engines are focused on keywords in your content ie. in the text in the body of your posts.

 The importance of content in the body of a page

 WordPress.com SEO

 WordPress.com SEO is very good. If you had two identical sites, one hosted here and one self-hosted on WordPress.org software, the site hosted at WordPress.com would have better SEO than the self-hosted site. WordPress.com has huge SEO and you get the benefit of that by having your site as a subdomain. If you doubt that then please read these two articles: All About SEO on WordPress.com and SEO and Your Blog.

tagsKeyword use in branding

All internet users have a deep desire to become informed, share our opinions, collaborate with others and co-create with them, as that’s a description of the human condition. We use keyword searches to locate content of interest to us. Given WordPress.com’s incredibly large community, chances are good that there are other WordPress user’s sites populating the niche you intend to blog in, and you can locate their blogs through tag searches. However, it’s not WordPress blogs alone that comprise the blogosphere, so you have to undertake Branding on the Blog and Beyond the Blog.

Branding is reflected in the keywords the blogger selects for a URL, site title and tagline that clarify the intended message for the intended target audience. It’s also reflected in the blog description of the site and published on the introductory About page and/or Profile page that’s easily located by search engines. And, branding is reflected in keyword usage in the body of the text in your posts.

Keyword use in the body posts

1.   Learn what’s found in Google Webmaster Guidelines and How can I create a Google friendly site?

2.  Plan ahead before you develop your content. Apply these 12 Time Management Tips for Top Blogging Performance. Instead of thinking, “What should I blog about today?” you will have the beginnings of a blogging plan.

3.   Offer a different perspective on topical issues in your niche to help to position your brand at the top of the SERPs (search engine page results), and bring recognition to you as a thought leader in your niche.

  • Is your brand easy to relate to?
  • Is  your keyword messaging consistent  with your brand story across all social networks?
  • Is your content “sticky” ie. does it provide high value by informing, educating and/or entertaining readers in a way that brings them back time and again?

4.   Be sure to deliver a concise and riveting message that provides value to your readers in each post you publish.

Keywords you use in your body text play an essential role in positioning your content in the SERPs. If you develop great content by using keywords effectively in the natural flow of the body text in your posts, then your content will get search engine attention – no metadata required.

 Related posts found in this blog:
Two SEO videos for Bloggers
5 Google Webmasters Video Tutorials
Basic SEO for Bloggers
Blogging: Learning SEO is worth the effort

21 thoughts on “No Metadata Required for Good SEO

  1. So useful. Alas, all I have time for is writing content I am happy with. I kind of rely on wordpress to do the rest! I wonder if it is worth a bit more effort on my part as I’d like a few more readers. I get about four search engine referrals per day and I post once per week. Does that sound about right?

    I feel lucky because I have a handful of readers who really engage with the blog which is great, Going to have a look at a few of the videos to see if there are any quick wins. Thanks for the really useful info and insights.

  2. And on a completely different topic – you have saved my bacon yet again via your wisdoms on Wp.com support … thankyouthankyouthankyou! :D

    1. I had a bit of fun there and I’m glad appreciated it. It’s hard not to laugh when we get bloggers who are astounded to find out that they cannot access metadata. They think SEO is a game – poor things.

  3. OMG, I understood this. Thank you for clear and understandable writing for those of us that really are not techno savvy. The video really was point on.

  4. Good day TT.
    Does wordpress.com warn us when posting that a title is too long in term of words or characters and that there are too many tags, etc. i.e. anything that we should do to make Google’s life easier and our chances of being found better ?

    1. Hi Peter,
      No there aren’t any warnings.

      When it comes to your content being discovered and indexed these 5 videos introduce how Google discovers, crawls, indexes your site’s pages, and how Google displays them in search results. It also touches lightly upon challenges webmasters and search engines face, such as duplicate content http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/03/22/5google-webmasters-video-tutorials/

      If you are looking for a short introduction to the basic elements that make your website attractive to search engines see here Two SEO Videos for Bloggers http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/10/21/two-seo-videos-for-bloggers/

      See here for 6 Ways to Make Google Your Blog’s Best Friend > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/10/08/6-ways-to-make-google-your-blogs-best-friend/

  5. I love the WordPress.com site. I agree that it offers us great search engine potential. All the SEO gimmicks are destined to be short-lived, as the search engines adapt to try to filter out good content from other content that’s designed to try to fool the search engine. Good content definitely has the long-term advantage.

    1. Your are so right about SEO gimmicks being short-lived. Sharing content is what is what blogging is all about, and valuable content continues to draw traffic over the long term.

  6. When I first started blogging I was frustrated that I was “only” getting WordPress bloggers to subscribe, and that my Page Rank was 0. Even though in calendar time it wasn’t that long until I started to get some search hits, it was hard to be patient and wait for the Page Rank to be be revised (or rather to keep blogging and hope for the best). Then I realized that I shouldn’t put a higher value on search engine referred readers – that WordPress bloggers were actually better readers and followers than anyone else. Now I am more careful about following through with bloggers who follow, like, and especially comment.

    P.S. I think there is a broken link in the Blog Description/How to Create an Effective Blog Description – I tried it (to see where it is hidden and what I wrote on mine) and got an oops notice.

    1. HI Jamie Ray,
      Thanks so much for sharing your observation here about the support from other WordPress.com bloggers. Some of those readers will have used the Reader and Topics pages to locate your blog and others will have used Google. Thanks also for the heads up on the broken link too. I appreciate it.

    1. You’d be amazed at how bloggers who are accustomed to inserting metadata respond when we tell them they can’t and don’t need to. The last one I dealt with purported to have developed many sites for clients previously (obviously self-hosted ones) said: “How will I SEO my blog without metadata access?” Someone is paying that clueless twit to develop a sites for them and I was hard pressed not to be snarky.

    1. Hi Matt,
      Don’t let self hosted bloggers spiel their nonsense about not having good SEO because we cannot access metadata and insert anything. They are confused so just provide them with a link to this post, okay?

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