The Devil is in the Details

Until I went on a learning sabbatical from Switched at Birth this summer, I was the original clueless blogger when it came to search engines and how they find us. I have done a lot of thinking about whether I want to be found and the long-range implications of that choice (now that I understand there is a degree of choice).

More on this later, when I tell you about my summer fling.

For now, a little housekeeping. I went into the settings at my Typepad account and found a tab called SEO. What you see below is the way it looked before I changed it; now, the “publicize” block is unchecked, the “generate a sitemap for your blog” is unchecked; and the Meta Keywords and Meta Description spaces are blank.

I will still have categories, but those are for internal use. No more Keywords or Technorati Tags.

Search Engine Optimization



Do you want to optimize your blog for search engines?

  • Yes, publicize this blog
Google Sitemap

A Google Sitemap submits all of your URLs to the Google index. (Learn more.) Would you like us to generate a sitemap for your blog and send it to Google?

  • Yes, generate Google Sitemap
Title Format

What information should be included in the title tag of your posts?

  • Post Title – Blog Name Post Title (Blog Name) Blog Name – Post Title Blog Name: Post Title Post Title

Post title followed by blog name is generally best for SEO. This setting applies to Pages as well.

Meta Keywords

Meta keywords tell the search engines what your blog is about.

    Enter keywords and phrases that describe the content of your blog. Separate each keyword or phrase with commas — e.g., travel, backpacking across Europe, France, French Alps

    Meta Description

    When your blog appears in the search engine results, it often displays your meta description. A good meta description may increase your blog traffic.

    • Creative nonfiction stories, memoir, life-writing, nature and food from a Southern woman who will write from her home in a panhandle Florida Longleaf pine forest until the county runs a road through it. She is currently writing the memoir of a small forest.

    Enter a short summary that describes your blog — e.g., “The thrilling tale of my three-month European backpacking adventure, a journey that ended with a trek across the magnificent French Alps.”

    2 thoughts on “The Devil is in the Details

    1. SEO is only ever worth thinking about if one is trying to make money off of ads — which is kind of a fool’s errand for us small-time literary bloggers. I do still like to have my sites indexed by search engines and reasonably accessible to them, though, because once in a rare while a random searcher may become a new reader. (I know this because I hear from such people.) But of course everyone has to set their own limits. It’s a shame there’s so little blogging advice out there that doesn’t assume everyone’s goal is to get as big as possible, because frankly, bigness is nothing but trouble online, leading to (among other things) increased hosting costs, more spam, and more malicious hacker attacks.


    2. My adventure through the looking glass of “content” writing, where SEO and LSI are keys to the kingdom, was a glimpse into a subculture both fascinating and ultimately repellent. It will take me a few days to debrief myself so I can coherently explain what I learned, and then I’ll write a post here about it.
      Thanks, Dave.


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