High Search Engine Ranking – A Blessing and a Curse

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One of the beauties of having a highly ranked site that is regularly visited by search engine bots is that you can very quickly rise to the top of search engines on a breaking news story. This can be a wonderful thing – but it can also be something of a curse. Let me illustrate.

My original blog is LivingRoom – a blog that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea because it’s a personal blog that touches topics of personal interest to me including issues of spirituality, culture, the church I’m part of (LivingRoom) weird, wonderful and bizarre links as well as an occasional story from my daily life.

In the early days of my blogging this blog it became extremely popular (a long story for another day) that was on the receiving end of many thousands of incoming links. As a result it quickly climbed the rankings in Google and now has a page rank of 6. SE bots visit it daily (sometimes more than once per day) and most posts rank pretty highly on Google for their topic.

For example this week after the London bombing I started blogging about the situation (along with thousands of others). I didn’t do so for any other reason than we were nervous for our family and friends and blogging seemed to be something constructive to do with my time while we waited for news. The post got a few links from other bloggers but at the time didn’t get much attention in the blogosphere – I didn’t mind this as it was not my intention when I posted to do it for such motivation.

Today I checked LivingRoom’s stats and found that the London Explosion page has become the most popular page on that blog. This is not a result of any new links but rather a high ranking in Google for terms like london explosion (now ranked 5th but ranked 2nd earlier today) and london explosion pictures’ (currently ranked 2nd and 3rd). This is just one example of many that I could talk about from the past year or so of blogging and illustrates the power of having a blog that is highly regarded (and ranked) by Google.

However being highly ranked can also be something of a curse. You see when your blog ranks well it means that you can become highly ranked for many search terms that you may not necessarily wish to be highly ranked for.

For example I remember the day that I found I was one of the most highly ranked sites on Google for Spanish Porn’ (I’d used the words separately on a post). Earlier this week a friend found my site in a search engine when he did a search for bubble wrap’. Another time I wrote a post with a critique on one aspect Australian church and became the number 1 result for people searching for that church. Another time a friend asked me to link to his blog and I became more highly ranked for his name than he did. This is also how I came to be quoted in the New York Times for being an expert on Lord of the Rings and it’s spiritual themes and in an Aussie paper as an expert on Spam. All of these situations illustrate both the power of a highly ranked site but also the responsibility that one with such power to blog wisely.

Reader Comments…

Darren Rowse is the founder of ProBlogger.net, a blog about the many ways of adding an income stream to blogs.

Darren owns and writes a variety of blogs including Digital Photography Blog and Camera Phone
. He is also a co-founder of the Breaking News Blog Collective.

High Search Engine Ranking – A Blessing and a Curse
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