August 30, 2012

Use links and backlinks for blog value and SEO

This is fourth post in the five-part series on SEO. The first one talked about SEO tips available on the web and their desirability and the second one listed desirable and undesirable SEO practices as discussed by Google in their discussion pages. The third post was on the importance of naming and keywords in search optimization and this one talks of links and backlinks. The next post will conclude the series with help on some technical matters relating to SEO.

 

Links


One very important tool for improving navigation and enriching content by way of cross-referencing of related content is linking. When you link some expression with other content within the same blog, it is internal linking and when you link it with other websites, we call it external linking.
 
The text that when clicked would open the linked content is called ‘anchor text’. We need to choose the anchor text for every link carefully. Look at these links placed in a sample post dealing with search engine optimisation:
 
In this chapter, we are dealing with some aspects of SEO. We should not indulge in SEO mindlessly as we have described in the earlier post on ITB. Before reading further, do visit the post on the pitfalls of aggressive SEO.
  • First and second links: SEO. The reader is not sure where this link would direct him. Even if we linked this word to the previous post on ITB – which is indeed on SEO - we won’t do justice to the reader as he would be expecting a general article on SEO or the definition of this word rather than do's and don'ts. Of course, from search engine’s point of view, we score a bit with this anchor text as we have used a relevant keyword; in that respect too, this is a very broad keyword and we have also used the same keyword twice too closely. 
  • Third link: earlier post on ITB. This is fine as far as guiding the reader, but it does not make a good sense to search engines because the expressions in the anchor text does not relate to its subject. Yet, it is better than the first two links: it is ethical and natural.
  • Fourth link: pitfalls of aggressive SEO. This link is excellent on many counts: it guides the reader about what he can expect exactly in the link; it has the correct keyword; it looks natural.
Check links for the anchor text, not only in posts but elsewhere too. Do not give links in quick succession except in lists. Take care that links are fully relevant. Also see that the anchor text is in a slightly different font size / color / format, but the variation should not be so much that it spoils reading.

Even when you need to provide link to the same external or internal content, try to give different expressions. Remember, we advised this in the case of keywords also. For example, for a directory, you can use the words 'directory', 'list', 'listing' and 'index' if they are convey the sense in that context.
 
Do not provide links to websites that are of poor quality:  websites that spam; sites with poor content; pornographic sites and sites with other objectionable content; sites with poor reputation because of trying wrong SEO tricks; link farms; sites that circulate virus and Trojans. If you need to give link to such a content [e.g. to give example of a bad site], use rel=“nofollow” attribute  to the link [We’ll discuss ‘rel’ in the next post].
 
Do not provide unrelated links. Have you seen some blog posts in which many words have links to either unrelated content or to pages selling something /seeking donation? We understand that major search engines constantly sanitize their search pages / directories of websites that follow such undesirable practices. From the reader's perspective also, too many – and unrelated – links in posts irritate the reader. In addition, these generate ill-will when a visitor clicks on them and he is directed to websites selling Viagra or online friendship.

 

Backlinks


Backlinks are the links that other websites give to your blog. So, a mention of your blog on Indian Top Blogs website is a backlink from ITB to your blog.
 
Backlinks are very important because these act like certificates from other websites. Therefore, backlinks from websites with good Google PageRank [i.e. more than 2] are very valuable. By the same logic, a backlink from a PR3 site is much more important than that from a PR1 site, and one from PR9 site is many times more valuable than that from a PR3 site.

Allow us to indulge in a bit of bragging here. Please!
If you happen to be a bogger whose blog has been listed in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs or Indian Blog Ranks or Blog Showcase, have you noticed three things?: One, a visible rise in your PageRank if it was very poor [na / 0 / 1] before that. Even if it has PR of more than 4, ITB backlink will given it value that would be reflected in future. Two, traffic coming to your blog from ITB, even if only a few visits a week. [You can see it through an analytic programme. If you are not sure about it, we'd help you in one of our posts sometime ater.] Three, your acquanintances - online and real-life freinds - talking more about your blog and considering it of high worth.
 
