Identify Low Quality Content on your Blog

Google has been continuously tweaking its search algorithm in order to give the users more appropriate results as well as the webmasters who Put-in more efforts to create quality content with top rankings. In this span of optimizing its search algorithm, Google has penalized several websites and blogs that have low-quality content. So, how do you differentiate low quality content from the high quality. This particular question has been raised by many in several SEO forums but very few people have responded with appropriate solutions. So, I just thought of writing an article with the checklist that is required to identify low quality content on your own blogs.

How to Identify Low Quality or Thin Content?

I know what you’re thinking right now! Why Google has penalized my site even though my content was original (written by me) and not copied from elsewhere? To be clear, Low quality content is nothing but the particular article/post on your blog is not able to provide full or sometimes proper information to the end-user (reader) who comes from the search listings. OK! Now, let us look at the ways of identifying the poorly written content on our blog.

Finding Low Quality Content On your Blog

1] Article with very few words

Although there is a saying that ‘Quality is better than Quantity’, Google has completely changed the scenario by introducing the algorithmic updates like Google Panda, Penguin, EMD update and the forthcoming Zebra. All Google (in the view of the end user) needs now is well written articles with complete information for what the user is looking for. In short, articles on your blog should be at least 500 words (keep it a minimum criteria while writing the new posts).

Let’s keep it straight. Not all the topics will need/require 500 words to express as there are some topics which can be written in mere 200 to 250 words. In such cases, you can consider adding/bringing more comments to your articles so that the overall content on that single post would be more than 500 words (i.e., 250 words of content  + 250 words of comments). This way, you can make sure that your article is fulfilling the needs of the search engine as well as the user. See it like this – Google robots will be able to find the 500 words they want and the user will be able to get for what he landed on our site with the content as well as the interactions done in your comments section.

That way, you’ll be satisfying both Google pets and your readers.

P.S: Gettings comments doesn’t mean that you should post or approve spammy comments with large texts. Try to interact with your readers as much as possible and give answers to their queries in the comments itself (and not by replying to their emails). So, if you’ve missed adding any particular information in your article body, you can then add it in your comments.

Here is what Matt cutts has to say about the thin content on blogs.

2] Outdated Articles

People who’re blogging in the tech niche should continually update their blogs with the latest information (news) or else they’ll end up with pretty low traffic. As the news articles tend to expire sooner or later, those articles will be of no use to both the user as well as the search engines. So, you should always check those outdated posts and make the necessary changes.

Content Expired or Outdated

  1. If there is any chance of adding value to the article, then its better keep it and update the content. This is mostly apt for articles related to tricks because the old trick might not work now and so you can update such articles with the new trick. It’s just an example, you should decide what type of article it is.
  2. In case if the news is expired and is no longer necessary, it’s better to remove those from your blog and do a proper 301 redirect to either the category page or the index page or the similar news article. I’d prefer to redirect such articles to related category pages.

P.S: You may be interested in checking out these timeless Blogging niches.

3] Articles with little or no traffic at all

Not all the articles on your blog will get the same or similar traffic. Some posts may rank higher and bring in more traffic while some may not be seen anywhere in the top 100 results. In such cases, try to find those and optimize them with proper keywords so that they can get ranked well.


‘Click it to enlarge’
Tip: Try to make use of the Google Analytics tool in order to get the visitor information.

  1. Go to Content > Site Content > Landing Pages. You’ll get the visitor information of all your posts from all sources.
  2. Now, select the option ‘Secondary dimension’ and choose ‘Traffic sources’ > Medium.
  3. Next, click on the ‘advanced’ link beside the search box and input the word ‘organic’ in the text box while including the option ‘medium’ intact.
  4. Next, click on the ‘Visits’ tab to segregate the data in the ascending order (from low to high).

Thus, you can find all your posts with less or ‘0’ visits. Now, try to optimize them.

4] Say no to Duplicate Content within your blog

Normally, WordPress creates duplicate copies of your content across different locations under your own domain. For example, all your category, tag and archive pages will also be indexed by the search engines by default (if not controlled via robots.txt file). As your content also appears on these archive pages along with your main index page, it creates the duplicate copies. So, better use a proper WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO plugin and control their indexing.

