Format, Tags, SEO, and Category Guidelines

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In an effort to explain our policies regarding how seo and naming must be in order to use I am making this post.

1. You may only choose 2 categories and up to 6 tags.

2. NO ONE WORD TAGS. This continues to be an issue for many people. One word tags are too broad and contribute to more than 90% of our bounce rate (people hitting the back button). Since readers must remain on your article for 15 seconds, you’re not doing yourself any favors by attracting unrelated traffic.

Use specific, relevant tags. Make them a MINIMUM of 2 words. Do not duplicate the category name as search engines show it as duplicate content. Double check that proper names are capitalized and that there are no misspellings or typos present. As always, we reserve the right to change or remove tags that do not meet our standards of quality.

Example: If you’re writing about Mardi Gras, ‘New Orleans’ is not a good tag. Neither is Louisiana, fairs, carnivals, celebrations, mardi gras (because it should be capitalized as a proper name) etc. Focused tags might be ‘New Orleans Carnivals’, ‘Southern US celebrations/holidays’, etc. The more focused you are, the better your traffic will be, the likely they will click, and the longer they will stay. Broad tags just cause people to hit the back button and that hurts the site and doesn’t give you a view to get paid for. Not using proper capitalization and punctuation will also hurt you and the site with organic traffic so double check your tags.

Example 2: You’re writing about a book. The book is set in California, and is about how to surf. Bad tags: California (your article isn’t about California, so this is an irrelevant tag). Surfing is also not a good tag (it’s one word and not a proper name). The book title is not a good tag because it should already be in your title. Good tags might be ‘surfing in California, how to surf, surfing in the pacific, author name (capitalized of course), learning to surf, etc.

Example 3: You’re writing about the latest scientific breakthrough. Say they’ve cured the common cold or something. Bad tags: New scientific breakthrough, latest science news (unless you are writing for a news category), great news, awesome science, terrific breakthrough. None of these tell your potential reader anything whatsoever about what your article is about. So they will move to the next choice in the search engine (assuming you’ve managed to rank at all). Good tags: Scientists cure the common cold, Scientific breakthrough cures the common cold, how to cure the common cold, learn the cure for the common cold, etc.

3. No Keyword stuffing. No bolding of keywords unless the keyword happens to be part of a subtitle/subsection. No mass blog directory inlinks. No paid traffic. No traffic exchange groups. ALL of these hurt YOU and hurt the site. Google penalizes for ALL of the previous things which in turn lowers our organic traffic significantly.

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4. Using this (SEO) section is NOT mandatory, however when used correctly it can positively affect your articles tremendously.

  • Choose your keyphrase. 4 words phrases work best but you can choose more or less.
  • Type in the title you want to have show up on google search results. This should be exciting and punchy, enticing surfers to click but must NOT be misleading in any way regarding your content.
  • Finally, in 156 characters or less (including spaces and punctuation), fill in what you’d like the search engine description to say (A summary of the article is the best choice).

On the right side just above the format section, you’ll see a line that says SEO check. You can use this to help you to see if you’ve utilized the SEO fields correctly.

Remember, when you cause google to lay out penalties, they not only affect your articles, they affect the entire site. Please take your time, spellcheck, re-read for typos, etc. Use the checklist at the very bottom of the ‘add new post’ page.

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