Generally speaking, you do not have much control over link-backs from other websites, especially high value sites. But you can ethically improve chances of backlinks if you care for –
  • Posting good content on the blog, not only in posts but through other elements too, so that your blog is seen by other websites as a valuable  source for material on your subject. If other websites just mention about your blog without giving a backlink, even then you are a gainer, isn’t it?
  • Submitting your blog to high-quality directories such as DMOZ and Technorati.
  • Participating in discussion on good sites by way of commenting. Even when you comment on a good Google PR site and do not directly promote your blog there, it is likely that you leave a trace of yours there [when registering, logging in, giving your identity…] and if your comment is good, people might get interested in visiting your blog.
  • Linking your blog and its posts / pages with your social networking account i.e. on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Writing for other websites as a guest blogger or article writer, and getting a link from there to your blog.
Let’s conclude this discussion with a list of common tricks that are either innocently tried by bloggers or knowingly done by unscrupulous SEO masters and are considered undesirable for getting backlinks.
  • Using services of ‘link farms’. Such sites promise mutual linking, links from high PR sites and thousands of links within a span of days. These links are not natural links and are therefore frowned upon by search engines.
  • Creating sites for the purpose of cross linking. If you open a number of blogs and profusely link each other with the sole purpose of getting backlinks, this move is likely to backfire in the long run.
  • Commenting just to get backlinks. If you comment on a highly valuable site and get a backlink from there, people will not visit your blog if the comment is not of much value. Worse, if your blog is not related to the subject of the post where you posted the comment, visitors will feel cheated. Look at a few recent posts of ITB and you will find a number of comments that we have removed. [We have not yet fully removed them, so that they serve as illustrations for this post. After some time, we intend to not only wipe them out but also report against them to top search engines.]  These are spurious links from travel agents, link-building websites, ‘black-hat’ SEO companies and so on. If you engage an SEO expert who places such comments on your behalf, beware!

Articles in this series:

Blogging tips on ethical SEO

What search engines love and what they hate

Use strong name n keywords to guide visitors, search engines to your blog

Use links and backlinks for blog value and SEO (present one)

Search engine optimisation for blogs: html tweaking needed?

    August 25, 2012

    Strong name n keywords guide visitors, search engines to your blog

    This is third in the five-part series on SEO. The first post contained tips for making a blog popular with ethical SEO practices. The second one gave do’s and don’ts based on the SEO advice given by Google. In the present post we discuss in detail two important aspects of SEO: naming and keywords. The next post will discuss two other aspects, and the last one will simplify some ethical technical tweaks that lead to better search visibility.

    Give the blog a sensible, valuable name


    Sensible= what makes sense to humans; valuable= what gives value. 
    Choose the name of your blog with care. Give it a URL [=site address that is typed on the browser to enter the blog] that makes sense and also directly relates the blog with your name / passion / product. The URL should also be easy to recall and type. It should not be too broad either [e.g. ‘poetry.com’]; such URLs are difficult to get and unless you are highly popular, you will seldom get search listing if people search for generic keywords such as ‘blogging’, ‘medicine’ and ‘poetry’.

    Look at these hypothetical URLs:

    http://pravizz67.blogpot.com  [Good if it is a personal blog of Mr. Pravizz. He did not get the URL of his name so he added his year of birth, i.e. 67.]
    http://ketpieandpotts.com [Good for a blog selling katpie and potts]
    http://mylifeandtimes.blogpot.bz [Sounds good but does not relate with the blogger or his work]
    http://mars2008.wordpres.com [Good as it is on mars mission 2008, but it would be bad if were Mr. Pravizz’s poetry blog]
    http://traveldiariesofpravizz.blogpot.udn [Good as it relates with the subject - travel -and also the blogger - Pravizz.]
    http://Purdilium–voices.com [Good as the blog is on a book titled ‘Purdilium Voices’]
    http://heart-paint.tunblr.co  [Good as it is on a paint called ‘heart paint’, but it would be bad if it were on heart diseases, or if Mr. Pravizz gave this name to his heart-rending poetry blog.]
    http://pra-vi-zz.com [Not good even for Mr. Pravizz.]