P.S: I’ve already written an article about setting up the WordPress SEO plugin. Go ahead and read it.

Not only WordPress CMS but Blogger also creates some content issues like duplicate description tags and indexing of ‘labels’. Read the tutorial about the Blogger SEO settings and make your blogspot blog SEO friendly.

To get more information about the duplicate content issues on your blog, go to the Google Webmaster Tools > Optimization > HTML Improvements wherein you’ll see the suggestions from Google about the presence of duplicate title and meta descriptions.

5] Most Common Mistake

Apart from the above, try to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes as much as possible. If you find any such mistakes in my blog, please let me know and help me fix it. It’s because Nopody is berfect 😉

That’s it folks! Do follow the above steps to identify and delete duplicate or low quality content on your blog. If you’ve any suggestions or doubts about the process, please feel free to comment below. I’ll try my best to address your queries.

Happy Blogging 🙂

Blogspot SEO Tips: How to Make Your Blogger Blog SEO Friendly?

Everyone knows that Blogger is a product of Google and how popular the CMS is among the Bloggers. There is a myth among Bloggers that Blogger blog is SEO friendly as it is owned by Google itself. Surprisingly, the fact is that no CMS is SEO friendly by default. We as a user should optimize it for search engines. Until a year back, Blogger used to lack many popular SEO features that most other popular CMS like WordPress and Joomla. But, Google has added several useful SEO features to the Blogger platform and those include – Custom Robots.txt, Search Description for all Blogger Posts, an option to 301 redirect blogger posts, custom permalinks, custom 404 page and much more.

I’ve talked about those features in detail earlier separately but today I just wanted to list the SEO benefits of Blogger as a whole along with a process on how to optimize them (with settings).

How to Make Your Blogger Blog SEO Friendly?

Title Tag Optimization

If you’re using any default blogger templates, you might’ve noticed that your homepage title appears after every post title in search results. Since Google displays only the first 66 characters of your title, your actual title that come after your home page title will get ignored most of the time. If you’ve targeted any important keywords in your post title, then they’ll be chopped off because of the home page title being appended before it.

Make Title Tags SEO Friendly in Blogger

In order to optimize your Title tags, follow the below steps.

  1. Blogger > Template > Edit HTML
  2. Search for the below code in the <head> section of your template

    <title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>

  3. Replace it with the below code

    <b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;’>
    <title><data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/></title>
    <b:else/>
    <title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
    </b:if>

  4. Now, save your template.

Change your Post title Heading Tag

By default, all blogger templates use H1 for homepage title, H2 for blog description and H3 to post titles. Due to the fact that the post titles are the second most important part of your blog after the main title, you should assign them an H2 instead of H3.

  1. Go to Template | Edit HTML
  2. Search for .post h3 and replace all the occurrences of it with .post h2.
  3. Next search for,

    <h3><data:title/></h3>

  4. Replace it with the below code

    <h2><data:title/></h2>

  5. Save template.

Meta Description

Blogger has implemented another much-awaited feature called ‘Search Description’. This allows us to provide a meta description to every post individually. If you’re using the default template provided by Blogger, you can simply activate this feature by going to Settings > Search Preferences and provide the description for your homepage under ‘Meta Tags’ section. Doing so will enable ‘Search Description’ option for all individual posts & you can see it on the right sidebar while you are on the post editor.

Enable Search Description Feature in Blogger

In case you’re using a custom or third-party templates, along with the above settings, you’ll also need to add a small piece of code in your template.

Add the below code under the <head> tag in your template.

<b:if cond=’data:blog.metaDescription != &quot;&quot;’>
<meta expr:content=’data:blog.metaDescription’ name=’description’/>
</b:if>

Robots.txt Settings for Blogger

The robots.txt file in Blogger will have the default settings which are not sufficient enough to control the search engines actions. By default, all your posts and labels will get indexed by the search engines like Google & Bing, thus creating a lot of duplicate content issues inside your own blog. In order to avoid such technical issues, it’s wise to make a better use of the robots.txt file.

