Will Scribe SEO Make Google Think You’re Sexy?

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Sometime around the middle of last year, I hired someone to do an SEO audit on my blog.

SEO, by the way, stands for search engine optimization, or…how sexy google thinks you are.

The verdict…ACK!!!

That was literally what the final report said. My keywords were all over the place, posts went in a million different directions, my headlines were written entirely for humans, not google bots and reviewers. Oy vey, I was an SEO trainwreck.

You’d think someone who’s been doing this for a few years would know better. And, in fact, I do.

I just don’t love the process of “SEOing” my posts, so…I’ve ended up blowing it off.

But, I have a confession to make. Looking back…I wish I hadn’t.

Because I’ve now got hundreds of juicy, high-value posts in my archives that are drawing very little organic search traffic. Not because they’re bad, but because I never bothered doing the basic “on blog” SEO stuff that sets your posts up to become search-engine traffic magnets.

Then, along comes Scribe SEO

It’s a new service for WordPress bloggers (that’s me) that claims to make the process of optimizing your posts for search engines about a bazillion easier. Fun, even. Plus, the guy behind it is my friend, Brian Clark, of Copyblogger fame, and he puts out good stuff.

So, I decided to give it a whirl…

And, the thing is, even though I’m an affiliate for the product, I paid full price for it myself. Because of the potential value to me. Because, if it worked as claimed, it’d help me do something mission critical that I’ve had a lot of trouble doing myself.

Scribe SEO under the hood…

Scribe SEO is a simple to install WordPress plugin that allows you to click one button and have a draft post thoroughly analyzed for SEO. Within seconds, a report appears on the screen that gives you an overall score out of 100, then suggests very specific things to change before publishing in order to maximize the SEO impact of the post.

Translation for non-SEO-geeks…it tells what to change to make google love ya.

I was going to post a bunch of screenshots showing how ScribeSEO works, but truth is, they’ve already done that, and quite artfully, at the Scribe SEO website.

Just follow this link, click on “Bloggers,” then click “Take the Tour.”

But, what I will do is share my personal experience as I began to run the plugin on my posts.

They can be summed up in one word. “OY!”

Apparently that SEO expert I paid to audit my blog (she rocks, btw), was right. My posts blow SEO chunks. My scores were down around the 40s and 50s out of 100.  And ScribeSEO plugin report lit up like an 8 year old’s eyes at a candy store. Decision time.

What really made this worth the investment, though, is that the ScribeSEO plugin didn’t just tell me what was wrong, it also suggested suggested keywords, link additions and other tweaks to fix it.

Remember, though, it’s still up to you to take ScribeSEO’s advice. And, here’s where you need to be careful. Sometimes it’s fairly easy to do what Scribe SEO says, make a bunch of quick changes that make google dig you AND keep your readers humming happily along. Other times, it’s not so easy, because it messes with your language, tone or message.

So, you’ve got to decide whether you want to lose out on potential SEO value, but keep the personality in or bump the SEO optimization and potentially lose a bit of zip.

In the end, I find Scribe SEO really useful, largely because:

It’s kind of like my own private SEO cop.

And, as I mount an effort to drive a lot more organic search traffic, trust me…I need the help!

Remember, though, Scribe SEO will optimize your post for search engine traffic and help you to write headlines with great anchor link text for backlinks…but it won’t automatically get you those backlinks that put you over the moon in google’s eyes. That you have to do yourself.

So, go check it out.

Test drive it and see if it feels right for you.

[Affiliate disclosure: As I mentioned above, I am an affiliate for this product. That means, if you click on over to check it out and end up buying it, I’ll get insane amounts of money hand-delivered to my numbered account in the Cayman’s and be one step closer to retiring and living my life out in a sarong with beaded hair…what’s left of it (huge apologies for the mental image)]

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20 responses

20 responses to “Will Scribe SEO Make Google Think You’re Sexy?”

  1. Leo Dimilo says:

    Hi Jonathon,

    I am not convinced that a service will have as much benefit to SEO as you would think. Here are some inherent issues, at least from my perspective….