    Two other identities that instantly link visitors and search engines with the blog: 

     One, its title. The blog title is not URL but the title that you give to it. To see the title of IndianTopBlogs, type indiantopblogs.com on the browser or click on this link, and look at the top left of your browser. Depending on the browser, you will find the following phrase either on the tab or top bar of the browser: Best- also popular- Indian blogs; blogging advice; blog reviews. This is the title of ITB website. Notice how relevant this title is to the content of ITB. 
     We admit that it is a slightly complex and long title, and advise that you try to give a simpler and shorter – but relevant - title to your blog. 
     Second is the description. It can be slightly longer. It should explain the essence of the blog in slightly different words than the title. Can you check the description of ITB? Type Indian top blogs on the search bar of the browser and you will get ITB as one of the results. See what is written under the URL and you are likely to find this: Great blogging tips. Best Indian Blogs Directory. Top Indian blogs ranked for quality.Indian blogosphere and websites researched. Beautiful blog showcase. This is the description of ITB.

    Please don’t play with the blog title once you have fixed it, unless you completely change the theme of the blog. In the case of description, you can be slightly more liberal, but only slightly.

    Naming is a fine art, with sprinkling of the knowledge of brand-building. If some of today’s great brands such as Microsoft, General Electric and Wall Street Journal have names resonating with their profession, there are many others with quirky names such as Yahoo!, Google and Apple. The latter category succeeded and converted their alien-looking names [which in normal situations, would be a handicap] into powerful brands because of their pioneering product [e.g. email, search, superb engineering] coupled with commitment, leadership and financial muscle]. But why start with a handicap? Why not give the blog a name that speaks for the blog / blogger?

    Give fine headings to blog posts


    Give the post a heading that serves one or more of these purposes: summarises the post / introduces the subject / poses questions regarding the topic / offers help or solution to the reader / prompts the reader to read the post / breaks news / provokes. The heading should lead the reader to the body of the post.

    In addition, give sub-headings when introducing a new thought or product within the post. Like heading, the sub-heading(s) should also serve the purpose of guiding the reader further.

    Give sensible and relevant captions to images so that the reader relates an image with the written content the way you want him to.

    Use effective keywords to guide the visitor and the search engine


    Keywords are guideposts within the text content: on one hand they keep the reader focused on the topic and on the other they guide the web searcher to the content he’s looking for.  For example, if your blog is on economy, it will have words such as GDP, inflation, stock exchange, budget, balance sheet and forex naturally in URL, title, description, headings and sub-headings, widget headings and the body of posts. If a search is made on one of these words [=keyword], the search engine will put your blog on the first page or the 11000th page depending on how important and relevant your blog looks to it in relation to that keyword.

    Keywords that are generic in nature and have a broad appeal [e.g. industry] produce millions of results when someone searches for them, and it is impossible for most blogs and websites to come up in the first few search pages. Searchers too do not usually get the information they look for. Therefore, searchers generally use multiple-word expressions to narrow the search and often change the expression completely midway [e.g. industry > film industry > Hollywood > Hollywood trends > Hollywood earning trends > Hollywood earning trends 2012]. The beauty of the modern search engines is that they can relate a number of similar expressions to the searcher’s requirement. It is possible that your blog comes in the first page for a keyword that is not there at all on the blog but the search engines finds value in your blog in relation to that keyword!

    If you care for long-term value of your blog, you’d always think of great content, and if you want that content to reach people looking for it, you must use keywords effectively.

