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Friday, March 27, 2009

SEO and Content

As one of the "web guys" here at Sonlight, I have to keep an eye on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We want people to be able to find our site if they search for "homeschool curriculum" and "curriculum packages" and "Christian homeschooling" ... you get the picture. And so, we try to make sure our pages contain those words so Googlebot can help others find our incredible homeschool materials and support.

Aside: yes, Sonlight's curriculum is really, really good. Sonlight is not for everyone, sure, but if it is a fit for you and your family, it is the best. Not that I'm biased or anything <smile>.

I also try to keep an eye on what others are saying about Sonlight out here on the intertubes. And I keep running into these sites that seem to have taken SEO to a whole new level of insanity. For example, I came across the following blog post today:

Sonlight Curriculum Vendor of total homeschool package

Looks potentially useful. What does it have to say? Near as I can tell, the first bit is about Sonlight, and the rest is not. And even the bit about Sonlight is almost unintelligible:

NotesResources are ranked within each topic the first listed is the useful and the last the least useful, in my opinion. Also offers lots of info on and resources for homeschooling. Catalog downloadable updates for users

Huh?

I poked around the site a little more and discovered that many of the posts appear to be nothing more than textual vomit--that was for you, Melonie <smile>--trying to pass for SEO.

If you find that I ever start doing something that works for machines but is meaningless to you, please ask me to stop.

Thank you.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

5 comments:

~ Angi :) said...

Hm. One might ask the same of a stereotypical woman (a play on your previous post):

If she manages to post something that 'works for her, but is meaningless to others' . . . well, I don't know if one can stop her. but it's worth a try.

:D

Jana said...

textual vomit !

I don't think that is a language I care to study. ( SEO ) {smile}

Jenn said...

I just had to leave a comment for you Luke and tell you thanks! Thank you for your prayers, they are much appreciated. Plus I got a big thrill yesterday when my husband brought in the mail. My Sonlight catalogue arrived! I will be spending much of my time in bed pouring over the pages!

Ken said...

This is a very interesting post, Luke. We have been amazed at how much traffic comes our way because of Google search for comparisons of Sonlight materials. I make an effort to always put one or two links to the places where we get our materials--the vast bulk of which has come from Sonlight over the years. Out of curiosity, I have been looking at the Google searches that bring people to our pages. We are often on the first page for first page for searches on materials used by Sonlight that we describe, but even more often, we are below a bunch of sites that have only peripheral references to the topic at hand.

Luke said...

Angi, I see blogs as a tool for people to use as they see fit, so if a woman is doing something that works for her... that's fine by me <smile>. On the other hand, I think blogs should be functional for others... otherwise it's not much of a blog <smile>.

Jana, glad you like the textual vomit <smile>. And I'm not big on SEO either. I think much of it is a myth.

Jenn, it is my pleasure to be able to pray for you. And may the Sonlight catalog be a useful tool and blessing to your family! <smile>

Ken, traffic going to blogs is one of many reasons I decided it was time Sonlight "got on the ball" in this area <smile>. And those peripheral reference sites are the ones that make me think SEO is less real than "web gurus" claim <smile>.

~Luke


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Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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Co-founder and president of Sonlight Curriculum.
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