June 30, 2018

Making Sure Your Atheist Blog is Found By Search Engines

magnifying glassSearch engines provide one of the most important sources of traffic to Atheist Revolution, and this has been true from the early days. For anyone thinking of starting a new atheist blog, making sure that your new blog is being indexed by search engines is a critical step. And even for blogs that have been around for several years, it probably doesn't hurt to check every now and then to make sure your blog is being indexed in the way you think it is and to fix the errors that inevitably crop up over time.

One of the big benefits of search engine traffic is that it helps to maintain a steady flow of visitors to your atheist blog even when your posting frequency declines for a bit. Posts that do well in terms of search engine traffic often continue to generate traffic for long after they first appeared on your blog. I have posts I wrote several years ago that still drive decent search traffic. The more of those you end up with over time, the more you can count on a consistent flow of traffic to your atheist blog.

Getting Found By Search Engines

The first and most important thing you need to do is make sure that your blog is added to Google's Search Console. You need to add your blog, verify ownership, and enter a sitemap. This helps make sure Google is indexing your blog correctly, and this has a big impact on search engine traffic. This step is not only about getting your blog added but also about spotting potential problems. Be on the lookout for any errors.

Speeding Up the Indexing of New Posts

The next thing I would recommend is setting up a Google+ page for your blog. You can see what mine looks like here. Don't worry about making it pretty. You can work on that later if you'd like. The important thing now is to provide all the basic information (e.g., name of your blog, link for your blog). Google+ is a social media platform not unlike Facebook, and it can send you direct traffic; however, that isn't what we're dealing with now. We're viewing Google+ solely as a way to boost your search engine traffic.

Once you have your page set up and linked to your blog, you are going to want to post every new blog post to your Google+ page. Again, this isn't about users of Google+ seeing your content and interacting with it (although it is nice when this happens) as much as it is about boosting your search engine performance. I'm not sure if this is accurate, but the rumor is that this helps Google index your new blog posts a little bit quicker than would otherwise be the case.

Checking Search Console for Errors

Once you have your blog set up on Google's Search Console, it is tempting to forget all about it. I'd recommend checking it at least once a month to look for potential errors. Things go wrong from time-to-time, and identifying errors in how Google is crawling your site can help prevent the loss of traffic that may result from some of them. So even if everything seems to be working well, I'd check the Search Console periodically.