    Using keywords effectively is no big task, and hardly any blogger needs the services of SEO experts to do keyword tweaking for them. Take these steps and you will find a sustained rise in popularity of your blog:
    • Having decided the theme of the blog and the topics you would be covering, write down who your target audience are / will be.
    • Write as many single and multiple-word expressions on which people [out of the target audience] are likely to search the web. Don’t worry if many expressions are just synonyms of one another. List them according to their relevance to your theme and importance. Keep only about a dozen top expressions. Retain a mix of single-word, two-word and multiple-word expressions.
    • Look at the blog’s URL, title and description.  Check whether you can use some of these expressions.
    • Look at the headings and sub-heading of the posts you have already written. Check whether one or more of these expressions find a place there. If not, see how you could introduce these keywords without in any way diluting the quality of the content.
    • Look at the body of individual posts. Repeat what has been said above for headings.
    • Have you put categories and tags / labels with these expressions? Can you choose some of these expressions to bunch a number of posts and put them at the end of posts with the caption ‘You may also like to see…’?
    • Can some of these expressions, if used as widget titles, add value by way of cross-referencing, highlighting an aspect, etc?
    • Look at the images and videos, tables and other visual elements. Have you put these expressions in the caption and description of these elements?
    There are many other ways of putting keywords on a webpage, some relating to html. [We’ll talk about some of these in the last post of this series.]

    What is said above should not lead you to believe that keywords are more important than the content. Nor should you feel that keywords are natural in all types of content [e.g. Will you write a poem with keywords in mind?] If you get obsessed with keywords, you are likely to mar the quality of content, suffer bad reputation, put off visitors and be penalized by search engines. 

    Let’s take you to a hypothetical example in which a keyword has been stuffed here and there.  Suppose we create a blog with the URL http://GDP-GDP-GDP-GDP.com and give it the title GDP, GDP, GDP. Let’s also give a lengthy description to it in which we use GDP ten times. Let the blog have ten posts, each with heading in which GDP comes twice and body text in which GDP comes thirty times. Let’s also make sure that the expression GDP comes in the text repeatedly irrespective of whether its placement looks natural and deserving when we read the posts. Will the blog come on top of page 1 of Google when somebody searches for GDP? Chances are that it will come on one of the search pages in a few days but soon it will disappear as the search engine will have penalized it for ‘keyword stuffing’.

    That takes us to this question: How many and what type of keywords should you put on the blog and not be penalised? Well, the general answer would be that you should put a variety of keywords and not repeat the same expression again and again. In addition, you should use keywords only in a natural way, especially in the body of posts. The desirable number of iterations of an expression per 100 words would depend on the subject and its treatment in your blog. [For example, in this post, the word ‘blog’ has come a hundred times without it sounding unnatural, and if we replaced ‘blog’ with ‘website’ etc, we’d be confusing the reader rather than helping him.] Generally speaking, major single-word and two-word expressions should not be more than 2-3% of all words. Like in all other aspects, ITB’s guiding principle would be to ask whether you’re doing so in an ethical and natural way.

    Articles in this series:

    Blogging tips on ethical SEO

    What search engines love and what they hate

    Use strong name n keywords to guide visitors, search engines to your blog (present one)

    Use links and backlinks for blog value and SEO

    Search engine optimisation for blogs: html tweaking needed?

    August 20, 2012

    33 actions on blogs n websites that search engines love and hate

    This is second in the five-part series on ethical SEO. The first one contained tips for making a blog popular with ethical SEO practices. The present post is extension of the same; the do’s and don’ts given here are based on the process of web-search as explained by Google itself and the advice periodically offered by it. The next two posts will expand on some of these, and the last post will help in taking some desirable SEO actions that look difficult to people not comfortable with technology.

    In this post, we discuss the practices that Google likes and the ones it hates. We are not weighing Google vis-à-vis Yahoo, Bing and other search engines here. But the reality is that at present Google is the industry leader in the search domain and therefore doing something that this giant search engine hates means low reputation and low popularity, even chances of being penalized. Moreover, Google has been quite transparent about what it likes and what it hates.

