Ask CK: The Purpose of Friday Links and Using SEO

If you have a question you'd like to ask Casual Kitchen, send it in!!
Why do you run your Friday Links posts? It's way too much to read! I don't have that kind of time.

I run my Friday Links for a few reasons. First, to share great posts and thought-provoking ideas from other sites. Second, it's a great way for my readers to scale off of huge amount of personal blog reading I do. Thus I can follow several hundred blogs and share the best stuff I find, while readers can avoid following several hundred blogs and get exposed to content they'd otherwise not see.

But the most important reason I run these posts is to give back. Early on in CK's life, two high-traffic blogs, The Simple Dollar and Cheap Healthy Good linked to some of my articles here, and that simple act basically put CK on the map. I've been trying to pay it forward ever since.

The thing is, there are so many bad blogs out there that it literally pains me to see a good blog go unread. Thus my goal with my Friday links posts is to take good stuff from insightful writers and share it with all of the amazingly insightful readers here.

One final thought. We are all running out of time. Don't waste still more time complaining about not having enough time. Instead, consider the ways you can use my Friday Links to help you manage your time better. For example, you can:

1) Skip it entirely.
2) Read one or two articles that grab you.
3) Or, you can read everything, using CK as your weekly clearinghouse for interesting blog content.

Each of the above methods should save you time, depending on your specific needs and wants as a reader. However, it's up to you to choose your reading needs and wants. Don't give away your power and let the internet, or me, or any other site impose themselves on you without you choosing first.

A question from a fellow blogger: how much SEO [search engine optimization] do you do with your posts?

None. None whatsoever. Partly it's due to my personal laziness, and partly it's due to the fact that text written with SEO in mind reads like, well, text written with SEO in mind:

How do you eat frugally? Eating frugally, or frugal eating, is extremely important, and a frugal diet with frugal recipes can help you spend less money on food, especially on frugal healthy food, which doesn't have to be expensive.

See what I mean? After a lead sentence like that, your readers will run screaming from your site. Time on page: 0:00.

I just can't bring myself to write that badly, even if it might significantly boost my search traffic. I'd rather write for my regular readers with the idea of starting thought-provoking conversations.

Further, I figure that the reason I get any search traffic at all isn't due to SEO optimized posts, it's due to inbound links from lots of other bloggers. That's why if you want to support other bloggers, the best way to do it (beyond directly supporting them by supporting their sponsors, affiliates, or buying Amazon products via their site) is to link to specific posts that you've found valuable. This is an enormous driver of search traffic, and it brings readers to sites that are actually written well--not written for the purpose of gaming Google's search algorithms.

Readers, what are your thoughts?

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Michelle said...

I love the links for the very reasons you list. I also like to see what kinds of things you and other bloggers I follow like to read.

Matt @ SpoonMatters said...

Great post, and as one of the regular readers of the Friday Links I want to thank you for the weekly effort. I don't know how you manage to read so much! But your Friday links sections often go in my starred list to read later when I have more free time.

Just a note, I believe I first found your blog via TSD sometime last year. Either that or Stonesoup, but I may very well have found Stonesoup via CK. Sometimes it's hard to remember when all the good blogs are intertwined!

Sarah M said...

I agree with Matt! I love the Friday Links post and look forward to it every week. I like finding new blogs to read and the Friday post is one of the best sources. Keep up the good work!!

Joanne said...

I always LOVE the Friday links, Daniel. The articles are always interesting and about things that I feel like I might not stumble across on my own! I definitely look forward to them every week.

Lana said...

I look forward to Friday Links also:) I have some of my favorite blogs that I read daily, but I love discovering more. Thanks to CK, I am now deeply engrossed in reading Charmian's blog :) Love it!

Laura said...

I love links posts! Keep them coming!

wosnes said...

The Friday Links are my favorites. I can tell by your description if the other posts are something I want to read -- or not. I also enjoy CHG's Top Ten of the week.

wosnes said...

I love the Friday Links. I can tell by your description if they're something i want to read -- or not.

kittiesx3 said...

Piling on for Friday links. I love that feature and I read it every week.

Marcia said...

Personally I LOVE Friday Links! I live for yours and CHG's. I get so sad if y'all skip a week.

It's my weekly guilty pleasure.

Daniel said...

Grateful for the positive vibes, and I've been really happy to see a lot more readers coming here specifically for the links. Thank you!


Karis said...

I too love Friday links and appreciate you taking the time to sort through and post the best links!

Megan said...

I LOVE your Friday links! I always look forward to reading the links you post, because you always post such interesting things. I love discovering new blogs or just learning new facts about something. :)