Nevertheless, there I am. So again I ask, how did it happen?
From what I have researched on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I did five things to get to the top of the search engine results. I stumbled upon them accidentally, but they could just as easily have been employed purposely.
1. I included "Most Popular Blog" in my title. Last year the title of my blog was simply, "The Saipan Blog." I read somewhere that you can increase your SEO by throwing a few keywords into your title. I wanted to include Saipan and CNMI, but to give it a ring of authenticity, I chose, "The Saipan Blog - Saipan, CNMI's most popular blog since ever since." Since ever since is local vernacular for "a very long time." I'd like to think that locals reading my blog will think it funny. Little did I know that calling my blog the "most popular blog since ever since" would actually make it the Most Popular Blog Ever.
2. I included "Most Popular Blog" in my meta data. Meta data is data about data. On a blog, it tells other computers and search engines what your blog is about. My meta data has a blog description and a list of keywords. The code looks like this (click on the image for a larger version):
That is a screenshot of my blog's html code. To find the code for your blog, and to see if you have meta data, simply right click on your blog and open up View Source.
3. I wrote a few posts about the "Most Popular Blog Ever." Search engines crawl your blog for content. If you think about it, it should make sense that your content will turn up in search engine results. The more you mention a term, the higher you will pop up in search results. This is probably starting to sound too easy, but I swear it works. I've done it for other search terms. For example, I was able to accidentally make my blog one of the top results for an image search of "ladyboy." . I wrote only two posts about the ladyboys Ian and I saw in Thailand, and now dozens of single, forty year old men living with their parents find my blog every single day.
4. I made myself an expert in a niche topic. I am not just A Saipan Blogger; I am THE Saipan Blogger. Being an expert on life in Saipan has earned me a considerable following (with readers other than my mom and brother, Alex). Although there are millions of web sites and hundreds of blogs that contain the word, "Saipan," there are fewer than 100 regularly updated blogs dedicated to life in Saipan (this number has tripled in the last year). It was not difficult to become a major online resource for all things Saipan simply because there is just so little written about this island. Now anybody looking for information about Saipan undoubtedly comes across my blog. That increases my PageRank, which in turn increases my SEO.
5. I provide content that other bloggers want to link to. I participate in blog carnivals, maintain a Master List of all CNMI bloggers, and regularly post pictures of my dog, Oreo Kenobi. People regularly link to the main page of my blog and my individual posts because of my content. That hasn't increased my PageRank in a while, but it maintains me at a PR4. One of these days I hope to make the jump to PR5.
...and that is how The Saipan Blog became the Most Popular Blog Ever. These 5 Easy Steps are guaranteed to increase your PageRank and SEO. I used them and so can you.
Keep in mind that you don't have to try to become the Most Popular Blog Ever; maybe you want to be San Francisco's Best Food Blog or the Funniest Blog in Europe. Whatever niche you choose to be an expert in, good luck!