    When search engines [as well as reputed directories] look at content on the web – including text, images, links, comments, archives, tags/ labels, affiliation, advertisements, messages… – they look for relevance and quality in deciding value of that content. They do not like manipulative tricks – tricks that are employed to fool search engines and directories into seeing a poor web resource as one with high value.

     

    What are the things on a blog that Google loves?

    • Good content, written with the visitor in mind
    • Frequent updation of content
    • Relevant URL and blog name that clearly conveys the blog’s essence [‘Vegetarian-food-blog’ is fine for a food blog, not ‘fishy mentions’ or ‘tonguesite444’]
    • A blog with its stand-alone URL [e.g. http://abcd.com versus http://abcd.blogspot.com or http://abcd.wordpress.com].
    • Keywords [=words used by people for searching the web] in URL, blog title, description, headings and posts: when used sensibly
    • Use of sensible description with images and video
    • Visits from social network pages [e.g. Facebook, Google+]
    • Presence of the blog in reputed web directories
    • Meta description tag in the blog’s html. [If you are not sure of technical terms like this, look at the fifth article in this series.]
    • Sitemap for the blog [Relevant for blogs maintained independently; Wordpress and Blogger would not require it unless you have played with their html.]
    • Logical structure of content so that visitors find it easy to navigate the blog
    • Sensible ‘anchor text’ [The text that is used for linking, e.g. ‘all-time great blogs’ in this sentence: Let me introduce some all-time great blogs to you.]
    • Sensible naming of different pages and labels / tags/ categories [e.g. name  of an archive page on ITB blog: ‘ITB.com/2012/making-search-powerful’ rather than ‘ITB.com/345865’]
    • Backlinks [= links that other sites give to your blog] from reputed websites/ blogs. For example, if your blog gets a link from a website with a high PageRank, it will start ranking higher in search pages.
    • Relevant internal links [=links to different pages or posts within the same blog]
    • Google PR [Google’s PageRank is a very important number for SEO. A higher PR helps websites/ blogs get prime position on Google. It is especially so when somebody searches for a highly competitive keyword. In fact, PR captures many of the factors of good blog popularity listed above. Exactly how, Google doesn’t tell. Update: Google now rarely updates its PR; however, it remains an important measure of a blog / website's overall importance on the web.]

     

    What do Google and its fellow search engines hate?

    • Writing for search engines (not humans); keyword stuffing
    • Blogs that purvey poor content and promise links back [e.g. article submission sites]
    • Blogs with no relevant worthwhile content but advertisements, widgets and links
    • Cloaking [It means presenting a poor website to search-engines as a valuable one, by way of tricky SEO.]
    • Pages or sub-domains or domains with duplicate content [When content is duplicated so as to generate more pages for the same keywords.]
    • Hidden links and keywords [When many links and keywords are put on a website with the sole purpose to show them to the search engine; the text is hidden to the visitor by making it very small or of background color.]
    • Links to web resources with bad reputation [e.g. sites with poor content]
    • Mutual, automatic, repetitive links as generated by link farms, link exchanges and bulk submission agencies
    • Automated queries to Google [Such queries are often generated when you submit your blog to tools offering website analysis.]
    • Too slow loading blogs [blogs on busy or low-bandwidth servers and those with too heavy content such as bulky images and videos]
    • Private blogs [These are not likely to be crawled by search engine robots.]

     

    Practices for which Google won’t penalize you but are not friendly to search optimisation

    • Flash content [Many search engines are unable to read content presented in flash files.]
    • Text embedded in images [Such text cannot be read by search engines.]
    • Not putting archives, categories and other tools to segregate and bunch content on the blog  
    • Restricting comments on posts kills interactivity,  popularity and search-optimisation.
    • Long text without sub-headings [It is boring, and you also miss the opportunity to highlight relevant keywords.]
    • Links that go blank

    Articles in this series:

    Blogging tips on ethical SEO

    What search engines love and what they hate (present one)

    Use strong name n keywords to guide visitors, search engines to your blog

    Use links and backlinks for blog value and SEO

    Search engine optimisation for blogs: html tweaking needed?

