Is content really king or do you need to write for the spiders?

There has long been a debate in the search engine world as to whether or not you need to focus on the kind of killer content that will benefit humans the most and push them to your site or to use all of the tips and tricks that we have to make sure that the search spiders push us up the rankings in way that would only make human readers head’s itch. And while the perfect answer probably lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, the debate still rages on.

So which one is best – is content really king of the hill when it comes to driving traffic, or can you get away with a bunch of keyword stuffed electronic friendly articles to push people to your sites?

Content is king – most of the time

While it may have been possible to get some pretty slick rankings in the past with spider optimized articles and websites, the fact of the matter is that things are changing – and rapidly at that. Each and every day sees more and more subtle changes to the underlying structure of SEO, and the major search engines are constantly shifting their algorithms to weight different factors across the board. This has made it next to impossible to gauge with any real accuracy what the future of SEO holds, and it’s become more and more important to make sure that we are writing for our readers more than the spiders.

That’s not to say that the SEO world is dead and we need to shift our focus entirely – far from it. But we need to be more judicious with the way that we write, and understand that companies like Google are looking for the most relevant content to serve their users – and the eventually the spiders will only be focusing on killer content just the moment that the technology makes that possible.

You cannot ignore the new wave of search engine practices or the boom in other traffic methods

The second major reason that you need to focus on content over the spiders is the fact that he social web has changed the very fabric of web traffic. No longer can we count on all of our traffic to come from the search engines. While they still play a prominent role in how new visitors find our material, the social web has caused millions of other little pathways to our content to open up – and if a reader stumbles upon some jumbled mess of an article or other SEO work we’ve created for the spiders we’re going to start losing the pole position we’ve worked so hard to create.

So while there needs to be a balance between writing for our user base and writing for the machines, the landscape of SEO is dictating that we need to be leaning more towards amazing content and less on trying to game the search spiders.

Joel Mayer writes about SEO and other online marketing techniques for the AustralianWebMarketers blog

New look

I am trying out a new look. The base of the look is from a theme I modified called Base. I made a theme named 3Base using a tutorial on Nettuts. There is still some work to do. But everything seems to be working fine at the momment. If you see something displaying incorrectly please let me know.

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Please give me some feed back.

Theme Update 3

Well I think I’m just about done the new theme. It has taken me along time, and a lot of tries. I have started four different times since September 9th 2007. I finally have a layout and look I like. getting things to work in both firefox and Internet explorer gave me the most trouble. I gave up on using Blueprint CSS for the layout, I just couldn’t get it to work with Internet explorer. I used Spry Ajax for the tabs and menu. Most of the design was made with Dreamweaver and then transferred to the WordPress files. This method worked out pretty good for me. Although it is not perfect and has some Validation problems, mostly from plugins I think. I am going to have it up and running in the next few days. Here is a screenshot of how it looks in a single post view. I’m looking for any ideas, advice or criticism, feel free to let me know what you think

Theme Update 2

About 5 months ago I said I was working a new theme. Well I tried for about two weeks and I never went anywhere with it. So in the last few weeks I have been trying again. I was inspired again by a series about ‘How to create a WordPress Theme’ on Colin King’s blog. Also I have been following a tutorial on WP Designer.
My first attempt I used Blueprint CSS to help with the layout of all of the content, since that was what gave me the most difficulty last time. I thought I was done, everything looked good, all of the code was valid, then I realized I never tested the design in Internet Explorer. Well of course the theme was broken in IE. I’m not all that good with CSS, and maybe I shouldn’t have used Blueprint CSS for the grid layout. I thought it was a good idea at first. The only problem is that the footer section was displaying about half way up the page. Anyone know how to keep it at the bottom? Damn IE!
So I have started again, which will be my third attempt. I’m using Dreamweaver CS3 to design the layout this time. I found another tutorial on how to do this. So far this method is working out pretty good for me. I have had no problems yet. and hopefully be able to use my new custom built theme this weekend.

Theme Update

I have posted that I was working on a new theme back on September 9th. Well I am still working on that theme. My day job has been real hectic lately, not giving much time to blog or work on the theme. I get to work on it a little. Most days I am too mentally drained to even think about trying to write any post or write php code. So after this week is over and with the up comming long weekend in Canada, I will be able to write some post, maybe post date them to get ahead. And hopefully I will be able to finish the theme.

I’m also going to be working on a new project for bloggers in Calgary. I’m going to start a blog directory for bloggers in Calgary. http://calgaryblog.info

Damn Theme

I have been trying to build my own them since September 9th. It really hasn’t been working out to well for me. I know very little about css, and I think that is my biggest problem. Most of the trouble is laying out the side bar and some of the background images that I am trying to use. As you can see I have changed my header image. I have some similar images that I am trying to work int my new theme.
Well I guess I just need to keep working at it, and soon enough I will have my very own theme.

New Theme Tonite, Maybe.

I have been working a on a new theme all week. I’m going to give a try tonite and see how it works. This is the first attempt to make theme myself. Please let me know if you like it? Or if you have any suggestions for me?

UPDATE:

Well that never worked. I guess I never tested my theme enough. I will keep trying

My Theme Challenge

With every other blog changing their themes lately, I decided to try and make my own. I know very little about php or css and only a bit about html, this is going to a big undertaking. I found a great tutorial over at wpdesigner.com, with easy to follow steps and a good breakdown on how to set up each page in the theme.

So in the next week or two I will roll out my very own theme. I’m not sure how it will turn out but I’m going to give it a try.

My goal is to have a theme that is unique. I am challenging myself to learn a new skill and get more familiar with how wordpress works. Hopefully I will come up with something that is enjoyable and easy to implement.