    1. While on-page seo does serve the search engines in helping them determine relevance, I have to wonder if internal link structure in which you add anchor text pointing to the page would serve as a better indicator for both the visitor and the SE. This strategy has worked very well for micro-niche sites and is also known as keyword sniping.

    2. External links pointing into your site with the relevant anchor text would also be a better “clue” in terms of what your page is about. I have seen instances where a page has ranked for a search term without it being remotely relevant because of external linking factors.

    3. You are relying on what the creators of the plug-in have deemed as the most important factors. This opens up a can of worms. If you have hung around SEO forums, you will notice that even the best and brightest SEO’s can’t seem to totally agree on what works and what doesn’t in terms of onpage SEO. I actually had a conversation with Andy Beard in regards to whether the first link should be followed or no followed. He believed that it should be followed. However, if you look at sites of some prominent SEO’s, you will notice that some no follow their first link.

    4. In the case of blogs, where information is constantly changing on the page (in the form of comments), you would have to adjust the page accordingly to account for keyword density (assuming that keyword density is a factor which I personally believe that google has moved away from).

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I am not an SEO expert so you can discount this if you or anyone that reads this disagree.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      All good questions, Leo. And, like you, I am not an SEO expert. A few thoughts…

      1. On page SEO is absolutely just a part of the process. That’s why I mentioned this plugin won’t actively land you links, which regardless of the debate over what else matter, pretty much every SEO I know agrees is king, whether they are internal or external.

      2. You’re absolutely right, relevant links that use optimal anchor text matter. A lot. And, many times, the people or websites linking to you will use all or part of your post title as anchor text. So, it makes sense to pay a lot of attention to that and ensure good keyword integration. For me, Scribe reminds me to do that, which I rarely ever do. Will it’s utility sustain once I’m in the habit a few months from now? Dunno. But, at least as a tool to force me to think about keywords in titles as well as in the post, it’s effective for me.

      3. I’m relying partly on what the creators of the plugin deem useful and partly on the access I have to a lot of people way smarter on this than me. You’re absolutely correct, the smartest people in the space disagree about what matters, and I know Andy questioned where Scribe SEO’s 1 link per 120 words filter came from. Besides that one filter, though, most of the criteria Scribe uses seem to be pretty commonly agreed upon. So, to a certain extent, you’ve gotta figure out who you trust, then just use your judgment.

      4. I don’t really know enough to know if you’ve got to adjust the page constantly to account for changes in keyword density due to comments. That doesn’t make sense to me from the standpoint of what google’s trying to accomplish with their algo. It seems keyword density or more likely, these days, latent semantic indexing, has more weight when a post is first indexed. Seems if google were looking at posts anew every time a comment was added, my posts would showing up as new entries in my google alerts with every new comment. If anyone reading this can go deeper on this topic, would love the benefit of your knowledge.

      Thems my thoughts, too. Like you, I am not an SEO expert, but the combination of focusing my writing back on doing even the basic things I should be doing, along with the low price point for the service makes it worth the investment for me.

      • Leo Dimilo says:

        Thanks for the clarity, Jonathon. I hope that you do a follow-up in a month or so to show if this plug-in actually helped increase your position in the SERPS. The proofing would be icing on the cake, ya know?

        • Jonathan Fields says:

          Quick update – Links aren’t always everything.

          My post from earlier today now ranks #3 on google for the term “stop sniffing glue.” That’s with no links and about 10 hours. Granted, there may not be a lot of volume, but the point is, the title alone led to the #3 ranking.

          I also just checked a term that sends thousands of views a month to my site organically and has a #2 ranking…only 2 inbound links, but the headline was keyword rich (one of the few from my early days, lol)

  2. Mark says:

    Interesting! I wish they would make a general SEO tool to evaluate content on our ecommerce website. Understanding the sheer nature of SEO and all its tactics proves to be difficult. And paying a ton of money for an SEO expert isn’t a good option for startups of boutique hair bows.

