Feed the Spoogles!
I argue that Google is pretty darn smart.
Since the beginning of the use of search engines to access information on the Internet, people have tried to figure out how to take advantage of how search engine spiders operate. People want to get their information found better and quicker than their competitors. In other words to "rank" higher---and be at the top of the first page of the search results.
While these attempts at "gaming the system" have evolved right along with Google's ability to eliminate the gaming, there are still people that use various means to "encourage" the Google spiders---or Spoogles (for those of you that get unglued at the idea of spiders inside your website). We would like our particular information to be found over someone else's. Most of these methods are OK with Google and using them will not get you in trouble with Google. How long that will remain the case is anybody's guess. Certainly too much keyword stuffing could be just like too much stuffing on Thanksgiving. Keeping the Spoogles a little bit hungry so that they want to keep coming back to check out your new information may be a good idea.
I am finding that ignoring the generally accepted principles of how to get Google to find my information is not costing me anything. The Spoogles are coming to visit anyway---and often. This means that I don't have to pay a lot of attention to what is in the title, or how many times I used the appropriate key words. I can simply focus on the content, writing in a more conversational way to an audience that cares more about the information I am providing than what my ranking is. The irony is that it is because I rank well the information they are looking for is coming up. Sort of a Catch 22---or two sides of the same coin.
I think that when one first starts blogging, one is almost forced to pay more attention to playing the little games it takes to get the Spoogles used to crawling through one's site----but once they do, it seems that one can ease into a more conversational and relaxed model. Feed the Spoogles what they are looking for and they keep coming back for more. The really cool thing about Spoogles is that they REALLY like "different." They don't like to eat the same stuff over an over, in fact they will go find something to eat elsewhere if you try feeding them the same food too often.
I think that the more focused the market is that you are targeting, or the amount of business you are after, makes a difference in how much Google juice you need to sustain to get the desired results.
Lets say you are a broker blogging for leads for a nest full of hungry agents. A continual ranking on page one, in multiple positions on page one, may be necessary to sustain that business model. If you are an agent blogging just for yourself, you will, after blogging consistently for a while, come to "own" your own small corner of the market and get the number of calls you need even if you are ranked a little lower overall---if you are consistently blogging content that your target audience is looking for---and in a way that people can see you are an actual human being.
The key though is: Do you have what it takes to survive until you actually do own your little corner of the market?
Most people do not have what it takes---so that is a huge advantage for those that do.
As an example of what I am talking about, take this post that I did on my WordPress blog the other day.
Johnson Tees and Countertop Air Gap Devices
Within 2 hours of posting, someone in Half Moon Bay, Califoria (website analytics are so cool) did a search for the following: dishwasher vent installation above or below sink.
Notice that NONE of the words in the title are in the search terms.
Now take a look at the page that Google returned for the query.
dishwasher vent installation above or below sink
In less than two hours the search results returned my post about dishwasher vents in the number one spot of the search results. Clearly these results came back based on the "content" of what my post was about which was in fact directly related to what the searcher was looking for.
The same query done 24 hours later returned search results that included my most recent ActiveRain post on the SAME type of "content."
Once again there is not much in the title related to the query---but my post with the relavent content came up anyway---and now there are two posts there. The bottom line is that my website (via ActiveRain) got hit---validating the Spoogles decision to dine there.
My own website and ActiveRain work together to build and maintain these kinds of results.
How are you feeding the Spoogles?
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector