Speaking of Doug Cook (mentioned in yesterday’s post), I was lucky enough to be included on a panel with Doug and Alder Yarrow at the 2011 Pro Wine Writers Symposium discussing the importance of search and how to maximize the chances of having your wine writing noticed on-line. Alder founded the first wine blog on the Internet and deals extensively with SEO in his day job, Doug was former director of search at twitter (maybe you’ve heard of them?) and I … well, I was the guy lucky enough to be sitting next to them, adding commentary about how this stuff applies in the real world of wine writing on-line.
We based our discussion on a fantastic slide deck that Doug produced for a similar series of talks that he’s been giving, whch you can find below after the jump, as well as some video from the panel discussion. Anyone who is trying to get their wine writing found on-line needs to take this stuff seriously (within reason of course). The vid is long, it doesn’t include the full session, and the sound quality isn’t awesome… BUT… I think you’ll get some good info. out of it so, screw it, I’m including it anyway (just bear in mind this panel wasn’t designed to be filmed, ok?). Also, YouTube can totally go suck donkey bong for how painful it was to (unsuccessfully) upload the vid, which explains why it’s hosted on my own server instead…
Anyway… some highlights for the impatient:
- The best way to get your content noticed is to produce kick-ass content. This is uber-important and personally I break almost all of the rules in Doug’s presentation from time to time in pursuit of making content that hopefully humans (not search engines) actually want to read.
- Everybody finds everything on the Internet via search, and usually they’re searching for something very specific. Your website needs to be search-friendly and making it easy to find related content is important.
- How and to what content you link is important to how search engines view your website – probably way more important than you think.
- Thinking of trying to fool the search engines into giving your website prime search results real-estate? The Googles, Yahoos and Bings of the world have teams of MENSA-candidate eggheads whose jobs are to ensure that your tricks will fail. If that’s your strategy… good luck with that.
- If you use a blogging platform, most of the nitty-gritty stuff is handled for you, and the stuff that isn’t done automatically can be handled by (usually free) plug-ins. Don’t go too crazy with this stuff – like anything else, baby-stepping into the guts of how search engine optimization works is the best approach, and it should never supersede your real focus (producing the best content that you can so that people want to stick around when they do find you).