Settings > Search Preference > Enable ‘Custom robots.txt’ under ‘Crawlers and indexing’ section and use the below text.

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Disallow:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /search/
Disallow: /search?
Disallow: /search?q=*
Disallow: /*?updated-max=*
Disallow: /p/about.html
Disallow: /p/privacy.html
Allow: /

Sitemap: http://www.9to5blogger.com/atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=500

Points to Remember

  • Replace my domain name with yours in the sitemap section.
  • If you’ve more than 500 posts, then simply use this tool to generate the Sitemaps based on your post count.
  • You can also chose to disallow your privacy and about pages from being indexed. Make sure you change the my URLs with your own permalinks before saving.

Add NoFollow Tag to All Labels

Although you’ve disallowed indexing of Labels using the robots.txt file, it is better to add a nofollow tag to them so that there will be no chance for them to get indexed. Go to Template > Edit HTML and search for the below code.

<a expr:href=’data:label.url’ rel=’tag’>

Either add the nofollow tag to the end of the above syntax or simply replace it with the below one.

<a expr:href=’data:label.url’ rel=’tag,nofollow’>

Save your template.

Custom Robots Header Tags

These robots tags will go in the header section of your blog. You can use these settings to disable indexing of archive and search pages in search results. Go to Settings > Search Preferences > ‘Enable custom robots header tags?’ under the ‘Crawlers and indexing’ section. Next, use the below settings.

Custom X-Robots Heder Tags for Blogger

In case you don’t understand the meaning and use of these commands, then know about them here.

Submit Blogger Sitemap to Google & Bing

Although Google & Bing can find your blog, they cannot index your entire site as they won’t have a clue what pages are listed on your blog. This is why the Sitemaps existed. Generate sitemap for your blogger blog (use this tool) and then submit them to both Google Webmaster Tools & Bing Webmasters. Doing so will not only helps the search engines to crawl your blog efficiently but also let you to monitor your SEO score using their dashboard.

Note: You’ll need to place their tag on your site under <head> tag in order to verify your ownership.

Optimize URL Parameters in Webmaster Tools

URL parameters help the search engines to crawl your site even more efficiently. Prioritize your  most useful content by controlling the URL parameters that effect your site content. Simply, go to WMT > Configuration > URL parameters and the add the below parameters one by one. Watch the screenshot in case of any doubts.

  • utm_source > No > Let Googlebot decide
  • utm_medium > No > Let Googlebot decide
  • utm_campaign > No > Let Googlebot decide
  • updated-max > Yes > Sorts > Let Googlebot decide
  • showComment > No > Let Google bot decide
  • max-results > Yes > Sorts > Let Google bot decide
  • m > Yes > Paginates > Let Google bot decide
  • commentPage > Yes > Paginates > Every URL

Adding URL Parameters for Blogger in Webmaster Tools

Redirect Broken Links

Just go to your webmaster tools account and from Health > Crawl Errors, find out if there are any 404 errors on your blog. If there are any such errors, simply use a 301 to redirect them to the correct locations on your blog.

301 Redirect Blogger Posts

Go to Settings > Errors and redirections > Custom Redirects.

Apart from these basic settings, make sure you’re optimizing your blog post too. Here are some tips from my end.

How to Write a Keyword Efficient Blog Post?

  1. Analyze & choose a target keyword before writing any article.
  2. Use the exact keyword at least twice in the article & use the synonyms (3 times) across the entire article.
  3. Ensure that the permalink of your post contains the exact keyword.
  4. The title should contain your exact match keyword.
  5. Make sure your ‘Search Description’ contains at least 1 exact keyword & 1 synonym.
  6. Lastly, give some useful insights in the article and then publish it.

Note: Never stuff more than the described keyword count as it looks like stuffing keywords in your article. Just use them at appropriate places (wherever suitable).

That’s it! Do follow these tips to make your blogspot blog SEO friendly. Happy Blogging 🙂

Top 6 FREE & Paid Traffic Sources to Get Targetted Visitors

No matter how well you designed your blog or how creatively you write, your blog will go wasted if it is not properly promoted. The immediate thing I do after writing an article is to promote it using several link building techniques (comes under off-page optimization). The main objective of link building is to get backlinks as well as drive traffic to your website or blog. In general there is a huge list of link building techniques in SEO (we shall discuss them in our future post) but for now, let us discuss the quality sources for getting targeted traffic to our blog.