    August 14, 2012

    Blogging tips: ethical SEO

    This is first of the five articles we plan on SEO. In this one, we give tips for making your blog popular without resorting to undesirable SEO practices. The next one will be on what Google advises regarding blog reputation and popularity. The third and fourth articles will expand on some of the best practices and the last post will simplify technical tweaks for those who dread terms like html, meta-data and alt-text.

    Before starting the first post, let us take you to an earlier post. It gives a fair idea about what we mean by blog popularity.

    Simple tips for optimising your blog for search engines

    We present below tips that you often read on the web about how to give your blog a high placement on search engines. We've given our views - in italics - after each tip.
    • Give the blog a nice, specific name. Give it a good description. 
    We fully agree with it; we’ll talk more about it in our third post in this series.
    • Have the blog on your own platform, not Wordpress or Blogger. 
    Not necessarily. If you are a new blogger, you may like to mature your craft on these excellent platforms before going for an independent platform. However, we strongly recommend giving your blog an identity even if you are on free platforms.
    • Blog frequently. 
    Yes; but a quality post once a week is better than copy-paste content seven days a week.
    • Comment on others’ blogs. 
    Yes, but only if you feel like. Make your comments thoughtful. Just ‘Liked your post’ or ‘You look lovely’ look like spam. Scratching each other's backs often does not add value to the communication.
    • Write articles for e-zines and give your blog address there.
    Do this only if you are itching to write a score of articles on the subject you know and have no better platform to publish them. Some search engines are reported to frown upon e-zines.
    • Write for blogs and websites that give a weekly or monthly challenge – and publish them on your blog. 
    Fine only if it helps in honing your skills and inculcates discipline in you.Even then, write good stuff exclusively for your own blog.
    • Tell your friends and relatives about your blog. 
    You must, if you want it to be popular. Why not ask them for their frank opinion on the quality of writing etc?
    • Email and use other methods of informing people that you wrote a new post. 
    Yes, but don’t pester them.
    • Ping your posts to pinging services. 
    Yes if you have a new blog; later on, it might turn out counter-productive as automated submissions are taken as spam by some directories.
    • Be present on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and announce your blog and updates there. 
    Why not? Blogs and social networking sites complement each other well.
    • Conclude the post by posing a question. Don’t write a full post but leave something for imagination. 
    Be natural.
    • Give sub-headings; have images and give them good attributes; put many keywords in the top portion of a post...
    There are many small points relating to showing up relevant keywords about your blog to search engines. You should use them but these should not come at the cost of natural flair of the writing. Don't stuff keywords. We'd talk about these aspects in detail in the next and third posts in this series and also while talking about sprucing up text content, in a later post.
    • Provide many links to your own other posts and pages. Go for 'nofollow' for external links.
     Linking to your related content should be done so that visitors get to visit that, not just for SEO. External links to good sites should also be done with visitors in mind. rel="nofollow" is an attribute associated with a link. When you write this text after a link in the html, the link is not associated with your site. Don't bother about it. Just take care not to give link to 'bad' websites / blogs.
    •  Use good 'anchor' text while giving a link.
    Very good point. The words that link to an internal or external content should be relevant and should make sense to the reader. We'll talk more about it in the third post in this series.
    • Put lots of social media links on the blog. 
    Not ‘lots of’.
    • Submit your blog to blog directories. 
    Yes, to quality directories [e.g. Technorati, Dmoz] only.
    • Submit your posts to social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon. 
    Yes.
    • Join forums on the subject of your blog. 
    Yes, if you have genuine inclination and time.
    • Have your blog on a blogging community. 
    You can have your blog in such a community. It gives you lots of visitors. But then you are tied down to it. 
    • Use link-farms – sites that get you links and visitors if you visit them and promote other blogs.
    Avoid them.
    • Place advertisements on sites guaranteeing promotion. 
    Bloggers have often been fooled with such guarantees. Check facts if you itch to do so.
    • Have a poll. Give away ebooks. Have pop-ups that suggest people to follow you. 
    No pop-ups or other irritating gimmicks. If you can offer something genuinely, offer that. If you want people to buy something, ask them straight [of course, you should apply genuine promotional tricks-of-the-trade] and not leave them feeling cheated.
    • Give tips, and title them in numbers and hyperboles such as '5 apps that make you rich overnight'. 
    Give tips only if you are an expert. Too much and repeated exaggeration and false promises hurt badly in the long run: you can't fool all the people all the time.
    • Use SEO. Put proper keywords in posts and title, place meta tags, give links, etc. 
    Go for genuine,  ethical, SEO. Our next three posts are going to be on this aspect.
    • Engage an SEO expert if you want to succeed as a blogger.
    That depends on your goal. Genuine SEO definitely makes the blog popular and attracts target-audience to teh blog. Beware of fake SEO experts.
    • Have quality content; keep the visitor uppermost in your mind.
    We have placed it last, but it is the most importance advice that one can give to a blogger. We have dealt with it in great details in these posts: 
    Blog content: quality of writing matters a lot
    How to write dazzling blog posts 