  3. Nikki Chau says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the tips on the deal with Scribe SEO. Could you tell me more specifically how you’ve benefited from their service? I’m somewhat SEO illiterate, and my understanding is SEOing helps with your ranking. If so, how come when I do a search for “seo” or “wordpress seo”, Scribe is nowhere to be found in the results? In theory, if they’re so awesome, would they turn up somewhere in the first couple pages?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Nikki

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Nikki, Way too early for me to tell what affect it’ll have, SEO takes a fair amount of time, since it’s partly on-page, but also based on links and I’ve only been at it for a few days. Also, not surprised Scribe SEO website doesn’t rank on google yet, they just launched last week, so they have not had a lot of time to get google juice. Plus, the keyword SEO and all it’s variations are massively competitive terms to rank for.

      • Nikki Chau says:

        Thanks for the response Jonathan. I wanted to contribute to your Cayman Island Retirement Funds, but it seems that the awesome deal with Scribe SEO has already ended. (I was thinking end of day Friday 2/26 was the deadline.) Until next time. Enjoy life, with or without a sarong out there.

        Nikki

  4. Best affiliate disclosure ever.

    (I cracked up and got weird looks from cafe staff)

  5. Jack Madison says:

    hi, with Scribe you will Optimize faster,Balance keyword usage
    & Add SEO copywriting to your arsenal..Thanks to your article, its really fantastic.

  6. Jackie says:

    Hi Jonathan

    I bought Scribe last week and have run it though my posts…thankfully Ive not been online too long so I didnt have many to run =) Most of them came in around the 30 -40 mark, and after applying the tweaks suggested have got the majority up to the 80+ mark (internal and external linking is limited due to small number of posts at this point)

    All in all I’m happy, its easy to use and allows you to get on with the job of writing without all that superflous stuff to worry about, and hey if it improves my “sexyness” in googles eyes…bring it on.

    I suppose only time will tell
    Jackie
    PS – Im not an affiliate

  7. Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for the post. I’ve been thinking about investing in Brian’s plug in and think you may have tipped the scales for me. Just makes sense to leverage other people’s experience to help with the ‘black magic’ of SEO.

    Every little helps as far as I am concerned. How long will you give the plug in to work its magic before you re-evaluate?

    Adrian

  8. Daryl says:

    Squeeze page here?

    This blog is about content and original thought, right?

  9. Pat says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I just helped design and launch a blog for a client and have realized just how much I don’t know about tags and keywords (and thought I did!) Your timing is perfect–I’m signing up for Scribe, I think a lot of us can use this help. Thanks for the post!

  10. Dea says:

    It would be great if this plugin works in Italian too, we are transfering our website to wordpress and this would be an extremely useful service, especially since we are transfering the bulk of our business online from a brick and mortar platform. Italy is a late adopter country in many things so I will write to the folks at scribe and see.
    By the way I find your writing to be exceptional and have found all your posts to be spot on and extremely valuable. I am truly appreciative to have stumbled on your blog and services. Blessings 🙂 Dea.

    • Right now Scribe only works on English text. I’ve heard mention that Spanish might be supported next, but the only official word is that there are no immediate plans to support languages other than English.

  11. Interesting, I’ll try it out.

    Like yourself, I haven’t really bothered much about doing SEO on my blog.
    If Scribe can make it painless and works after posts have been written, it’s worth a try.

    I’d rather do it that way than try to make my posts conform to the results of keyword research.
    cheers, Eric G.

    • That’s exactly how Scribe works – it analyzes your existing content and tries to figure out the keywords on its own. It does a pretty good job of that, but some of us have asked for more control over the keywords that it is assessing, especially longtail combinations of 3 or 4 words.

  12. This sounded like a great way for a beginning (and inconsistent, though I hope to change that) blogger to learn more about SEO while concentrating on writing. The sales price through today absolutely seemed worth it, so I purchased it … and yes, I used your affiliate link. I hope you get piles of money from your recommendation/comments, but let’s make a deal. Even if you get billions of dollars tossed into your account in the Caymans – you HAVE TO CONTINUE SHARING IDEAS WITH US!! So, please insert “blogging from the beach” into your early retirement vision. 🙂

  13. Josh says:

    I visited the scribeseo website and I must say it looks very interesting. The price is a little bit pricey for me however. Perhaps sometime soon I’ll be able to purchase it. Thanks for the info!