Top FREE Traffic Sources for Quality & Targeted Traffic

Guest Blogging

I’ve discussed about the benefits of guest blogging long back and personally recommend this as the #1 source of quality traffic. The thumb rule here is that you’ll need to submit a well-written article on a blog of your niche. Doing so, you’ll get quality backlink, targeted traffic, and loyal readership.
Guest Blogging Basics
Targeted Traffic = Less Bounce Rate

Blog Commenting

The second best way to get quality backlink + traffic is to comment on other blogs in your niche. Don’t bother whether it is a dofollow blog or a nofollow as you’ll have to parallelly comment on both types of blogs for better traffic. While DoFollow blogs give you backlinks, nofollow blogs send you quality traffic. The thumb rule here is to choose the best or authority blogs in your niche for commenting.
DoFollow Blogs List
Recommended: List of DoFollow Blog Commenting Sites

Paid Ad Campaigns

Although, this is paid source of traffic, you can get targeted visitors to your blog i.e., people who are looking for the particular product or topic. If you’ve some money, I’d recommend you to try paid campaigns to drive targeted traffic to your website. A mere 5$ is enough to get started with Google Adwords as you can get 25$, 100$ coupons on the web (try Fiverr). There are many great Adwords alternatives on the web. We shall discuss about those in our upcoming post.

YouTube Videos

Video Blogging (viral marketing) is trending now and if you’re good at explaining things virtually, then it’s recommended to try YouTube marketing. These days most affiliate marketers are trying out the video marketing it helps in getting more lead conversions to the affiliate products they’re promoting. Just create & upload a video about any popular topic in your niche and leave your blog URL (or affiliate link) in the description. The traffic count depends on the quality of your video. So, try to provide useful information in your videos.

Social Media Marketing

It is advised to have fan pages for your blog on the popular social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest (Not all niches will see the benefits with Pinterest) and promote your articles on your fan pages. Try to conduct some giveaways to increase fans to your fan pages. As most of the users who liked your pages are interested in your niche, there are more chances to get targeted traffic to your blog.

Note: Just to let you know – Google Adsense doesn’t give good CPC for Social media traffic (Referral traffic). You can also try to display Adsense ads only to Search Engine Visitors to improve CPC & CTR.

We shall discuss more about improving social media fans to your blog in our future post.

Email Marketing

Out of all the traffic sources, the users who subscribe to your blog will be the best loyal visitors for your blog. They subscribe only because they loved your content. So, never ignore your email subscribers. Always display an option on your blog (sidebars or popup) for users to subscribe with their Email ID. In case you wanted to optimize the email campaigns, then you can try premium services like Aweber or MailChimp.

I hope, by now, you have got the idea on how to drive quality traffic to your blog. If you got any better traffic sources that bring quality traffic to your blog, then please share with us in the below comments.

Also see: Timeless Blogging Niches | Promoting Blogs Offline | Profitable Niches to Blog on

Free Duplicate Content Checker Tools

The internet is full of scams and every work can/will be duplicated easily. The same applies to the creative works like theme designs and content writing. Copycats steal another individual’s work and try to gain from others hard work.

Even I have faced this problem several times and have filed the DMCA complaint against those content scrapers. Using these free online plagiarism checkers, you can find who is reusing or copying your content without giving you credits. Doing so, you can either warn them or simply get their site or blog deleted from the search index.

Recommened: Stop Content Theft by RSS Feed Scrapers | What is Considered as Duplicate Content by Google?

The other best advantage of these duplicate content checkers is you can try to write Copyscape free articles as these tools let you know whether the phrases used by you are already used by others on their sites. If you came to know that similar content exits, you can reframe your sentences to make then copy free. This is especially useful for freelance writers who deliver content to clients.

