Blogging is dying – long live blogging

Blogs are fundamental to the Internet; without them Google would have little fresh content to index, other than brand new web sites. Existing web sites can help improve their indexing by Google (and other search engines) if they include a blog. The reason is simple. When we visit a search engine and look for something we expect to find the latest. What we hate is going back to search for something only to find the same set of results. We are creatures of “freshness”.

The vast majority of web sites are not updated from the moment they are born. You can find millions of web pages whose last update was in the 1990s, let alone the hundreds of millions of pages that haven’t been updated in the past year. Get those in your search results and you feel cheated.

Blogs, by their very nature are fresh and new – and hence they are manna to search engines. It means by indexing blog entries the search listings for each keyword phrase can always appear new – assuming, of course, that people are blogging about that keyword phrase.

And therein lies the problem; people used to blog, but now it is losing its popularity. Of all the world’s 130 million blogs, only 1% of them post anything each week. More than this, according to Technorati, only around 6% of blogs have been updated in the past four months. In other words, almost all blogs which have been set up are largely being ignored by their founders – and therefore their audiences.

In fact, Technorati’s statistics make grim reading. The amount of blogging is constantly falling – and that provides a problem for the search engines. It means their listings will not have as much of a “freshness” factor as they might like. And when search engines are not up-to-date, we don’t like them.

It also means a problem for business. It suggests that certain blogs will dominate the search results – the ones that get updated more than once a week. Unless you are blogging, your business is going to find it even harder to get noticed.

So why do so many businesses give up blogging? Is it the effort? The time? The lack of ideas? It’s none of these. The single biggest reason I have found with my coaching clients is not placing blogging at the centre of their business. It is seen as a “nice to have”, rather than an essential. Changing your business thinking to making blogging essential will have dramatic impacts on visibility, reputation and search engine ranking.

So, don’t be like the 99% of people who don’t update their blogs at least weekly. Instead, blog more than once a week and it will put you in that tiny fraction of people who are going to get noticed online. And if you’re wondering – my focus on blogging has placed this web site in the Top 0.28% of all blogs indexed by Technorati and this has led this site to being in the Top 1.63% of all web sites, as measured by traffic (check here). Before I started blogging, I was nowhere.

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