Friday, 30 September 2005

Your blog: search engine rankings, anonymous blogging

There's been lots of talk already about a handbook released recently for free download by Reporters Sans Frontieres, called "Handbook for Bloggers And Cyber-dissidents". It's useful not just for cyberdissidents but, as it says on the tin, for bloggers too.

Getting your blog picked up by search engines

In particular there's a 6-pg. chapter on "Getting your blog picked up by search engines" which has some good tips. I've always tried to make my posts useful to readers by having properly descriptive titles and headings, and relevant text at the start (it's the first 50 words which count it seems), and apparently that really helps with the search engines, which may explain why I rank pretty well on Google for some searches. The words you use for links also matter (as I should have figured when I first heard about "Googlebombing"). Well, that's me avoiding "here" for my link text from now on!

There's also a chapter on what ethics bloggers should have, sensible stuff like thoroughness, accuracy, fairness and transparency - more for journo-style blogs than "pouring your heart out" ones, though, really.

And there's a bit on "What really makes a blog shine" which again is mostly common sense but bears repeating.

Blogging anonymously

I've previously mentioned some useful links on anonymous blogging before. This handbook also has a chapter on how to blog anonymously, plus one on technical ways to get round censorship. In a sentence - it ain't easy! I wonder if anyone has done a tutorial that us mere mortals can understand on how to use Mixmaster? (if I have a quiet Christmas holiday, and there is demand for it, I guess I could grit my teeth and buckle down to trying it...). I do blog anonymously myself, but only in the sense that I use a pseudonym and don't give away any identifying details in my posts. If a government wanted to it could easily figure out who I am (but hopefully others like employers can't!).

The chapter on ensuring your email is private wasn't as practical as the rest, I thought.

All in all though this is an interesting handbook and worth a read, even if you're not into political blogging - especially the search engines chapter.

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TaB said...

Posting on forums anonymously too. :(
Seems creeps are drawn to forums where people are happy and smiling.

I’m still learning.

Improbulus said...

Yes, sadly anonymity works both ways. I personally think it always pays to be too cautious rather than not cautious enough.