Free Online Plagiarism Checker Tools

Free Online Plagiarism Checkers – Top 6 Duplicate Content Checkers

PlagTracker.com

This particular tool uses its special scanning technology to search for any signs of your content on the web. The free version of PlagTracker allows you to scan up to 5000 words. Once the scan is finished, the tool will provide you with a detailed ‘Plagiarized Report’ that contains any instances of your text on the web. The ‘view all sources’ option to the right of the page will reveal the site links which copied your content or has the same text.

DupliChecker.com

This is another good alternative to Copyscape.com which actually highlights the copied text on the scraper’s site visually so that you can know how much of your content is being plagiarized.

You can either paste the text version or simply upload the file to search the duplicate content issue.

PlagiarismChecker.com

The functioning of this free online plagiarism checker is very straight forward. It uses a simple Google query to find the duplicate content. We usually enter a few lines of text along with double quotes (“”) in Google to check for websites that copy our content. The same concept is used by this tool. When you enter your text, the tool actually appends double quotes to your text and searches in Google. It saves a lot of time.

You can also enter a specific URL of your web page to find any duplicate instances of it on the web.

PlagiarismCheck.org

This tool highlights all the copied text along with the links to those websites that copied your content.

Plagium.com

This duplicate content checker allows you to search text up to 25,000 characters across three areas such as ‘the entire web’, ‘Google news’ and ‘social networks’. Simply input your text into the text box and Plagium will then break it into paragraphs, sentences, phrases and words to check for any signs of duplicate copies across the internet. It highlights the duplicate copies in Yellow.

PaperRater.com

This is an awesome tool that not only checks for duplicate copies of your content on the web but also corrects spellings and grammar mistakes in your content. Additionally, it gives grades based on the readability score of your article.

There are few other duplicate content & plagiarism checker tools such as Plagiarisma.net and PlagSpotter.com which are also worth checking.

If you know any other free Copyscape alternatives worth trying, please do share with us in the comments below.

Also see: Tips to Avoid Writers Block | How to Write SEO Friendly Articles?

Change WordPress URL Structure without Loosing Traffic

People usually like the permalink or URL structure of WordPress blogs. However, there may be a few situations where you need to change the URL structure of your WordPress blog without breaking the links. Doing so without the proper set up may get you into even more troubles like having 404 errors (Page Not Found), losing backlinks to your blog, and finally losing traffic & search rankings.

So to prevent this from happening, you should 301 redirect all your old URLs to new destination URLs which actually takes a lot of effort and time in case you’ve ton’s of such broken URLs in your blog. But, you can do it easily with the help of a WordPress plugin called “Advanced Permalinks” which will automatically redirect the links with the old permalink structure to the new URL’s using 301 redirection (tells Search Engines that the old URL has been permanently moved to a new location).

Also see: The Best WordPress Permalink Structure | Must Have WordPress Plugins

Let’s say; your old URL structure is something like

http://www.example.com/2001/03/postname.html

and you would like to change it to

http://www.example.com/postname/12/

This could be easily accomplished without breaking the links using the plugin mentioned above. Let’s see how to setup the Advanced Permalinks plugin properly.

Change WordPress Permalink Structure without Losing Traffic & SEO Juice

  1. Download, Install and activate the Advanced Permalinks plugin.
  2. Go to Settings Menu > Click on ‘Permalinks’ Section.
  3. Do note your existing permalink structure (copy & paste in a notepad). You’ll need it in the next steps.
  4. You’ll notice 4 new tabs at the top of the ‘Permalinks’ page such as ‘Advanced, Posts, Migration and Debug’.
    WordPress Permalink Migration Steps
  5. Go to the ‘Migration’ tab and enter your old URL structure (copied) in the ‘Old Permalink’ text box and click ‘Add’.
  6. Next, go to the main or default ‘Permalinks’ section (step 2) and give your new URL structure in the Defaults tab.
  7. Save ‘settings’.

That’s it! The plugin will now take care of the rest. It will create a dynamic 301 redirect that redirects all the traffic arriving at your old syntax’s to the current or new Permalink structure (chosen by you).

Just re-submit your site to search engines to make them crawl your new URL structure ASAP.

Also see: Setting Blogger Custom URL Structure | 301 Redirect Blogger Posts