     
    Articles in this series:

    Blogging tips on ethical SEO (present one)

    What search engines love and what they hate

    Use strong name n keywords to guide visitors, search engines to your blog

    Use links and backlinks for blog value and SEO

    Search engine optimisation for blogs: html tweaking needed?

    August 8, 2012

    Anna, Advani, blogging and the ‘publish’ button

    Noticed this blogging trend in the Indian blogosphere: When celebrities have to make an important announcement but do not want to say it in front of television cameras or in a press conference, they put it on their blog?

    Blog posts are not tweets; they are not witty comments on social or political developments or a personality. Tweets, by their very nature, are instant and you can’t weave a long story or logically prove something. And, if you are a celebrity whose remarks can generate controversy [Digvijaya Singh is at the top of this heap right now], you get eager to make a comment on the fly. Blogs are different. They are more serious, more stable, more logical. 

    Celebrity blogs are written with extra care. Often, the first draft is prepared by some researcher. So, a blog-post from a big politician or other public figure is seldom impetuous. Celebrities, especially political leaders, must be reading a post many times before publishing it. Yet, there are many occasions when people repent having written something on their blog.

    What made us write this post are the two recent blog announcements of much import: one by Lal Krishna Advani, the septuagenarian BJP patron – predicting that the Congress would get fewer than a hundred seats in the next general elections and not ruling out that the next PM could be from parties other than the Congress and the BJP; and the other by Anna Hazare, perhaps the most staunch voice against corruption – announcing dissolution of his ‘Team Anna’. [By the way, this Team Anna at its zenith last year had so high social media presence that many in and out of the team claimed that social media played a very important role in garnering huge public support for their movement.]

    Both Anna’s and Advani’s blog-posts have confused their own organizations and their followers. [They often do this, even outside blogging.]  Did these leaders choose the medium of blog to convey an unsavory message to their colleagues who would not listen to them? Or was it a case of extreme urge to speak one’s mind publicly without caring for internal mechanisms of communication? Or were they carried away by their 'thought of the moment'?

    Whatever the reason for these two blog-posts, Anna and Advani have at least these three giveaways for us bloggers [We have, by habit, expanded them ;)]. 
    • Keep blogging, as blogs have great value in sharing your memories and thoughts, making an important announcement, developing an intellectual hypothesis, sharing information and tips, helping others in small ways…
    • Use blogging for thoughts more important than what you can convey through Tweets or even on social networking sites such as Facebook and Orkut.
    • Do not press the ‘publish’ button before you are sure you will not repent having written something on a post. Do not press the ‘publish’ button also before you have checked the post for facts, grammar and spellings.